Welcome to February in which we are a month closer for the spring to arrive. Hopefully we will see temperatures starting to rise slightly and daylight length increasing noticeably by the end of the month.
           January was a combination of the very cold, the wet and the odd bright days. Fingers crossed for some real improvement - it may yet be too early to take off the frost protection fabric from tender plants but at least we are heading in the right direction!
         •Valentine's Day is not that far away - make sure that you order a beautiful bouquet of traditional red roses or something completely different - ring Kelly, our florist, on 0207 937 0481 to get ideas and prices. We will be open until 7 pm on the day just in case a last minute thought needs fulfilling.  
         •We are now closed on Sundays until Sunday the 9th of April when we will open at 11 am
         •Time to start thinking about mulching pots and borders with fibrous material that conditions and feeds your soil. This will pay dividends further on in the year when floral display will look better than ever
          •Soon we will renew our 2017 seed selection from Thompson & Morgan and Franchi seeds - now is the time to start planning vegetable choices and summer bedding schemes 
 •Outdoors we have changed our selection of bedding plants to reflect the winter - cyclamen of different sizes and colours, winter pansies, primroses, hellebores and early spring-flowering bulbs are part of our varied selection of seasonal interest
          •We are stocking up on a large and varied selection of evergreen shrubs and climbers - some with winter berry and others with the promise of spring flowering. All our camellias have now arrived with a good range  of sizes and varieties•The box tree
caterpillar continues to be a serious problem in this area. Check all your
buxus plants and take action if necessary as soon as possible, because delay
will result in you losing your favourite plants or topiary. Be aware that this
problem will likely re-occur when the weather warms up again and
that you should continue to monitor the situation. In addition buxus blight seems to have been exacerbated by the relatively mild winter - perhaps it is time to think of planting alternatives, such as ilex crenata
•Our selection of tools from Spear & Jackson, the Kew Gardener collection, is
one of the best available and has proved to be a great success with our
landscapers and customers. Do not forget that a rake is a very useful tool throughout autumn and winter          •Our cards
from the Natural History Museum's Archivist collection are both beautiful and
inexpensive and provide a lovely way to send a message with a floral gift. We have added ten new designs from Blume editions to add choices to our range which are equally as charming
           •We stock all
the necessary components for irrigation systems from both Hozelock and Gardena
- both these companies recommend the temporary removal and dry storage of their water timers before the risk of serious frost
             Let us hope that February produces fine and bright weather without too much moisture - it will be a much more tolerable month from the gardening point of view if we don't get too wet or feel the cold too intensely!
 Enjoy your garden, 
               Richard Hood