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“Tarte Au Citroen” invited back to June plant fair at Sandon Hall

We had such a lovely experience with Tarte Au Citroen at the April plant fair at Sandon Hall that the management have asked them to attend the June event too. This delightful van, called Nicole, belongs to Kate who set up her own business just over two years ago in nearby Lichfield.  She and her van will be returning to the lawns on Sunday 9 June. Barista coffees, superior teas, hot chocolate, soft drinks and cordials, snacks and naughty cakes will all be available during the opening and I do hope you will go and say hello to her; or should I say “Bonjour”? Kate brings together quality products and as much as possible, all the food is home made so I think we shall all be in for a treat. Tarte Au Citroen will be parked up on the lawns beside the conservatory and set amongst all the fantastic plant nurseries and growers.  We have a mouth watering collection of quality plant specialists and growers as well as some fabulous garden accessory stands. Participating plant specialists and growers include Staffordshire branch of the Hardy Plant Society, L B J Nurseries, Penmere Plants, The Old School House (peony lady!), Bright & Beautiful, Brambling House Alpines & Salvias, Ribblesdale Nurseries, Seeds To Sow, Linda Scott Hardy Plants, Ruth Hall, Plantazia, Stannard Plants and Jurassic Plants.

2019 – Venues and Dates all sorted

Just a quick thank you to everyone who was involved with Flower Power Fairs last year.  From the wonderful plant specialists who work so hard growing amazing plants for you, to the people who create my signs, my posters, my fabulous leaflets and to the suppliers who provide the market stalls and the mobile toilets and of course, not forgetting all you loyal customers who come and see what treats we have for you. And the fairs wouldn’t be anywhere without the incredible enthusiasm and support I receive from the stately homes and private houses.  For 2019 we say goodbye to some venues and hello to some new ones. Goodbye to Worsall Hall (but hopefully back in 2020), Dalton Hall and Coverham Abbey (family commitments) and Raby Castle (a change of management) but we welcome back Constable Burton near Leyburn and Cedarbarn Farmshop near Pickering. We’re back at some of my favourites starting off at Holme Pierrepont Hall, and then new for 2019 we will be holding an April event at Sandon Hall, Staffordshire then on to Newburgh Priory, Holker Hall, Ness Hall Gardens, Rode Hall, Sandon Hall in June, Sion Hill Hall and Wynyard Hall Walled Garden and of course the new venues. Most of the fairs are now fully booked and I have some new exciting plant nurseries and garden accessory stands attending as well as the wonderful regulars so get the dates in your diaries now. Holme Pierrepont Hall, Nottingham   Sunday 24 March Sandon Hall, Stafford   Sunday 7 April Newburgh Priory, Yorkshire  Sunday 14 April Holker Hall & Gardens, Cumbria   Easter Sunday 21 April. To download the 2019 leaflet click on the correct heading and there you are!   If you want to become part of the family and receive newsletters and emails, just fill in the form.  Your information IS NEVER SHARED with anyone. ...

Source with Care

One of my plant specialists, The Quiet Corner, sent me a disturbing article about the use of Neonics in the horticultural industry. I have never heard of the word. I imagine many of you haven’t either but I personally find it worrying that these pesticides are used on our plants on a daily basis. This article appeared in the The Organic Way in the Spring/Summer issue 2017 and was written by Judith Conroy. I quote from this article: “I am often asked, “what plants can I grow that are good for bees?” There usually follows a lovely conversation about the fascinating relationships between different insects and their favourite blooms. My questioner will often end with “great, I’ll go and find some of those down at the garden centre.” My heart sinks, as having enthused them, I have to explain why this might not be a good idea …. The fact is that many of the plants for sale in garden centres, supermarkets, farm shops and plant nurseries are treated with a whole range of different chemicals to kill insects, molluscs, fungi and weeds (basically termed pesticides) – but there is no requirement to let the unsuspecting customer know this. For those of us buying plants with bees and other pollinating insects in mind, NEONICOTINOID insecticides (commonly known as Neonics) give particular cause for concern; though their use in agriculture receives prominent media coverage, their continued use in horticulture is seldom discussed. Neonics are used as a drench, meaning that the chemical is taken up by the plant and so is present in all its tissues, including, crucially, the pollen and nectar. Neonics act as neurotoxins, killing insect pests, such as vine weevils and aphids when they eat the plant, but are also proven to be highly toxic to non-target species such as bees who visit them ...

