Rain, Rain Go Away!!

Please don’t come back another day!!!

What a terrible Winter the whole of the country has suffered! It all started back in October with the St Jude’s Day storm, which battered the UK with high winds and rain. Since then, it’s been a relentless chain of low pressure fronts, again leashing a series of storms with gusts up to 100mph and rain in biblical proportions!

Thankfully the nursery has come through all this  (so far!) relatively unscathed! All but for a few broken pains of glass and some power-cuts we’ve been very lucky.

The volume of rain has proved problematic for the horticultural trade. With the ground saturated, landscapers and designers can’t build new gardens and the nations gardeners are restricted to container gardening.

The last week or so has seen some relatively settled weather, with warm temperatures and some lovely sunny days! Our stock has reacted to this improving pattern and our Spring flowering plants are starting to bloom. One of the first plants to wake up are our Primulas. We grow over 25 different Primulas with some rare and unusual varieties amongst them.

Camera in hand, we got out amongst our plants yesterday and snapped away at our Primulas. Spring has finally sprung!!!

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Heavenly Heucheras!

As Autumn approaches and many plants start to fade, give some time and space for a Heuchera or two! Being evergreen, they are a perfect perennial to plant now to give some colour through the gloomiest of months!

We here at How Green have a thing for a Heuchera and their versatility is second to none. They work very well in pots and containers, either alone or used in a combination with other plants. They are equally at home in the border and are a great contrast with different coloured Heucheras or again with other plants.

As a general rule, they are a shade loving plant, which can be handy for those difficult spots in the garden that need livening up. There are however many varieties that are equally at home in full sun. The main draw is for the plants foliage, which not only come in many different colours, but also different shapes and textures. There are giant, miniature, scalloped as well as serrated edged leaves to give a depth of variety available.

The flowers should never be over-looked. In Spring and early Summer, a mass of foam-like flowers emerge above the foliage again in a range of colours. Most are white, but some have a tinge of pink whilst others are bright red.

This Autumn we are offering 46 different varieties, including some brand spanking new additions, as well as the trusted old favourites. To check out our extensive collection, come visit us at the Penshurst Craft Fair this coming weekend, (Friday 6th, Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th September) held in the grounds of Penshurst Place. We have a plant stand and show garden in conjunction with Chilstone of Fordcombe.

If you can’t make this weekend, why not pay the nursery a visit the following weekend for our last public open weekend of the 2013. We’re open Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th September and our entire stock can be viewed and purchased! Nearly 4000 different plants to choose from and delicious home made tea & cake will be served in our wonderful Summer house!

Top left Heuchera ‘Penelope’, top right ‘Renoir’, bottom left Paprika & bottom right ‘Galaxy’.penelopeRenoirpaprikagalaxy

Wondrous Agastache!

Here at How Green we’ve gone all Bee friendly and given our buzzing friends twelve different varieties to feed on!!

As we enter late Summer, the nursery is awash with colour and plenty of brand new plants to boot! Amongst our dozens of new introductions is a series of very colourful, free-flowering and above all very attractive to insects and Bees - Agastache.

We have grown Agastache in it’s many guises for years, but it’s not until recently where plant breeding has developed many more cultivars. We have now sourced some wonderful new additions with good heat/drought tolerence, highly floriferous for months bringing colour well into Autumn. There are also some fantastic colour breaks, from apricot, orange’s to dark blue and vivid pinks!

Sensitivity regarding the demise of the Bee means that you as gardeners and us as a grower need to help our ailing friends! Our Agastache have just started to flower this week and already are covered in Bumble Bees (many different species), Honey Bees, Hoverflies, Butterflies to name a few.

For more information on the probelms facing our Bee populations and how we can help as gardeners, check out these websites. Bumblebee conservation and Friends of the bees.



Heavenly Hellebores!

We at How Green love a Hellebore and in February here at the nursery, they are ablaze with colour! There’s not a lot around in the plant world that gives so much joy when the days are short and dark. We grow many Hellebore orientalis (now hybridus!) cultivars, with single and double flowers and a huge diversity of colours.

Some of our nursery grown favourites can be seen below – enjoy! You’ve got to love Hellebore Apricot Beauty, bottom right! (All sold out I’m afraid! – more next year!))

For further points of Hellebore interest, check out these nurseries.  Harvington Hellebores and Ashwood Hellebores.

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Spring is in the air as bulbs come out of hiding

We at How Green are very particular when it comes to the quality of our plants. Great care and attention is given to get our plants looking as best they can for you! No more so than our potted bulb range.

We adopt the traditional method of growing our bulbs in sand beds. As can be seen from the photo’s below, we place 4-5″ of sand on top of the bulbs. This ensures lovely tight, even growth. It is a very labourious, time consuming method that is rarely employed these days, but we stick to our principals! We also treat our bulbs with a fungicide for disease free plants.

The bulbs are placed in their cosy sand beds in early September. They take a couple of months to root through and develop shoots. We then take them out of the sand in November. At this point the shoots are white in colour as they have been devoid of light. To ‘green them up’, we bring them inside for a few days and treat them to some basal heat.

We concentrate on the Christmas market with Hyacinths and Narcissus, with the rest of our range following in the New Year. To get in the Christmas spirit, we decorate our Hyacinths with moss, a Christmas tag and Holly. We also have a range of beautiful Christmas planters to buy as gifts!