Happy New Year!

A very belated Happy New Year to all our customers old and new! The Year Ahead……….

How time flies! The Christmas festivities and holiday time flew by (as always!) and before we knew it, we’re all back at work and building for the 2014 season ahead. The elements have really stacked up against us the last few weeks, with high winds and torrential rain, the likes of which we haven’t seen in years!

Inclement weather is a challenge for any grower and we’ve certainly been up against it recently! The Christmas Eve storm created havoc with many pains of glass lost from our greenhouses and one of our older tunnels unable to hold on any longer! We’ve been busy with maintenance round the nursery and our brand new office/sales area is nearing completion. Our plants have all been divided and tidied up and we await our consignment of bare root perennials to be potted up.

Chelsea 2014

Hot off the press, we have been approached to grow for another Chelsea show garden this year! With the success of growing for Roger Platts award winning garden last year, we are growing around 90% of the plants for one of the artisan gardens. Check out our website later in the week for a full feature on our road to Chelsea!

Public Open Weekends

2014 sees the return of our ever popular public open weekends (check banner opposite). Take the opportunity to visit a strictly trade only nursery and buy plants from our extensive range of over 4000 different plants. Again, there will be lashings of tea and cake on offer, all served up in the surrounds of our lovely Summer house! This year, they’ll be a few surprises thrown in for good measure – check our website for further updates!

Trade Open Days

Our trade only days will feature amazing discounts for garden designers/landscapers and garden centres for orders taken on the day. These days proved really successful in 2013. Networking between horticulturists was fantastic and many visitors found some amazing leads on the day! (See dates in banner opposite)

Enough rambling for one day – we wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year!

 

Merry Christmas from all at How Green Nursery!

Wishing all our customers old and new a very merry Christmas and best wishes for the year ahead!

We find ourselves a week away from Christmas day and we’re left wondering, where on earth did that year go?! Here at How Green we are busily beavering away like Santa’s elves to prepare Christmas potted arrangements. We use high quality wicker trugs and a choice of bulbs including Hyacinths and Narcissus, all then lovingly decorated with natural moss and a Christmas tag. (See our plant of the week pictures). We also have a special treat for you! Open our availability lists opposite and you’ll find the How Green Nursery Christmas quiz! 100 green fingered questions to get sunk into over the festive period. Put your brain cells to the test and send us back your answers via email. There will be prizes for those with the most correct answers!

We take a look back at the 2013 season and reflect on what has been a rollercoaster of a year! It started disastrously for us and everyone connected with the industry. A prolonged Winter with snow, ice and sub-zero temperatures made for less than favourable gardening and growing conditions. March and April, which should be two of our busiest months were a right-off . Coming off the back of a very difficult 2012 (where it didn’t stop raining), the situation was bleak.

Spring

Then in April came our first of three public open weekends. Oh how we rejoiced! The weather behaved and gardeners gave us renewed confidence by coming to the nursery in their masses! Plants were sold by the boot full and the tea and cake flowed! This was then followed by a calm spell with sun and warmth. Our stock which at one point was six weeks behind in growth caught up and it was like flicking a light switch! This was extra relief with How Green growing for a major show garden at Chelsea Flower Show for the first time! Our good friend Roger Platt’s M&G sponsored garden deservedly won gold, and we breathed a sigh of relief!

Garden centres and garden designers stepped up through the gears and suddenly the 2013 season was underway!

Summer

The fantastic weather then carried on into early Summer and further open days, both trade and public proved a hit. Our show gardens and plant stand at Penshurst Place were warmly (hotly!) received. The long Summer days continued and got the nation out into their gardens. The smell of BBQ’s hung in the air and pots and borders that had not been tended since the Summer before, were revitalised! Again, we grew for two gardens at Hampton Court Flower Show.

Autumn

Then into Autumn. Late September saw our most successful Trade Open Day to date. Gardeners, designers and garden centres took advantage of our special offers on the day and the networking opportunities were phenominal! Business cards and numbers were exchanged and our cake and biscuit tin took a real battering! Usually a time for us to grow for the following year, but something amazing happened! Our loyal and ever increasing band of garden designers took on the challenge of some major projects. This in turn left considerable holes in our stock leading to our best Autumn sales ever!

Winter

And so to Winter! A time to reflect and do maintenance round the nursery. As you can see from our last post, we are in the throws of constructing a new office and sales area. Also in the pipeline, a new Lavender tunnel. Our 2014 catalogue is being lovingly put together by the amazing Natalie Seal at Ginger & Fig in Tunbridge Wells. She’s a whizzo graphic designer and website designer, specialising in anything horticultural. The catalogue has over 300 new plants on offer to you next season, so our stock of over 4500 plants looks very exciting indeed!

