Welcome to the first of our blogs dedicated to the garden. Let’s start with the origins of the garden.
The gardens were never planned as a whole, but grew as a need to enhance our customer experience and to circumstances that
arose to allow more planting opportunities. In 1995 the shop was renovated and the first border, The 7m Traditional Perennial border, was planted. It runs along the wall and can be seen from the road and is 6m deep and 42 metres long. It was planted to catch the eye of passing customers, to encourage them to come into the shop and café.
In 2012 the right hand side half of the Hot Bank was created over a huge pile of spoil left from the building of the shop and cafe. The vision here was to have a mountainside of hot colours, beginning in spring and lasting well into the autumn.
The Dahlia Border was planted in 2014. It is 32 metres long by 12 metres wide and the mixture of over 300 dahlias, 3 types of grasses, asters and agapanthus provide a mixture of colour and texture at the entrance to the premises.
In 2015 the left hand side of The Hot Bank was planted, creating a sloped border measuring 14m deep by 100m long, surely one of the longest perennial borders in the country?
In 2016 The Annual Border was developed as I have a passion for the incredible variety of colour and texture of annual flowers and had nowhere to put them. This huge border, which runs the whole length of the carpark, measures 80m long by 7m deep and flowers from June right through to the first frosts.
The Tropical Border, which sits behind the glass link between the 2 parts of the shop, was planted in 2017. This area was protected from frost and a perfect place to grow bananas, cannas and tender salvias, to name a few. In May 2020, the hottest week of the first lockdown, a small team of 4 people replanted the right hand side of The Bank. More on why we did this in an upcoming blog.
Behind the scenes
The polytunnel, which houses our tropical and nursery plants, is the focus of the winter month. It is a balance of keeping the frost out yet allowing ventilation in, to prevent powdery mildew.
At the moment we are looking after: 30 Agapanthus, 27 Eucomis, 33 Bananas, 50 Brugmansia, 550 Salvias, 105 Dahlias
Plant of the month
The borders are full of texture from the globe like seedheads of Phlomis, the spiky tops of Echinacea, feather-like top of the Micanthus and the mounds of Sedum. In the frost or snow of a wintery day they transform into garden sculptures.
- Reduce or stop watering plants in greenhouses or polytunnels
- Keep an eye on plants for powdery mildew
- Snuggle up with your seed and plant catalogues and plan your planting for the upcoming year.
In the News
This year the border in front of the shop windows will be replanted to highlight the wonderful Salvias that bring vibrant colour for so many months of the year.
Our gardening team is very small. Stephen is head gardener, when he is not making pottery, making cakes, serving in the café or helping in the shop. Nicky, a volunteer, does one day per week.
More help would be very welcome. Would you like to volunteer too, either on a regular basis or for one of our big plant outs? You will be reward by being surrounded with wonderful people and plants, along with a cuppa and some fabulous cake.
Contact Stephen Baughan via email at