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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The Last Hoorah!

Our final public open weekend of 2014

Last weekend we opened our gates to the public for our Autumn extravaganza! We only host these special days three times a year and our September event is a perfect showcase for late season colour!

It never ceases to amaze us at the popularity of these days and the attendance was again phenomenal! An ever faithful band of regulars and many new faces were welcomed to the nursery by our staff and Tonto & Ted the nursery dogs!

We decorated our 1972 VW camper van with an array of grasses and late flowering perennials and displayed a selection of our many Heucheras. Planting combinations and ideas could be taken from them.

Hazel was once again on hand to give valuable advice – she’s not actually a member of staff, but a very good trade customer of ours and willingly helps out at our open days! She’s gaining quite a following! We salute you Hazel!

With plant buying satisfied, customers then headed off to our garden and summer house to indulge in tea drinking and cake eating! Trouble is, you didn’t leave much left for us!

Thank you all for your amazing support during 2014 and see you at our 2015 events! (dates to appear here soon). We aren’t going into hibernation just yet, so check out our website & Facebook site for nursery news, gossip, new plants and our legendary Christmas quiz!

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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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Glorious Gold!!

Potters Garden wins the highest accolade!!

The last few weeks has been manic here at the nursery, with trade brisk and growing for gardens at RHS Malvern and Chelsea! If you check out last weeks blog, you’ll know we grew for the Dial a Flight sponsored ‘Potters Garden’ designed by Frankie and Emma from Nature Redesigned.

With the expert help from Frogheath Landscapes, the collective put together what was a magnificent effort in the Artisan garden category. So much so, the strict task-masters that are the RHS judges awarded the garden the top prize of a gold medal!! Not bad for Nature Redesigned and their first effort at Chelsea!!

I’m sure you’ll be seeing a lot more of these guys in the future!

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Medal at marvelous Malvern!

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We’ve been very busy this season with growing plants for RHS show gardens. Our band of merry garden design customers have taken on the challenge of designing, building and planting at some of the countries most prestigious shows!

First up, our good friends Richard and Sam from Twigs garden design based in Sussex approached us to grow for their ‘A Fruity Story’ garden at Malvern. The concept of the garden was based around a realistic, fully functional garden that can inspire people to do the same at home! The emphasis being on cooking, with the installation of a beautiful brick fire kiln.

The planting also tied in nicely, with many herbs, vegetables and soft fruit that could be used directly in conjunction with any cooking done in the garden. Planting was not in the conventional way in lines, but blending in with herbaceous perennials and grasses. To soften the wonderful landscaping, Richard and his team used a wonderful pallet of shade loving plants to under-plant the stunning Betula and Acers.

They deservedly won a Silver-gilt medal which is a great achievement guys! With several celebrities including chef James Martin enjoying the garden and a slot on Gardeners World last Friday, I’m sure Twigs will go from strength to strength!

Next week, check out our post on how our growing for the Chelsea Flower Show went!