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 follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AE8wzXwZ51s

“Be happy grow Geraniums”

Be happy grow geraniums

Rozanne                   Max frei

Hardy geraniums (aka the cranes bill), are wonderful plants for the garden.

Hardy geraniums are one of the most popular perennials in Britain. And it’s easy to see why.

Coming in so many different shapes and sizes Geraniums range from tall growing varieties for the backs of borders to beautifully compact varieties to edge paths and take prime positions in pots and borders.

They are slug resistant and rabbit resistant (hurray!) and they just simply flower and flower.

After their first flush of flowers if you give them a good cut back most will flower again before the end of the summer for you.

They could not be easier!

The majority of Hardy Geraniums come in a relatively restricted range of colours; pinks, blues and whites.  But the range of shades within those colours is widely varied, for example the pinks range from near white with just a hint of pink, to the brightest deep reddish-magentas.  Geranium ‘Patricia’ has a wonderful hot magenta pink flower with a black eye.

Foliage is also an important factor with many Hardy Geraniums, there are varieties with beautifully cut leaves, while others have soft rounded leaves, many are deciduous but there are some that will hold their foliage all year round providing structure and shape to your borders in the midst of winter. Geranium ‘Mavis Simpson’ is an evergreen variety that produces wonderful dollops of grey-green foliage through the winter and pretty soft pink flowers throughout the summer.

Geranium leaf colour ranges from fresh green leaves to rich dark chocolate foliage such as ‘Orkney Cherry’ her leaves are topped off with dainty bright cherry coloured flowers.

Hardy Geraniums are one of the largest groups of flowering garden plants. There are Geraniums suitable for just about any position in the garden, from dark, dry shade through to hot, dry scree. Geranium ‘phaeum Album’ with her pure white flowers will happily, brighten up a shady area of the garden.

There are shorter growing geranium varieties that are great for ground cover.  With their well formed foliage & dainty flowers growing to no more than 30cm tall they are perfect for front of borders or even to be grown in pots. Geranium ‘sanguineum’ has fine, deeply lobed, small leaves topped with magenta pink flowers with a rambling habit.

There has been a recent explosion in interest in Hardy Geraniums from different breeders bringing lots of new varieties to the market.

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ is one of the best known new introductions, it was voted by the RHS as plant of the Centenary in 2013. With her beautiful, large, blue flowers that are produced non stop from late May to the first frosts.  Her marbled foliage adds to the attractiveness of this variety.  She will grow well in sun and partial shade and will happily ramble through other plants and across the border to provide great ground cover.  Grow her in a tall pot and she will tumble over the edge and trail beautifully for you.

Here at Cramden Nursery we grow a good selection of Hardy Geraniums, pop in to see the different varieties we grow and to ask any questions you might have on how to grow them and which variety to plant where. We are here to help.

 

Summer colour starts here.

Summer colour begins here for your borders, pots & hanging baskets.

One of the most popular groups of summer bedding and pot plants are Pelargoniums, you may know them as Geraniums. They take the form of either upright or trailing varieties. With their bright colourful blooms, that will be produced all summer long and well into the autumn, you can understand why they are one of gardener’s favorites for summer colour.

Here at Cramden Nursery we grow over 40,000 Pelargoniums each year, with over 50 different varieties to choose from. You’re bound to find the right colour combination for your garden.

A great economical way of filling your garden with colour is to start off with young plants or ‘plugs’ as we call them. You will need somewhere to grow them on with plenty of light away from the last few frosts of winter and if you can give them some heat too your little plants will sprint away. A greenhouse, a conservatory even a sheltered porch will do.

Our plugs are grown from rooted cuttings. These are cuttings that have been rooted for you in our propagation greenhouse, so the technical bit has already been done. When you are buying rooted cuttings you need to be looking out for nice healthy, fresh white roots.

IMAG1173

At this stage they are ready to be potted up but not ready for the outside world just yet. Pelargoniums are tender and will not stand up to the cold night time temps of April. So, whatever you are planning for your plugs, be it for baskets, pots or bedding for the borders it is best to get them planted into pots so they can form good strong healthy root balls before planting out in mid-May.

Choosing the right size of pot for your plugs will depend on how much space you have   A 1litre (13cm diameter) pot is a good starting size and this will have enough room for the compost to hold on to plenty of water for your young plant and there will be enough room to grow lots of healthy roots.

The quality of compost you use will reflect in the health of your plants, like they say “you get out what you put in”. The compost after all is where the plants will find all their food they need to get growing.

At this stage there is no need feed to your plants, the potting compost has all it needs already. Your newly potted plants will soon begin to grow new leaves and shoot up for you. Keep up with regular watering to keep them growing, new roots form much more easily in moist compost. As your plants grow they may need spacing to ensure they grow into well branched bushy plants. Keep them inside until the risk of frost is gone.

So, if you’re looking for a colourful range of Pelargoniums then pop into Cramden Nursery to find your young plants this spring. If you have any questions or would like some advice on growing on your ‘plugs’ then just ask a member of staff who are on hand to help.

Happy Planting from Emily and the team at Cramden Nursery

 

 

 

 

Time to wake up your Pelargoniums

It is time to wake up your overwintered Pelargoniums, so they can begin to grow and be ready to flower again for you this summer.

Your plants need to be brought out of their hibernation and into the light.

They will look very sorry for themselves; the compost will be grey and will have shrunk away from the sides of the pot. Very gently you need to rehydrate the compost this will take a little time as you need to do it gently, so little and often is best.

At this point they still need to be kept frost free but will need light so they can begin to grow, so a greenhouse, conservatory or windowsill are ideal places for them now.

If possible repot your plants with fresh compost to give the roots a new lease of life.

Slowly you will begin to see new growth coming from the points where you cut them back. They need to be kept in a frost free environment until the summer and gently watered.

You will find your overwintered plants will put on new growth quickly as they already have a good roots system in place to support them.

If you have any questions then get in touch in all the usual ways: face book www.facebook.com/cramdennursery, email me at emily@cramdennursery.co.uk or you can always pick up the phone and if you want to actually talk to someone on 01604 842365.

Cramden Nursery zonals (2)

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.