Something “a little bit different”.

Alongside the new Zonal Pelargoniums(Geraniums) we introduced to you last month we have 3 new varieties this year that are “a little bit different”.

‘Chocolate Girl’ is new to our variegated leaf Pelargonium range.  She has rich dark almost chocolate coloured leaves with a green edge to them.  As the sun gets stronger and the daylight hours increase the leaves become darker and darker, contrasting beautifully with it’s cherry cola flowers. It is a strong growing variety and will make up into a big plant very quickly.

chocolate girl

Two-in-One Peach is a cross between an Ivy Pelargonium and a Zonal Pelargonium.   This cross makes excellent ground cover, as it has a bushy well branched growth habit. With it’s single flowers it is excellently weather resistance and low maintenance. It’s pretty peach flowers are really eye catching.

twoinone peach

Cassiopeia is another cross between an Ivy Leaf Pelargonium and a Zonal Pelargonium. This variety however produces a more compact and bushy plant.  With semi double deep red flowers it produces’ a striking display in pots and borders alike.

20160804_175954

New varieties for 2017

The new year brings new colours and varieties to add to our plant list of Pelargoniums.
The breeder we work with on our Pelargonium range is Elsner Pac from Dresden in Germany, we have worked with Elsner now for many years and they continue to develop their lines of Pelargoniums and regularly bring out new varieties.  Their breading  work is constantly striving  to develop strong growing plants with beautiful blooms across an array of colours.

This year we are pleased to be able to introduce 4 new varieties to our Zonal Pelargonium (Geranium ) range.  All of them are part of the Dark leaf selection.  They have rich dark green leaves that show off the beautiful bloom’s colours perfectly.

Alma has soft, light  baby pink flowers contrasting beautifully with the dark green leaves.

alma

 

Greta has soft lilac pink flowers which really shine against the dark green foliage.

greta

Violetta has vibrantly bright violet flowers that are dazzling against the dark green leaves.

violetta

Spanish Wine Rosé has a bicolour flower. Each petal is edged in white/silver contrasting beautifully with the rose pink petals, this is part of the same breeding line to the original Spanish Wine that we have grown for the last couple of years here at Cramden Nursery which has been much admired by our customers and staff alike.

spanish-wine-rose

Cramden Nursery 2017 variety list ready

Cramden Nursery Variety list 2017

 Red flowering Zonal Pelargoniums (often known as geraniums) £1 each

Pac Anthony        Semi double red flowers, the real “traditional”                                Pelargonium red.

Pac Shocking Orange              Semi double red-orange flowers.

Pink flowering Zonal Pelargoniums         £1 each

Pac Foxy                     Semi double bright cerise pink-red flowers

Pac Stefanie                Semi double salmon pink flowers

Pac Salmon Queen      Semi double soft salmon pink flowers with lighter edge

Pac Emilia                   Semi double soft baby pink flowers.

Other flower colours                                 £1each

Pac Alice                                             Semi double purple-pink flowers.

Pac Flower Fairy Berry                       Semi double purple flowers with dark red eye. Pac Flower Fairy White Splash           Semi double white flowers with deep pink eye. Pac Iceberg                                         Semi double clean white flowers.

 

Dark Leaf Pelargoniums                           £1each

Pac Abelina                 Semi double rich red flowers over VERY dark leaves.

Pac Julia                      Semi double orange red flowers.

Pac Samelia                 Semi double deep red flowers.

Pac Rosita                  Semi double soft pink flowers.

Pac Violetta                Semi double rich violet flowers.

Pac Alma                     Semi double soft pink flowers.

Pac Greta                    Semi double lavender pink flowers

Ivy leaf Pelargoniums  Single flowers        £1each

Pac Ville de Dresden              Single white flowers blushing pink with age.

Pac Happy Face White           Single clean white flowers.

Pac Happy Face Dark Red    Single rich dark red flowers.

Pac Happy Face Purple           Single purple- red flowers

Pac Happy Face Mex              Single white and velvet red petals, stunning flowers.

Pac Happy Face Magenta       Single rich magenta pink flowers.

