So here we are in 2016 ready and raring for another exciting growing season, and with the excesses of Christmas behind us, how fitting to take a look at some plants we can all grow that detox and revitalise. Many of the more unusual plants that make luxurious garden specimens also have invigorating properties. Here are just a few suggestions from the large range of evergreen plants we currently grow.
Chilean Guava Berry (Ugni molinae) a hardy, 1.5m (5ft), evergreen myrtle from Chile that makes an excellent specimen or hedge. Fragrant pale pink flowers produce attractive red berries, favoured by Queen Victoria; they are a super food high in anti-oxidants.
Manuka (Leptospermum ‘Coral Candy’) the main ingredient in Manuka honey has an arching habit of aromatic foliage and masses of, baby rose like, double pink flowers. Related to Tea Tree a few sprigs in a bowl of hot water produces a decongesting inhalation.
Pineapple Guava (Acca sellowiana) has handsome grey foliage with striking red flowers and perfumed edible fruit. A high concentration of Vitamin C, B-6 and fibre makes for a healthy tasty treat.
Alpine Mint Bush (Prostanthera cuneata) with orchid-like white yellow/purple flowers on deeply fragrant foliage. Used by indigenous Australians for pain relief and as an antiseptic.
It’s now an excellent time to start planning your garden for the forthcoming season, so what better way to start the year, than planting a medicinal specimen. Here’s to a healthy, happy year from all at Chestnut Nursery.
Written by Andrew Verreck, Horticultural Supervisor.
Autumn can be one of the most visually striking times of the year in the garden and is the opportunity to add new shrubs to ensure colourful displays for the months ahead. As the temperatures cool and top growth slows, the soil remains warm after absorbing heat from the summer sun and increased rainfall promotes good root development of newly-planted shrubs, helping them to settle in prior to harsh winter weather.
Far from being a time when things wind down, with a varied palette of autumnal foliage colours available, from deep crimsons to burnt oranges and fiery reds, autumn can be an inspiring time to visit your favourite plant nursery. If you find and buy your plant when they are showing their autumn colour, this will give you the best idea of their potential in years to come.
There is also the chance to identify plants that will provide a longer lasting display of flowers and radiant fruits well into autumn. With soft, warmer sunlight, colours throughout the garden will glow and come to life so now is the time to take advantage of what the season has to offer at Chestnut Nursery!
Trees for autumn colour
Shrubs for autumn colour
Ceanothus ‘Autumnal Blue’
Cottinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’
Berberis thunbergii ‘Rose Glow’
Abelia x grandiflora ‘Kaleidoscope’
Perennials for autumn colour
Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’
Sedum spectabile ‘Brilliant
Aster x frikartii ‘Monch’
Anemone x hybrid ‘Honorine Jobert’
Written by Cath Morford.
Our next event at Chestnut Nursery is our Plant Fair on 3rd October with lots of special offers on a great range of plants. We are a project of SWOP (Sheltered Work Opportunities Project, reg charity 900325) which provides meaningful for adults with enduring mental illness. The nursery is open 7 days a week selling a wide variety of perennials, shrubs, trees, ornamental grasses and bedding plants. Find us at 75 Kingland Road, Poole. BH15 1TN (adjacent to Poole Park).
With summer in full swing, it’s a great time to see what we can do to extend the flowering season in the garden, to provide valuable nectar for beneficial insects well into autumn. In addition to providing enjoyment on a personal level, adding flowering perennials and shrubs to your border, can play a vital role in supporting our declining bee population.
Bees play an important role in pollination throughout the UK and are responsible for pollinating flowers and crops that provide approximately a third of our food supply. It has been well-documented that their numbers are dramatically reducing due to a number of difficulties including a loss of natural resources and nesting sites, disease and the increased use of insecticides in modern farming.
Bees and flowers are directly dependent on each other – bees use flowers for the food source of nectar and pollen, with flowers needing bees for pollination, therefore selecting the correct plants is important and our gardens can be a valuable resource. So, if you’d like to opt for some bee-friendly plants, here are a few pointers that you might like to consider.
* Choose a variety of simple flower forms rather than cultivated double-flowering varieties, which provide little food for pollinators.
* A sunny sheltered area of the garden is an ideal place to site nectar-rich planting.
