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  1. December Gardening Reminders 2021

    December Gardening Reminders 2021

    As we approach the end of 2021, theirs plenty to keep you busy within the garden this month, from moving plants that have outgrown their space to planting roses and, of course, winter digging. Check out our December hints and tips below put together by our Chairman and Horticulturist, John Richardson.

     

    1)   After long periods of November rain, often heavy, fallen leaves have become a congealed mass on lawns and many garden corners,  try and clear them away to the compost heap before they start to rot and affect so many plants such as herbaceous, alpines, low growing shrubs and plants in containers.

     

    2)  Any plants which are now too big for their location or ‘in the wrong place’ can be safely moved, and the soil in December is usually warm enough to stimulate the production of new roots. Stake tall new plants to prevent wind rock until well-rooted and reduce their size if appropriate.

     

    3)  Place undercover any tender plants which have been overlooked earlier in the autumn and ensure that such plants growing in the ground are wrapped in straw and hessian, polythene is not the best material as it prevents air from getting to the plant.

     

    4)  If you intend to get on with the winter digging, cover a suitable area with polythene so that the ground is not waterlogged when you wish to dig.

     

    5)  Clean moss and lichens from paths and walls.  There are several commercial brands of cleaner available, but bleach is equally as good.  A power washer will make light work of the job, which is impressive when completed!

     

    6)  Lower temperatures and frost is forecast, make sure your bird feeding stations are clean and regularly refilled.  The same applies to an accessible water supply.  Remember, cooked food as opposed to birdseed may well attract vermin.

     

    7)  with long periods of rain expected, don’t forget to put a glass or plastic sheet over your alpine plants to keep off the majority of the rain.

     

    8)  Now is a good time to plant roses, heel them in if soil conditions are not suitable for immediate planting.

     

    9)  Before planting trees and shrubs ensure roots are moist by soaking in a bucket or similar.

     

    10)   This month is a good time to prune Birch and Acers.  Trim the lawn edges for a quick lift!

     

    11)   Check apples and other stored fruits for signs of rotting and throw out damaged fruit for the birds. Remove mummified fruits from the apple trees.

     

    12)  Start Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) bulbs into growth urgently if required to flower by Christmas.

     

    13)  Tidy up the greenhouse during inclement weather, and also prune glasshouse grown grapevines.

     

    14)  Be ready to plant tulip bulbs after the middle of the month to reduce tulip disease (Tulip Fire).

     

    15)  Insulate with bubble-wrap and hessian those plant containers which are to be left outside over winter, in order to prevent the pots cracking in frosty periods.

     

    16)  Thoroughly clean and grease the lawnmower and sharpen or replace the blades.

     

    17)  The earlier any winter digging can be done, the better, as this allows rain, snow, frost and ice to break down clods of soil and make cultivation in the spring so much easier.

    Posted 30th Nov 9:37am
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  2. The Growers Choice: Hedging varieties for full sun

    The Growers Choice: Hedging varieties for full sun

    Is your next garden project a bit of a suntrap? do you require hedging varieties for a full sun position? we have you covered with our favourite hedging varieties for full sun below from Photinia to Prunus and even Lavender for your smaller hedging requirements.

     

    Cornus Elegantissima 

    Grey-green leaves with creamy-white flowers in early summer and red stems that can be seen during the winter periods, plant in a sunny position for best results.

    🌸 Flowers: May – June

    🌞 Position: Full sun to partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 2 metres

    🌱 Soil: well-drained soil

    Available in 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L + pot sizes and as bareroot from November – March

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    Grisellina littoralis 

    A great hedging plant for a seaside retreat with large glossy, apple green ovate leaves. Grow in moist well-drained soil in a sheltered sunny spot for best results.

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 12 metres

    🌱 Soil: well-drained soil

    Available in 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L + pot sizes and as a rootball and bare-root plants from November – March

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    Lavender Hidcote – why not choose a lavender plant for a scented small hedge in a sunny position? perfect for the edge of a path or small hedge at the front of a garden. This plant will also attract pollinators to your garden. Head to our pollinator-friendly plants guide for more bee loving plant varieties.

