Planting of Snowdrops “in the green”

Planting of Snowdrops “in the green”

Although the weather this week hasn’t been the best, there are signs that Spring is on its way, and one of the first signs of Spring is often the appearance of Snowdrops!

Snowdrops are on the Snowdrops CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) list of plants. You should always buy Snowdrops from a reliable stockist.

Recently we purchased some “Snowdrops in the green” to plant alongside some established bulbs for a client where we felt that they needed some extra, more mature plants.

“Snowdrops in the green” are snowdrops that have been lifted from the ground while they are still in leaf, but the flower is about to go over. This is done because they establish more readily than stored snowdrop bulbs.

If you’re thinking of planting these kinds of Snowdrops then it’s important to handle the plants carefully when transplanting and to plant them as soon as you get them, in order to to stop any deterioration, You should definitely do this within 72 hrs of delivery.

Sometimes, Snowdrops can be quite tricky to get established. They don’t always come up in the first year and they are an expensive bulb to buy.

We planted 2000 bulbs back in November in this area, but in order to ensure that our clients had ample snowdrops to look at this year, we also decided to plant to Snowdrops “in the green” as an extra, at our own expense, as we were not happy with the rate that the snowdrops were growing at from the current bulbs for this year’s crop. There are various reasons for bulbs not growing. It could be down to “bulb stress” or perhaps they have decided to stay dormant until next year due to later planting. So after consultation with our client, we decided to add more.

Here is Tony, demonstrating planting a clump of Snowdrops in the green.


Here are some guidelines for planting bulbs in the green:

  • Choose a semi-shade where the bulbs will not dry out.
  • Ensure that the soil is rich with well-rotted organic matter.
  • Plant about 75 bulbs per square metre, try and plant in drifts if possible.
  • Ensure that the bulbs are planted at the depth they were previously grown. The stalks will be white where they were in the ground. This is normally about 8-10cm.
  • Wait until the foliage has completely died back before mowing if they have been planted in grass areas.
  • Established snowdrops can be lifted and divided after flowering.

Take a look at a time lapse of our hard work planting Snowdrops!


If you are looking for help or guidance with planting bulbs for different times of the year on your property then please do get in touch as we’re always happy to help and advise, and we look forward to seeing those snowdrops appearing in the next few weeks too!

Mulching Your Garden in Winter

Mulching Your Garden in Winter

Any seasoned gardener knows that mulching can be beneficial for your garden, but if you’re wondering what mulching is, and how it can help your garden then keep reading!

Mulch is the commonly used term for any kind of material which is laid or spread as a covering, over the surface of soil or compost.

Mulching is the gardener’s friend and has many benefits including improving soil texture, reducing weeds, helping soils to retain moisture in the summer and acting as a barrier to other crops.

Mulching in the spring is beneficial as it feeds and warms the soil.

However, believe it or not, mulching in the winter is just as vital for your garden and is something which can have a huge effect on your plants.

Wondering why? Well, when the temperature drops and the freezing conditions hit, it’s just as important to mulch now, as it is in the spring.

Mulches used can either be Biodegradable or Non-Biodegradable. Biodegradable mulches include wood chippings, straw, rotted manure, and garden compost.

Non-Biodegradable Mulches include pebbles, shingle. Gravel, stone chippings, slate, sea shells, crushed CD’s and glass. All of these are more decorative and can make a nice feature of your garden.

The reasoning behind winter mulching is to keep the ground frozen by shielding it from the warmth of the sun. This will keep the plants dormant and the beds watertight. When the ground freezes and thaws, the soil expands and contracts. This will loosen roots and break away from the plant where they are anchored underground, pushing the crown up to the surface.

Freezing temperatures and drying wind can damage the exposed plants, so mulching during the winter helps to protect them. Most plants are dormant in the winter so not growing.

here is also a thing as too much mulch, like in this photo! Too much mulch applied over the root ball or resting against the trunk can cause problems for trees, especially when there is a large range in particle sizes.

