View our News Archive for a selection of news items and articles from our old website Jan 2000 to November 2002
Marcus Harpur visited the nursery to run a garden photography course. Marcus's stunning photographs appear in many of the gardening and home interest magazines & he was able to pass on his knowledge and expertise to the group. Below is a sample of some of the stunning pictures our budding photographers took of plants on the nursery!
Life is busy on the nursery as we start to despatch mail orders, particularly Erythroniums, that were placed with us at Chelsea and in the spring. The team are also busy with propagation, seed collection and taking cuttings of a wide variety of plants.
Many of the late summer perennials and grasses are looking absolutely stunning on the nursery right now so we thought we would share some pictures with you of our Echinacea 'Bradfield Hybrids', Agapanthus africanus, Stipa gigantea, Aster frikartii 'Monch', Cardoon and our Anemone sylvestris that are currently enjoying their second showing. Do come along a take a look in person!
We are also busy collecting all the fruit and vegetables we have been growing ready for use in The Orchard Room! On this weeks menu we have home grown corn on the cob, new potatoes & delicious fresh raspberries. Our beautiful flowers also put in an appearance every week, take a look at these stunning Dhalias.
Dhalis, cut this morning for display in The Orchard Room
Congratulations to the team for their Silver Gilt winning display at Hampton Court. There has been a lot of hard work to create a really stunning and vibrant display!
Hampton Court 2013 Hampton Court 2013
4 July 2013
After our success at Gardeners World Live we are really looking forward to Hampton Court Flower Show next week! It looks like we are in for a heat wave at last & the team are working really hard to prepare the plants for our stand and keeping everything well watered in preparation for warmer weather!
The team have also been busy with garden design projects and are producing some really stunning results!
We are delighted to be awarded a Gold Medal for our stunning display at Gardeners World Live 2013! Congratulations to the whole team for all their hard work! Just 3 weeks to recover and then off to Hampton Court!
Gardeners World Live 2013
22 May 2013
After a lot of hard work and effort we have been awarded a Silver Gilt for our stand at Chelsea 2013. Well done to the team for another fantastic display!
17 May 2013
Things have gone well on the nursery this week and the plants for Chelsea are looking stunning! We have some wonderful plants to exhibit and we look forward to sharing the photographs on the website of the finished display. Wish us luck for judging on Monday!
For those of you that are not venturing to Chelsea, we have decided to bring the flavours of the show to Harveys Garden Plants for our special Flavours of Chelsea Weekend. We will be building a special display at the nursery based on the plants we are using on our stand at Chelsea & there will be some special large show plants available for sale. Please come & join us on Friday 24, Saturday 25 or Sunday 26 May, entrance is free.
1 May 2013
April was a busy month on the nursery and we had an excellent turn out for our special gardening in woodland and shade days.
As the weather has improved we are getting ready for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show which is just a few weeks away! We are aiming for Gold again this year so please do come and see us on our stand if you are attending the show (21st to 25th May).
It will be a busy few weeks as we will also be attending the Helmingham Hall Spring Fair on Sunday the 26th May!
21 March 2013
We are as busy as ever on the nursery and this month sees us busy tidying the borders around the nursery in the hope that spring will eventually arrive!
We are also well underway with our preparations for our 'Chicken Day' taking place on Sunday 14th April from 10am until 3.00pm. This year is looking to be even bigger & better than previous years with a wide selection of chickens, geese, swans, ducks and quail for you to see. Entrance is £2.50, click on the link above for more information.
22 February 2013
Our 'A Celebration of Snowdrops' event on the 2nd February was a great success and a lot of fun for all who attended. We are already planning a date to hold the same event next year!
It has been a frantically busy few weeks on the nursery. This week we were in London at the Plant & Design Show and came away with a Silver Gilt award for our display.... well done team! It was then straight back to the nursery to prepare for our special Hellebore days, 'Colour in the winter Garden' that we are holding this weekend, Friday 22nd, Saturday 23rd & Sunday 24th February. We have wonderful displays of Hellebores, snowdrops and much more and some great special offers on plants and pots too. Entrance is free and we are open from 9.30am - 4.30pm so why not come along and join us. You can find more information about the programme for each day by clicking on the link above.
25 January 2013
This week we are busy preparing for our 'A Celebration of Snowdrops' event being held next Saturday 2nd February. We are delighted to be welcoming to the nursery some renowned collectors, Glen Chantry, Matt Bishop, Avon Bulbs & Michael Broadhurst. There will be rare species and cultivar on display and for sale. Bookings in the Orchard Room are to be recommended as it looks like this is going to be a very popular event!
Our 2013 calendar of events is now online and already, courses are booking up quickly so please contact us to reserve places to avoid disappointment.
8 November 2012
Update on the tree planting day - coming soon
14 October 2012
This week we bade farewell to Val, our Office Administrator, who has decided to retire. We wish her well; we will miss her cheery present. However, I am delighted to say we have found a wonderful lady to take over running the office; Louise joined us last week and has made a great start.
Seven years ago we planted 750 trees in our lower field to create a woodland, these are growing well. As part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations native trees have been made available for creating community woodlands. Thanks to the efforts of our local tree warden, Barbara Morris, our village, Thurston, has been given 120 trees which will be planted to extend our establishing woodland. Visitors to the nursery are welcome to walk in this area. These new trees will be planted on Saturday 17 November and if anyone would like to come along and help they would be most welcome - free coffee and cakes for all volunteers! Recently we have extended the size of our natural pond near the woodland; it is now more than twice its original size. We have many more plans for the development of the lower field, with the joint aims of maintaining and improving the habitat for local wildlife and creating an environment for visitors to enjoy.
6 September 2012
We are enjoying some glorious autumn days on the nursery; the flower borders are full of colour and interest and we have an abundance of produce to use in The Orchard Room - so much so we are offering the surplus for sale. We have Special Autumn Open Days at the nursery this Friday and Saturday so why not come along to take a look, perhaps to enjoy a delicious meal in our wonderful Orchard Room and to pick up some expert hints and tips from our knowledgeable staff. Next Tuesday we have a cookery course called 'Preserving One's Assets' - it is about making the most of the exuberance of produce in the gardens at this time of year - plums, pears apples, runner beans and more. If you are interested please telephone us on 01359 233363 for more details.
1 June 2012
The chicks have hatched! We bought some fertilised eggs on our Chicken day and have 8 chicks so far - pictures will be posted on facebook this weekend.
The nursery will be closed on Monday 4 June and Tuesday 5 June, but welcome visitors as usual over the weekend both at the nursery and in The Orchard Room, our cafe restaurant.
28 May 2012
Celebrations are in order as we have been awarded a Gold Medal for our display of woodland and shade plants at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this week. The display was built by Roger Harvey, Jan Cavell and Helen Christie, but this could not have been achieved without the hard work and dedication of the whole nursery team including our jolly band of volunteers. Well done to everyone!
Our gold medal winning display of Woodland and Shade Plants at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012
Our gold medal winning display of Woodland and Shade Plants at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012
We have also been busy at the nursery - In the Orchard Room, Head Chef, Scott, has a new ice cream maker and is whipping up some delicious ice creams for us all and we have a new recruit - Bertie, a yellow labrador puppy, who will be assisting Dora with the meeting and greeting, when he is not napping..........
Dora and Bertie Taking a nap........
28 March 2012
This warm weather is bringing plants on early at the nursery and in the gardens. Daffodils are in full flower and the tulips are beginning to appear also. We had a good hellebore and snowdrop season especially in view of the extremely cold weather in February.
Our woodland plants are showing and starting to flower, I just hope we can hold enough back for Chelsea.
We have a marvellous feature in April edition of the RHS magazine "The Garden" written by Roy Lancaster; 4 pages of wonderful prose and Tim Sandal's excellent pictures. Roy captures the essence of our nursery and much more. We have also been featured in the March 2012 edition of The English Garden and a couple of weeks ago we were listed as one of the 'Best 50 Garden Centres' in the country by The Independent newspaper.
My book Designing Beds and Borders has at last been published by Crowood and has been well received. The publisher tells me that they are delighted with sales so far as they have exceeded expectations by a long way. It is available on-line from Waterstones, Amazone etc. and most good bookshops and signed copies from the nursery. We will also be promoting my book at the RHS Flower shows this year.
The asparagus is starting to pop through, incredible for March, and our chef Scot is delighted; we are also picking forced pink rhubarb.
We will have some surplus rhubarb for sale this week if this weather continues!!
5 January 2012
Wishing everyone a happy and healthy 2012. We have lots of exciting things to look forward to on the nursery, but will be glad when these strong winds abate. At the nursery we have many snowdrops in flowers and a number of hellebores too. This mild winter (so far) means we are likely to be in for an early season.
We have now updated all our dates for the 2012 season on this website. Take a look at the Talks/Shows/Events pages for more details. We are running some of our established course, but have introduced several new ones including Everyday Flowers with Paula Pryke and Roger Harvey. At this joint talk both Paula and Roger will be signing copies of their new books, 'Everyday Flowers' and 'Designing Beds and Borders', respectively. We are also holding a Pumpkin Day in the October half term for youngsters. Additionally, Teresa Harvey and Head Chef, Scott Dutton, will be running a number of cookery sessions throughout the year with the emphasis is on active participation of the attendees which makes them great fun.
We are eagerly awaiting delivery of two summer houses from Scott's of Stow - the plan is for them to be erected next week and we will be acting as an agent for Scott's of Stow who make a range of delightful garden buildings.
One of our New Year's resolutions is to add more photos to our facebook pages Harveys Garden Plants and The Orchard Room. If you take a look at the nursery's facebook page you will see a beautiful sunset, a robin bathing in Dora's water bowl and some of our magnificent snowdrops.
18 November 2011
There has been much going on at the nursery recently. We enjoyed welcoming some international students who enjoyed a day in the country learning about seeds, plants, bees, orchards and much more. We have also run courses for the general public on garden photography, clematis and putting the borders to bed which all of which proved popular. Our Christmas Wreath course if full, but we have added a second course so there some spaces still available. We are just putting the final touches to our calendar for 2012 and will post details of it online as soon as possible.
Janet, Helen and Chris have been getting to grips with the large beds in the bottom field and done a fantastic job. Roger plans to add a snowdrop bank to this area too. The 750 trees we planted in the lower field back in 2007 have made excellent progress this year, but not all have made it so we hope to be planting some replacements soon.
We have a host of amazing nerines in flower at the moment, and some for sale including some big clumps for instant gardening!
This time of year part of the nursery team are often out and about working on our garden design projects - we have a number in development including private gardens and a large commercial project - so there is never a dull moment.
The Orchard Room, our award winning cafe/restaurant, is offering a special seasonal menu throughout December and is available for private functions as well. Please telephone 01359 233363 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like details.
7 September 2011
This year we have decided to offer some bulbs for sale. We have a good selection ranging from prepared hyacinths, through narcissi and crocus to some more rare offerings such as Amaryllis merengue - available now.
We are busy sorting out our calendar of events for next year - if you have any suggestions or requests for talks or events please do get in touch with us. All sensible suggestions considered.........
Our borders still have a great deal of colour and interest in them. We have recently produced a map of our 10 acre site to give our visitors more information and enjoyment. It's a good start, but it is a prototype and we have already thought of several ways of improving it so bear with us!
21 August 2011
It has been a beautiful weekend here on the nursery - makes it even more of a pleasure to come to work. This lovely dry day has meant it is an ideal time to be collecting seeds for future propagation.