    🌸Flowers: July – September

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 0.6 metres

    🌱 Soil: well-drained, fertile soil

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    Photinia ‘Red Robin’- A versatile evergreen shrub that can be used for hedging, trained against a wall and even used as a ½ std tree once trained. It is happy in most fertile soils, in either a sunny or shaded position. If you wish to encourage its strong red growth and more flowers, it will be better planted in a full sun position. White flowers appear by April and into May once the plant is better established. We have found Photinia ‘Red ‘Robin’ to become ‘leggy’ over time if it is not properly maintained and left to run away with themselves, they can grow up to 4m tall and up to 4 m wide.

    🌸Flowers: April – May

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 4 metres

    🌱 Soil: well-drained, fertile soil

    Available in 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L + pot sizes and as a rootball from November – March

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    Pyracantha varieties

    Known for their colourful berries available in yellow, reds and oranges which will last from Autumn through to Spring if left untouched by birds. Great against a back wall these Pyracantha will stop intruders. Available potted throughout the year.

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 3 metres

    🌱 Soil: well-drained, fertile soil

    Available in 2LD, 3LD, 5L, 10L and 20L + pot sizes 

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    Prunus Rotundifolia 

    A vigorous, dense evergreen shrub suitable for almost all locations. Large, glossy green leaves make this a go-to plant above other Prunus varieties.  Its density makes it ideal for screening for privacy, and it is a great barrier to noise and wind. Commonly known as laurel, this hedging variety grows up to 60cm per year and is relatively happy in most soil conditions.

    🌸Flowers: April

    🌞 Position: Full sun – full shade

    📏 Height: Up to 5 metres

    🌱 Soil: well-drained, moist soil, do not plant in shallow chalk

    Available in 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L + pot sizes and as a rootball and bare root plants from November – March

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    Prunus Lusitanica

    Also known as Portuguese laurel, boast luscious dark green glossy leaves on deep maroon stems with small, fragrant white flowers in the summer which are loved by pollinators and red berries in the autumn which are very popular with birds.

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 15 metres

    🌱 Soil: well-drained, moist soil, do not plant in shallow chalk

    Available in 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L + pot sizes and as a rootball from November – March

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    Rosa rugosa

    A hardy, easy to grow rose with pink scented flowers from June through to September, followed by bright scarlet hips. A dense, vigorous growing hedging variety happy in full sun.

    🌸Flowers: June – September

    🌞 Position: Full sun – full shade

    📏 Height: Up to 1.5 metres

    🌱 Soil: well-drained soil

    Available in 2L, 3L  + pot sizes and as bare-root plants from November – March

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    Click here for more hedging solutions

     

    Posted 30th Nov 2:29pm
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  3. The Growers Choice - Plants with winter interest

    The Growers Choice - Plants with winter interest

    There’s plenty of interest to be had from plants during the winter months whether that be the scent of Sarcococca or the flowers of Helleborus plants, check out some of our favourites below

    Cornus varieties such as ‘Midwinter Fire’, and ‘Sibrica’ 

    Cornus are known for their coloured stems that are revealed when their leaves fall. Shades of red, yellow and orange stems are available.

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    🌸 Flowers: May – June

    📏 Height: Up to 3m (depending on the variety)

    📏 Width: Up to 2m (depending on the variety)

    Soil: moderately fertile soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L ( subject to availability and the variety)

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    Sarcococca varieties such as ‘Confusa’ and hookeriana ‘Winter Gem’

    Highly scented white flowers sit above large glossy, rich green leaves come late winter – early spring. It is a great addition to a shady border or a shaded patio spot where you can smell it every day.

    🌸 Flowers: Late winter-early spring

    🌞Position: Partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 0.5m

    Soil:fertile, well-drained, moist soil

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    Hellebore varieties

    Hellebores are compact, clump-forming perennials with dark green, leathery leaves and stunning flowers.

    A tremendous shade-loving border plant that will brighten up your garden when little else is flowering from December – March.

    🌸 Flowers: December – March (depending on the variety)

    🌞Position: Partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 45cn (depending on the variety)

    Soil: Heavy, neutral to alkaline soil

    It would help if you planted in partial to full shade for best results and cut back old leaves in January – February to show off new flowers.

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    Mahonia varieties such as ‘Charity’ and ‘Winter Sun’

    Are the perfect addition to a shaded spot in your garden as they prefer full – partial shade with spikes of yellow flowers from November through to March that has a fragrant reminiscent of lily-of-the-valley on dark green holly-like leaves. Prune in spring after flowering.