Pac Evka                                 Single red over variegated white & green foliage (our only variegated leaf trailing Pelargonium).

 

Ivy leaf Pelargoniums  Semi double flowers        £1each

Pac Vicky                    Semi double soft pink flowers.

Pac Mary                     Semi double deep purple flowers.

Pac Kate                      Semi double bright red flowers.

Pac Tommy                 Semi double deep red burgundy flowers.

Pac Amelit                  Semi double bright amethyst flowers.

Blanch Roche              Semi double white flowers with a pink blush.

Pac Rosy                     Semi double light lilac flowers.

Pac White Pearl           Semi double clear white flowers.

Pac Mexica Ruby        Semi double red & white striped flowers.

Pac Mexica Mary        Semi double deep purple & white striped flowers.

Pac Polly                     Semi double bright scarlet-orange flowers

Pac Rocky                   Semi double bright pink flowers.

Pac Amy                     Semi double bright violet flowers.

 

Antik (climbing Pelargoniums)       £1 each

Antik Orange                          Single orange flowers

Antik Violet                            Single bright violet flowers

Antik Salmon                          Single soft salmon flowers

Antik Pink                               Single candy pink flowers

Antik Scarlet                           Single scarlet flowers

 

Firework Pelargoniums                   £1each

Fireworks White                     Single fresh white star shaped flowers.

Fireworks Red-White             Single red & white star shaped flowers.

Fireworks Scarlet                    Single bright red star shaped flowers.

Fireworks Pink                        Single soft pink star shaped flowers.

Fireworks Bicolour                 Single cherry pink & white star shaped flowers.

 

Angel Pelargoniums                                            £1each

Pac Angel Eyes Randy                Single burgundy with white edged flowers

Pac Angel Eyes Orange                Single orange petals with feathering on top 2 petals

Scented Pelargoniums                                         £1each

Orange Fizz        Citronella scented, light purple flowers

Lady Plymouth    Rose scented grey & cream leaves, small mauve flowers

Candy Dancer      Rose scented deeply cut leaves, small mauve flowers

Fern Mint            Mint scented feathery fern like foliage

Citronella            Strong citrus scented grey green leaves, mauve flowers

Big Apple            Apple scented smooth round leaves, small white flowers

Attar Of Roses     Rose scented cordiform in shape, pale pinky mauve flowers

Fragrans             Pine scented grey green leaves, white flowers

Creamy Nutmeg  Pine scented with cream and green foliage & white flowers

Ardwick Cinnamon    Cinnamon scented, with silver grey leaves

Prince of Orange         Orange scented, pale pink to white petals veined in purple

 

Unusual Pelargoniums                                        £1each

Candy Flowers Bright Red

Bright red petals on a good sized flower, a real uplifting colour.

A nice bushy upright plant with lush green leaves.

Best grown in pots and regularly feed with a high potash liquid fertiliser.

 

Candy Flowers Dark Red

Rich dark red petals on a good sized flower, a beautiful rich dark colour.

A nice bushy upright plant with lush green leaves.

Best grown in pots and regularly feed with a high potash liquid fertiliser.

 

Candy Flowers Violet

Vibrant violet petals on a good sized flower,

This is such a popular colour and sells out fast!

A nice bushy upright plant with lush green leaves.

Grow in pots for best results. Regularly feed with a high potash liquid fertiliser.

 

Candy Flowers Pink with eye

Pretty bicolour dark and light pink petals on a good sized flower,

This is a pretty colour

A nice bushy upright plant with lush green leaves.

Grow in pots for best results. Regularly feed with a high potash liquid fertiliser.

 

Candy Flowers Peach Cloud

Pretty bicolour soft salmon and white petals,

This is a pretty colour

A nice bushy upright plant with lush green leaves.

Grow in pots for best results. Regularly feed with a high potash liquid fertiliser

 

Candy Flowers White

Fresh clean white flowers.

This is such a popular colour and is always the first to be sold out!

A nice bushy upright plant with lush green leaves.

Grow in pots for best results. Regularly feed with a high potash liquid fertiliser.