Other plans for the 2014 season include more Public and Trade Open Days (dates TBA – check website for details). We are also in the process of organising some guest speakers here at the nursery. These may be evening/weekend events, or we might tie them in with our open days. We already have talks and nursery tours booked in from numerous gardening clubs and societies. Contact us for further details.

Literally hot off the press, we have been asked to grow for a Chelsea garden again next year! If we say who, we may have to kill you – details nearer the time!!

All that’s left for us to say here at How Green is Merry Christmas and a very Happy and Prosperous New Year to you all! We leave you with some scenes from our staff Christmas party last year!

Xmas1Xmas2

Happy New Year!

What a wonderful Christmas we all had here at How Green! We kicked off the holiday in great style with our annual Christmas party. The dining room was turned into a Winter wonderland, decorated beautifully and Christmas carols filled the air!

As is the tradition here at the nursery, there is no turkey with all the trimmings, not even a Christmas pud! This is through choice however and our loyal workforce unanimously vote in each year without fail……. fish & chips!!! Christmas crackers, hats and jokes aside, it’s then off to the very welcoming Henry 8th pub in Hever for liquid refreshment!

To nurse the sore heads, staff are given plenty of time off over the festive period. We’re now all refreshed and ready to crack on with the coming season.

We’re working flat-out, potting up perennials and seed sowing ready in time for Spring. This year our stock range has again increased by over 400 plants, bringing to total nearly 4000 different plants. These can all be seen in our new 2013 catalogue available on request right now.

Sales have started positively with our quality potted bulbs leaving to garden centres in our area. The photo below shows a great order heading out to our good friends at Coolings Garden Centre at Knockholt.

bulbs awaiting despatch

Reflections on the Year that Was

It’s amazing to think another year has passed and never has the saying ‘how time flies’ been more relevant! This year has flown by! Looking back on 2012 it’s been a very difficult year in the horticultural world.

The year started with great promise, with garden centre and garden designer sales very strong up to March. It was a month which saw temperatures in the mid-twenties and nursery staff in shorts and T-shirts. Our 30th anniversary season looked as though it was to be a vintage!

All positivity was then dashed in April when local authorities up and down the country implemented hosepipe bans for domestic and at some point professional users. Two very dry years subsequently lead to these measures as reservoirs and aquifers began to run dangerously low.

Then the irony!! No sooner had the hosepipe ban been put in place, the heavens opened and it didn’t (hasn’t!) stopped raining since! The phrase ‘driest drought on record’ started to be used in conversation! The combination of the ban and bad weather throughout what should have been our busiest months was disastrous!

The team at How Green Nursery

There was a mini revival with the Queens jubilee and of course the Olympics. Colour schemes were all the rage with red, white and blue plants selling like hot cakes! We end the year on an up-beat note, with very strong sales throughout the Autumn. We will take this positivity forward into 2013 and hope we all have a bumper year!

We have expanded our business again this Winter and will be offering over 500 new plants next season and in greater numbers. Look out for our bumper new 2013 catalogue, being printed as we speak and available on request from January. We now have a new storage/dispatch depot, a new tunnel in the pipeline and more standing grounds.

We are hosting a series of public open weekends again which proved very popular this year. Check our website for further details. We will also be running a series of events for the landscape/garden designer trade with special offers and discounts.

So from us all at How Green Nursery, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and all the best for the coming season! ****Be sure to checkout our Christmas quiz! Download our current availability from this website and find it there. Put your brains to the test (or Google!), relax with a tipple of your choice and conquor the 70 questions posed. Prizes galore!!****

Working in a Winter Wonderland

This week the weather has taken a real turn as Britain is gripped with ‘The Beast From the East’! Sub-zero temperatures down to -7˚C has made life difficult at How Green. Bulbs frozen in the sand and perennials like blocks of ice, finding work for our staff has been hard!

So the last couple of days we’ve undone the work shackles and started to make the nursery look all Christmasy! The tree has gone up in our tea hut and it is festooned with really bling tinsel and decorations! Our staff have also been working really hard on our Christmas potted arrangements. All tastefully created using high quality wicker baskets, bulbs and moss.

Mother nature has done a fantastic job of decorating the rest of the nursery! The hoar frost we’ve had the last few days has been nothing short of spectacular! The surrounding trees and landscape have looked wonderful. Our grasses show why they are so architecturally pleasing at this time of year if not cut down until Spring.

Be sure not to miss next weeks special Christmas instalment! Get involved with our Christmas quiz extravaganza that you will be able to download from our availability.

Hoar Frost on grassesSpring bulb baskets