Posts Tagged ‘Grosvenor’
We have just announced B.I.R.D. (Brain Injury Rehabilitation and Development) as our nominated charity for 2012/13.
Located close to the Garden Centre in the village of Eccleston, B.I.R.D. is a small charity with only six members of staff including physiotherapists and psychologists, yet the team supports around 200 adults and children each year.
Using techniques, rehabilitation and treatment tailored to the needs of the individual, B.I.R.D. helps not only people who have received a brain injury through an accident or stroke, but also adults and children with long term conditions such as autism, cerebral palsy and dyspraxia.
“We work hard to devise a treatment or rehabilitation programme that can be followed at home and monitored through regular assessments here at the Centre,” stated Helen Schielke, practice manager, B.I.R.D.
With the help of staff and visitors to Grosvenor Garden Centre, the Centre hopes to raise a considerable amount of funds over the next 12 months to support the efforts of such a worthwhile charity.
“The team at B.I.R.D. works hard to ensure the best possible outcome for all the families in their care and by offering our support, we hope to raise not only a substantial amount of funding to aid their work, but also to help raise awareness of their valuable operation on the outskirts of Chester,” said Wesley Haywood from Grosvenor Garden Centre.
“Any funding is most welcome and we are delighted that Grosvenor Garden Centre has announced its support of B.I.R.D. throughout 2012, our 30th anniversary year,” concluded Helen.
The announcement that we have chosen B.I.R.D. as our charity of the year is the latest in a long line of ongoing community and charity initiatives supported by us here at Grosvenor Garden Centre. See previous blogs for more details including our Guerilla Gardeners who hit the community for Garden Re-Leaf Day in March.
Summer has well and truly arrived but whether the good weather arrives too remains to be seen!
Your beds and borders will be at their height of colour now from your favoured bedding plants and your Edible Garden will be producing a high yield of fruit and vegetables.
Watering is such an important item on your ‘to do’ list that it should now be second nature to head out to the garden every evening with your watering systems. Don’t forget to reuse water collected in your water butts for an environmentally friendly way to keep on top of that important job.
If you have not already done so, add a layer of decorative bark round each of your shrubs as mulch for your beds. This is a top tip for retaining moisture at the roots so that it does not evaporate from the surface of the soil.
Our Plant of the Month this July is the Dahlia and this is definitely the month to enjoy them at their best although they should continue to flower right up to the first frosts in autumn. The Dahlia will grow well in most soil types and locations and will offer large, showy blooms for eye-catching splendour.
Roses are a popular favourite too, particularly as they are so versatile, with dwarf varieties perfect for pots and containers; tall, rambling roses for climbing interest against fences or walls and of course, the rose bush which is perfect for beds and borders. Mix and match your roses or stick to a number of favourites but keep an eye open for aphids. Use a systemic insecticide to kill aphids and protect your roses for the coming three weeks or so.
You may notice some of your other plants such as fuchsias or hollyhocks, together with your roses, may begin to suffer from diseases including mildew. Again, there are plenty of fungicides available, so always feel free to ask one a member of our team for their advice on stamping out these bugs and protecting them from attack.
We may endure more rain than we would like this month, so you may not need to water your plants additionally. If they do become dry, make sure new plants and shrubs receive a good, occasional soaking rather than a daily shower. This will encourage a deeper root system to establish. A regular feeding will benefit all your perennials (plants that re-appear every year) and shrubs.
All flowering plants will need to be regularly dead headed to encourage new blooms and a greater growth.
These tips include hanging baskets and containers too which should be monitored daily for water retention and limp blooms.
Once your lawn has had a good soaking from rainfall, take the opportunity to feed it. Grass roots are minimal and will deteriorate in dry weather. A summer feed will ensure a lush, vibrant deep green colour and stimulate growth of roots too. Choose from soluble or granular lawn treatments or you may prefer a 3-in-1 option that will kill moss and broadleaved weeds at the same time as encouraging growth and improving the appearance of your lawn.