 

Candy Flowers Strawberries & Cream

Beautiful red and white stripped petals on a good sized flower,

This is such a popular colour with our customers and staff alike

A nice bushy upright plant with lush green leaves.

Grow in pots for best results. Regularly feed with a high potash liquid fertiliser.

 

Voodoo

A Unique Pelargonium with wine red petals with black centres.

A strong growing plant with large peppery scented leaves.

The flowers are so very different and eye catching.

A nice bushy plant with lush green leaves.

Best grown in pots as it likes to be pot bound to keep flowering all through the summer, regular liquid feeding with a high potash feed will help with bud production.

 

Lady Bute

A Decorative Pelargonium with bright magenta pink flowers with a darker edge to it.

This is a sport from Lord Bute we found here on the nursery.

It has such a beautiful bright colour it really is irresistible.

A strong upright growing plant. The flowers simply glow in the sunshine.

Lord Bute

A decorative Pelargonium. Purple petals edged in pink.  This is such a popular variety.

It has been around since the Victorians and still it continues to “wow” people.

A strong upright growing plant.

Vancouver

A Variegated Leaf Pelargonium.

Single spiky red flowers over yellow and bronze leaves that are shaped like a maple leaf.

This is a well branched plant that makes a lovely bushy shape.

The foliage colour is so attractive and with the shape of the leaves and topped off with the spiky red flowers it really is something different.

It looks great planted on mass for a real eye catching show or plant them in with other green leaved Pelargoniums and it will really lift any planting scheme.

Mrs Pollock

A Variegated Pelargonium.

Single red flowers with tricolour green, brown/red & yellow leaves.

A brilliantly bright variegated leaf Pelargonium.

It looks great planted up in pots and will brighten any corner of the garden or patio.

A vigorous growing plant that makes up into a tall plant quickly.

Can be grown easily into a standard plant. Or pinch it out regularly and it will produce a bushy rounded large plant for you.

Apple Blossom Rosebud

Flowers are individual rose bud shaped, held together tightly on one big bloom. They have a green tinge to the centre of white petals with pink edging. The flowers open like Apple blossom. A beautiful plant with a vigorous growing habit.

It needs to be kept in a pot to ensure the production of flowers.

All our mail order plants are sent out as rooted cuttings and are priced as shown.

Plants are packed in purpose made trays for 6 plants, each in its own secure rest.
We have three postage bands which are as follows;

Orders of up to 12 young plants = £3.75 Royal Mail first class

Orders of 12-75 young plants = £8.00 Courier delivery service. A signature is required for the courier delivery service.

Orders of 75 young plants and above = FREE courier delivery service.

Please NOTE a signature is required for the courier delivery service

Payment can be made over the phone or sent as a cheque made out to Cramden Nursery. We will need a delivery address and phone number to confirm your order.

 

We send out plants from Mid-March onwards and you will be notified prior to dispatch.

Cramden Nursery, Harborough rd North, Northampton, NN2 8LU 01604 842365

 

 

 

Getting ready for Summer

Ok its a strange thing to write at the begining of December with the shops full of Chritsmas decorations and songs, but we really are.  Here at Cramden Nursery we are re writing our variety list and updating our online shop ready for spring and summer sales of young plants( well rooted cuttings).

Our young plants will be ready for dispatch from March, they will need somewhere frost free and with plenty of natural light to grow on before they are ready to go outside. If you can provide them with some heat better still this will push their growth on for you, if not it will just take a little more time and patience.

These young plants will benefit from being potted on into small pots individually (9cm diameter). Once they have formed a good root system you could then plant them into baskets and tubs inside if possible (this will give the plants that extra bit of heat to put on some root growth before going outside). If you do not have space inside and it is too soon to plant them outside without the threat of frost catching them, re pot them into a slightly larger (15-17cm diameter) pot to keep them growing until you can get them outside.

 

Time to put your Pelargoniums to bed!

Time to put your Pelargoniums to bed.

I hope you have had a wonderful display from all your Pelargoniums this summer?

