Autumnal Delights!

Plant now for best results!

After a pretty good Summer with long, warm sunny days, there’s definitely a nip in the air and dewy mornings! Autumn is well and truly upon us and the perfect time for planting. Historically this time of year is the best time to plant trees, shrubs and perennials, with the ground warm and moisture in the soil (hopefully – we need some rain!)

We have been busily potting up the last few months and the nursery is now brimming with lots of fresh new perennials, grasses and ferns. As well as firm garden favourites, we also have plenty of brand new plants to choose from.

To complement what we grow ourselves, we also offer a plant sourcing service. We have a broad spectrum of growers throughout the UK and Europe we can rely on to offer you trees (including pleached), shrubs of all shapes and sizes, hedging and for the next few weeks, loose bulbs.

So why not give us a go and send us your quotes. We’re very prompt at replying and competitive when it comes to price. All that’s left to say is, ‘Happy planting’!

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Hippy Show Garden!

Show garden with a twist!!

This weekend saw our annual September outing to the Penshurst Craft Fair held at Penshurst Place. Ourselves, along with our good friends Chilstone from Tunbridge Wells join forces to create a mini show garden and stand.

Having attended the show for the last five years, twice a year, it’s always difficult to come up with a fresh idea for a garden!

This time round, we gave the garden a bit of a twist and made an old 1972 VW camper van the main centrepiece!

The stunning camper has been fully restored to it’s original glory, with shiny new paint job and re-conditioned engine. The tax exempt classic is not used as  a show vehicle, but for its intended purpose for camping weekends and trips to Devon & Cornwall. With this in mind, we thought we’d put ‘Doona’ the van to work over the weekend.

With some wispy grasses and colourful late season perennials, we put a smile on the show-goers faces. The sun shone down on us and plant sales were great – roll on May for the next show garden! What to do next???”!

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Autumn – Hillcroft Revisited!

Seven months after our extensive planting project at Caterham on the Hill, we paid the site a visit, to see how it looked!

Back in March, we were approached by Caterham Parish Council to deliver a new planting scheme at Hillcroft Corner, in the middle of Caterham on the Hill high street.

The brief was simple. They wanted all the old woody shrubs replaced with something that would be very low maintenance, no watering and would look great all year round!

We settled on a gravel style bed, we a membrane to supress weeds, but would allow water through. The plants used would also have to be tough, especially with water at a premium. Plenty of grasses to add height, movement and contrast with flowering perennials to give a naturalistic look.

Throughout the bed are Alliums and early flowering perennials, to give interest all year round. Even during the Winter months, the grasses will sparkle with frost and still add height. We also used some new weathered sleepers, on end in the ground to act as features for the plants to grow up and around.

A few evergreen shrubs and Phormiums also help in the darker months ahead.

The planting will hopefully come into it’s own next year, but we were pleasantly surprised how well the plants had established in such a short space of time!

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Autumnal Craft Fair!

Last weekend saw How Green make a rare public outing with our plants! We only attend three shows per year, two of them being at Penshurst Place for their Spring and then Autumn craft fairs.

We have a strong working relationship that goes back nearly thirty years with Penshurst Place, as we stock their plant stand on a weekly basis and hire our topiary for weddings in the great Barons Hall. Coupled with the venue only ten minutes from the nursery, it’s natural for us to make the annual pilgrimage!

We arrived on Thursday in blistering heat, exceeding 30oC, to build a mini show garden in conjunction with Chilstone from Fordcombe. To celebrate Chilstone’s 60th anniversary, we created a diamond shaped garden around one of their fantastic fountains that acted as the centrepiece. A local copper artist also showcased his art with a wonderful contemporary garden chair and…………..a bath! We here at How Green have never been asked to base a show garden around a bath, but there’s a first time for everything!

The planting plan used a variety of grasses and late flowering perennials to create a naturalistic, prairie style of planting. We used plenty of Echinaceas, Agastaches, Salvias and Nepeta. Within minutes of setting up the garden, it was awash with bees, hoverflies and butterflies – a truly magnificent sight! We also attended with our own plant stand, with lots of our new plants for 2014 on sale. Our display looked wonderful with our Heucheras, displaying no less than 46 different varieties!

The old saying ‘ how different one day from the next can be’ couldn’t be more apt at the show! Suffering from sunburn and dehydration from setting up the garden,  Friday slapped us in the face with……Autumn! Rain, wind and only 16oC! thankfully the weather improved on Saturday and sales were great. Sunday was again changeable, but it was great to see so many enthusiastic gardeners out there, eager to get their gardens into shape for Autumn!

This week sees a busy time at the nursery with a trade open day on Friday 13th (hope it’s not a bad omen! – see side bar) and then our last public open weekend of the year. We open our gates on Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th and a warm welcome to all to browse our strictly wholesale only nursery. Our nursery is at capacity and full to bursting with plants for the 2014 season. Many new additions on offer. If plant shopping gets all to much for you, relax in our Summer house with an array of tasty home made cakes and teas!

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Growing for Chelsea

2013 signifies a monumental landmark for the Chelsea Flower Show. This year the show will be celebrating it’s 100th anniversary! Designers will be pulling out all the stops to make it the best show ever!

How Green Nurseries insight into the show comes through local designer Roger Platt. Having dealt with Roger for many years, he has approached us to grow a selection of plants for his M & G sponsored ’Windows Through Time’ Garden.

We are growing a selection of large grasses, along with Alliums, Delphiniums, Lupins and Primulas to name a few! We have grown plants for numerous designers for different shows down through the years. We know the time constraints for growing to a set date can be challenging and this year looks to be no different with this current inclement weather!

We juggle the growing by potting into large pots and alternating our stock from warm tunnels to outside to toughen-up. Fingers crossed we won’t let Roger down.

The M & G ’Windows Through Time’ Garden, I’m sure you’ll agree looks fantastic on paper! A clever garden that takes in the RHS Chelsea Flower show’s different styles and trends down through the years. Contemporary planting and sculpture drifts effortlessly into a more traditional theme, creating a garden that leads the eye.

Check our Facebook site for regular updates on how we are progressing with Rogers plants!

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