Roots often grow up and into the mulch causing stem girdling roots which can kill trees. This is especially troublesome on trees planted within the last 10 to 20 years. In addition to causing problems described below, mulch can also hide decay and dead spots on the lower trunk and major roots. Decay in this portion of the tree can cause the tree to become unstable. Keep mulch about 12 to 18 inches from the trunk for any size of tree.



Give mulching a go and you’re guaranteed to see improved grass, plants and greenery come summer.

We’re always happy to advise on whether your plants need mulching, and if you need help with mulching in your garden then please do get in touch as we’re happy to carry this out for you. Why not give us a call to get booked in on 01438 728176.


Longacre to start Beekeeping!

Longacre to start Beekeeping!

Tony and Karen have been interested in getting into beekeeping for quite a while, and whilst on holiday last year, they visited Quince Bee farm in Devon which fuelled their passion for the hobby.

Coincidentally, one of our clients who owns one of the Gardens we maintain in Bramfield in Hertford was interested in having an Apiary built in their Garden and so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to help out our client and indulge in our new hobby too!

It’s always best to get expert advice when it comes to beekeeping and so we contacted the local bee association, who came along to our client’s site to give advice on where the best place for an Apiary would be.

Ideal Hive Locations include easy access to tend your hive, a nearby water source for bees to access, patches of sunlight available, minimal wind, and good drainage so that Bees don’t get wet. Hives should ideally be South East facing and have good ventilation around them.

The local beekeeping association were extremely helpful, and so we would always recommend contacting your local association if you are considering taking up beekeeping. We have now joined our local association.

Having chosen the site, we mapped out the area which was ideal for an apiary and laid a hard standing area with paving for up to five hives, with a work area next to each hive. We’ve also laid a base for a shed to hold all of the equipment needed.

It’s always important to consider the flowers which are planted around an Apiary, as you need flowers which will be a good source of nectar and pollen. Hawthorn Whip flowers often act as a “magnet” to bees who can easily access their pollen, and so we planted two hundred Hawthorn Whips around the area to create a bee friendly hedge, and then we also added a gate around the hives for protection.

Also, in this garden we have prepared a very large area to sow wildflower creating a huge sway of plants for the bees. We can’t wait for it to grow, as it will look so beautiful once it’s all in bloom!

Although these different areas have been created, bees don’t start actively building their colonies until the Spring and so currently the area is in cultivation in readiness for the first hive in April/May.

Tony and Karen are starting a beekeeping course in March, along with their clients and one of his sons, so that they are all equipped once the Apiary’s are started.

We look forward to sharing on our blog and social media channels how we’re getting on and how the Apiary’s are going, so keep an eye out for our updates.

If you’re interested in finding out more about building an Apiary on your property then we’re always happy to assist!


Winter Interest

Winter Interest

Add some winter interest to your garden with plants as they are at their best now. We can supply and plant for you

Prunus serrulate

Betula Papyrifera

Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Charles Lamont’

Chimonanthus Praecox

Carex Ooshimensis

Have your garden tidied for Christmas and the New Year

Have your garden tidied for Christmas and the New Year

Have your garden tidied for Christmas and the New Year

  • Paths and paving areas cleaned
  • Remove all the leaves and debris from the lawns. Leaving some in the garden from wildlife.
  • Cutting back any herbaceous perennials to ground as they begin to die back. Saving anything with attractive seed heads. They will look great when the frosted over.
  • Clip lawn edges
  • Give shrubs a prune to improve the structure.
  • Protect semi hardy plants with horticultural fleece.
  • Move pots into greenhouse, summerhouse and conservatories.
  • Remove dead, diseased or damaged branches, particularly with your trees. This will help to prevent stems from rubbing which can cause wounds to branches.
  • Empty compost bins and spread well-rotted organic material over the beds.
  • Replenish bins with this year’s waste ready to be next year’s goodness.
  • Tidy ponds and water features
  • Clean garden furniture
  • Repair garden structures.
Jobs to do in your garden in March