As the days begin to draw in it is time to begin to think about putting the garden to bed for the winter and that includes your Pelargoniums.  They are not frost hardy so will not survive our winters.  Ideally they would like you to pack them up and send them off to the Med for the winter months.

However if Mediterranean residency is not a possibility then I can give you some good advice on how to overwinter your Pelargoniums here in England.

So, the most important point is that wherever you choose to keep your plants for the winter is that it is frost free and dry.  So a cold greenhouse will not do, nor will a shed if we get a cold winter.  Neither will stay frost free for long.

If you have a heated greenhouse or a conservatory that will be heated through the winter, these are ideal places for your Pelargoniums to be overwintered as green plants. Many will continue to flower well into the winter for you if they get enough winter sunshine and food.

If neither of these are an option for you then a garage attached to the house (to benefit from some of your residual central heating warmth) or a spare room will do nicely.

For this option you must prepare your plants for the winter. They need to be allowed to dry out in their pots and then with clean sharp secateurs cut them back hard.

Now, this is where you will need to be mentally strong, you will feel awful, after all summer feeding and watering your plants, I am now asking you to cut them right back.

Cut them back to about 3inches and then take off any leaves that are left, you should be left with just stumps.

They will look dreadful but by removing the aerial part of the plant you are removing the need to water them and all that material that would offer perfect conditions for botrytis (grey mould) to grow during the winter months.

These ‘stumps’ now need to be kept frost free and dry for the winter, so no watering, not even a little bit!  You are putting them into hibernation for the winter. They do not need light so a garage will work or a spare room.  The most important point is to keep them dry and frost free from here on.

Do not cover them in plastic to give them extra frost protection they will just sweat in there and the dampness will encourage grey mould which will just kill them off.

Fleece can be used to offer a little extra protection but it would be good to make sure it is removed occasionally to allow fresh air round your plants to ward off any possibilities of grey mould.

Now here is the tricky part:

You have to leave them alone till the end of the winter, no well meaning watering after New Year when we all get that ‘January itch’ to start doing things in/for our gardens.  A well meaning watering at this point will just lead to a soggy mess of grey mould for you to find at the end of winter, leave well alone!

Now this is not a failsafe system, sometimes for reasons unknown plants do not survive but if you can get say 50% through the winter then it is well worth a go.

For a video with step by step instructions showing you how hard to cut your plants back find the You Tube channel “GeraniumTv” and look for the video “How to cut back Pelargoniums (Geraniums)”.

 

Cutting back Lavender

Lavender Care

lavender

Lavenders are very easy going plants for maintenance and care but do need a good “haircut” once a year.

The end of August/beginning of September is the time to cut back your lavenders, whether they are in pots or planted out in the borders, they need an annual hair cut to keep their shape. Without cutting them back your plants will soon become woody, leggy and not so attractive.

The rule of thumb is to cut them back hard.

Angustifolia (English) Lavender should be cut back to a third of its height.

Stoechas (French) Lavender should be cut back to half its height.

So that’s not just taking off spent flowers but cutting back the foliage as well.

To make it easier to see what you are doing cut the flowers off first then cut the plant back to a third or half of its size. Try to ensure you remove all cutting material from the plant so it does not start to rot and cause fungal problems.

When you cut your plants back avoid cutting into the woody stems. Make sure there are growth points below your cut, as this is where the new growth will come from.

Cutting your lavenders back will give the plant time to re grow before the onset of winter. The plant is able then to produces a nice bushy mound of new leaves to help it cope with our wet, English winters. This new growth will use up the water from around the root system through the wettest months of the year,

For a more detailed & visual aid to cutting back your lavender visit our You Tube channel, geraniumtv, where you will find 2 videos showing how to cut your Lavenders back.

 

Getting to know Agapanthus

Agapanthus originate in South Africa, and out there they grow en masse like weeds on the road sides.

Over here in the Uk it is a different story, they have to survive our cold winters and make do with limited sunshine during our English summers. If treated correctly though they can thrive in our gardens and given a little winter care they can produce stunning displays for us throughout the summer.

