Introducing Climbers for your garden.

Climbers take up little ground space and are an excellent choice for small gardens. They provide vertical structure to the garden and will elevate their flowers beautifully.

Climbers can be either evergreen or deciduous.

These plants either twine their stems or leaf tendrils around framework such as other plants or a trellis perhaps. In fact, anywhere that they can find spaces to twine around.

Here are some popular examples:

Clematis are hugely popular here in the UK – and rightly so, for it is possible to have clematis in flower for most months of the year.  Clematis are normally associated with sunny walls or dripping over the top of a fence. There are both evergreen and deciduous Clematis available. Evergreen Clematis are a great addition to any garden at this time of year adding substance which is so often lacking. The early flowering varieties are a great way to kick off early spring: E.g. “Willy”, with her delicate pale pink flowers going to deeper a pink at the base of each petal & “armandii”, a handsome evergreen with creamy-white flowers.  “Warwickshire Rose” has small but beautifully fragrant, shell pink flowers that cover the plant in abundance They are displayed against a back ground of dark foliage, this foliage intensifies during the summer.

Clematis need moisture-retentive, but well-drained soil and to be positioned in full sun or partial shade.  Keep the base of the plant and the roots cool and shaded by carefully positioning other plants around it, or put a layer of pebbles or flat stones at the base.  They can also be grown in containers on the patio. You will need to use a large container at least 45cm (18”) in diameter, with the same depth to enable good root growth.  Whether planted in the ground or in a container you will need to provide them with a suitable support for them to grow onto, an obelisk, small trellis, or use canes leading towards a wall.

Clematis

clematiss

Jasmines are well known for their delightful scent.  They are best planted in well drained soil that does not become waterlogged in the winter. A wide range of soil is acceptable, but heavy clay soils will need to be lightened in the immediate area of the plant. Full sun or the lightest of shade is ideal. A few favourites for us here at Cramden Nursery are: “Clotted Cream”, she has masses of pretty creamy scented flowers during the summer.  “Inverleith” a summer jasmine with flower buds which are dark red.  The open flowers still have this colour stripe on the back of the petals making a pretty red & white effect.

 

Lonicera (Honeysuckle) are popular garden plants with highly perfumed flowers, the climbing varieties look fabulous draped over pergolas & supports.  They prefer fertile, humus rich, moist well drained soil. They will flower best with their top growth in full sun. There are a few winter flowering Lonicera E.g.: ‘Winter Beauty’ & ‘standishii’, bringing much needed colour into the garden through the winter months. Our summer favourite has to be the new “Strawberries & Cream” with her pink and white fragrant flowers she is a beautiful plant.

Lonicera

 

Passiflora (Passion Flower) Passion flowers are vigorous tendril clad climbers with evergreen foliage and very unusual flowers. Not the hardiest of climbers, but they can survive cold winters in a dry border, with added root protection. They often get battered in the winter, but can shoot out again from down below.

 

Here at Cramden we are excited to be selling climbers for the first time this spring. We have teamed up with John Richards Nurseries from Malvern who grow these beautiful plants at the foot of the Malvern Hills. Each month we will have a new delivery of different types and varieties, alongside a selection of interesting shrubs and trees.

Pelargonium sidoides

We are busy taking more cuttings here today at Cramden Nursery. Our stock plant of Pelargonium sidoides was still in flower. Just love these rich purple flowers with their metal grey green foliage, which have a pepery scent to them.

psidodies_scale_390_310[1]

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)”.

 

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)”.

How to overwinter your beautiful Dahlias.

Dahlias are not frost hardy and so need to be lifted for the winter months.

Dahlias produce a swollen root system and it is these roots that need to be protected.

Your first job will be to cut back the aerial part of the plant right down to the base of the plant.

Use a garden fork to dig up the whole root system of your Dahlia, here you will find several swollen roots all connected to the base of the plant. You need to keep it all together but you can brush off the old compost from around the roots. If any of the swollen roots come away from the roots system you can discard these as they will not come to anything on their own. However, in the spring when they begin to show signs of new shoots and roots of their own then they can be divided.

For now, your root system needs to be placed in a box or a large enough pot and covered with compost, this compost will prevent the swollen roots from drying out over winter. They now need a place that is frost free for the winter months to survive.

Remember, having got them through the winter, don’t be too keen to plant them out in the spring. Wait until the last of the frosts have passed.

Dahlias

Holiday Time is here. but how will your plants survive with out you?

Holiday time is here and it is great to get away for a break, but how will your plants cope with out you?

 

It is always difficult to decide what to do about watering while you are away, do you or don’t you ask a neighbour or family to look after your beautiful pots? If it is hot when you are away will they have to be round watering every day for you? Is that too much to ask?

 

Here are a few helpful tips for you to think of before you get away for your well earned break:

 

You can help to reduce the need for watering by moving your pots where possible into a shadier place in the garden, just while you are away.

 

Clump your pots together so it will be easier for your watering team to water them all together and not to miss any out.

 

Bring your hanging baskets down to ground level, not only are they easier to water, they won’t dry out so much as they won’t have all that warm air circulating around them.

 

To ensure your plants are looking beautiful for your home coming not only dead head your flowers before you leave but take off most of the flowers too, by the time you come home all those buds will be bursting into flower for you and not a dead head in sight.

 

Pots & scented leaf Pelargoniums

Adding scents to your pots.

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 scent of “Orange Fizz”, or a fresh citrus scent of “Citronella”. The traditional rose Geraniums scent of “Attar of Roses” is always very popular. Then there is “Big Apple”, “Creamy Nutmeg” and “Ardwick Cinnamon” for those foodies amongst you, although you can not eat them they will make your taste buds water from their scents alone.

This combination will look beautiful and smell divine. Place you scented mixed pots outside your front door so as you come in after work each day & brush past them they welcome you home with their delicious aroma.

orange fizz

Pretty Flowers of Orange Fizz, love this zesty orange scent.

Pots for the patio

Pots for the patio.

Plant pots are an effective way of brightening up any patio. Or when placed either side of your front door they can welcome you home at the end of the day. Fill them with Pelargoniums (aka Geraniums) and they will bring that summertime feel to any home.

When planning your pots don’t just think about the colour combination, how about adding height and scent too?

A tall specimen plant in the centre or towards the rear of the pot will make a great feature.

Here at Cramden nursery we grow Antik Pelargoniums (aka climbing geraniums), these tall growing varieties make up into impressive plants very quickly. They will need garden canes for support and will make a great focal point for your pot.

Why not plant Ivy leaf trailing Pelargoniums around the edge of the pot? They will tumble over the sides and soften the look of your planter.

Finaly time to get out into the garden.

Lawns have been mowed and weeds have been pulled so it is now time to think about the pots on the patio. This is where we start planning a bit of colour addition to the borders & pots in our gardens.

One of the most popular summer bedding plants are Zonal Pelargoniums, you may know them as geraniums. 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 favourites, for summer colour

Here at Cramden Nursery we grow over 20,000 Zonal Pelargoniums each year, with 25 different varieties to choose from, you are bound to find the right colour combination for your garden.

Flower Fairy White splash

This is our favourite variety of Zonal Pelargonium here on the nursery with customers and staff alike. Flower fairy White Splash.

Unique pelargonium Copthorne.

Introducing Beautiful Copthorne. With her lovely rich feathering/markings on the top petals of her pretty flowers.  Flowers in abundance all summer long, with its sweet scented leaves, it makes a fantastic pot plant for the patio. Firm favourite among the staff here at Cramden Nursery.

Copthorne