We are delighted to write that Chris Wiley has now officially joined us as an apprentice nurseryperson. He has been a student worker with us for some time and we are glad he is now here on a more permanent basis. Chris will be mainly learning on the job, but will have regular assessments and projects. he will also go into Otley College occasionally.
Chris Wiley, Apprentice Nurseryperson
Chris was recently a brilliant help with our recent fund raising event -he managed to get many super prizes donated for the raffle. We held a function in memory of Brenda Waker, our Office Administrator, who died so sadly and suddenly last Christmas Eve. There was guided walk in our local wildlife area, a nursery tour, Pimms and canapés on the South Terrace followed by a delicious two course meal in The Orchard Room with a fun quiz. We also planted an elm tree in memory of Brenda in our meadow. We base the event around all the things Brenda loved so it was a poignant occasion, especially for Brenda's family, but we all knew what Brenda would say 'get on with it you lot and make sure you have a good time' - she was so good at living in the moment. Astonishingly we raised £1500 which will be shared between Thurston 1st Responders and the Stroke Association so A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who supported us.
20 July 2011
We are delighted to have appointed Jan Cavell as our new Nursery Manager. Many of you will know Jan as she has been working with us on the nursery for several years and she is usually on our stands at the flower shows. As well as being a keen plantswoman Jan has managerial experience in a number of other walks in life so we are confident she will have much to offer in her new role.
Jan Cavell, Nursery Manager, Harveys Garden Plants
Well this mixed weather has brought the much needed rain, but fortunately we have also had many sunny days to enjoy the gardens which are looking glorious. We are hoping for good weather on Saturday 6 August when we are holding a fun fundraising event in memory of Brenda Waker, our much loved Office Administrator who died suddenly last December. There will be a guided walk in our local wildlife area followed by drinks and canapes in the gardens and a meal and fun quiz in The Orchard Room. We are also having a raffle and already have some great prizes donated - details to follow. The charities who will benefit from this event are the Stroke Association and Thurston First Responders. See our Facebook pages Harveys Garden Plants and The Orchard Room for details of the event and how to join in.
25 June 2012
This week we have enjoyed welcoming many gardeners to the nursery including a gardening club who enjoyed a talk and tour of the nursery and gardens by Roger Harvey. We are also meeting many friends, both old and new, at the Cottesbrook Hall Plant Fair.
The team had a great time last week at the Gardeners' World Live Show at Birmingham and we were awarded a gold medal for our sumptuous display. You may have seen Monty Don on the Gardeners' World television programme buying some plants from Jan at our stand. Now our student worker, Chris, is 16 he is able to get involved with the shows, which he loved. Chris, a passionate gardener, will be joining us as an apprentice this summer, which we are looking forward to.
We wish to thank Nigel Kaines of Designs on Metal our local Blacksmith www.designsonmetal.co.uk for the loan of some lovely Scrolls which complemented our planting of Verbena bonariensis, Sanguisorba officianalis 'Arnhem', Chephalaria gigantea, (which Monty bought) and the grass Calamagrostris acutiflora 'Karl Foerster' as the pictures below indicates. These are all tall self supporting plants.
Three images of our gold medal winning display at the Gardeners' World Live Show 2011
Our gardens are looking fabulous especially the newly planted horse-shoe borders, which were enjoyed by the wedding party last week-end. Some photos of the wedding can be seen at Harveys Garden Plants and The Orchard Room Facebook pages
We are currently attending Cottesbrooke Hall Flower Show, and Kevin and I were delighted to meet so many existing and new customers, and look forward to seeing them at the nursery soon. This is a most attractive flower show set in beautiful parkland and lake in front of Cottesbrooke Hall. The gardens are special too.
Hampton Court Palace Flower Show is coming along soon. The BBC researchers have asked if they can film next weekend for the preview programme but I am hoping I do not end up on the cutting room floor this time!!
28 May 2011
Well the last day of the Chelsea Flower Show today. Right now Roger and the team will be busy with the sell off (always fun) and then it will be time to dismantle our wonderful display and head back to the nursery. We were delighted to be awarded a silver gilt medal for our display, but a little disappointed to have just missed out on a gold. The visitors to our stand were really enthusiastic about our range of beautiful plants - all suitable for woodland and shade - we appreciated all your fabulous comments.
It's not home for a rest though, tomorrow we will be at the Bury St Edmunds Flower Market (for two days) and the Plant Heritage Plant Sale at Helmingham Hall. We look forward to seeing many keen gardeners at both events. Additionally at the nursery we will be holding a course where participants will make a willow plant support.
19 April 2011
This week we are looking forward to a visit from Roy Lancaster on Thursday. Kevin is busy propagating by taking soft wood cuttings and Jan is getting our plants ready for Chelsea - this hot weather presents us with quite a challenge. Tomorrow Marcus Harpur is running a morning's course on Garden Photography. If you've missed this one it will be repeated on Thursday 29 September.
Our salad and vegetable crops are doing well - asparagus tart will definitely be on The Orchard Room menu this week.
1 April 2011
We enjoyed exhibiting at the RHS London Show this week and were delighted to be awarded a silver gilt medal. The theme of the show was that of a flower market which Jan, who manned the stall, enjoyed.
We are looking forward to our Special Woodland Open Days next week Today Diana leaves us as she is moving to Brighton. She has done a grand job in helping us out as a temporary Office Administrator and we wish her well. We are delighted to have appointed Val Trivett as our new permanent Office Administrator. Val is only able to join us on a part time basis until July (after that she will be with us full time) so meanwhile Alley, who works on the nursery, will be helping out in the office too.
22 March 2011
This wonderful warm weather is bringing our extensive range of epimediums along well. We are looking forward to showing them at the RHS London Show next month. Janet is doing a grand job at keeping the gardens looking good too - such an exciting time of year with so much promise.
Now is a good time to be planting trees we now a good range of trees available for sale on the nursery.
8 March 2011
Last week we held the first of our greenhouse gardening course - making good use of our Alton Cedar Greenhouse. Every-one who attended the course was delighted with the day, and has booked on part two which is is on 6 April 2011. Lots of tips and innovative ideas to maximise the use of your greenhouse. In part two we shall cover the growing of successful tomatoes and other green house crops in detail. Sometimes simple tips make all the difference to growing fantastic crops.
The courses run by Suffolk Gardening School are filling fast, so don't delay in booking your favourite course.
Thank you to Harpenden Gardening Club for inviting me to talk on Woodland and Shade plants, yesterday evening. We had a few laughs and I thoroughly enjoyed the evening.
4 March 2011
A beautiful sunny day on the nursery, lovely to see so many gardeners today including members of the Ely Garden Club. We have just created a facebook page to help us keep everyone up to date with happenings at the nursery. We welcome your comments on the page too. The Orchard Room is also on facebook and the menu is posted on there each week.
20 January 2011
Wonderful mild weather at the moment - quite different to this time last year. The hellebores, (and especially Helleborus Winter Sunshine) are coming into flower and early snowdrops are appearing too. We are busy tidying the borders so we can see the early spring bulbs as they immerge.
Our special offer of One Helleborus Winter Sunshine and one Helleborus Winter Moonbeam and two free special snowdrops is also being well received.
Customers are booking on courses with the Suffolk Gardening School, and taking advantage of our Early Bird booking discount. Don't miss out as this offer ends on 28th February.
We are sowing early vegetables especially leaf lettuce for cutting, peas and beans, in our Alto Cedar greenhouse. For more information please see my Gardeners Greenhouse Diary at Alton Greenhouses.
We are fortunate that we have found a lovely and well organised lady, Diana, to help us out temporarily in the office. We will be looking to recruit a new Office Administrator soon. On the nursery we have two new members of staff joining us - Helen and Alley so welcome to them both. In The Orchard Room our apprentice chef, Andrew started with us at the New Year and he has made a cracking start.
Roger will be on the Lesley Dolphin show on Radio Suffolk this afternoon - he is enjoying his monthly gardening spots on her show. Roger has also been burning the midnight oil to finish writing his book - he is almost there now. You might have seen a feature on Roger in the February edition of the Country Living magazine. As well as the article, there are some beautiful photographs of our hellebores and a full page picture of Roger - which we have put up in The Orchard Room - February's pin up boy!
We are planning a fund raising event for the Stroke Association in the summer in memory of Brenda. We do not have a firm date yet or detailed plans, except we know we want it to be fun.
It is with great sadness that I write of the sudden death of Brenda Waker, our Office Administrator. Brenda became ill at work on 21 December and died on Christmas Eve in Addenbrook's Hospital. As you can imagine we are all devastated and still reeling. Our foremost thoughts are for Brenda's husband, Roy and her family, but it is a great loss to us, both personally and professionally.
Brenda was an amazing person who became a good friend in the short time we knew her (18 months). As a excellent listener she was always there to lend people support as needed, without intruding. She tackled major projects and routine tasks with the same positivity. Brenda loved her job and had a great deal to give, but she also loved that it left her plenty of time for her first priority, her family. One thing is for sure, our lives were enriched by knowing 'practically perfect Brenda', as I sometimes called her. Brenda was really good at living in the moment and making the most of life so we are trying to remain positive.
20 December 2010
We would like to congratulate one of our employees, Chris Wiley, on winning two competitions which have benefitted Harveys Garden Plants. Firstly Chris won us some advertising time on Heart Radio - you may have heard the adverts going out recently. Last week a team from Heart radio turned up at the nursery - Chris had won a second competition; this time it was for mince pies to be brought into the business of your choice. Unfortunately Chris was not working when the team came in as he is still at school and just works with us on Saturdays, but we are very much looking forward to Chris joining us as a nursery apprentice later in 2011.
Roger, Brenda, Jan and Kevin enjoying mince pies, courtesy of Heart Radio
Competition winner, Chris Wiley
11 December 2010
Our galanthus list for 2011 is now online. As you can see we have twenty two new cultivars to offer this year.
The past week or two have been really busy with many courses running at the nursery; hardy gardeners joined us to learn about pruning of fruit trees, some beautiful wreaths and Christmas decorations were made in the barn under the guidance of Paula Pryke and Rachel Desira and in the Orchard Room we had great fun making Christmas Gifts from the Pantry. We are just finalising our 2011 Calendar and will be sending a copy to everyone on our mail list in early January.
28 November 2010
Well the weather is certainly seasonal now - we have a light dusting of snow and it is certainly picturesque, though rather chilly. Fortunately it is warm and cosy in The Orchard Room where, in addition to our regular menu we are now serving roasts dinners on Sundays.
We are delighted to welcome Kevin Aldous to the nursery as a Nursery Supervisor. Kevin has many years experience of growing plants and is a great addition to the team.
On the nursery we are pleased to report we now have a beautiful Alton Greenhouse. Roger is writing a diary on how we are using the greenhouse which you can see by following this link. http://www.altongreenhouses.co.uk/alton-greenhouse-growers-diary/85-gardeners-diary/157-part-
Our Alton greenhouse at the nursery
This coming week we are running a teaching session on pruning apple and pear tress which is now fully booked, but we do still have some spaces on our courses for making Christmas Wreaths and table decorations. Please phone Brenda Waker on 01359 233363 for more details. One of the courses is run by the world famous florist, Paula Pryke, who was at the nursery last week on a photo shoot for her latest book 'Everyday Flowers'.
