Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous 2016!

As another year draws to a close, we reflect on a great 2015!

We here at How Green can’t believe how quickly 2015 has flown by!! It only seems like yesterday since we were penning these pages in a similar vain. What a year!!

Our season started very early back in early February. After a wet early part of Winter, the weather started to behave and our landscape customers could work on projects without getting swamped! A cold easterly wind seemed to stay with us for weeks and weeks, but importantly it stayed dry. Garden centre’s were buoyant with gardeners keen to get planting after the long, dark months!

We were once again involved with growing for the Chelsea Flower Show and grew the hardy annuals for Jo Thompson’s ‘The Retreat Garden’. The result, a silver-gilt medal, although the general opinion is, she should have won gold! Never mind Jo, there’s always next year!

Our series of public open weekends once again proved very successful! Great to see our regular followers as well as plenty of new faces. (Our 2016 dates will be posted soon). We also hosted talks and tours here at the nursery. We welcome garden societies & clubs who can also have exclusive access to the nursery and are able to go shopping! Amongst our guests this year were the PGG (Professional Gardeners Guild) and the SGD (Society of Garden Designers).

We continued busy throughout the whole year, again helping out with a garden at Hampton Court (The Yardly sponsored ‘A Growing Obsession) and our garden design/landscape followers have been flat out even up until Christmas!

We remain confident going into 2016 with some projects already pencilled in for January. As we go to press, we can announce we are opening for the first time for the NGS and are also involved with two gardens & a trade stand at Chelsea Flower Show! We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a fab New Year!

******Our 2015 Christmas quiz is available to tackle from our availability download on this site. 100 green-fingered questions to test the grey matter this festive season! Get your answers back to us before January 10th – prizes for the best efforts! Helen Yemm, the gardening writer for the Daily Telegraph was our joint winner last year – no pressure!!*******

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Seasons Greetings to You All!

A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy & Prosperous New Year from us all at How Green!

It doesn’t seem like five minutes ago, we were penning these pages for Christmas and looking back at 2013 – how time flies!

Here at the nursery, with Christmas just over a week away, the excitement has started to build for the festive season! The staff tea hut has been lavishly decorated with highly flammable tinsel and an appalling fake tree, making for a winter wonderland! Waist lines are already expanding and all roads lead to the staff Christmas party in a few days time!

Staff are like Santa’s little helpers, busily creating Christmas wicker planters and lovely decorated Hyacinths which make wonderful Christmas presents. It’s still not too late to place your orders with us. ****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 in the form of vouchers to our public open weekends next year for those with the most correct answers!****

We’ve had a great season here at How Green, with trade brisk throughout the year. The Winter of 2013 was the wettest on record, but the weather broke in February and we didn’t look back! A decent Spring for the first time in many years was then followed by a good Summer. Garden centres were busy and with an upturn in the economy the garden designers/landscapers followed.

There was never a dull moment with our trade and public open days, with many old friends and new customers paying us a visit. The tea and cake flowed and our stocks took a good battering!

We put together two show gardens of our own, as well as growing for prestige show gardens at Chelsea, Hampton Court, Malvern and Blenheim. Our crowning glory was Chelsea where we grew 90% of the plants for the Dial A Flight sponsored Potters Garden designed and put together by Nature Redesigned. The reward for their hard work was a well deserved gold medal – not bad for their first attempt at Chelsea!

We had a busy year on the social calendar, with many talks to garden societies held at venues as well as here at the nursery.

We look forward to 2015 and have some plans that will become apparent on these pages in the weeks to come, so keep tuned! All we have to say is Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year to you all  and thank you for supporting us this season!

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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!

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Hot, hot, hot Hampton!

Last week the biggest flower show in the world rolled into town at the wonderful Hampton Court Palace on the banks of the Thames in East Molesey.

Ten’s of thousands of visitors make the pilgrimage each year, to see cutting edge garden designers show off their talents and over 600 trade exhibitors selling plants and garden related treats! The week long show covers a total area of 34 acres and with the backdrop of the beautiful Palace, it makes for the perfect day out!

We here at How Green have a long running affiliation with the show, supplying plants for show gardens and trade stands. This year was no exception and we grew a number of plants for Provender Nurseries ‘Four Corners’ garden and the ‘QEF Garden for Joy‘, designed by Heather Appleton.

We also supplied a huge amount of plants for Simon Lockyer (famous Auricula exhibitor at Chelsea Flower Show!) Lastly and by no means leastly, we helped deck out our good friends Sparrow and Finch with plants for their wonderful stand selling their amazing planters!

It wouldn’t be the same without a personal visit to the show and on RHS members day How Green visited on mass! The sun shone the picnic was monumental and dozens of wonderful plants found a new home! We leave you with some piccies of the gardens and stands we helped supply.

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Knoll Grass Garden

A masterclass in grasses

Last week, How Green visited the famous Knoll Grass Garden down in Dorset. Neil Lucas the owner of the successful garden and nursery has been running a series of day courses throughout late Summer and Autumn.

The final class of the season was reserved for industry employees only and saw designers and nurserymen descend from all round the country.

Knoll Gardens have won numerous RHS awards, including at Chelsea and Hampton Court. The gardens were a true reflection of a man with a passion and indeed a vast knowledge on the subject. For the last week in October, many of the grasses were at their peak and the planting combinations are truly superb!

Tea & cake were served (not as good as How Green cake I hasten to mention!) and a visit to his retail nursery ensured that we all left with empty wallets! We shall return!