The flowers are either white or all the different hues of blue you can imagine through into purples.

You have fresh tall white flowers of: Arctic Star and compact growing Snow Pixie with short flowering stems of white flowers at 40 cm tall, perfect for pots or the front of borders, she flowers well into the Autumn months keeping that summer vibe in the garden.

Then there is Northern Star a rich dark blue flower on 75cm tall flowering stems. This is by far the most popular variety we grow with staff and customers alike. Megan’ s Mauve as the name suggests is a mauve blue flower and has a darker stripe down the centre of each flower petal to add to its wow factor.

Agapanthus can be split into 2 categories; Deciduous and Evergreen.

The deciduous varieties lose their leaves at the end of the summer and are generally hardier than the Evergreen types. Remove the dead leaves and mulch with a little straw and they will sit out the winter quietly in borders or pots.

Evergreen Varieties keep their leaves all year round and tend to need a little more winter protection. They have larger flower heads than the deciduous types and have wider leaves.

They are best grown in pots so you can either move the pots into a cold green house for the winter or move them closer to the house or into a sheltered area of the garden to help them through the winter. When the winter temperatures really begin to plummet and if you have left your Evergreen Agapanthus outside you can give them a little extra protection by making them a windbreak with canes and a little plastic. This will help to keep the worst of the cold weather out and if they forecast very cold weather a handful of straw on top of the foliage will help to insulate the plants further. Just remember to make sure you remove this straw as soon as the weather has warmed up slightly or else it will sit and rot on to the leaves.

Growing Agapanthus in pots is a great way to bring those beautiful big flower heads up on to the patio. Agapanthus like to be “Pot Full” but not “Pot Bound” and there is a fine line between the two.

Once an Agapanthus becomes “Pot Bound” the number of flowers it can produce will dramatically reduce and will eventually come to none. This is because it will have got to the point where all that is in the pot is beautiful white roots, all the compost will have been pushed out, so there is no medium left to hold water or fertiliser for the plant to take up. It is at this point you will need to either re-pot into a bigger pot, or to split it up and pot up into 2 pots. Generally every 2-3 years you should be thinking about re-potting or splitting your Agapanthus.

Feed and watering are important jobs for you to consider when growing Agapanthus in your garden. They require regular watering from early spring to the end of summer, they will use a lot to grow and to produce their flowers. A regular liquid feed of a high potash fertiliser from spring to the end of autumn is also important, this will help flower bud production, for this year and for next year. Even after your plants have finished flowering regular watering and feeding will set the plant and buds up for next summers display. What you do this year for your plants, will show in the next summer. Water as regular as needed and feed once or, even better, twice a week.

Agapanthus like full sun, so find them a sunny spot in the garden so they can make the most of all the sunshine. Even after they have finished flowering they will need as much sun as they can get as this will help them set up their blooms for next summer.

Have a look on our You Tube channel “Geranium tv” to find our short films we have made on how to over winter Agapanthus and on splitting them & re-potting Agapanthus.

Making sence of Scents.

Scented Pelargoniums are a wonderful addition to the Pelargonium family. All the aroma comes from the leaves not the flowers.

On the leaves there are small sacks of oil and it is this oil that carries the scent. As you rub the leaves or brush against them these sacks of oil are ruptured releasing their scents into the air.

How about adding some scented leaf Pelargoniums to your pots to add another dimension to your planting scheme. There are a wonderful selection of scents to choose from. How about a zesty “Orange Fizz” or a fresh citrus scent of “Citronella”. The minty fresh scent of “Fern Mint” is a head clearer! Then there is “Big Apple”, “Creamy Nutmeg” and “Ardwick Cinnamon” for those foodies amongst you, although you cannot eat them they will make your taste buds water from their scents alone.

Mix in your scented leaf Pelargoniums with your flowering Pelargoniums, planting the scented leaf around the edge of the pot, so when you brush past them they release their scents for you. Place these pots either side of your front door so as you come home after work each day & brush past them they will welcome you home with their delicious aroma.