Our calendar of events and courses has just gone to the printers and we will be sending it out to everyone on our mailing list in December. If you would like to receive a copy please email email@example.com or telephone 01359 233363. The dates will be put online shortly.
It is good to reflect on all we have achieved at the nursery in the past year, but also to think ahead to all we have planned for 2011. The dates of all our courses and events are now online. Our Galanthus list for 2011 will be published in the next week or so. If you are on our mail list you will be sent one by email or by post. If you would like to receive one please email Brenda Waker
The Orchard Room Team - Brenda, Della, Matt, Teresa and Jo
We are delighted to report The Orchard Room has won the title of Best Informal Dining venue in the EADT Food and Drink Awards 2010. This is a superb achievement which reflects on the the hard work and dedication of the whole team. Here are the judges comments;
‘a hidden gem created with passion ! Food miles are nonexistent it is more food metres as a lot of the ingredients used are grown on site and nothing is wasted. Nothing was too much trouble for the well informed staff. Selection of food on the menu was fantastic and very affordable, the new chef had created some superb dishes and even drinks including homemade lemonade. Each dish was unique to the Orchard Room and creativity was in abundance.’
Recently we have held cookery sessions on autumn soups, jams, jellies and curds and teatime treats. Next week we will be teaching Chutneys and Relishes on Wednesday 6 October - places still available if you are interested. Entertaining in Winter is fully booked, but we are hoping to run a second session so do contact us if you are interested in this one too.
On the nursery, between the heavy rain showers, we have had some beautiful autumn days and the gardens are looking magnificent. Next week our Alton greenhouse arrives which we are really excited about.
23 August 2010
As always there is plenty happening at the nursery and in The Orchard Room.
-The building work to improve out sales area in the tunnel is progressing well. We are looking forward to offering our customers some much improved facilities. We are also looking to recruit a new member of staff to fill a new position
We would like to thank everyone who voted for The Orchard Room in the EADT Suffolk Food and drink Awards. Your vote really did count as we have made it to the final three. The judges will be visiting us soon and the winner will be announced on 30 September 2010. Matt, our new head chef has settled in quickly and is producing some delicious food as well as making some chutneys with our seasonal produce.
7 August 2010
We have had Mac here with his diggers this week. Developments on the nursery include a base being laid for our Alton greenhouse which will be arriving soon. W are pleased to be writing a 'Greenhouse Grower's Diary' for Alton Greenhouses - more details to follow soon. Mac has also dug out our heavily overgrown pond in the lower field (a job we have been looking forward to getting done since we moved to our present site) and started creating our planned snowdrop bank.
The nursery team have also been adding more plants to the large borders we are developing in the lower field.
Our signage is improving! We now have a tourist brown sign at the entrance to the nursery and at the junction in Norton. This has been in the pipeline for quite a while so it is great they have finally arrived. We have also got some new signs around the nursery and are making improvements to the sales tunnel; e will be making the floor smoother and building a designated sales point. Teresa has acquired an old blackboard so that has been put to use in the tunnel to provide up to date information for customers.
Next week we will be exhibiting at a brand new RHS Flower Show at Hyde Hall on 13-15 August.
In The Orchard Room we welcome Matt Cooke our new Head Chef - his arrival will enable us to expand our range of food both on a daily basis and for functions and events.
18 July 2010
There is good news from the nursery and The Orchard Room this week.
Harveys Garden Plants were awarded an RHS Gold Medal at the Hampton Court Flower Show - well done to everyone yet again. Our display was stunning and we all enjoyed the show - the new layout opens up the showground beautifully.
You may remember in 2008 The Orchard Room won the 'Best Informal Dining Venue' category of the EADT Suffolk Food and Drink Awards. Well, we have entered again this year and are delighted to say we have made the shortlist of five. The next stage is to muster some votes; the three places with the most votes will be visited by the judges in August and then a winner will be chosen. If you would like to vote for us please follow this link
or can call in and fill in a voting form in The Orchard Room. Anyone of any age can vote so please pass this on to everyone who might be interested. Thank you in anticipation!
The nursery and The Orchard Room are now opening on Sundays in response to customer requests. On the nursery we will have expert advice available on Sundays, just as on Tuesdays to Saturdays. In The Orchard Room we change the menu every week and, at present, the same menu will run on Sundays. This will be reviewed by Teresa and our new Head Chef, Matt Cooke, in the autumn.
The new borders on the nursery are developing well and we are turning our thoughts to our next project - updating the sales and information iarea the sales tunnel. This is long overdue! Jan, Brenda and Teresa have lots of ideas and have set themselves a deadline of early September - we are planning a 'launch' on Sunday 5 September when we will also formally welcome our new Head Chef Matt Cooke - more details to follow soon.
2 July 2010
We were delighted to be awarded a RHS Gold Medal at the RHS Gardeners' World Live event this year - the first time we have got gold at Birmingham. A great achievement for the whole team - well done to everyone. We are now preparing for the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show and look forward to meeting many gardeners there.
Our new borders that we planted this spring are doing well; Teresa is delighted to have so many roses to pick. Talking of picking flowers, this week we held two wonderful special events; 'Perennials for Cutting'. Roger spoke about growing perennials in the morning and after a delicious lunch the renown floral artist, Paula Pryke, showed the participants how to arrange flowers from the garden.
Another recent event was a cookery course entitled 'Entertaining in Summer' which was a great success. We have had a group of teachers ask us to put on a private cookery course as our scheduled events are in term time. We are happy to do this so do contact us if you are interested in this option - you can even chose the course content!
We have less events planned at the nursery for July and August, but there are plenty more interesting courses and events planned for the rest of the year - see our talks and events page for more details.
In August we are delighted to be attending a brand new RHS show at Hyde Hall in Essex. It is a three day show on Friday 13, Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 August.
1 June 2010
We are now back from Chelsea and recovering. We were a little disappointed to get a silver gilt medal after four golds in a row, but it is still an amazing achievement for the whole team. My thanks go to them. Most of the team got down to the show this year including Brenda from the office and Sam and Matt (two of our student workers) and we all had a really great time. It certainly is the finest flower show in the world and we will be back again next year to, hopefully, wow the judges!
Our recent courses at the nursery have included Willow Plant Supports, Entertaining in the Springtime and Scrumptious Cakes. These have all proved popular and enjoyable. Today we have a group who are weaving baskets and later this week is the third of our growing vegetable sessions.
We will be digging up the first of our potatoes( they are rather late this year) to serve in The Orchard Room. We also have good crops of salad leaves, mizuna, pea shoots, herbs and much more. We have enjoyed a bountiful supply of asparagus, but this has now come to an end for another year.
Our borders at the nursery are looking gorgeous at the moment; the Welcome border and Orchard Room borders are now three years old and look magnificent. Our new borders behind the sales tunnel are more recently planted, but are coming on a treat. The first roses are out and the others are full of bud. In the lower field the native woodland trees we planted are healthy and the borders progressing well. We hope to find the time to 'renovate' the pond this year.
Our next show will be Gardeners' World at Birmingham and preparations are going well. We look forward to seeing many keen gardeners there.
6 April 2010
The weather at long last looks to be starting to improve. The Winter and early Spring were the coldest I have known since I started gardening. I think it was the prolonged period of cold that was the most depressing. Looking at our plants, I still consider the season to be about 3 weeks behind 'normal'. Thus we still have good stocks of hellebores available for customers and at good prices.
The propagation of our perennials and grasses is progressing well, with many new varieties available this year.
Work in the gardens is moving forward, and we are just waiting for the soil to dry out again so we can plant the borders as described below. These will be an added attraction this year
Don't forget on Friday and Saturday this week we have our Woodland and Shade days. These are always popular as most gardeners have an area of shade to liven up. Short talks will be held throughout the day, by Roger Harvey, who will be available for expert advice.
Chelsea preparations are in hand, and we are investing in a cold store so that we can maintain the high standard of previous years. ( 4 consecutive gold medals in 2006,07,08&09). We will try for our fifth, but it certainly does not get any easier!!!!
Our courses are filling up fast, so please do not leave it to the last minute as you may find the course is full, especially the practical ones.
We have just noticed the first new Asparagus spears (about 10cm) and so have covered these with crop film to speed up the growth. Hopefully there will be the first picking this week-end.
16 December 2009
The last six months have flown by, so much has happened and we have not updated the website - apologies! Our garden design team have been extremely busy, and we have much to continue with, once the weather improves again. Our nursery development continues with 4 new borders for 2010, planned and started .
1. A shady border under our apple hedge, featuring hellebores, rare snowdrops, erythroniums and much more.
2. Butterfly and bee border
3. Rose and perennials border
4. Shady border with mixed planting of trees, shrubs and perennials.
The hellebores are budding up, much earlier than last year so far, but winter is just starting! H. Winter Moonbeam and H. Winter Sunshine have now been granted PBR status in Europe.
The Gardens Illustrated hellebore offer has proved extremely popular. It ends on 10 January so to take advantage of this attractive offer it would be advisable to send in your order soon.
Our 2010 snowdrop list is currently available and online, but don't delay in placing your order; some of the rare 'drops' that were in limited supply are already sold out.
In The Orchard Room we have been kept busy all through the year. Julia and Jo have been welcome additions to our team. Our cookery classes have gone well and we are adding several more to next year's programme. As well as welcoming new clientele all the time we have many regular visitors and we would like to thank them for their continued custom.
We also have a new venture at the nursery - Found in Suffolk Ltd. We are showcasing art and craft items made in Suffolk together with a few vintage and retro items found in Suffolk. Come along and have a look at our range in The Orchard Room.
Our calendar of events for 2010 has just gone to press. It has increased in size due the large number of talks and events scheduled for next year. It therefore seems sensible to only post copies of this to those of you on our mail list who live a reasonable distance from the nursery. For those of you on our mail list but living further away we will send you our 2010 Leaflet which has a summary of the information. If you live further away, but would like the full calendar of events please let us know by email or telephone and we will post one to you. Alternatively full details of all our talks and events for 2010 can be found on this website.
6 July 2009
The hellebore tunnel is not usually a place of much activity this time of year, but there are plenty of comings and goings at the moment; a pair of blackbirds have decided a large pot containing a Helleborus Winter Sunshine makes a good place for a family home. Five baby birds have hatched and the parents are busy keeping their brood well fed.
Five baby blackbirds in their nest in a large pot of Helleborus Winter Sunshine
We are enjoying the hot balmy weather on the nursery, even though it means there is much watering to do! Yesterday evening we welcomed a garden club for a private visit which was much enjoyed by all. Today Jan has been spraying off areas in the top field where we will be planting three new flower borders. One will be specifically designed to encourage the bees and butterflies, the second will incorporate perennials and shrub roses and the third will be a shady border. The team are also busy preparing for the Hampton Court Flower show in early July.
We all work hard at the nursery, but there is time for fun too. We have just held our summer party. This year we had a tea party and asked everyone to come as either a cook or gardener.
The nursery team at our summer tea party - Brenda, Sue, Jan, Teresa, Roger, Sheree, Jen, Janet, Matt, Sam and Dora
Things a re busy in The Orchard Room and we have an increasing amount of home produce to use; this week we have been making courgette and mushroom pancakes, courgette, carrot and sultana muffins and tomorrow we are planning to make courgette and pea soup! If you don't like courgettes don't worry, we have plenty of other tasty dishes on the menu such as Chicken and Avocado Salad and Smoked Salmon Rarebit.