There is no point in working so hard on your baskets, borders and lawn without completing the finishing touches such as tidying your pathways and gravel areas. Treatments and weedkillers are available specifically for these areas whereby any weeds will be suppressed and prevented for around three months.
Dependent upon which fruits and vegetables you have chosen to grow in your Edible Garden, you should be reaping great benefits from high yield this month for delicious salads and summertime dining. Bumper crops of tomatoes will now benefit from a high potash feed for maximum growth. Lift each leaf and check for whitefly. If they are present, you will need to treat the tomato plant with a systemic insecticide which is suitable for use on edible crops.
Check your plot for any weeds as these will steal much-needed moisture and nutrients from your crops. Hoe regularly and carefully between the rows of crops or choose a suitable weedkiller. Please do ask if you have any queries or need advice – we are here to help.
Beans such as French and runner should be ready for picking now. Keep well watered and feed with a soluble plant food for more crops.
Soft fruits such as blackcurrants, raspberries and strawberries should be picked as they ripen. Birds need feeding throughout the year but they have their own seed and nuts so make sure they don’t help themselves to your fruits by protecting crops with netting.
Finally, make the most of whatever weather we experience this month and head outdoors while the days are long and evenings balmy. The scent of freshly cut grass, scented blooms and barbecues epitomise summer and let us hope for plenty of sunshine!
Our Plant of the Month this June is the Rose. Truly a versatile species, the rose will suit any location and colour scheme in your garden and even better, they are very easy to care for so perfect for beginner gardeners too.
Not only is the rose a beautiful addition to any garden with its rainbow of shades and delicious scents, it will enhance any area with many varieties to choose from including climbers, floribundas and miniatures. Wherever you need interest adding in your garden, there will be a rose to suit.
The rose is not fussy about soil type either! It will be happy in a well drained location with plenty of sun and shelter. If you are replacing an old rose with a new one, it would be preferable to replace any old soil with new to give your rose the best chance to thrive and avoid a ‘soil sickness’ problem that can occur with roses. Once your rose is planted, all you need to do is remember to feed and water your rose often and it should thrive.
You can plant any roses grown in containers throughout the year. Just make sure the ground is not too frozen or waterlogged first. And all roses will benefit from a good layer of mulch after planting.
Pruning takes place once a year and is easy. Bush roses, for example, should be pruned to around one third of its size between the middle of February and the middle of March, avoiding frost periods. If you prune at the right time and remove dead heads and dying growth, you will encourage increased flowering for longer and improve the shape of the rose for the winter months.
Roses are also the perfect gift idea. So many are named after celebrations that you are sure to find one to suit every occasion.
So if you are a rose enthusiast or simply want to try something new, choose this month to make a difference in your garden and visit Grosvenor today for a wide choice of award-winning roses.
It does not seem five minutes since we were welcoming 2012 and yet here we are, six months on and preparing for one of the busiest months in the garden.
Growth should be strong this month as the days are long and even though we have already had a sunny start to June, we have also had some rain so make sure you are saving as much rainwater as possible in your water butts to use on your plants.
If you were cautious and delayed planting your tender bedding plants until this month, you will have saved them from the latter frosts in May. There should be less chance of frosty evenings now and the time is most definitely right for planting this month.
Weed control is very important this month as it is such a growth period and weeds can rob your soil of moisture and vital nutrients needed to encourage your plants to establish and grow. Choose a weedkiller that will kill to the root with minimal disturbance to the soil.
Seeds of biennials and wallflowers for flowering next year should be sown now. Also look for Angelica, Canterbury Bells and Foxgloves for a wild, spring display.
Hanging baskets are a beautiful addition to any wall or fence at any time of year – but never more so than during the summer months. You can create your own display or call into Grosvenor for a fantastic array of ready-made baskets to simply choose and take away.