Scented Pelargoniums are delightfully tactile, children love testing out thier scents here on the nursery. They are defantly plants that you will want to share with your friends and family so make sure you plant them somewhere in the garden where you can get at them. Try them in pots on the patio where you sit out in the evening or perhaps in the play area for the children to discover and enjoy.

Try them in your hanging baskets alongside your Ivy Leaf Pelargoniums. “Attar of Roses” with her traditional rose scent is always popular and has a prostrate(sideways) growth habit so it goes outwards rather than upwards. Plant her at the edge of your basket where her scent can float down to you. “Lavender Lady” has a fantastic lavender scent to her leaves and delicate, single pink flowers borne on long flowering stalks, that will trail daintily over the sides of you baskets.

 

Top Tips for Hanging Basket success.

Top Tips for Hanging Basket success.

This month at Cramden Nursery we are planting up our hanging baskets.

As we are finally jumping in to spring we can start to think about the summer ahead. April is a great time of year to begin to plan your summer garden display.

If you can start your hanging baskets off now they will look great by the time you are ready to hang them out in your garden at the end of May (when the risk of frosts should have passed).

Happy Face mex

Where to grow you basket?

What you will need first is somewhere with plenty of natural light and a warm environment for you hanging basket to get growing. A heated greenhouse, conservatory or a warm porch is ideal. The more warmth & light you can give your basket the quicker you plants will grow.

What size basket?

The bigger the basket , the bigger the display will potentially be. Bigger baskets will need less regular watering in summer too due to its larger water capacity. However, make sure your basket has a suitable bracket. These things can get quite heavy once watered. So think about strength and make sure it holds the basket way from your wall!

Which Compost?

Use a good coarse compost, this will keep an open structure for you roots to grow through and aid drainage. A good idea would be to incorporate water retaining granules or gel into your growing medium as hanging basket always dry out quicker than pots on the ground or plants in the borders.

How many young plants to use?

How many plants to use will depend on the size of basket you have and when you are planting it up. The earlier you start your basket the less plants you will need as you are giving them time to grow and fill out into your basket. Don’t be tempted to squash too many plants in as they do need room to grow.

To give you an idea of how many plants we use at Cramden nursery, a 14″ basket in April will be planted up with 6 young plants.

Newly planted basket

Here on the nursery we like to fill our hanging baskets with just Ivy leaf Pelargoniums. We find there is no need to use an upright plant in the middle of the basket as the Ivy leaf Pelargoniums will fill the basket top and then tumble over the edge for us beautifully.

How to put it all together.

If you are using a wire basket don’t forget that it will need a liner.

Fill the basket with your compost, try not to push the compost down as you will squash out that essential air/oxygen for the roots. Fill to the top but not over flowing.

Lay out your plants evenly round the edge of the basket leaving 1 or 2 plants to go in the middle.

Using 2 fingers make a hole for your rooted cutting root ball and pop it in. Do not firm or push your plant down into your compost, the watering at the end will do that for you.

Once you have all your plants in place, your basket will need a water. Using a rose on the end of your hose or watering can will prevent compost being “splashed” out of your basket. Give your hanging basket a good initial water. Here at Cramden Nursery we always give our newly planted baskets a double watering to ensure all the compost is completely wet .

If this all sounds like too much hard work or you do not have the space, wait until the frosts have gone and plant up your baskets with mature plants for that instant impact.

If you are still a little unsure visit our You Tube channel, geraniumtv, for a hanging basket tutorial. Look for the video “planting a hanging basket with Pelargoniums”.

If you have any questions then come in and see us or get in touch.

Happy planting.

Vill de Dresden hanging basket

 

Hardy Geraniums at Cramden Nursery

We have had a busy week potting up next season Hardy geranium plants.

We use a peat based compost with vermiculite to provide a good open structure for the roots to grow in.  Hardy Geraniums are generally easy garden plants to grow, however growing them in 2L pots for sale has provided us with a few challenges.  Getting the potting compost right has been a learning process.  We think we now have a good mix that keeps the roots happy.  And Happy roots means a healthy plant.

hardy geraniumsn