Recently we held our first Mosaic Day Course run by Linsday Rollett. It was wonderful to see the creativity of the whole class.
Mosaics for the garden were created on slate Sarah created a beautiful butterfly
20 May 2009
I am delighted to report that yesterday we were awarded a Gold Medal for our display in the Great Pavilion at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. This is our fourth consecutive Gold at Chelsea and the success is due to the hard work, expertise and commitment of the whole nursery team. The exhibit was built by Roger Harvey, Jan Cavell and Caroline Tait, but much credit also goes to Sue Magnus back at the nursery and Debbie Landi who provides admin support. We would not have been able to have achieves such a fantastic display without using a coldstore, so we would like to acknowledge the support of
Nickersons (UK) Ltd - Europe's Leading Cereal Breeder.
We are enjoying meeting so many keen plants people on our stand and appreciate all your positive comments. Carol Klein described our stand as the best woodland display she had ever seen at Chelsea and Roy Lancaster enjoyed viewing the many rare and interesting plants in our exhibit.
Roger Harvey with his mother, Monica, celebrating our Gold Medal
Harveys Garden Plants Gold Medal winning display of woodland and shade plants, Chelsea Flower Show 2009
Roger and his 'designer babes' - Caroline Tait and Jan Cavell Roger Harvey and Roy Lancaster
13 May 2009
We held our second chicken day last weekend which was a great success. Now we are busy with our Chelsea preparations. Our display will be larger this year so it presents a fresh challenge. Roger, Jan and Caroline will be building the display from Friday, judging takes place on Monday. During the week a number of us will be manning the stand so we look forward to seeing many of you there.
Back at the nursery the borders in the top field are developing well and looking beautiful. We have at last started planting in the bottom field which was really exciting. At the moment there is a framework on shrubs on which to build.
Sue, Roger and Jan planting in the lower field
Recently we held two one day courses on making willow supports and dragonflies. The course was led by Charlotte Robertson and great fun.
Making willow plant supports The finished results
We are looking forward to the basket making course she is running for us in a couple of weeks.
30 March 2009
The warm weather in March was brought everything on apace, and visitors to the nursery, can see the borders begin to show some colour after the cold winter. (The coldest in East Anglia for 20 years). The woodland and shade plants are beginning to show and some are in flower, especially the various wood anemones (Anemone nemerosa cultivars). After last weeks rain our heavy soil is wet again so we are waiting for this to dry out, and then we will be planting in the Lower Field. The hellebore season was a great success once again, and we have started to pot on next year's crop. Preparations for Chelsea are well underway, as the first plants were taken into cold-store last week. This year we have a larger stand so that will be a fresh challenge. Our talks and events are being well attended, so if you are planning to attend any please book early to avoid disappointment - some are already sold out. The Special Shade and Woodland Days are on 10th and 11 April. Don't miss this exciting event. Free to all, and no need to book.
The booklet copy of our 2009/10 catalogue is now available and it will be put online during the Easter weekend.
16 January 2009
Happy New Year to everyone let's hope it is a happy and healthy one. On the nursery we have some wonderful hellebores coming into flower - there will a good selection available on our Hellebore Days. Our 2009 catalogue is in production and will be available soon. The Orchard Room has been busy today - our customers appreciate the warm light airy room in the depths of winter, as well as the delicious food of course.
30 December 2008
It has been a long time since we have posted any news - apologies for those of you who have been waiting for our 2009 calendar of dates online. I am happy to say it is now here. We had been hoping to get our new website active, but this remains a project for 2009.We are now sending out our 2009 calendar and information booklet to everyone on our mail list. If you would like to receive a copy please send us your name and address by email, post or phone us on 01359 233363.
Things are going well at the nursery and in The Orchard Room. Our autumn and winter talks have been well attended, demand was such that extra sessions were added. We have also enjoyed welcoming customers to buy plants and visit the Orchard Room.
This December has certainly been the coldest for some time. We are hoping our hellebores will move on rapidly into flower when this chilly spell has passed. We are looking forward to the Hellebore Days ( we are offering 10% off all hellebores bought at the nursery on these days - excluding pre orders and not valid with any other special offer). We also have many snowdrops for sale - our 2009 snowdrop list is now online. We are holding two different special snowdrop days this year with Mark Smyth from Northern Ireland as our guest speaker.
10 October 2008
We have had some beautiful autumn weather this week which has given the nursery team a good opportunity to get on with the many design projects we are undertaking at the moment. This week we held a talk at the nursery entitled 'Top Performing Plants' which proved to be a popular and enjoyable session. Our borders are still full of colour and interest.
We are busy finalising the dates for our 2009 calendar and will publish them as soon as possible. As well as some perennial favourites there will be some new gardening talks and practical events as well as, by request, a few cookery sessions in The Orchard Room. The cookery sessions will be hands on so will be for a maximum of six participants.
'Best Informal Dining Venue' in the EADT Food and Drink Awards
The judges comments about us were;
different this one. A purpose built “conservatory style” building amongst
growing plants and fruit/vegetables in a rural location. Open kitchen staffed by
smiling ladies who chat to all the customers. Great service, delicious food,
beautifully garnished with unusual flora picked from the gardens. Almost
everything is sourced from just outside the door in the spacious smallholding,
tended by the owner and a small team, whilst his wife runs the restaurant with her
happy band. Bright, cheerful but very relaxed atmosphere, wonderful tearoom
ambience with attitude! We couldn’t fault the food which ranged from morning
coffee stuff, through a really good choice of light lunch things, into the
afternoon tea range, including some really good moist cakes.'
They loved everything and understood our concept of producing delicious seasonal food, using as much home produce as possible, and serving it with a smile in our light, airy, relaxed and beautiful room. The award reflects on the hard work and expertise of the whole team - and Teresa is very pleased to have an award to put up next to the nursery's gold medals! For more details about The Orchard Room take a look at www.theorchardroom.co.uk
19 August 2008
Now the show season is over for us we are able to concentrate on the nursery development. The borders in the top field are providing much colour but we continue to fine tune them. We will start on the enormous borders in the lower field soon. Our Special Autumn Days planned for Friday 5th and Saturday 6th September. We also have several talks and practical sessions coming up.
The Orchard Room continues to go from strength to strength. A big thank you to everyone who voted for us in the EADT Food and Drink Awards 2008. Your votes really did count and we are one of three finalists in the 'Best Informal Dining Venue' category. The judges will be visiting us in September and the winner will be announced on 2 October.
An exciting development is that from today we are on a bus route to Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket. The route is the 385 run by Galloways. There are three buses each way on Mondays to Saturdays. Follow this link to see the timetable http://www.suffolk.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/128F3C23-2663-4599-A823-51C20DFB7262/0/384.pdf
Telephone contact numbers are Galloway European Coachlines 01449 766323 or Traveline 0871 200 22 33
16 July 2008
We had a fabulous week at the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show meeting many keen gardeners. We were also delighted to have been awarded a RHS Gold Medal for our display of perennials for sun and shade. This is the first time we have achieved gold at Hampton Court so well done to Roger Harvey, Jan Cavell and Caroline Tate and everyone back at the nursery.
28 June 2008
The nursery is looking a real picture at the moment with so much in flower and the promise of much more to come. Next Thursday we are holding a session on pruning plums and summer pruning of shrubs -some places still available if you are interested.
The Orchard Room is proving to be increasingly popular - as well as many regulars we are welcoming many new customers. We are delighted to have been shortlisted for the EADT Suffolk Food and Drink Awards in the Best Informal Dining Venue category. Quoting for the awards information:-
'The objective of these awards 'is to recognise and celebrate the county’s finest and leading purveyors in this ever-growing industry. The awards recognise and reward quality, excellence and where appropriate, the innovative use of fresh local produce.'
This is a wonderful achievement for The Orchard Room team especially considering we have only been open just over a year. I certainly think we are cooking and serving delicious food in a delightful environment. We are growing increasing amounts of our produce on the nursery, use our own eggs and source our meat from Rolfe of Walsham and our ice cream from within the village. Most importantly of all we have a superb team who offer a friendly and knowledgable service.
The top three cafe/restaurants in the group are chosen by the voting public so if you think we deserve to win please vote for us. You can do this by using the information in the Suffolk magazine or East Anglian Daily Times, popping into The Orchard Room (where we will have some voting forms) or easiest of all online by going to www.suffolkmagazine.co.uk , clicking on the Food Awards tab then chosing the Best Informal Dining Venue category and voting for your choice - hopefully us!
4 June 2008
We had a wonderful time at the Gardeners World Live Show at Birmingham and were delighted to have been chosen by the public as their second most favorite exhibit out of the 115 stands in the Floral Marquee.
At the nursery today we held a day on perennials for cutting. We were let down at short notice by the florist who was due to give a talk and demonstration so we worked hard to find a replacement, but unfortunately that lady was poorly today so improvisation was required. Participants had a choice of a hands on session learning about twinscaling or participating in a cookery session in The Orchard Room. Both sessions were well received and the group enjoyed a delicious lemon cake before departing with some twinscaled bulbs.
Maisie, our Buff Orpington, has four chicks to look after and we are waiting to see if they are hens or cockerels.....
Soon we will be setting our dates for 2009 - yes it's that time already. We are considering what courses and talks we might run next year so if you have any requests or suggestions please email us or drop us a line.
1 June 2008
The borders at the nursery are looking wonderful at the nursery - a number of them have only been planted for a year, but it shows what can be achieved with good ground preparation. Maisie, our bantam Buff Orpington has been sitting tight on her eggs for three weeks and yesterday the first of her chicks hatched. She now has three. We had put a mixture of eggs under her - light Sussex, Apenzeller Spitzhausen silver spangled and one silkie egg. So far we have one Apenzeller chick, one yellow chick and one too young to tell yet.
Thank you to everyone who has sent us congratulations on our success at Chelsea.
Here are some of our pictures from the Chelsea Flower Show 2008
Teresa and Roger Harvey and Caroline Tait
Three photographs of our gold medal winning display of rare and unusual shade and woodland plants
Carol Klein enthused about our plants when she filmed our display for the BBC television coverage
We provided the plants for JC Gardens and Climbing Frames at this year's Chelsea Flower Show. We were delighted when they won an award for outstanding presentation of their stand. The above three pictures show their stand and Julian Cochrane with his award.
21 May 2008
We are delighted to have been awarded our third consecutive Gold Medal at the Chelsea Flower Show. Our display of unusual and rare woodland plants was built by Roger Harvey, Caroline Tate and Jan Cavell. They would not, however, been able to mount such a beautiful display without the hard work and dedication of the nursery team including Senior Nursery Person Sue Magnus. Our display has been much admired. It is a great show this year with so much to inspire us all - if you are going to Chelsea do pop along and see us at D18 in the Floral Pavilion. Most of us from the nursery will be at Chelsea at some time during the week, but we are also busy back at the nursery watering keeping on top of the weeds etc etc. On Sunday we will be at the Suffolk NCCPG Plant Sale at Helmingham Hall and on Sunday and Monday we look forward to seeing many friends at the Bury St Edmunds Flower Market.
If you cannot make any of these events remember we are open at the nursery Tuesday to Saturdays, 9.30am to 4.30pm and The Orchard Room is open for refreshments on Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays. Our vegetable beds are doing well and we are using home grown potatoes, salad leaves, rocket, mizuna, herbs, spring onions and there is plenty more produce to come. Roger and Sue have planted some asparagus beds recently too.