Brighten your patio area with planted containers, tubs and window boxes too – but don’t forget to save as much rainwater as possible for watering.
Water liberally at the coolest time of day, usually the evening, for maximum benefit and feed regularly.
Your houseplants would love a spell outdoors at this time of year so simply choose a sheltered spot and continue to water and feed regularly.
How is your edible garden coming along? June is a busy month for planting tender produce ready for bountiful trugs full of fresh fruit and vegetables later in the year.
Courgettes, tomatoes, peppers and sweetcorn do need to be handled carefully as the roots need to be established into moist, rich soil or compost with plenty of moisture and important nutrients constantly available. They love warm weather and want to grow, yet your soil is likely to be deficient without extra help. We have plenty of soil conditioners to give your soil a much needed helping hand – or your own homemade kitchen compost or organic mulch will give it a boost too.
To gain the best possible yield from your edible garden, remember to feed your fruits and vegetables. Without a feed, you may find that they do not set pods or fruit and the leaves will become discoloured. As a general rule, begin to feed six weeks or so after planting your seedlings in an enriched soil. Different feeds will suit different crops so please do ask when you visit us and we will guide you in the right direction to ensure the best possible yields in your edible garden.
If you are short of space, why not simply clump a collection of herbs into a large container or planter and place it where it is easily accessible when you are cooking? Not only will they look striking together, they will help you create enticing flavours at mealtime.
Your lawn will be growing steadily now so continue to mow regularly to keep it looking in tip top condition. Set the blades of your lawnmower so that the tips of your grass are trimmed each week which will ensure your grass remains stronger than if you cut it very short every couple of weeks. A top tip is to keep the grass clippings on top of your lawn to shield it from the very hot sun if we are lucky enough to experience a period of very hot, dry weather. This will also help your lawn to retain moisture.
Choose a granular lawn fertiliser this month to use on buttercups, clover and daisies which may be pushing through your lawn. Such a fertiliser will be perfect for getting rid of weeds selectively and improve the appearance of your lawn.
Finally, simply enjoy your garden this month. With so much colour and so many delicious scents to delight in, make sure you take time to just sit back and enjoy it.
We have raised a record amount of more than £15,000 for our nominated charity, Claire House Children’s Hospice.
Following two years of fundraising activities, raising £8,000 last year and £7,360 this year, members of the Grosvenor team took part in an abseil from the Liver Building, bake sales and the completion of three gruelling marathons by one of our longest serving members, horticulturalist Charles Ashley.
Charles, aged 54 from Llangollen, raised more than £3,000 for Claire House by completing the 2012 London Marathon last month in four hours and 15 minutes. Charles has also completed two Snowdonia marathons on behalf of the charity, bringing his personal total to more than £6,000.
“Charles’ determination to raise such a valuable sum of money for Claire House knows no bounds and we could not be more proud of his efforts,” said Iain Wylie, managing director.
Together with monies raised from in-store collections, we have continued our fundraising endeavours for Claire House to help the hospice continue to provide respite, palliative and end of life care for more than 160 children each year with life limiting and life threatening illnesses.
“I would like to extend my gratitude to everyone at the Garden Centre and its customers for raising such an incredible amount for Claire House over the past two years,” commented Jane Collingwood, Volunteer Manager, Claire House Children’s Hospice.
“Support from businesses such as Grosvenor Garden Centre is essential as we endeavour to help not only the children in our care but to support their families too from locations as wide-ranging as Cheshire, Merseyside, North Wales, Wirral and the Isle of Man. The fantastic amount of money raised by the team and customers at Grosvenor is very much appreciated by everyone at Claire House Children’s Hospice,” concluded Jane.
Three members of the team at Grosvenor Garden Centre have been awarded a leading qualification within the horticultural industry.
James Mabon, Linda Jones and Rachel Roberts-Jones from Grosvenor each received the leading industry-recognised Diploma in Garden Retail following 12 months of interactive learning and workshops.
