The Crowders team and a few guests recently met up at Doncaster Race Course to enjoy a little dabble on the horses and live music in the evening from McFly.
The race day brought together staff and families from the different parts of the company and allowed us to get together in a relaxing and fun atmosphere.
Some of the younger guests even got to meet McFly in person backstage thanks to Ben Crowder who is a old school friend of Harry Judd, the drummer from McFly.
Back Stage with McFly
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Ideal Plants for this Autumn
Autumn is a great time in the garden; the natural time for planting trees, shrubs, herbaceous, perennials, roses and climbers. To help them off to a good start in your garden, dig in plenty of compost or other soil improver, not forgetting to add a slow release fertiliser such as bonemeal which will encourage healthy root growth for lively and flourishing plants this autumn.
Liquidamber Autumn Colours
Autumn Bulbs Season
September is now the time to buy spring flowering bulbs such as Daffodils, Tulips and Crocus. Buying your bulbs now ensures you get the best possible choice while we still have plenty in stock for you to choose from and also the best quality, as old bulbs can deteriorate causing them to not flower in spring or worse, rot away over winter. As with shrubs and other plants, bulbs will appreciate a slow release fertiliser too, so when spring arrives they are well established and bring plenty of colours to your garden.
Bulbs Display for Christmas
Prepared hyacinths and indoor Narcissus should be planted now for great indoor displays for Christmas. Plant prepared hyacinths in shallow pots or bowls leaving the neck of the bulb above the compost. Place the bowl in a dark and cool place such as a garden shed or outbuilding for 10-14 weeks. Once they have started to grow flower buds they can then be moved into the house where they will flower in time for Christmas (cooler rooms allows the flowers to last longer).
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Our very own Nursery here at Horncastle, Lincolnshire has recently supplied the Olympic Park with £150,000 worth of trees and shrubs after beating off heavy competition. Crowders Nurseries has often been successful in supplying and winning large contracts such as the planting for the channel tunnel rail link many years ago which was worth a cool £1 million.
Crowders Olympic Bid
Competition for the Olympic Park scheme came from 3 heavy weight English nurseries so success helps to bolster Crowders Nurseries standing in the sector. The bidding started 4 years ago and has finally come to fruition.
Following the London 2012 Games, the Olympic Park is set to become the biggest public park in Europe and the planting contract for the legacy phase has yet to be awarded and is expected to be worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.
The Managing Director of Crowders, Simon Ellis, said: “It’s great to have been a part of the Olympics and the work has been very important for the company going forward.”
“These big deals are not very common. It really has been a bumper year which has provided us with security following the recession.”
“We really suffered during the recession. But recently, as a result of good business, we have been able to create several jobs, including some apprenticeships.”
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We care about all of our customers and we will always try our best to process and deliver your order as fast and efficiently as possible. We offer help and advice where it is needed and do our best to provide good customer service to all.
Sometimes problems do arise, but we will try our best to rectify these as quickly and where ever reasonably possible, keeping you informed along the way.
Here is what some of our customers have said:
Just a few words to let you know how pleased I am with my order from you which I received yesterday.I found you by chance but I will be back for more goods in the not too distant future.
Sheila – Merseyside
although we have never ordered any plants from you before, we were very impressed with the whole experience, right from the initial order through to the delivery, your staff (Rudi) were very thoughtfull in keeping us updated with the progress of the order, the packaging of the plants was exceptionally good, all in all, first class!!!!
Nearly forgot to mention, the plants arrived in excellent condition and are very nice specimens!
You can be sure that when we require plants in the near future, you will be the first port of call!
Kay & Dave – Middlesex
Thank you ever so much for our tree, we are very happy with it and the service we have received from Crowders – thank you!
Amanda – Hampshire
A breath of fresh air in the heart of London! The Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden shows how easily it is to create a living tranquil retreat in the most unlikely of space. Only a few minutes’ walk from the London eye the roof garden flourishes with fruit, vegetables and wild flowers. The wildflower meadow in the centre of the garden contains over 100 species of native plants and grasses which attracts butterflies and insects.
The roof garden features a lush lawn with seating area overlooking the river Thames, a café with outdoor seating serving drinks and light bites. The main attraction for me was the inclusion of a patchwork vegetable garden containing large wooden raised beds with runner beans, courgettes, many salad crops and loads more! The eclectic mix shows just what can be achieved in the most unlikely of places.
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Remember to check roses regularly for pests and blackspot and other diseases, and spray if necessary with a recommended fungicide and/or insecticide such as Rose Clear Ultra. And if your garden is in need of some flower power, roses are the perfect solution.
If your family is already getting bored of the summer holidays, entertain them in the safety of your own garden. You can find lots of excellent garden games and other equipment to turn parts of your garden into a fun playground. Such as giant garden dominoes or even a Badminton set.
Many summer-flowering plants that have finished flowering can be cut back now and may produce further flushes of flowers. After pruning give the plants a quick pick-me-up by watering on a high potash liquid feed or sprinkle Fish Blood and Bone around the base of the plant. You can find a great range of gardening tools online such as Fiskars pruners which are ideal for the average gardener.