Our recent chicken day was a great success and good fun too- the shone shone and we had a huge turn out of people. There were excellent displays of poultry and equipment by members of the Colchester and Norfolk Poultry Clubs who were on hand with expert advice too. We plan to repeat the event next year and are looking at ways to expand it.
We still have some vacancies on our next event - a day called 'Perennials for Cutting'. Roger will be giving a talk in the morning, then participants will enjoy lunch in The Orchard Room before a session with local florist Eve Fenner in the afternoon.
16 April 2008
Roger and Jan are in London at the moment at the RHS Spring Show at Vincent Square. They have been awarded a silver gilt medal for their beautiful display of woodland plants which includes some magnificent trilliums and epimediums -they narrowly missed a gold. This week we are holding the second of our sessions on Growing Vegetables - attendees can see how the seeds they sowed at the first session are progressing. On the nursery the borders are springing into life and we are busy keeping them tidy, in between the showers. Preparations are going well for our visit to Chelsea next month. Our recent Special Woodland and Shade days were a great success and our next special event of this kind is our Chicken Day - a new venture for us which we are all looking forward to.
11 March 2008
Now we are into March it is good to see so many plants springing into growth everywhere. As well as welcoming customers to the nursery and The Orchard Room we are busy sending out snowdrops by mail order and working on garden design projects for clients. This week we are holding a practical session for people to learn about basic garden skills. Bookings for out talks and events have been brisk, some have sold out, so if you are interested in attending any be sure to make your booking soon.
It has been a tremendous Hellebore season; we do have a few plants left, but the selection is much narrower now. We are delighted to report that Helleborus Winter Moonbeam has been awarded an RHS Award of Merit.
18 February 2008
The first half of February has been a busy time for us all at the nursery. Our first Snowdrop Event was a great success with an informative and amusing talk by Alan Street and a private visit to Anglesey Abbey. We are already working out what Snowdrop Events we will organise for 2009. Our day about Hellebores, Snowdrops and other Winter Delights also went really well - an informative yet relaxing day. Last week we exhibited at the RHS London Show and were awarded a silver gilt medal for a display built by Roger Harvey and Jan Cavell. On Saturday Roger was once again invited to Blickling Hall, where he gave short talks throughout the day and met many keen gardeners.
On the first two Hellebore Open Days we enjoyed welcoming so many new visitors and old friends to the nursery. This week we are busy getting ready for the second pair of days this Friday and Saturday. Don't forget if you cannot make it to our Special Days we are always open on Tuesdays to Saturdays, with coffees, lunches and teas available in The Orchard Room on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Hellebores remain as popular as ever and this has been an early season; so if you want the best selection be sure to come to see us in February rather than leaving it until March to chose your plants.
In March we have four events planned; Basic Garden Skills, Creating an Impact with a 'Hot' Border, Growing Vegetables and The Joys and Practicalities of Hen Keeping. Click on each one to see details of the events.
Our old map was not that wonderful so we have produced a new one which we hope is an improvement. It is now online; we welcome your comments - positive or negative!
15 January 2008
The hellebores are coming along well - it is always such a joy to see their exotic faces in the depths of winter. We are looking forward to the Hellebore Open Days on 1 and 2 February and 22 and 23 February 2008. Something new we will be offering this year is guided tours of the Hellebore stock tunnel (at certain times during the day) in return for a donation for charity.
You may have heard Roger on Radio Suffolk on Saturday - he was Lesley Dolphin's guest for the gardening programme between 12 midday and 2pm. As well as hellebores he was talking about our wonderful snowdrops and the other talks and practical sessions we have planned at the nursery. On Wednesday 6 February we have a day when you can learn all about Hellebores, Snowdrops and other Winter Delights as well as enjoying lunch in The Orchard Room. We also have a talk on 26 February in which Roger will be talking about Creating year round interest in your garden. There is definitely a great resurgence of interest in growing vegetables. In his 'spare time' Roger is working out a plan to supply The Orchard Room with as many vegetables and fruit as possible. Three raised vegetable beds have been prepared outside as well as two in one of the tunnels. Roger is also running a course this year about Growing Vegetables. It is in three sessions, but it is possible to come to just one or two of the sessions if you cannot make them all.
This week in The Orchard Room are main dishes are Honey Soy Chicken, Susie's Smoked Salmon Pasta and Cheesy Parsnip Rissoles with an Apricot and Orange Sauce. We are also making Stilton Soup and there will be our usual array of regular savoury dishes, sanwiches, salads, cakes and puddings - all freshly made on the premises.
17 December 2007
Well it is nearly the end of the year and we are looking forward to the Hellebore season - not so many in flower yet, but we will keep you posted. The Autumn has been a busy time for us especially as we have been undertaking so many garden design projects. The borders in the lower field have had 100 tons of manure and nursery waste incorporated into them and we are looking forward to planting them in the spring.
Our programme of events for 2008 is now on this website and we are producing a booklet which will give details of all the events. This will be sent out to everyone on our mailing list in the first week of January. If you would like to receive a copy please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The Orchard Room has been busy lately with Christmas functions. We change our seasonal menu weekly and this week we will be serving Boeuf a l'orange, lemon chicken on a bed of jewelled couscous and a winter salad with Brie, cranberries, apples and nuts.
8 October 2007
Thank you to everyone who supported our participation in the World's Biggest Coffee Morning. I am delighted to say we raised £455 for Macmillan Cancer Support. As well as serving coffee and homemade cakes we held a raffle; one of the prizes was a signed copy of 'Baking', kindly donated by Delia Smith.
We are currently working out our programme of talks and events for 2008. We have a number of new ideas, but will be including many old favourites too- details of all events and talks will be published online as soon as possible.
The borders at the nursery are still full of colour and we have many autumn flowering plants for sale. We are making the most of these beautiful Autumn days, working both at the nursery and on a number of garden design projects. The borders in the lower field will dug out this week and we are planting some more trees.
Many people are asking us if The Orchard Room will be staying open over the winter. I am pleased to say the answer is yes; the only week we will close the nursery and The Orchard Room is between Christmas and New Year. We do change our menus every week and enjoy making the most of the seasonal produce. We are working towards growing more and more of our own produce. This week's menu is not yet finalised, but I do know we will be making apple pie (in response to a customer request!). The Orchard Room is also available for private functions throughout the year.
Last week saw several new arrivals on the nursery; two ginger tom cats joined us, which have been named Bill and Ben. They are pretty shy at the moment, but perhaps we will get a photo of them soon. We also have six new chickens; three French hens and three porcelain orpingtons. We are told the latter can become really friendly. One of the French hens has injured her head, we have steri-stripped the wound and are hoping she will make a good recovery.
15 September 2007
We have two events at the nursery over the next two weeks; on Tuesday we are holding a propagation session in conjunction with the RHS - please note this event is already SOLD OUT.
However everyone is welcome to join us
on Friday 28 September when we are taking part in the
World's Biggest Coffee Morning to help raise funds for
Macmillan Cancer Support.
The coffee and cakes will be provided by The Orchard Room so ALL money donated will go directly to Macmillan. Everyone is welcome so please pop along and join us that morning between 10.30am and 12 midday. Afterwards we will be opening for lunches and teas that day as usual..
Jan and Teresa had an enjoyable time at the RHS London Show earlier this week. The wonderful display was built by Roger and Jan and they were awarded a silver gilt medal. Last week we were pleased to welcome so many people to our special Autumn Open Days. This weekend Roger is at NCCPG plant sales at Hyde Hall and Kentwell Hall. These are our last events away from the nursery for some time and much as we enjoy them we are now looking forward to being able to spend some time on the nursery development. Roger is particularly excited to be making progress in the bottom field and has many plans for the area.
The Hellebore Open Days 2008 will be on Friday 1 February, Saturday 2 February, Friday 22 February and Saturday 3 February
7 August 2007
Later this month we will be exhibiting at the Wisley Flower show and then the Amateur Gardening Show at the Bath and West Showground, but the major RHS show season has finished now and our development at the nursery continues. The newly planted borders are looking impressive, especially the Long Border which was planted last year: a real riot of colour.
The bottom field is being cultivated by a local farmer for us, so we can start planting extensively this autumn, if time and weather allow. We hope to plant 1000 hellebores which will be a fantastic sight in a couple of years, combined with lots of different willows, cornus and other winter delights. The 750 trees planted in late March have by and large survived the April drought so we look forward to their growth in years to come
The Orchard Room is proving a real hit with many customers making repeated visits to enjoy the delicious freshly cooked food. Teresa and I are away from the nursery for a week or so, but Susie will be coming in to work with Lynda and they have a tasty menu planned.
The Orchard Room, August 2007
This week we welcomed two gardening groups for private visits which we all enjoyed. There has been little time lately for anyone to lie in our new hammock.............
A gardening club on an evening visit to the nursery The arbour seat
Part of the long border as viewed from the hammock in the orchard
30th July 2007
We would like to thank Caroline Tait who helped out at a number of flower shows this year. As well as her creative input and hard work she worked well along side Roger and George.
Hampton Court Flower Show Roger and Teresa Harvey, Caroline Tait, George Harvey
23 June 2007
The combination of warm weather and plenty of rain means that our new borders are establishing well - and the weeds are flourishing too! Everyone in the team is doing a grand job at keeping things under control, Jan thinks her new title should be 'The Weed Woman'.
Today Roger is at RHS Wisley giving three talks during the day, tomorrow he will be at the Chelsea Physic Garden for a plant fair and on Monday he is giving a talk at the Cambridge Botanic Gardens. Things have also been busy here at the nursery; we recently welcomed Hutton Garden Club for a private visit and last week we held a talk on Perennials for cutting which proved popular and was a pleasant afternoon.
This next week we will be busy getting ready to go to the Hampton Court Flower Show. I am happy to say things are getting more organised in the office since Debbie joined us a couple of weeks ago. She will be working part time, but her presence is already having a positive impact!
I am delighted to write that we have done it again - Gold at Chelsea for the second year running! Everyone at the nursery was involved in preparations for the show and the display of rare and unusual woodland and shade plants was built by Roger Harvey and Barney Harrison with help from Caroline Tait. it's a real team effort. Thanks also go to our sponsors, Bennett Homes. We have had some super comments on our display from so many people - here are a few of them:
'if this was my display I would be very proud of it' Roy Lancaster
'it's a breath of fresh air' Rachel de Thame
'this is the stand for the keen plantsman' an RHS judge
'an absolute delight' an RHS member
Our Gold medal winning display at Chelsea Rachel de Thame and Roger Harvey at Chelsea
We also enjoy the show as the whole team takes it in turns to man the display and it is a chance to meet up with so many keen gardeners. An added interest for us has been providing the plants for the Sun Chariot Rooftop Garden which was awarded a silver gilt medal. This wonderful garden has a magnificent revolving curved seat as its focal point and the planting is of drought resistant plants such as alliums and irises. Let's hope the sun keeps shining all week.
Back at the nursery we are kept busy watering the plants! We are fortunate to have two new people helping us for the time being - Jan and Tina, who are doing a great job at tackling the weeds. We have recently planted the shrubs in the welcome border and hope to get the perennials in soon. Last week Roger gave a talk on Year Round Interest in Your Garden which was well received. Our next talk is The Town Garden/Coping with Shade on Tuesday 5 June. To book tickets please telephone us on 01359 233363. The office is not manned all the time as we are busy on the nursery, but we check for messages regularly. The Orchard Room is open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays for lunches, teas and coffees. this week we are making salmon fishcakes and asparagus tart - also carrot soup, but it may be too warm for soup this week!