* Colour and scent is vital in attracting bees with blues, pinks and purples being favourites.
* Swathes of bee-friendly plants are easier for bees to locate than individual plants, allowing them to focus on one type of plant for the whole day and in turn conserving energy.
* Try to select plants that provide a long flowering period throughout their life cycle from early spring to autumn.
* If you have a smaller garden, consider vertical space. For example, honeysuckle climbing up a trellis can provide a valuable nectar source for bees, together with supplying berries for birds.
* Limit the use of pesticides, especially when plants are in flower as this is likely to harm beneficial insects as well as the ones you don’t want.
Residential gardens cover over one million acres in Britain, so whilst our choice of planting as individuals cannot provide the complete solution, it can certainly have a very positive impact on our native bee population. You can find a few suggestions for bee-friendly planting suggestions below, but keep an eye out for the RHS ‘Perfect for Pollinators’ logo whilst buying plants, or alternatively pop into you local nursery for some personal advice. There is always somebody willing to help at Chestnut – we look forward to seeing you here soon.
Spring flowering Summer flowering Late summer-autumn
Crocus Honeysuckle Sedum
Bluebell Lavender Verbena
Crabapple Foxgloves Echinops
Flowering currant Sweet pea Cornflower
Ajuga Aquilegia Rudbeckia
Pussy willow Catmint Monarda
Rosemary Cosmos Angelica
Pulmonaria Penstemon Aster
Viburnum Buddleja Echinacea
Hellebore Thyme Perovskia
With summer well underway, it is the ideal time of year to add flowering plants to the garden for that extra splash of colour, attracting beneficial insects in the process. A great, adaptable option would be lavender, with plenty of varieties to choose from and guaranteed flowering throughout the summer.
COMBINE … with rosemary, thyme, sage and mint amongst others to develop your own herb garden.
CREATE … a prairie-style or Mediterranean garden with tall, floaty grasses, architectural phormiums or euphorbias and ground-covering sedums.
EDGE … your pathways with a row of lavender to form an attractive, scented low-growing hedge. Planting in swathes will attract more bumblebees and the like.
CHOOSE … complementary colours to make an attractive mixed border. Purple-flowering plants work well with the silver foliage of others, or perhaps try gold and yellow flowers of other plants to provide the perfect contrast. Planting with pinks and whites will give a calmer, more relaxed colour scheme.
There’s lots of options available for using lavender in the garden, why not give it a go? Feel free to pop into Chestnut for any further advice or inspiration.
Thanks for reading!
The Chestnut Nursery team
“Caring for people, caring for plants”
If you’re reading this article then you may well be among the lucky 3 million people who live on the British coast and even if you don’t have a beach front property, sharing only a little proximity with the salty brine that surrounds us can have some huge impacts for our gardens and the plants we can grow.
Here at Chestnut Nursery in Poole, we hear many gripes from local gardeners who struggle to deal with the extreme environment posed, whether it be savage winter storms and salt laden air or impoverished sandy soils, with very little moisture and nutrition, it can be challenging. However, there are many types of plant, both heavily flowering and/or architecturally flamboyant that thrive in these tough conditions.
In fact these seemingly impossible conditions actually present an opportunity to grow a far greater range of plants than the accepted norm would have us believe. There are many southern hemisphere varieties that have proven surprisingly hardy in cold winters offering year round colour. Such plants as the Marlborough Rock Daisy – Pachystegia insignis from New Zealand with its unusual felted shoots bearing oval, glossy, leathery, dark green leaves and solitary white daisy flowers with yellow centres, or the Kerosene bushes – Ozothamnus species from Tasmania with their aromatic Rosemary like leaves of varying shades and brilliant honey scented flowers (to mention but a few), can handle the full brunt of a whipping gale or long summer drought.
So rather than struggling with the ill-suited, let us embrace our coastal conditions, gardening on the edge has never been more fun.
Written by Andrew Verreck
Horticultural Supervisor at Chestnut Nursery
Further tips when choosing coastal plants ….
* In exposed conditions, consider planting evergreen shrubs to act as a windbreak from prevailing coastal winds.
* Grow suitable plants for sandy soils.
* Incorporate organic matter, such as blood, fish and bone to increase nutrients in the soil.
* Adding a mulch in autumn and spring will help to retain the moisture.