    🌸Flowers:  November – March (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 5m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Moist-well-drained, fertile, humus-rich soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L, 20L (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Skimmia varieties such as ‘Rubella’ and ‘Kew Green’

    Are you in need of some autumn/winter colour? Skimmia Rubella are known for their dark red flower buds that are produced in autumn and last through to winter until the flowers open in spring — an excellent plant for a patio pot or border.

    🌸Flowers:  April – May (depending on variety) flower buds are seen in autumn-winter.

    🌞 Position: Partial – full shade

    📏 Height: Up to 1.5m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Moist-well-drained, acid soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Viburnum varieties 

    Evergreen Viburnums such as tinus are a great shrub for winter interest with dark green leaves and clusters of tiny white flowers from December to April.

    A great low maintenance easy to grow shrub that can brighten a part shaded area of the garden when little else is flowering.

    🌸Flowers:  December – April

    🌞 Position: Full sun or partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 3m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Fertile, moist-well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Hamamelis varieties 

    Hamamelis plants are covered in branches of distinctive, spider-like, fragrant flowers in red, yellow, and orange shades from January to early spring.

    Whilst slow growing this plant variety can become a large spreading shrub or small tree. A fantastic specimen plant that will make a great addition to the middle or back of a border.

    Plant in well-drained, neutral acid soil in full sun to partial shade for best results.

    🌸Flowers: January – February

    ☀️ Position: Full sun – Partial shade

     Pot size: 5L, 10L, 20L + (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Jasminum nudiflorum

    A deciduous climber with bright yellow flowers that appear on bare stems in winter and early spring helping to brighten up a dark winter’s day. This attractive climber will grow well against a trellis or low wall once trained as it is not self-clinging.

    🌸Flowers: January – March

    ☀️ Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 3m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Fertile, moist-well-drained soil

     Pot size:  2LD, 3LD  ( subject to availability)

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    Posted 24th Nov 5:21pm
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  4. Plant Centre celebrates best year ever

    Plant Centre celebrates best year ever

    Our onsite plant centre is celebrating its best year ever, with a turnover of over 2 million, for the first time in its history. Johnsons of Whixleys overall turnover was just over 15 million, another record for the company in its 100th-year history.

    The plant centre division, which Alice Knowles runs, was responsible for selling over 340,000 items and has seen a 12.62% increase of new customers and an increase in sales of 21.07% on the previous financial year.

    The division’s successes are due to an increase in demand for garden projects and restorations by the public who have been putting their usual holiday funds into their gardens, which has made Landscapers, Garden Designers, Property Developers and others within the industry much busier. People also recognise the importance of a greener world and how plants can help the environment. We have also improved our website and social media pages and sent out regular PR campaigns, which have increased our visibility within the industry and increased the number of new customers on our system.

    Plant Centre Manager Alice Knowles said: ” We are incredibly proud to have achieved our best year ever. We have adapted to the challenges Brexit has brought and have taken on board customer feedback and requirements, including moving away from traditional lines. We have increased our range and have added more unusual and exciting lines. I’m continually looking at ways to evolve the plant centre, including keeping up with the demand and the different requirements.

    There has also been a few changes to our department with new faces joining our sales and operations side; find out more about the whole team below.”

    MEET THE TEAM

    Find out about our Amenity Sector and its changes by clicking here

     

    Posted 18th Nov 9:13am
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  5. The Growers Choice - Hedging for an exposed site

    The Growers Choice - Hedging for an exposed site

    Is your next project without any natural defence and exposed to the elements such as strong winds? we have put together a list of hedging varieties that are suitable for an exposed site below

    Acer campestre 

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 4M

    🌱 Soil: any soil (except water-logged sites)

    A deciduous resilient species that filters the wind more than evergreen varieties, creating a more sheltered spot it is a great hedging variety for an exposed site.

    Available in bare-root sizes 60-80cm and seedling 30-40cm. Also available in 2L, 3L, 5L & 10L.

    Crataegus monogyna

    A popular native hedging plant is known for its large thorns, which can be seen after its green leaves fall in Autumn. It is also known for its white scented flowers, which can be seen in Spring.

    A hardy species suited to the cold and windy conditions of an inland exposed site, even in windy areas it will grow up to 3m tall.