1 May 2007
In April we have planted the curved border immediately outside the Orchard Room and put in the willow fedge, but have held back on the others because of the dry weather. Do you think we should try a rain dance? Everything is so dry isn't it? This warm weather means we are working hard to try and hold plants back for our Chelsea display. As well as staging an exhibition in the Grand Marquee we are sourcing and providing plants for one of the rooftop gardens this year.
Our 4 chicks are growing well - we are waiting to see how many hens and how many cockerels are in the brood.
3 April 2007
It has been a good day at the nursery - the news from London is that we have been awarded an RHS Gold Medal for our display of Woodland and shade plants at the RHS April Show. Roger has built the display with his son George (who did have to be gently pressganged, but is quite enjoying it now). They will be recresating the display back at the nursery for our Special Woodland and Shade Open Days which are later this week on Good Friday and Easter Saturday. There will be short talks throughout the day, roger will be on hand for expert advice and THe Orchard Room will be open for homecooked food - lunches, snacks and cakes. Our menu changs weekly and this week we will be making Linda's prize winning stinging nettle soup - I dare you to try it!
Our other exciting news today is that our chicks are starting to hatch - so far Maisie has two chicks, but she is still sitting tight on her remaining eggs. I caught a glimpse of one chick, but they are safely tucked under their mother's wing.
Also this week we have had a gazebo erected which will be a wonderful place to catch the afternoon sun. I am itching to get all the new borders planted, but Roger (ever practical) says we must wait a little longer as our heavy soil is still too wet to work properly.
13 March 2007
Roger, Sue and Barney have made a start on the woodland planting today. The first tree to go in was an ash tree. We are also planting oak, birch, sweet chestnut, wild cherry, field maple, hawthorn, hornbeam, aspen, spindle, hazel, dogwood and dog rose - 750 trees in all
The first tree to be planted in the woodland area - an ash tree
Roger and Dora Sue and Barney
Here are some pictures of our stunning new building The Orchard Room which is open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays for light lunches, snacks, sandwiches and homemade cakes. all our food is made on the premises, using local ingredients whenever possible. The nursery remains open on Tuesdays to Saturdays.
10 March 2007
What a beautiful day, lovely warm sunshine - at this rate the soil will soon be dried out enough for us to be planting our new borders - which we are itching to get started on. The hellebore season has gone really well, but we do still have some really good plants left (which have now come into flower) for late comers. The two page article on Harveys Garden Plants in RHS magazine The Garden about the nursery has created much interest and we have been delighted to welcome many new people to the nursery and The Orchard Room. Our new introductions for 2007 Helleborus Winter Moonbeam and Helleborus Winter Sunshine have been really well received and we are seeking plant breeders rights on these plants.
February has been a really busy month; we exhibited at the RHS London Show and were awarded a silver gilt medal for our display, the hellebore open days at the nursery were a great success as were the RHS talks on Hellebores and other Winter Delights. During March we held a practical session on pruning (fortunately it was on a calm sunny day) and a talk on planting a 'hot border both of which we thoroughly enjoyed as did the participants, judging by their response - here are some comments from letter we received
'just a note to say I enjoyed your lesson in pruning this morning and thank you to you and all your staff for looking after me so well'
'Many thanks for an excellent course this morning, Anita and I throughly enjoyed ourselves and learnt a great deal. In fact I was so inspired that I spent the afternoon in my orchard and already it is possible to see the difference!'
Pruning apples and pears, a practical session, March 2007
If you are interested we have many more talks and practical sessions planned for 2007 which are listed on this website. Subjects include garden design, shady gardens, minimising watering and composting techniques, perennials for cutting, propagation, basket making and willow weaving.
Just to make sure we are not short of work, last week we took delivery of 750 trees which we will be planting in the lower field this week - it will be exciting to start work on this area of the nursery.
29 January 2007
Well, we made it on time - The Orchard Room opened on Friday and we were delighted to welcome so many people. . Having survived the interesting moment when Teresa gave herself a cappuccino facial, before rescuing the lady locked in the loo (now fixed) we had a great day. Roger built a fabulous display of hellebores and other winter flowering plants in the sales tunnel which was much admired.
Here are just some of the comments we received
'Dear Harvey's, Loved the style & decor of the Orchard Room. The food was delicious. The Hellebores as usual beautiful.'
'loved the tearoom, very helpful advice'
'The tea room is lovely - really attractive and delicious food. Congratulations on a great arrangement all round'
'Cafe excellent - food and service very good. Lovely choice of excellent food for lunch'
'Lovely tea room and view of the chickens!'
'Excellent display of hellebores, look forward to another visit and attending some talks'
This makes it all worthwhile. Some up to date pictures will be posted here very soon. Don't forget we are open Tuesdays to Saturdays - there are some fabulous hellebores for sale - and The Orchard Room is open for refreshments on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Hope to see you soon.
9 January 2007
The hellebores are growing well and there should be a good display by our first Special Hellebore Open Days on 26/27 January. The sales tunnel has had an early spring clean and is currently being restocked. If you are interested in our two new Hellebores, Helleborus Winter Sunshine and Helleborus Winter Moonbeam please be sure to order them soon as we have limited stocks for this year and demand is high. We are offering one of each for a special price of £25.00 (plus £10 post and packing) a saving of £5. Look out for the feature about us in the February edition of The Garden..
Our list of talks and practical event is now published online. There is a good array of events to chose from including pruning, propagation, shady gardens, basket making and willow weaving.
We are delighted with the way The Orchard Room is progressing. The vaulted ceiling gives the room a wonderful feel and, due to its position the room catches the sun all day. It has lots of windows so is light and airy even on overcast days like today. We have a great team of builders on the project who have a positive attitude to any problems which occur, but I must admit I feel rather like we are in one of those programmes where it is an enormous rush to get everything done on time - fingers crossed!
30 December 2006
We apologise to those of you who have been trying to access our website over the festive period. It has been frustrating for us too!. We have now changed our server and hope the problem will not recur.
23 December 2006
No slowing down for Christmas this year - not if The Orchard Room is going to be up and running for 26 January. All the workmen are pulling together well as a team and progress has been swift, as you can see from these pictures, but we are still on a tight timescale.
Week 3 - definite progress!
It has been a frosty foggy week, but the plump buds of the hellebores are emerging well - earlier than last year and we are looking forward to a bumper crop. We have also been busy pruning the apple trees. Pruning of fruit trees will be one of the practical sessions we are running in 2007. We have an extensive list of talks and practical events planned which includes topics such as willow weaving, grafting and propagation. The dates and details will be published on this website soon. If you have ordered Galanthus from our new list, rest assured the orders are being sorted and we will be in touch soon.
A frosty morn
11 December 2006
December can be a quieter time on the nursery, but not this year! The builders have been here a couple of weeks and the work on The Orchard Room is progressing well. That said, we are on a tight schedule to get everything completed for our opening date of 26 January - the first of our Special Hellebore Open Days.
Week 1 A blank canvas Careful planning
Week 2 James and Gary at work while Dora the Foreman looks on
Our 2007 Galanthus list is now online - we have added a few new bulbs this year and will be adding many more in the next two years. There are limited numbers of some of the snowdrops so be sure to order soon if you would like specific bulbs.
31 October 2006
We are happy to be welcoming customers to the nursery on these brisk autumnal days and are busy sending out mail orders as well. In addition to the usual seasonal tasks on the nursery there is much afoot. We are finally making headway with our new building. The design has been modified and we have the go ahead to start on the construction. Roger tells me he plans to have it usable by The Hellebore Open Days - watch this space! For 2007 we are producing our first colour catalogue - Marcus Harpur has taken some superb photographs so it will be a visual delight.
There has already been press coverage about our new hellebore introductions. The plants are available in January in limited numbers. There has already been considerable interest in these plants so do please contact us if you would like to pre-order them.
Helleborus 'Winter Moonbeam' Helleborus 'Winter Sunshine'
Early this year we asked our customers to help with naming these plants. Two people suggested Moonbeam and one person suggested Winter Sunshine. We will be presenting them with their named plants on one of The Hellebore Open Days.
11 September 2006
We were blessed with good weather for our RHS Talk at the nursery last week and our Special Autumn Open Days at the weekend and we delighted to see so many old friends and new visitors to the nursery. Today Roger and Barney are exhibiting at the RHS Autumn Show in London. This morning they have been awarded a Gold Medal for their display of autumn flowering plants and grasses. This is the first time we have achieved a gold at this time of year and it reflects on the skill and hard work of the whole nursery team.
Roger Harvey (right) and Barney Harrison with some of their Gold Medal winning plants, September 2006
The long border at the nursery is looking good, despite only being planted in June, proving that good soil preparation is crucial if you want plants to establish quickly. Next Tuesday, 19 September we welcome gardeners to our RHS practical session 'Propagation of Perennials in Autumn' which is always great fun. To book for this event please phone 020 7821 3408. Our dates for 2007 are just being finalised and will be published on this website shortly.
18 July 2006
Last week we were pleased to welcome some keen gardeners to our RHS talk on the 'Hot Border' with weather to match! This week we are exhibiting at the RHS Tatton Park Flower Show for the first time and looking forward to meeting some gardeners from the north.. It's rather tricky building displays of herbaceous perennials in this heat. Despite this challenge at Gardeners World Live and the RHS Hampton Court Flower show we were awarded silver gilt medals for our displays. On our stand at Hampton Court there was much interest in Echinacea 'Arts Pride' - a delicious new hybrid (E.paradoxa and E. purpurea) from Chicago Botanic Garden. It has beautiful orange flowers from July-October and is HONEY SCENTED. We will be displaying it again at Tatton Park and have plants for sale.
Echinacea 'Arts Pride'
Our display at the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2006
Back at the nursery the team are working hard to keep the plants and new long border in good condition despite the weather.
Planting the Long Border, June 2006
We are delighted to have been awarded an RHS Gold Medal at the Chelsea Flower Show today. This is only our second time of exhibiting at Chelsea and this success reflects both the creative input of Roger Harvey and Tony Wass and the expertise and commitment of the nursery team who have all been involved in preparing the plants for Chelsea. Well done everyone! The team are taking in in turns to man the exhibit in the Grand Pavilion this week so we look forward to meeting many gardeners at the show.
Our Gold Medal winning display at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Roger Harvey with Edward Parker of Bennett Homes, our sponsors at the show
25 April 2006
At the recent RHS Spring Show in London Roger and Tony built a marvellous display which, like last year, was awarded a Gold Medal. This success is a reflection of the expertise and hard work of the whole nursery team. Well done to everyone.
Roger Harvey and Tony Wass with their Gold Medal at the RHS Spring Show
This week we are in Harrogate at the Spring Show. This is our first time at this show and Roger and Teresa are looking forward to meeting some Yorkshire gardeners. Back at the nursery we are busy with preparations for the May flower shows - Malvern and Chelsea. We have many fine plants coming on for these so we are looking forward to staging beautiful displays of woodland and shade plants.
Recently we were approached to help with the Jubilee Garden at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge - a shady area needed revamping and we were more than happy to help out. Roger has completed a border design and Harveys Garden Plants has donated the plants.
