There's been some hard frosts these last couple of weeks and hard to believe we're only three weeks away from the shortest day of the year...
Christmas stock at Downside
The Christmas trees are here! We have cut trees both traditional Norway spruce from £24.95 and the non-drop Nordmans from £59.95.
We also have proper pot-grown trees (not field grown and stuffed in a pot!).from £24.50 for Norway spruces and £6.95 for Nordmans.
The holly wreaths and mistletoe will be here any day and we have cyclamen and Christmas roses as well as planted bowls. Nice for presents or to treat yourself.
We're only closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day.
Don't forget our gift vouchers
We can take payment over the telephone and dispatch them to your friends with one of our gift cards. You can also order plants to be delivered locally. One lady recently rang from New Zealand and arranged the purchase of a very nice Acer for her daughter! The Downside gift vouchers may only be used in our own nursery.
It is difficult to keep the stock list on the website up dated so from time to time it is useful to mention some of the new plants we have in…
These are really lovely evergreen magnolias with huge white flowers, usually scented. They are fully hardy and tolerant of our rather limey soil. We have had to import these from Holland as for some reason they are difficult to find in this country. We have five varieties of Magnolia grandiflora from which to choose:
Exmouth (pictured, thanks to RHS)
Le Nantais (double)
Winter is a good time to look at the structure of your garden. Trees and topiary give shape and perspective even when everything is covered with frost or snow.
Ilex crenata (also known as box-leaved holly or Japanese holly) is largely replacing Box – it looks very similar but there is no worry about blight. We have balls and cones both in this and Taxus (yew). Olives are tougher than you might think. We have some standards of both Olive and Bay and some pretty little quarter standards on the herb bench which would be splendid on a patio or even indoors.
Corylopsis - not rare but not widely available. We now have a few in stock. They are a bit like a hazel on steroids with dramatic long catkins in early spring. A good plant for a winter garden.
Trees and Hedges There is still plenty of time to plant trees and hedges. We have a splendid selection of trees in from Frank Matthews – something for every size of garden.
If your space is limited, we have Betula Moonbeam – smaller than the regular jaquemontii, Eucalyptus Azura, far smaller than gunii and the new Acer platinoides Sensation, a smaller version of A. Drumondii. This is not only less vigorous but has better leaf variation and is less likely to revert. Bare root hedging whips are in stock. Hawthorn, Beech and Privet. We also have potted Laurel, Portuguese Laurel and Photinia. If you want something larger we can quote you for root-balled plants - Laurel, Beech, Yew etc. Allow about ten days for delivery.
Don't forget to water!
Our annual reminder to keep an eye on your outdoor pots. Make sure they are draining properly so the pot does not get cracked and keep checking on the watering. Cold winds can be very drying and if evergreens get short of water they will scorch or even die.
Obviously you cannot water when the compost is frozen so take advantage of any mild weather: it doesn't matter what time of day you do it. Be careful not to overdo it, though…that can lead to stem problems if it freezes. Nicely moist is just fine.
We hope you have enjoyed this update and may we wish you and your families a very Happy Christmas and New Year.
We look forward to seeing you soon.
Best wishes from Lorraine and Richard Young and the Team at Downside Nurseries
PS If any of your friends want to visit us, please tell them that there's an excellent map on our websitewhich will be helpful. We also have some new Downside cards, so please pick up one or two on your next visit. And have you visited Downside yet on the virtual tour? Check it out here.... Thanks so much.