Administered by the Horticultural Trades Association, the Diploma is an established qualification and provides candidates with a broad understanding of horticulture and the Garden Centre retail environment.
“I feel I understand much more about horticulture and how to operate a successful garden centre since I completed this Diploma and I feel my contribution to Grosvenor is more valuable as my knowledge has increased,” commented Rachel.
“We have been pleased to support James, Rachel and Linda to undertake this qualification as it not only reinforces our commitment to horticulture and the careers of our individual team members, but also enhances the level of service Grosvenor offers its customers,” said Iain Wylie, managing director.
James and Rachel, both horticulturalists and Linda from the garden care department, were each encouraged to work with colleagues across all areas of the Garden Centre to learn from each other and increase awareness of best practice. This enabled the trio to benefit from the knowledge of other departmental team members in areas they had not previously worked.
“Every member of the team here at Grosvenor is encouraged to undertake further training to aid their career progression and gain an additional understanding of the business. I am thrilled that three of the Grosvenor team have completed the Diploma in Garden Retail and would like to congratulate them on their success,” said Iain Wylie, managing director.
The Cafe at Grosvenor Garden Centre welcomed the Lord Mayor of Chester, Cllr Eleanor Johnson, to a coffee morning to raise awareness of the work of Parkinson’s UK.
Coinciding with Parkinson’s Awareness Week (16th-22nd April), the coffee morning provided the opportunity for visitors to support the Chester and District branch of Parkinson’s UK which incorporates Chester, Ellesmere Port and Flintshire.
The charity raises funds for research and support, providing information and friendship to people with Parkinson’s disease and their families and carers.
“We are extremely grateful to Grosvenor for providing us with a venue to raise funds for our theme of ‘Find a Cure’ during Parkinson’s Awareness Week this year. Grosvenor’s support is extremely valuable and I would like to thank both the customers and staff for their support today,” commented Ann Edwards, Branch Chair.
“We aim to support as many people with Parkinson’s in the West Cheshire area as possible and the funds raised today will go some way towards providing sessions including therapy, yoga and aquarobics. Encouragement from businesses such as Grosvenor is much appreciated in our quest to raise as much money as possible to make sure we help as many people as possible each year,” said Ann.
“Our ongoing links within the community are integral to our values here at Grosvenor. It has been clear from the coffee morning today just how incredibly hard the support workers and volunteers work on behalf of Parkinson’s UK to play such an important role in aiding people with Parkinson’s and their families and we are pleased to have been able to offer our support during Parkinson’s Awareness Week,” said Iain Wylie, managing director.
One of Grosvenor’s team of horticulturists, Charles Ashley, from Llangollen, is hoping to raise more than £3000 for the centre’s current adopted charity, Claire House Children’s Hospice, by completing the London Marathon this Sunday (22nd April).
Charles is a regular ‘marathon man’ having completed many marathons including the London Marathon twice, the Chester Marathon last year and the Snowdonian Marathon 10 times through hail, ice, rain, thunder and freezing temperatures. Charles is hoping his third attempt at the London Marathon this weekend will prove slightly easier!
With a rigid training programme of cycling, running and cross training, Charles regularly completes an average of 70 – 80 miles per week with some weeks covering as many as 110! And his competitive spirit ensures he enters as many mountain races as possible around his work commitments at Grosvenor.
“I love a challenge and the London Marathon is definitely that!” said Charles,
As Fell Secretary and member of the Wrexham Athletic Club for the last 20 years, Charles has set the personal challenge of completing the London Marathon within four hours.
“Through support from customers and the team at Grosvenor, the funds I raise for Claire House will help to support the work of the hospice to provide respite, palliative and end of life care for children with life limiting and life threatening illnesses – and I would like to thank everyone for their support so far,” Charles concluded.