We are delighted to be included in the Gardens Illustrated first Plant Nurseries Directory which is included with their June 2006 edition. We are described as 'one of the UK's finest' nurseries. A wonderful accolade which is much appreciated, but our Great Green site is still new and we have many plans for the future which will see the nursery develop, both in terms of the plants we grow and the facilities we can offer.
Many keen gardeners came to our Special Woodland and Shade Days which went really well and the nursery team enjoyed meeting a great selection of keen gardeners at our recent RHS 'Woodland and Shade Loving Plants' talk. Our next RHS event is on Friday 14 July when the subject of the talk is Designing and Planting a 'Hot' Border
It is good to see the plants on the nursery growing so well now the weather is warmer. The late spring has really held us back, but next week we shall finally be planting out the long border with late summer flowering plants and grasses. Happily, we have two new recruits to the nursery team, Amanda and Mandy, who will be helping with this project.
21 March 2006
Last week Roger and Tony built a charming display for the RHS Show in London and were rewarded with a Silver Gilt medal - well done to them.
Back at the nursery we were busy preparing for our Hellebore Sale - we were delighted to see so many of our regular customers at the weekend and there are now very few hellebores left for this season. There are, however, plenty of other plants available such as pulmonarias, erythroniums, woodland anemones and many more spring flowering plants. Our next RHS talk is on Friday 31 March on the topic of Woodland and Shade Loving Plants
11 March 2006
We are looking forward to the March RHS Show this week and our display will include hellebores, snowdrops, pulmonaria and ferns. The weather remains cold and there are still hellebores at the nursery to come into flower so we are having a special sale this next weekend (Saturday 18 March and Sunday 19 March). This is a chance to buy fine plants at prices not to be repeated. We will be open from 9.30am-4.30pm each day. Please note for this special event we will be open on SATURDAY and SUNDAY.
We have had much feedback from our customers recently - both at the nursery and by post. We are heartened by your many positive remarks. Your comments are also helping us shape how the nursery develops here at our new site. Thank you for taking the trouble to let us know your views.
22 February 2006
The Special Hellebore Events in January and February were well attended and enjoyed by customers and ourselves. There were many hellebores in flower, but as we come towards the end of February, the hellebore and snowdrop season remains stubbornly late - I estimate it to be three weeks behind the average for the past 5 years. This means we still have a significant number of hellebores that will flower during March and we will be taking some superb plants to the RHS London Show on the 14 and 15 of March as well as still having some for sale at the nursery.
Snowdrop species and cultivars have proved especially popular this year, and we plan to have many new varieties available in 2009.
We have also enjoyed welcoming visitors for our RHS Hellebore Talks. Additionally a number of gardening groups have made private visits to the nursery for talks and tours which have proved good fun.
There is plenty to keep us busy as we develop our new site. The outside borders are still to be planted; we are just waiting for the weather to become a little more mild before we start planting. Hopefully the weather will warm up as we move into March.
Our next RHS talk on 31 March on Woodland and Shade Plants is being booked by eager attendees ( not sure if this is for the wonderful cakes made by Teresa, or to hear me talk) so I would advise early booking if you are interested. The erythroniums are just beginning to show and we have many woodland plants for sale at the nursery.
Erythronium 'Harvington Snow Goose'
On a different note, Dora, our chocolate lab puppy is settling in well - she enjoys 'meeting and greeting' - and this week she got a diploma from her puppy training class.
13 January 2006
Our 2006 catalogue is now online. We plan to have online ordering available later this year. Meanwhile you can post, phone, fax or email orders to us. Please do not send your payment details by email as we so not have a secure site at present.
We have made progress with our nursery borders - a winter and early spring border having been planted under a large oak tree near the entrance. This features amongst other plants, Cornus and Salix varieties with their attractive coloured stems at this time of year.
The season for hellebores and snowdrops and indeed other early flowering bulbs is much later this year than the past four or five years - so much for global warming. Whilst some of the hellebores are starting to flower, if possible I would advise customers particularly if coming from afar, to delay their visit until later in January so that they are able to get the best possible choice of plants in flower.
We are off to the RHS London Show on Monday. The show is at Vincent Square on Tuesday and Wednesday,17 and 18 January, and well worth a visit. Hope to see you there!
Snowdrop orders are still coming in, but some species and cultivars are sold out. I would urge customers who are contemplating ordering some snowdrops to do so without delay.
7 January 2006
We are looking forward to the nursery opening for the season on Tuesday. New signs have been delivered and are being erected so this should make us easier to spot. The hellebores and snowdrops are looking good. Today at 12.30pm Roger will be talking live on Suffolk Radio about the hellebore season and the nursery development.
11 November 2005
Today there is further work being done in the lower field in preparation for planting the woodland area. Roger and Barney are deciding on suitable native trees and understory. The hellebores are starting to bud up and we are looking forward to a bumper crop for the 2006 season. We are already taking orders for hellebores and snowdrops so if there are any specific plants you are interested in please do not delay placing your order.
Our 2006 dates for shows and events are now online. The main change for 2006 is that our Autumn days will be on a Saturday and Sunday this year.
31 October 2005
Our long border has been prepared this week so planting can commence as soon as weather conditions allow. Part of the lower field has been ploughed so we are hoping to get some trees in soon and start establishing our woodland area.
Our new member of staff, Dora, spends much of her time snoring in the office, but as she is only 8 weeks old we leave her in peace - at least it means we can get some work done.
Dora's first day at Harveys Garden Plants 28 October 2005
24 October 2005
This wonderful weather has made the Autumn days on the nursery an absolute delight and we are happy to still be welcoming customers. Our 2006 Galanthus List is now online and our dates for 2006 will be published shortly. Roger is busy with garden design work and Sue is doing a grand job - sending out all the mail orders. Teresa has plenty of admin work to keep her busy. However, this afternoon we will be taking a break for apple picking - the trees on the nursery are laden and we hope we will have some delicious juice for later in the season. Work on our new display borders will start in the next few weeks.
Our most exciting news is that we have a new member of staff starting this week. Roger is referring to her as 'brown dog' while much discussion takes place over what to name her - yes, she is a chocolate Labrador puppy! I guess it might be some time before she is a fully trained member of the nursery team...........
22 September 2005
We now have our office on site which is making life much easier all round. In the past couple of weeks we have held two RHS events at the nursery. The first was a talk on autumn colour in the garden and the second was a practical propagation session. Both sessions went well and it was a delight to meet so many keen gardeners. We are currently finalising dates for 2006 and some are already published on this website. The chickens seem content scratching about in the orchard and we have planty of apple and pears.
24 August 2005
This week we are moving our office to the nursery site. Apologies for the disruption this caused to our administration. We had some difficulties with telephone line. From Monday our new telephone line will be up and running. You will be able to reach us on 01359 233363.
5 August 2005
It is sometimes a quieter timn the nursery in August, but we are keeping busy with developments on our new site. It is good to have our new gates in position and we will be planting hedges around them soon. More areas of hard standing have been created and the irrigation system is up and running - much to the delight of the nursery team - it should make watering the plants much easier. Currently we are creating a mini office in the barn which will make a huge difference to our admin efficiency and enable Teresa to join us on site. Planning permission for our permanent office and other facilities is still being considered, but we hope to have an answer soon. Our first display border, in front of the orchard, has been dug out and is being enriched with plenty of manure ready for planting.
16 July 2005
We are all sad to report that Flo, our dog who was known to many of you who visit the nursery, died yesterday. She was nearly 10 so we had hoped she would be with us for a few more years. Flo loved being at the nursery - bounding across the fields, investigating in the orchard and ditches, welcoming customers, sharing the lunches of the nursery staff and generally having fun. She will be missed by us all.
Roger and Flo
Last weekend Roger Harvey and Tony Wass planted and preened, trimmed and titivated to create a stunning display of plants for woodland and shade. We are delighted to have been awarded a Silver Gilt Medal for our first display at the Chelsea Flower Show. During the week all members of the nursery team will take turns at manning the stand. We all enjoy the chance to meet and have a chat with so many enthusiastic gardeners from around the country. Our display is designed to illustrate what can be achieved in shady areas with the right plants. There has been a great deal of interest in the many unusual plants we have on the display. Some of plants which are suitable for shady areas can be seen on our woodland and shade page plus there are many others in our catalogue.
The BBC are planning to film some of our plants for screening on Friday evening (27 May) so look out for Joe Swift introducing some shady characters.
Last week we were delighted to be awarded our second RHS Gold Medal. This time at the RHS Spring Show in Cardiff where Roger Harvey and Tony Wass spent an enjoyable few days meeting many gardeners from Wales.
There is still plenty to do back at the nursery. We are preparing a large area for our first display borders and will be finishing the entrance area soon now we have details of requirements from the planners. We have also submitted plans for a building which would encompass offices and a display and information area. We are also focusing on preparations for our first display at the Chelsea Flower Show next month.
18th April 2005
Last week was an exciting week for us as we were awarded our first RHS Gold Medal at the RHS Spring London Flower Show. The superb display was built by Roger Harvey and Tony Wass, but their success reflects the commitment and effort of the whole nursery team. The display featured many unusual epimediums together with a wide range of other woodland and shade loving plants from all over the world.
Roger Harvey (right) and Tony Wass proudly displaying their Gold Medal, April 2005
The Gold Medal winning display
Last Friday we were delighted to welcome so many keen gardeners to our RHS talk on Woodland and Shade Loving Plants. After a talk by Roger at the Cavendish Hall, followed by tea and homemade cakes attendees were able to purchase plants from the nursery with 10% discount.
Today the telephone has been busy with people responding to our Spring Plants for Shade Collection offered in conjunction with The Times newspaper. Additionally there is much to do in preparation for our trip to the RHS Spring Flower Show in Cardiff later this week. Roger and Tony are looking forward to their visit to Wales.
26th March 2005
Last week Channel Four came to film for their new gardening series 'The Great Gardening Challenge' Roger spent an enjoyable day filming with Chris Beardshaw. and the programme went out on 21 March.
Roger Harvey and Chris Beardshaw, March 2005
This weekend our webmaster, the epostman ( www.epostman.co.uk ) has redesigned our website. The change in the design is not obvious, but the changes will make the site easier to navigate and stop the problem of people being directed to our old pages.
If you have our site saved in your favourites you will need to delete it and save the new website.
20th March 2005
So far, this year has seen much activity at Harveys Garden Plants. The hellebore season has gone well and now we are concentrating on sending out mail orders as well as continuing to welcome customers to the nursery during our extended opening hours.
Hellbore display January 2005
Thank you for all your favourable comments about our new site. The remainder of the year will see many more developments on the nursery. The first display border is being prepared and will be planted soon.
We have exhibited at the RHS London Shows in January, February and March and have been awarded silver gilt medals each time. In April, in addition to the London Show we are delighted to be exhibiting at the RHS Show in Cardiff.
7th January 2005
Happy New Year to everyone. On the nursery we start 2005 racing against time to get everything ready for opening to the public next Tuesday. Things have been going pretty well, but the move has meant long hours and much hard work for the nursery staff - we are fortunate to have such a good team. We will be ready to open, but the nursery is very much in development and will be for this coming year, so do wear sensible footwear when visiting us. The hellebores are looking good with many already in flower. We are also be offering many Spring flowering perennials and some choice snowdrops for sale. We look forward to welcoming many familiar friends and new customers at Great Green.
16th November 2004
Things have been pretty hectic on the nursery lately as we move to our new site. We are delighted to have erected a potting barn and plans are on schedule to open the new site to the public on 11 January 2005.
