Welcome to October, which has been relatively mild and bright so far...bear in mind that containers will still need watering for the next few weeks if it stays unseasonally dry.

                •We are now open on Sundays until Christmas, opening at 11 am 

                •We will continue opening on Saturdays from 10 am and closing at the later time of 6.30 pm, essentially to give customers more time at the end of the day to browse around the garden centre

               •We have moved on with the seasons to now offer autumn and winter bedding - pansies, primroses, small and large cyclamen, autumn and winter heathers etc

                •We are approaching Halloween and will be stocking extra large pumpkins with their 'tails' on from the middle of the month

                •The time has come to cut back herbaceous and perennial plants down to the ground if they have finished flowering as the foliage is beginning to go dormant

              •Our selection of tools from Spear & Jackson, the Kew Gardener collection, is one of the best available and has proved to be a great success with our landscapers and customers.        

              •Our cards from the Natural History Museum's Archivist collection are both beautiful and inexpensive and provide a lovely way to send a message with a floral gift. We have added ten new designs from Blume editions to add choices to our range which are equally as charming

              •We stock all the necessary components for irrigation systems from both Hozelock and Gardena. It is well worth checking that your automatic watering system is working correctly 

              •The box tree caterpillar has already re-appeared and we think it will yet again be a serious problem in this area. Check all your buxus plants and take action if necessary as soon as possible because delay will result in you losing your favourite plants. Continue to monitor the situation as there appears to be three or four life cycles of the Asian moth in a year. This could of course mean that three or more caterpillar 'attacks' might occur. Perhaps it is time to think of planting alternatives such as ilex crenata.

              It would probably be too hopeful to think that October will continue in this mild vein - but let's enjoy it while it lasts! Yet again we obviously have the need for more rain sooner than later.

                Happy gardening!

              Richard Hood