SANDON HALL – Sunday 9 June 2019

We make a return to Sandon Hall on Sunday 9 June for our second plant fair there this year so I hope those of you who visited in April will come back and see what wonderful plants are for sale in June. The delightful 50 acre garden of Sandon Hall will look completely different from their April blooms so come back and explore all over again.  You will have a huge selection of plants on sale here from small alpines to the big boys of the herbaceous border and everything in-between.  Grant, the head gardener, is on the second year of a ten plan for the garden for those of you who know the gardens well, you will already have seen the changes and improvements. A memorial garden has been planted with native trees from all the participating countries who fought in the First World War and Grant has now allocated a four acre “wild garden” area to encourage wild life into the gardens – but not rabbits!  Poor Sandon Hall suffers from rabbit damage. DON’T FORGET TO BRING CASH, most nurseries do not have card facilities.  And for those of you who wish to stop the use of plastic bags, may I politely ask you to bring your own bags and help save the planet. Highly respected plant nurseries will be attending the fair from all over the North and Midlands.  They all grown their own plants, are passionate plants people and have vast knowledge.  So please don’t be afraid to ask them questions – they love to help you all. Participating plant specialists and growers include Staffordshire branch of the Hardy Plant Society, L B J Nurseries, Penmere Plants, The Old School House (peony lady!), Bright & Beautiful, Brambling House Alpines & Salvias, Ribblesdale Nurseries, Seeds To Sow, Linda Scott Hardy Plants, Ruth ...

RODE HALL – Bank Holiday Monday 27 May 2019

The Rode Hall Spring Plant Fair is staying with Bank Holiday Monday, and offering visitors the added opportunity to visit the Hall too (separate admission). The plant fair will be held on gravel outside the entrance to the Hall and visitors will also be able to visit the magnificent gardens (awash with spring flowering plants and bluebells) as well as a wander down to the lake to see the heronry there. We had the most amazing weather in 2018 so I am hoping that we shall be lucky again this year.  Come early to get the best choice of plants and then nip into the cafe for a brew before your visit to the delightful gardens. Participating nurseries include Old School House, Penmere Plants, LBJ Nursery, Hillview Hardy Plants, Ruth Hall, Hempholme Plant Nursery, Ribblesdale Nurseries, Seeds To Sow, Hillside Herbs, Stannard Plants, Andrea’s Anvil and many more. Admission £4.00 (reduced from normal garden admission) includes gardens, grounds and plant fair. Open 11am – 4pm. Rode Hall, Scholar Green, Cheshire ST7 3QP Hall open, separate admission Refreshments served all day. BRING CASH – MOST PLANT NURSERIES DO NOT HAVE CARD FACILITIES.                    


Back to the delightful Holme Pierrepont Hall on Sunday 24 March with the plant fair on the lawns in front of the Hall and will feature many of the best individual plant nurseries from the Midlands and the North.  Always offering you choice plants and shrubs, and of course advice on how to get the very best out of the plants you buy.  Some will be unusual, some even rare, but all have been grown by the people who sell them and offer excellent value for money, locally grown with low mileage. Amongst the plant nurseries attending are Piecemeal Plants, Ashdale Nursery, Coopers Nurseries, Linda Scott Hardy Plants, Plant Wild, Ruth Hall, Seeds To Sow, Ribblesdale Nurseries, Plantazia, Bridge Farm Plants, Helmholme Plants, The Herb Nursery, Stannard Plants, Bright & Beautiful and North Staffordshire Hostas and Shade Lovers.  We also welcome back Tambrath Welding Co with their wonderful metal arches, planters and plant supports. Holme Pierrepont has the most delightful spring garden full of snowdrops, crocus, miniature iris and unusual spring flowering shrubs and trees.  Collections of Camella and interesting topiary throughout the garden. The inner courtyard garden makes an attractive entrance into the Hall where the toilet facilities are.  Refreshments served throughout the day. Entries for the plant fair are now closed.  We are fully booked.  Thank you for your interest. 11.00am – 4.00pm Admission £4.00 includes gardens, grounds and plant fair.  Children free. Proceeds go towards the continued restoration of the gardens and woodland areas.Dogs welcome. Address is Holme Pierrepont Hall, Nottingham NG12 2LD Beware the sleeping policemen as you approach the estate, just past Blotts.  The canopy over the road hides an extremely “vicious” bump.

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