“Charles always goes ‘above and beyond’ for our nominated charity and we are very proud of his continued efforts to raise more funds on behalf of Claire House. By joining the expected numbers of more than 30,000 on this gruelling course, Charles deserves as much support as possible and I am delighted that so many of our customers have already pledged their support,” said Iain Wylie, managing director.
If you would like to donate to Charles’ marathon efforts, please call into the Garden Centre or visit www.justgiving.com/grosvenorgardencentre
Every tree matters at Grosvenor as the garden centre encourages customers to plant at least one tree during the UK’s largest celebration of trees, National Tree Week (26th November – 4th December).
Marking the beginning of the winter tree planting season, National Tree Week has been celebrated since 1975 and is now an unmissable date in Grosvenor’s calendar.
“Not only does planting a tree in your garden increase your positive impact on the environment and support wildlife, but trees have been proven to offer health benefits too as they promote wellbeing and improve the green space around you,” commented Iain Wylie, managing director.
Grosvenor is marking the occasion by introducing new varieties to its popular range of fruit and ornamental trees, such as Apple Christmas Pippin and Rosette, Prunus Frilly Frock and Sorbus Olympic Flame.
“Our trees are sourced from British nurseries as local to the garden centre as possible with none travelling further than Worcestershire so they arrive and remain in the best condition possible,” stated Pete Davies, plant buyer.
“Each of the new varieties has been carefully chosen for its excellent quality and exciting new distinctive features. National Tree Week is the perfect time to plant at least one new tree and any of these new varieties would be a great addition to every garden – we even provide a free stake and tie to give all our trees the best possible start,” Pete continued.
A member of Cheshire Wildlife Trust, Grosvenor is highly supportive of any means to encourage wildlife in gardens. Trees provide an excellent source of food and nutrients and prove an effective way of creating a food source for animals before hibernation.
For further information on Grosvenor’s range of trees (and Christmas trees!), please call Grosvenor’s team of horticultural experts on 01244 625270.
Grosvenor has launched its popular, annual Schools’ Growing Competition to inspire school children from 11 schools in the local area to get growing.
Grosvenor’s Schools’ Ambassador and horticulturalist, James Mabon, is visiting each of the 11 participating schools to deliver the plug plants, compost, pots and plenty of hints and tips required to grow a prize winning Petunia Hot Flame.
With more than 30 children from each school participating, each child will take their plant home to nurture it before taking part in an individual school’s judging ceremony where James will decide the three best plants from each school.
The final of the Schools’ Growing Competition will then take place on Sunday 12th June at 2pm at the Garden Centre when one winner and two runners-up will be chosen and presented with a trug full of gardening goodies and vouchers for their schools.
Grosvenor’s ongoing work within the community highlights the benefits and ease of nurturing and caring for plants and each school looks forward to taking part in the competition each year.
“Here at Saighton C E Primary School, the children’s enthusiasm for planting and caring for their own plant is a delight to see and we all greatly look forward to taking part in Grosvenor’s competition each year,” stated Mrs Alex Gelling, teaching assistant.
With the Petunia always a popular choice, Grosvenor opted for the easy-to-grow favourite for children to grow as their competition entry.
“We should see some great blooms and plenty of fresh buds, good leaf health and an exceptional rounded form from the Petunias over the coming weeks and by the time the Grand Final takes place on 12th June, I am sure I will be spoilt for choice and choosing a winner will be a very difficult task indeed!” said James.
“We launched the Schools’ Growing Competition 12 years ago and we are delighted to have inspired children to grow plants for all these years. The enthusiasm and interest from the children and schools never diminishes and is a delight to see every year,” said Iain Wylie, managing director.
“Our regular Children’s Plant Workshops held here at Grosvenor during school holidays have never been more popular with children as young as five showing a great interest in the magic of gardening and it really is a joy to see,” Iain continued.
For further information on Grosvenor’s Children’s Plant Workshops, click here and to book please call Customer Services on 01244 625200.