Welcome to March which has been preceded by a week of settled snow and very cold temperatures. Having gone into reverse spring does seem to have been put on hold.

                Hopefully increasing temperatures over the next two or three weeks will bring the change that the gardens need to burst back into life. Look out for tender shrubs however, and have a roll of frost protection fabric to hand. 

             •We are now closed on Sundays until Sunday the 8th of April

             •The new seed ranges from Thompson and Morgan, Mr Fothergill's seeds (new to us) and Franchi seeds have arrived. Interesting selections of seed made by Sarah Raven are on display here for the first time. Now is the time to plan this year's bedding display or vegetables to eat - all grown from seed with a little patience

              •Our summer-flowering bulbs and tubers have now arrived - many types of dahlias and begonias, lillies and freesias amongst just some of the new stock

              •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.        

              •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

              •The box tree caterpillar is currently dormant but we think will continue 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

               •Winter-flowering hellebores continue to provide long-flowering winter cheer and will soon give way to spring varieties of hellebore. They make a positive addition to any garden or pot with long-flowering appeal. Spring-flowering bulbs are also available at the garden centre - daffodils, tulips, narcissus etc are all heading towards flowering.

              Hopefully March will see a turnaround in the more recent weather and very soon we will be enjoying some warm spring sunshine. Enjoy the thought and stay warm!

              Richard Hood