Jobs to do in your garden in March

Spring starts this March. Hopefully with more sunnier days to get out in the garden and the opportunity to increase the range of gardening tasks, like preparing seed beds, sowing seed, cutting back winter shrubs and generally tidying up around the garden

Slug Patrol

  • When planting up pots, plant with more sturdier plants rather than seedlings. Also try and use cloches where you can until they are strong enough to take a knock from the slugs having a munch on the plants.
  • Get a torch and walk around your garden in the evening, especially if it’s a damp evening and pick the slugs, place in a bucket or container and take them to a field or a hedgerow well away from your garden
  • Encouraged birds, frogs, toads, hedgehogs and other predators that love to feast on slugs.
  • Remove debris from you’re your garden exposing the slug eggs allowing the birds to eat them
  • Put traps around you garden. Jars part filled with beer and sink into the ground
  • For years people have used barrier methods i.e. gravel, bark or copper rings placed around pots. But a recent study by RHS in a garden-realistic scenario found no reduction in slug damage from barriers made of copper tape, bark mulch, eggshells, sharp grit or wool pellets.
  • Longacre’s favourite method is applying dry porridge oats to the ground. The slugs eat the porridge which dries them out. Leaving behind a lovely snack for the wild life in your garden

Plant summer-flowering bulbs

Just keep in mind of late frost before planting

Oriental Lily





Lift and divide overgrown clumps of perennials

Dividing perennials regularly will give a healthy and vigorous plant. They will continue to perform year after year. Lift plants gently with a garden fork, working outwards from the crown’s centre to limit root damage. Shake off excess soil so that roots are clearly visible

  • Some plants such as Ajuga produce individual plantlets which can simply be teased out and replanted
  • Small, fibrous-rooted plants such as Heuchera, Hosta and Epimedium can be lifted and pulled apart gently. Producing small clumps for replanting
  • Large, fibrous-rooted perennials, such as Hemerocallis (daylily) require two garden forks inserted into the crown back-to-back. levers to loosen and break the root crown into two sections. You can make further divisions.
  • In some plantings you can use a sharp knife or other sharp tool to divide into clumps
  • Plants with woody crowns, Helleborus or fleshy roots, Delphinium, require cutting with a spade or knife, making sure each clump has three to five healthy shoots



Plant divisions as soon as possible and water them in well. Or pot up individually Just keep in mind of late frost before division of plants

Start to cut to ground or comb oriental grasses

Cut down to where the new growth is showing. Some oriental grasses need last year’s growth comb out either using your fingers or a grass rake. Just keep in mind of late frost before cutting back

Cut back Cornus (dogwood) and Salix (willow) grown for colourful winter stems

When pruned hard, the regrow is vigorous producing more colourful stems that brighten up the garden in winter. Pruning group 7

Top dress containers with fresh compost

Apply a top dressing of fresh compost to all your pots and containers

First Mow of the year

Mowing your lawn is one of the most frequent and most important tasks to maintain a health lawn. Start your lawn mowing with a high cut on preferably dry grass if possible. Getting the cutting height and mowing frequency right can make a huge difference to the ongoing health of the lawn

Hoe and mulch weeds to keep them under control early

Start keeping weeds under control by using a hoe or hand weeding. To help suppress weed growth cover beds with an organic mulch. This will also help the ground to retain moisture.

Start feeding fish and using the pond fountain;
remove pond heaters

Remove any debris that’s fallen in to the pond over winter. Clean any filter, check pump it is working ok. Might be a good idea to check the water pH. Ideal pH is between 6.5 and 9. This can be done at any aquatic centre.

Prune bush and climbing roses

If you haven’t done it already prune all bush and climbing roses.

If you have any question or need advice, please to not hesitate to contact us either by leaving a message via the website or ring on 07895 585 605