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 3M in an exposed location

    🌱 Soil: any soil (except water-logged sites)

    Available in bare-root sizes from 40-60cm up to 200cm tall and in container pots after the bare root season.

    Cupressus Leylandii

    Is one of the fastest evergreen hedging varieties that can grow up to 3ft per year with its eventual height reaching up to 12m. Great as a windbreak, general barrier and for noise reduction. A hardy plant that is well suited to a cold exposed site. Perform regular maintenance to help form a dense hedge.

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 12 metres

    🌱 Soil: well-drained soil

    Available in 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L + pot sizes

    Cotoneaster Franchetii 

    Is a hardy variety suited to an exposed inland sites and coastal sites with sage green leaves with a white underside and pink flowers in early summer with deep orange berries in autumn.

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 3 metres

    🌱 Soil: Any except water-logged

    Available in 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L + pot sizes

    Taxus Baccata 

    A dark green evergreen hedging variety with needle-like leaves, ideal for an exposed site as it filters down the wind.  This variety is commonly known as ‘Yew’. It is a popular variety often used in stately homes grounds and private gardens. This hedging variety is easy to trim and can be used to create shapes for a statement feature or simply cut to create a clean line.

    Red berries are seen come Autumn, which are loved by birds but harmful to humans, pets and livestock if eaten. This slow-growing variety prefers fertile, well-drained soil.

    Available in 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L + pot sizes and as a rootball from November – March

    🌸Flowers: April

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 20 metres

    🌱 Soil: well-drained, fertile soil

    Grisellina littoralis

    A great hedging plant for a seaside retreat with large glossy, apple green ovate leaves. Grow in moist well-drained soil in a sheltered sunny spot for best results.

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 12 metres

    🌱 Soil: well-drained soil

    Available in 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L + pot sizes

     

    Posted 22nd Nov 4:38pm
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  6. November Gardening Reminders 2021

    November Gardening Reminders 2021

    November reminds us that winter is on its way with leaves on the trees falling rapidly and the increase of rain and wind. During November container plants and some ground plants will need protection from the frosts, wind and freezing rain. November is also the start of the Bare Root and Root Ball season so there’s plenty to be on with this month. Check out our latest hints and tips put together by horticulturist John Richardson.

     

    1) The earlier winter digging can be done, the better, as this allows rain, snow, and frost to break down the clods of soil which will make cultivations in the spring so much easier.

    2)Collect and dispose of the fallen fruits from apple trees, many will be damaged and prone to spreading diseases such as brown rot.

    3)Divide and replant rhizomatous Iris, and layer Carnations and Pinks. Peg them into moist soil after carefully cracking a small section of the stem. Ensure the treated area remains in moist soil.

    4)Now is the best time to plant roses, buying plants that are field-grown (bare-root) is the most economic and will survive just as well as container-grown plants if kept moist when out of the ground. For long delays, heel in the roots of the plant in an area that is not waterlogged.

    5)Replace those small patches of the lawn which have become damaged, with turf from a less obvious area. Do not perform this task when the soil is waterlogged or frozen.

    6)Take the opportunity to cut back overgrown hedges, either mechanically on deciduous plants or with secateurs and a saw on large-leafed evergreens such as laurels and rhododendrons. Trim conifer hedges next spring.

    7)Clean moss and lichens from footpaths and walls. There are several commercial brands of cleaner available, but bleach is equally good. A power washer will make light work of the job!

    8)Before the month-end check apples and other stored fruits for signs of rotting and throw out damaged fruit for the birds.

    9)Plant tulip bulbs after the middle of the month to prevent the spread of Tulip Fire disease.

    10)Make sure you have checked the compost heap and the bonfire for hibernating animals before you light the bonfire on November 5th.!!

    11)Collect seeds of any plants you may wish to reproduce for next year. Cover seed-heads with a paper bag and tap them to release seed over time. Do not save seed from plants described as being of F1 (hybrid) origin.

    12)Cut back to ground level the canes of summer fruits such as Raspberries, Loganberries, Blackberries etc. as soon as fruiting is complete. Tie in the growth of this year’s new canes as these are your next year’s fruiting canes.

    13)From the middle of the month begin successional sowing of spring cabbage for winter harvest, and lettuce is sown under glass for use during the winter.

    14)Clean out bird boxes and sterilize them with boiling water.

    15)Insulate with bubble-wrap polythene, the pots of plants which may not be entirely hardy, or the container is a traditional frost susceptible clay pot.

