Chelsea Time Again!

How Green grow plants for medal winning gardens again!

Another year, another grey hair! After growing for ‘A Potters Garden’ at Chelsea last, we thought we’d take on the stress and sleepless nights yet again! For us as humble growers, there is a lot of pressure to grow the plants and get them looking spot on for judging day!

This time, the ever so lovely Jo Thompson approached us for growing for the M&G sponsored ‘The Retreat’ garden. She chose us along with other friend and local grower Roger Platts. We were given the task of growing the hardy annuals for her traditional British planted garden.

Seeds were sown back in the Autumn of 2014 to give the plants the best possible start. We did a back up sowing soon after in case we suffered any losses along the way. We carefully nurtured the seedlings and gradually potted them into bigger pots as they became bigger.

Given light and heat, they soon raced away! In April they were moved into a well ventilated tunnel and remained there until two weeks before the big day! We (and Jo!) were very pleased with our efforts, as we had not grown many of the plants before! Plants included Ridolfia segetum, Daucus carota Dara, Gypsophila Covent Garden and Emilia javanica (this plant actually found it’s way onto Prince Harry’s garden Sentebale!).

The garden looked fabulous and Jo won a well deserved Silver-Gilt medal, although many believed it should have won gold! We also supplied a few plants for a gold medal winning artisan garden called a Trug makers Garden.jo thompson

Happy New Year for 2015!

Wishing all our customers old and new a very prosperous season ahead!

My goodness how time flies, it only seems like five minutes ago when we were tucking into turkey and mince pies! It’s the end of January and our stock is coming along nicely. Our range of Spring bulbs are already available to purchase (see availability opposite) and our perennials, alpines & herbs are only a matter of weeks away from being marketable.

Lot’s of exciting things happening here at the nursery over the next twelve months. Our special trade and public open weekends make a welcome return. The dates will appear on this site soon, so keep your eyes peeled for that!

Nursery tours and talks with gardening clubs and societies are proving popular, with many dates already booked in here at the nursery. Please enquire if you would like an exclusive talk/tour of a strictly trade only grower!

Plans are in store for a web-shop towards the end of the year. To start with, it will be a site exclusively to buy brand new plant introductions. Keep up with the Jones’s with the years ‘must have’ plants!

Hot off the press, we are growing for Chelsea 2015. Last year we had the daunting task of exclusively growing for ‘Potters Garden’, the gold medal winning garden created by Nature Redesigned. Having said we’d take a break from it this year, we were approached by Jo Thompson, so how could we say no!!

Jo returns to Chelsea with her sixth garden in seven years. This year she is creating a ‘Sylvan Retreat’, sponsored by M & G Investments along main avenue. A quintessentially British garden, featuring a natural swimming pool and oak garden building. We are proud to be growing for her, along with Roger Platts for a very Kentish backed project!

Our annual Christmas quiz was very warmly received, with many budding horticulturists having a go! We are pleased to announce the winners! Ashley & Sam Louis who work in the gardens at Crowhurst Place came out top with an outstanding 99/100!! A tremendous effort! Second was Helen Yemm, gardening correspondent from the Daily Telegraph with a stonking 95/100 – both win £20.00 vouchers to spend at our public open weekends.
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Chelsea 2 How Green Nursery 2!

For the second consecutive year, we here at How Green are growing for the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show!

Last year, we grew for Chelsea for the first time, for local designer Roger Platts. His centenary garden sponsored by M&G deservedly won a gold medal for it’s ambitious design, incorporating the many styles seen in the last hundred years.

The famous saying by British rower Steve Redgrave after winning his fifth Olympic medal has never been more apt – ‘you have my permission to shoot me if I ever step near a boat again!’ We said a similar thing last year after the very challenging weather we were up against growing for Roger! The plants were constantly moved inside, then out and took a huge amount of work to achieve the end result!

With this in mind, we decided to take a break from Chelsea growing! Then back in December, our great customers Francesca Murrell and Emma Page from Nature Redesigned announced that their plan for an artisan garden had been picked by the RHS! During that exciting meeting, it was decided, how could we possibly say no to growing the plants for their garden!

We are proud to announce we are growing extensively for Nature Redesigned and their Dial A Flight sponsored ‘Potters Garden’. The garden commemorates the 100th anniversary of the start of world war one and portrays an abandoned brick works after the men going to war. Follow our road to Chelsea Flower Show 2014 via Facebook, with weekly photos and updates starting next week – keep tuned!!DialAFlight

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!

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