Recently we are delighted to have had confirmation of a place for 2005 in the Floral Marquee at both the Chelsea Flower Show and the Hampton Court Flower Show. For a full list of the Flower Shows we are attending in 2005 have a look at our Shows page
14th September 2004
Last week we enjoyed welcoming gardeners to the nursery for our RHS propagation session and today we are exhibiting at the RHS Westminster Show and have been awarded a Silvergilt medal for our display. On Sunday, 19 September we shall be at Helmingham Hall for the NCCPG specialist nursery event. After that we will be concentrating on sending out mail orders and organising the nursery move, but visitors are still welcome at the nursery. If you want to visit outside our opening hours (which are a little restrictive at present, but will be extended at our new site) please telephone as it is usually possible to arrange.
4th September 2004
This weekend we are enjoying meeting many gardeners at the Bath and West Show where we have been awarded a Gold Medal for our display.
The nursery is now open again for the Autumn season - there are plenty of plants providing late colour. On Tuesday we will be welcoming participants to an RHS Event -Propagation of Perennials in the Autumn. This is a practical session when participants can pick up some hints and tips on propagation, take home some plant material and have an enjoyable afternoon with tea and homemade cakes.
In the Spring we purchased some 10 acres in a nearby village to enable us to develop the nursery further. The plan is to move everything to the new site (just 5 miles from where we are now) over the next few months. On the new site we will be planting display borders and a spinney, establishing a flower meadow, managing a small orchard and restoring a natural pond. We will also be able to develop much better facilities for our visitors. We are really excited about this project and will keep you informed of developments by using this website and, if you are on our mailing list, we will be sending information out to you in December/early January.
28th June 2004
June has been a busy month for us. We spent an enjoyable week at Gardeners World Live at the NEC, Birmingham and were delighted to be awarded a Silvergilt Medal for our exhibit. This past week our display at the West Country Garden Festival in Exeter earned us a Gold Medal. The weather down in the South West was changeable, to say the least, but it was good to meet so many gardeners from the other side of the country, including some from my native Cornwall.
The nursery closes now (for regular opening) until September, but we do have several special events on including two RHS talks
Designing and Planting a Hot Border - 19 July
Perennials and Grasses to give Autumn Colour - 31 August
Our Special Autumn Open Days are on 27 and 28 August and we shall be exhibiting at the RHS Wisley Show on 17, 18 and 19 August
19 May 2004
The hellebore season is all but over and once again it has been successful. Although the Spring has been cold generally, customers have travelled from afar to choose their particular plants. We enjoyed seeing familiar faces once again, as well as welcoming new customers. Our range of plants has increased and we can now offer the rare Helleborus ericsmithii and Helleborus nigercors, amongst others. This season we have developed a method of sending large flowered Bradfield hybrids by post, so customers who are not able to visit the nursery have been able to select specific colours and forms, such as Bradfield doubles and Bradfield Stars, they might have seen on our website or in the excellent articles about us in Gardens Illustrated (February) and English Garden (January).
Our end of season hellebore offer is proving popular. Visitors to the nursery can buy six Bradfield hybrids (3 litre plants) for £30.00. The offer is available for certain hellebores only - please visit the nursery or telephone or email if you would like more details.
We are becoming better known for woodland and shade loving plants and our Special Woodland and Shade Loving Plant Days and talks in April were most popular this year, with Anemone nemerosa cultivars and Epimediums particularly in demand. The informal talks held on the Special Open Days introduced many new easy to grow plants to visitors.
We attended three RHS London Shows at Westminster this Spring and on each occasion we were awarded a Silver Gilt medal. Getting this award at the April Show gave me particular pleasure as my son George stepped into the breach to help out at short notice, even though it was his seventeenth birthday.
Roger and George at RHS London Show, April 2004
2nd February 2004
It was good to welcome so many people to the nursery on Friday and Saturday, despite the inclement weather.
28 January 2004
We are busy on the nursery getting ready for The Hellebore Open Days this Friday and Saturday. We had a little snow last night and the odd light snow shower today. There is no more forecast and the temperature on Friday is predicted to be 7 - 9 C. There are some showers forecast for Friday, but everything is under cover for your convenience.
Our Winter Garden Display has been staged. This season is particularly early - we have never had so many helleborus in flower in January so there is a good selection available to purchase. There is also a wide variety of perennials and Galanthus available. A new feature of The Hellebore Open Days this year will be short talks on Helleborus during the day. We look forward to welcoming our visitors.
9 January 2004
The 2004 catalogue is now online and the booklet copies will be available shortly. Things are looking good at the nursery and we are looking forward to opening for the season on Thursday. Regular opening hours. You may be interested to know the February editions of Gardens Illustrated and Gardens Monthly contain articles about our nursery and hellebores.
4 January 2004
Happy New Year.
The new hellebore season is imminent and many plants are already in flower. The mild weather during December has encouraged early growth. I am delighted to report that the crop of double flowered Helleborus 'Bradfield hybrids' is much larger than last year (a considerable number having flowered during the autumn) which means we should be able to fulfill customers requirements; even the highly sought after white doubles will be available.
The new catalogue is at the printers and will be ready shortly.
Our list of Galanthus (Snowdrops) is now available and viewable online. It contains about 40 different species and cultivars; many are rare and not easy to find, but most are easy to grow. By careful selection it is possible to have snowdrops in flower from October through until early March. These are available by mail order.
We have changed our mail order postage and packing charges due to a procedural change by the Post Office; please see the mail order page for details. It will, in fact, result in lower costs for most customers. Our principle remains the same; we only aim to recover the postage costs of this service.
In response to customer demand we have now developed a system where we can send large 3L flowering hellebores by post. This means customers unable to visit the nursery can now purchase specific hellebores including doubles and anemone centred plants. The minimum order of 6 plants still applies, but the order can include other plants from the wide range of perennials available in our catalogue.
Hope to see you at the nursery at The Hellebore Open Days and other events during the year. For more information see our Shows/Events page.
11th September 2003
I am delighted my wife, Teresa, is now able to take a more active role in our family business. She is mainly giving support on the administrative side which will mean we are able to man the phone more often (although if you get the answerphone we will always return your call if you leave a message). It will also enable us to operate much more efficiently when dealing with mail orders.
The recent Special Autumn Open Days proved to be a popular event with the first 100 customers taking home a free helenium. We are building a National Collection of heleniums, in conjunction with Suffolk NCCPG. Our visitors enjoyed looking at the range of cultivars and species.
Our recent events (a lecture on Colour in the Autumn Garden and a Propagation Day) held in association with the RHS were well attended and the feedback was for both events was positive. Teresa took a break from the office to provide the refreshments, which included her delicious cakes. The propagation day was great fun - everyone seems to appreciate the chance to join in this 'hands on' event . In this practical session visitors were able to participate in the various techniques employed and then take home the fruits of their labours.
The hellebores are growing well, and we already have a good number of Bradfield doubles and anemone centred plants that have flowered abnormally early. This bodes well for next February. The dates of The Hellebore Open Days are now on the website. We still advise pre-ordering for certain hellebores.
7th June 2003
Life on the nursery has been hectic yesterday with preparations for Gardener's world Live at Birmingham. I look forward to meeting some old friends and making some new ones at the show.
We have struggled to keep up with all the mail orders this year, but are on top of it now. We have also taken steps to improve the system for next season - some help in the office from September. This will mean more efficient systems are put in place, the telephone will be manned on a more regular basis, the website will be updated more frequently and we can develop online ordering.
13th April 2003
It was good to welcome so many gardening enthusiasts to our Special Woodland and Shade Loving Plants on Friday and Saturday. We were glad to raise some money for Barnardo's by serving refreshments - not sure how much yet as the collecting tin will remain sealed until it is full.
4th April 2003
It's a wonderful time of year with so many plants emerging from their winter dormancy and offering us the promise of pleasure to come. Things are looking good on the nursery and we are looking forward to our Special Woodland and Shade Loving Plants Days.
Unfortunately we have had a major computer problem which has caused us difficulties and taken time to sort out. Thankfully this is now largely behind us, but it has added to the challenge at such a busy time of year. We are in the process of sending out plants by mail order so if yours have not arrived, don't despair they will be with you soon.
On a brighter note we were pleased to welcome The Times readers to the nursery yesterday for a talk on Woodland and Shade Loving Plants and look forward to Monday when we will be welcoming RHS members for a similar day.
11th February 2003
Well, this cold weather means some plants are rather late in the garden, but the hellebores in the tunnels are looking beautiful. We are pleased to be welcoming so many people to the nursery for the RHS talks this week - which means Teresa has been busy basking cakes!
31st January 2003
Well, we had more snow than anticipated, but quite a number of people visited the nursery today. It was quieter than the usual Special Hellebore Days, but the phone was busy! The forecast for tomorrow is for rain at first, then fine weather so it's full steam ahead for tomorrow.
30th January 2003
Well, it's been a difficult week; coping with the chilly weather and a new label printer which is providing us with a few problems, but we are getting there - the display is built and we are looking forward to welcoming people to the nursery tomorrow and Saturday. There is ample parking and light refreshments will be available. SNOW REPORT 20.00 we have a light covering of snow, the roads are clear and the forecast for tomorrow is for bright sunshine and a temperature of 6C.
14th January 2003
The weather has at last turned mild again, and the hellebores have resumed growing.
At this rate Spring should arrive earlier than last year. The Bradfield hellebores are starting to come into flower and visitors to the nursery at the end of the month are assured of a really good display.
Should you be interested in particular colours or species, it is advisable to order in advance of these special days, as many of the rarer plants are being pre-ordered and are therefore likely to be in short supply. See the hellebore page for details re pre-ordering
Tickets for the RHS talks are disappearing fast; follow the link on our Shows/Events page for how to order if you are interested..
The 21st century has caught up with us and we can now take credit cards by telephone or at the nursery. We are developing a secure website and plan to be able to take orders over the net later in the year.
Looking forward to seeing you soon.
26th November 2002
Well the new website went live on 24th November after much hard work and we are pleased with the initial results. However, we are already making adjustments in response to comments. Apparently it does not look so good on a 800*600 monitor screen resolution (which is what most people have). We are awaiting feedback before taking further action.
The new catalogue has been sent to the printers today and will be available in booklet form by mid December. It will be online soon.
20th November 2002
As the rain continues to fall we have taken advantage of this time to revamp the website. There are now many pictures and we intend to introduce more as time allows. The layout has been improved and we hope the site is easier to navigate. Our website and email facilities are provided by www.epostman.co.uk who provides personalised, private and permanent email addresses and websites.
Our new Hellebore hybrids have been properly launched. They are called Helleborus hybridus Bradfield Stars. The intriguing feature of these flowers is their similarity to clematis. The sepals are separated, just like a clematis. The degree of separation is variable but with continued breeding we hope to introduce more uniformity. The colour range is somewhat limited, but with further hybridisation we hope to extend this in years to come.
Some hellebores are already coming into flower so there is an opportunity to purchase before Christmas - they make super presents. If you wish to visit the nursery during our closed season please telephone 01284 386777.
We are already finding some double flowered plants, which bodes well for next Spring. However we would urge all customers to order 'Specials' well in advance. This saves much disappointment when visiting the nursery. For more details see Hellebores
View our News Archive for a selection of news items and articles from our old website
Get flowers for your loved one for any occasion