Today opened from 09:00 until 17:30

Your independent Plant Centre
for all the Family

  • Come and choose from our delicious breads and cakes this Christmas

  • Join us on Friday 30th November from 4pm until 8pm for our fabulous festive late night event!

  • We've fresh trees from 25th November, decorations and gifts in our dazzling Christmas Marquee

  • Enjoy a piping hot tea, coffee or chocolate on our heated Cafe´Terrace

  • The finest local ingredients for your Christmas dinner from our newly extended Farm Shop

  • We have a fantastic choice of gifts for all ages in our Christmas Marquee

  • All our sausages are made by our own Butcher

  • Enjoy tea, coffee and home-made lunches in our Cafe

  • Our Plant Centre has all you need for Autumn garden maintenance

  • We stock Regatta outdoor men's and womenswear

    Leaves: the final bounty of the gardening year

    Leaves: the final bounty of the gardening year

    The falling autumn leaves bring the final bounty of the gardening year: the raw materials for lovely, crumbly leafmould, one of the gardener’s best-kept secrets.

    Many people simply burn their autumn leaves on bonfires or dispose of them in the green waste, not realising they are throwing away one of the most precious resources in the garden. Leafmould is nature’s own soil conditioner, opening up clay soils and holding on to moisture in dry, free-draining sand or chalk. It is invaluable for mulching, especially woodland plants like spring bulbs, hostas and foxgloves, and for mixing into home-made composts. Best of all, it’s free.

    Now is the time to gather up your leaves from lawns and borders, using a spring-tined rake to avoid damaging plants. A hinged grabber helps save your back, lifting the leaves effortlessly from ground to wheelbarrow; you’ll find all the tools you need here at the garden centre 

    Once you’ve collected them, you’ll need somewhere to store them for a year or two while they rot down. It’s very straightforward to make yourself a simple leafmould bin: just bang four wooden posts into the ground in a rough square about 1m across, then staple chicken wire around it to make a box.

    If you haven’t room for a dedicated leafmould bin, use black bin liners instead. Puncture them with a garden fork so there are plenty of ventilation holes, and cram as many leaves into the bags as you can (they’ll lose much of their volume as they rot).

    Make sure the leaves are damp – tip a bucket or two of water over the top if the weather has been dry. Then simply leave them there for at least one year, and two if you have the patience. Over time they rot down into dark, crumbly leafmould that’s the gardener’s black gold.