Industry Bulletin

We’ve come across some great articles this month which we’d love to share with you. Here are five of the best articles Birchgrove Garden Centre found from around the web.

How To Create Privacy In The Garden

How to create privacy in the garden?

There are several options if you have a large area.

But take a narrow garden, add in a small urban space, and you’ve got yourself a challenge.

So is the case with my rooftop garden in Tel Aviv. It has no privacy on 3 sides. The front of the rooftop is abutting the street and looking straight across to another building, all with terraces.

How to deal with it?

– See more at: Gardening Gone Wild

Want Your Kids to Play Outside: Rip Out of the Lawn!

Lawns are for kids, right? After all, they need that big, green carpet to enjoy the outdoors. Would it be an exaggeration to say it borders on neglect not to keep a lawn for your children or grandchildren to play on?

– See more at: Garden Rant

Growing Vegetables and Herbs in Containers

Almost anything that you would typically raise in the ground, can be cultivated just as easily in window boxes, containers, or grow bags . Even though I have a traditional garden I still make use of pots for additional plants and fruit trees that are raised on the deck and patio.

– See more at: Veggie Gardening Tips

Saving Tomato Seeds? Isolate Tomato Flowers for True Seeds

Gardeners with large yards are at an advantage when saving tomato seeds because they can isolate tomato plants by placing them far enough apart from each other that they won’t accidentally cross-pollinate and create seeds for a hybrid tomato. There is absolutely nothing wrong with hybrid tomatoes, but if you’re growing an heirloom tomato, chances are you’re doing so because of some unique characteristic to that particular tomato plant. Maybe it’s the color, shape, taste or history behind the plant that calls you to grow it. Whatever your reasons, you are now a steward of the history of a tomato and you want to continue the line.

-See More at: Mr Brown Thumb

How To Ripen Green Tomatoes Indoors the Really Easy Way
Will tomatoes ripened indoors taste as good as vine-ripened garden tomatoes? Probably not, but any homegrown tomatoes are going to taste better than no homegrown tomatoes—especially if you’re enjoying them on Thanksgiving or Christmas. And they’ll still probably taste better than storebought tomatoes, especially if you’re buying them at Christmas.

-See More at: In My Kitchen Garden

This industry bulletin was brought to you by Birchgrove Garden Centre

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What to plant this summer

JULY 2013

As we head into the summer months, we suggest a few plants that will enhance any English garden, with scent, colour and texture. All of these are looking at their best and are available to purchase now.



RosesWith a fantastic array of size colour and fragrance there is a rose available to suit almost all requirements.  All like a good heavy soil, plenty of food and regular dead-heading. Failing to provide the basic essentials is what causes roses to suffer from stress related problems and people to say they dislike roses!!

When planting into a container it is advisable to use a soil-based compost such as John Innes N0.3 or a Multi-purpose John Innes enriched compost. Plenty of broken crock added to the bottom of the pot for drainage AND more importantly choose the CORRECT SIZE pot in the first instance! Choosing the pot to suit the overall stature of the rose is vital, larger the better.


An invaluable plant for the summer border, whether used for cutting, a big blousy display or a discreet container, there are many varieties available. So easy to grow they will provide a wonderful display, especially with regular dead-heading, and liquid feeding


FuchsiaProviding a welcome splash of colour from July until the first frosts these plants have become a stalwart of the late summer garden, producing an amazing display for weeks on end. With a wide range of varieties available there are Fuchsias for containers or the border. Container grown ones requiring a soil based compost. Many of the old favourites are as popular today as ever, such as Mrs Popple, Gennii and Dollar Princess.



Perfect for a hot sunny border and as a specimen container plant on a sunny patio. Originating from South Africa, they have distinctive flowers ranging from white through to various shades of blue, with strap like leaves. They require a sheltered sunny site in the garden, with excellent drainage. Container grown plants require good soil such as Multi-purpose John Innes enriched and again good drainage. Flowering for several weeks in late summer they also provide interesting seed heads. For the best flower displays regular feed of tomato food is advised.

Protect with a deep dry mulch over the Winter.


GrassesHugely popular following their success at flower shows such as Chelsea they have become a feature of many gardens and patios. Mostly evergreen With a wide range of colour and heights they provide texture and movement to a border. Particular varieties such as Stipa gigantea carry delightful seed heads which waft around. They look particularly good when planted with late summer perennials such as Verbena bonariensis, Echinacea and Rudeckia. The Blue Festuca grasses look lovely in a container and also stand out nicely combined with coppery types in a slate border. The Miscanthus types have particularly attractive flower/seeds which also add interest to a winter garden

You will find more information on a variety of subjects at our regularly monthly discussion groups held at Birchgrove Garden Centre, in Pinchbeck, Spalding, Lincs, details of which can be found at our website,

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What to plant this spring




An excellent shrub for the border or a container.

Intriguing wiry stems that burst into life from late Winter into early Spring with crimson buds turning into delightful pale pink flowers.  The foliage is small and green, changing to fabulous shades of red and orange with the onset of  Autumn.  With a compact rounded habit this lovely shrub grows to around 2.5mt high and wide over about 8-10 years. Grow in full sun in moist fertile, well-drained soil.  If pruning is required it is best done lightly in the summer.