    16)Don’t get carried away with autumn pruning! Plants such as Viburnum bodnantense, Lonicera fragrantissima, and the flowering cherry Prunus subhirtella ‘Autumnalis’, as these will carry sweetly scented pink flowers all the way through the winter.

    17)Lift and store dahlias if not already completed.

    Posted 2nd Nov 9:26am
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  7. The Growers Plantspo - November Interest

    The Growers Plantspo - November Interest

    Your garden projects don’t have to be boring this  November, there’s plenty of autumn-winter interest plants around that are sure to brighten up your projects from Mahonia to Viburnum.

    Cornus varieties such as ‘Midwinter Fire’, and ‘Sibrica’ 

    Cornus are known for their coloured stems that are revealed when their leaves fall. Shades of red, yellow and orange stems are available.

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 3m (depending on the variety)

    📏 Width: Up to 2m (depending on the variety)

    Soil:  moderately fertile soil

    Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L,  10L ( subject to availability and the variety)

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    Cotoneaster  varieties such as’ horizontalis’

    Berries appear on varieties such as ‘horizontalis’ and ‘Coral Beauty’ during the autumn period, in late spring- early summer they are filled with small creamy white flowers.

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    🌸Flowers:  May-June  (depending on variety)

    📏 Height: Up to 2m (depending on the variety)

    📏 Width: Up to 1.5m (depending on the variety)

    Soil:  fertile, well-drained soil

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    Euonymus Alatus

    A bushy dense deciduous shrub with green leaves that turn to shades of strawberry red during autumn.

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 2m

    📏 Width: Up to 3m

    Soil:  well-drained soil

    Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L,  10L ( subject to availability)

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    Euonymus europaeus

    Dark green leaves turn to a spectacular blazing scarlet colour during autumn and its summer flowers are replaced with orange-pink winged fruit which remains long after leaves have fallen.

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to3m

    📏 Width: Up to 2.5m

    Soil:  well-drained soil

    Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L,  10L ( subject to availability)

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    Mahonia varieties such as ‘Charity’ and ‘Winter Sun’

    🌸Flowers:  November – March (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 5m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Moist-well-drained, fertile, humus-rich soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L, 20L (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Nandina varieties such as ‘domestica’ and ‘Fire Power’ 

    Nandinas provide autumn interest when leaves turn shades of fiery red and copper.

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    🌸Flowers:  July  (depending on variety)

    📏 Height: Up to 2m (depending on the variety)

    📏 Width: Up to 1.5m (depending on the variety)

    Soil:  moist, well-drained soil

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    Pyracantha varieties such as ‘Red Column’ and ‘Golden Sun’ 

    An upright evergreen shrub with dark leaves and spiny branches. Vibrant yellow, red, and orange berries can be seen in autumn when little else is providing interest.

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    🌸Flowers: May

    📏 Height: Up to 3m (depending on the variety)

    📏 Width: Up to 3m (depending on the variety)

    Soil:  fertile, well-drained soil

    Pot size: 2L, 3LD, 5L,  10L, 20L + ( subject to availability and the variety)

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    Sarcococca confusa

    🌞 Position: Partial – deep shade

    🌸Flowers: December – March

    📏 Height: Up to 2m (depending on the variety)

    📏 Width: Up to 1m (depending on the variety)

    Soil:  fertile, humus-rich, moist, well-drained soil

    Pot size: 2L, 3LD, 5L,  10L  ( subject to availability and the variety)

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    Sedum varieties such as ‘Touchdown Teak, ‘Autumn Joy’ ‘Herbstfreude’ & ‘Frosted Fire’

    🌸Flowers:  August – November (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 0.6m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Moderately fertile, well-drained, neutral to slightly alkaline soil

     Pot size: 2l, 3L, 5L (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Skimmia varieties such as ‘Rubella’ and ‘Kew Green’

    🌸Flowers:  April – May (depending on variety) flower buds are seen in autumn-winter.

    🌞 Position: Partial – full shade

    📏 Height: Up to 1.5m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Moist-well-drained, acid soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Viburnum varieties such as ‘tinus’ and ‘bod Dawn’

    🌸Flowers:  December – April

    🌞 Position: Full sun or partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 3m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Fertile, moist-well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Posted 1st Nov 11:17am
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