Rhododendrons, camellias and azaleas will be setting their flower buds for next year, so it’s important that they never go short of water at this time of year or the flower buds may fail next spring. Feeding with a liquid ericaceous feed will also produce more and better flowers. Mulching with bark or similar products will help maintain soil moisture levels and insulate the roots from damaging high temperatures.
Make sure your plants produce a display to be proud of by giving them just the right amount of water they need. Well-established plants may not need regular watering but newly planted ones, bedding plants and plants in containers will need regular watering. There are many new products that will make your watering quick and easy this summer, such as the Hozelock auto reel, which automatically rolls back up when you have finished watering.
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The Meteor BBQ Great Value?
The Meteor Barbecue from Outback was introduced in 2011 and is designed to fill the gap in the Outback range between the Omega gas barbecues and the Excelsior and Spectrum at the high spec end of the range. With more features than the Excelsior 3 burner but for a lot less money, something has to be missing from the Meteor right?
Meteor Barbecue Great Value?
The Outback Meteor barbecue includes;
1, Main cooking area: 61 × 44.5 cm.
2, Porcelain coated cast iron grills x 2.
3, Porcelain coated warming rack.
4, Stainless steel burners x 4
5, porcelain-enamelled ‘flavorizer’ bars.
6, Built-in thermometer.
7, Electronic ignition.
8, Front panel with storage tray
9, Gas side burner.
11, Dimensions – 130 × 21.5 × 121 cm.
12, Recommended fuel: Propane gas (not included)
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Cast Iron Chimeneas
One of the best things about Cast Iron Chimeneas is the amount of heat that can be given out, you can fire Cast Iron Chimeneas to the maximum with no fear of cracking or breaking (although the finish may damage). Cast Chimeneas can be left out in all weathers and as the heat dissipates very quickly through the metal it will quickly warm the patio all around the body.
Cast Iron Chimeneas
To keep your Chimenea looking great keep oily rags handy to wipe over your Chimenea when cool to help protect the Chimenea from excessive rusting. If the Chimenea is fired to high temperatures the heat resistant paint used to colour the Cast Iron Chimenea may burn off, but can be repainted with any high temperature paint if you wish, although most people like the antique effect of a well-used Chimenea!
Quick tips: Wipe over with an oily rag after use. Use any heat resistant paint to touch up. Lift by the base not the funnel.
Don’t forget, Cast Iron Chimeneas get very hot in use and should not be touched for some time afterwards.
Clay Chimeneas are commonly classed as the best looking of all chimeneas and work in quite a different way to cast Iron. Within Clay Chimeneas the heat builds and is slowly released through the Chimenea walls which radiates slower than Cast Iron.
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“We were all chuffed to bits when we heard that we’d won!” quotes Managing Director, Mark Doughty of Doughty Cakes Ltd, Lincoln.
The Winning Picture Sisyrinchium Rocky Point
“We heard about Crowders exciting “Clickety Snap” photography competition during our recent drive to approach local garden centres with our latest range of locally sourced & own label cakes. A couple of members of staff decided that they would like to submit an entry to the online competition. We have some keen gardeners in our midst so between them they emailed their submission. To be fair, we didn’t think that we would hear anything more, so it came as even more of a surprise when we’d heard that we had actually won!”
Doughty Cakes plans to spend their online voucher “winnings” of £200.00 by purchasing a fantastic gas barbeque by Outback. “So that we can re-introduce our summer family fun-day for staff and their families, everyone gets to bring their kids, we hire a bouncy castle and we all head outside and hope for the best from the British weather!”
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Ceanothus Concha flower close up
Now’s the time to take semi-ripe cuttings from some of your favourite shrubs like Hebe’s, Rosemary, Weigela, Ceanothus and Hydrangeas. Take the cuttings from the current year’s growth just below a leaf, remove the leaves from the lower half of the cutting and dip the end in rooting hormone. Then insert the cuttings in pots of cuttings compost. Cover the pots with a polythene bag or put them in a propagator and place somewhere warm and sheltered but out of strong, direct sunlight. They should be ready to pot on in a few weeks. Don’t forget to pick up everything you need when shopping to ensure perfect cuttings including pots, cuttings compost, dibbers, rooting hormone, labels and propagators.
To get the most from wisteria it’s important to build up a good framework of permanent branches to cover the support, so make sure you tie in stems as they grow. And now’s the time to give your wisteria its summer prune. Cut back all this year’s leafy side shoots to five to seven leaflets. After pruning feed with a potash-rich granular feed such as a rose fertiliser. And if you were jealous of everyone else’s wisterias earlier this year then get buying and planting today, wisterias can take many years to flower so the longer you leave it the longer you are without beautiful wisteria blooms. Remember they need a spot in full sun and a sturdy trellis or similar for support.
Weeds can soon take over the garden and not only do they look unsightly, but they can smother your prized plants, steal valuable water and nutrients from the soil and become hosts to pests and diseases. Now’s the time for an all-out assault on them using a hoe for annuals and small weeds, mulches and planting membranes to keep beds and borders permanently weed free and weedkillers to stop even the most persistent weeds taking over. Use a weedkiller based on Glyphosate for persistent, deep-rooted perennials.
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