With a huge range to choose from the above selection provide a dazzling display of Spring colour and interest.

RHODODENDRON – varying in height from 30cm to over 2mt. these delightful evergreen shrubs are ideal specimens for containers and raised beds.  Their spectacular performance takes place from April through to early summer with wide ranging shades of colourful paper like blooms. Preferring a location in semi-shade in moist acidic soil – hence ericaceous compost is advised – Dead heading following the demise of the flowers is advised to discourage the making of seed pods and to promote health and good growth. Taking note of any new growth under the flower bud, simply snap of the old flowers stalks. When planting into containers you need to be aware that you do not overdo it -Rhododendron have a shallow root system and prefer to be re-potted every couple of years or so, therefore it is no use buying a pot four times the size of the existing rootball, it will not sit in it at all happily!! Pot on into something a couple of sizes larger at most to get the best from your plants.  (THE SAME INFO APPLIES TO AZALEA)


Flowering spectacularly in late April through to early summer they are ideal for any size of garden, typically growing to around 80cm. Perfect for window boxes, containers or raised beds, where they can enjoy the best soil conditions. With a choice of feeds to supply the correct nutrients, either a granular ericaceous feed in march or a soluble feed between March to August you can be assured of a delightful display.


Dramatic shades of vibrant colours are the most popular of this type.  making a spectacular display in early summer they have the added bonus of fragrant flowers and fabulous autumn foliage colour. Hardy and fast-growing they make a valuable addition to the garden.  Again they prefer acidic soil conditions So containers or raised beds provide a solution to growing them where soil conditions locally would not usually allow. This type of Azalea like a fairly sunny aspect, They are fairly quick growers reaching around 120cm plus in 10years and are hardy in low winter temperatures.


This lovely group of plants cover a range of sizes, from 125cm to 0ver 600cm! with many varieties having fragrant flowers and supplying colour in early Spring and also in the Summer. The deciduous varieties are hugely popular with a choice of flower shapes and size. The Stellata types have open flowers with finger-like petals, while many of the Soulangeana types have large goblet shape blooms, all exceptionally beautiful! EVERGREEN Magnolia have gorgeous large shiny green leaves with a suede-like underside. They carry their flowers in the summer, these have a waxy like look about them. They prefer to be planted where they can benefit from the shelter of a warm wall in sun or partial shade away from the cold winter winds.

Generally with all magnolias, remember that they require a sunny sheltered location away from biting winter winds and early morning frosts in a moisture retentive, free draining soil, enriched with well rotted manure. They look wonderful planted with Spring Bulbs, Hellebores etc.


Enjoy them now as potted plants, to infill gaps, make up containers or window boxes etc.  Usually planted as a dry product in the Autumn ,they bring a welcome show of colour and fragrance (in some cases) to the early Spring gardens.

Ready now you will find a range of potted bulbs available such as Narcissus, Muscari (Grape Hyacinth), Tulips and Alliums

For more information or to choose from a wide selection of plants, come and talk to our experts at Birchgrove Garden Centre, Surfleet Road, Pinchbeck, Spalding, Lincs. or visit our website

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Birchgrove Questions & Answers Session

Thursday 7th March, and the new season of interesting and educational talks at the ever popular Birchgrove Garden Centre, Pinchbeck near Spalding, Lincolnshire begin.

Around 50 people enjoyed the lecture by Birchgrove’s  General Manager and gardening guru Alan Davey, ably supported by senior plants person Sue Worth, as they set about educating onlookers with a feast of knowledge about planning and getting the most from a “grow your own” vegetable plot, and how to prepare and successfully sow your own seeds.

Alan and Sue talked at length about selecting a suitable site, choosing between the different types of compost available, the best fertilisers and feeds to use and when to use them, choosing the correct seed and how to sow them, pricking out and planting young plants, the importance of crop rotation, growing particular groups of plants together to help prevent pests and diseases, organic pest control, companion planting and the ever-changing range and effectiveness of chemical products. An AV presentation was used to  assist in getting their message across.

Once again the audience were delighted with the event and attendees we spoke to afterwards said they had learned a great deal from the afternoon, which they were eager to go home and put into practice. The session concluded with the audience asking questions and discussing their own concerns, problems and experiences when sowing, growing and harvesting. The event was rounded off with a delicious home made cream Tea in Birchgrove’s B’s coffee shop.

The picture shows Alan and Sue explaining some of the growing techniques – good and bad.


Question and Answer sessions are held at Birchgrove each month, full details along with dates and topics covered can be found on the events page of the Birchgrove website at The aim of each discussion is to make each subject as informative and entertaining as possible and to endorse the fact that GARDENING IS FUN!

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About Birchgrove Garden Centre

Set within the heart of South Holland is Birchgrove Garden Centre a family business where you are always guaranteed a warm welcome.

Birchgrove Garden Centre opened its doors to the public on Thursday 12th April 1973. The brainchild of Adrian Moerman, the garden centre was built on land at the front of his pot plant nursery in Pinchbeck.

The original site (around 6 acres) consisted of a garden shop, outdoor plant area and portacabin selling pigeon corn. Continue reading

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