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Beware Agapanthus Gall Midge

Posted on by Trevena Cross

We recently had a visit from a customer, puzzled by their agapanthus flower head, with its slightly deformed flower buds and its failure to open into full bloom. This is a problem which we have had little experience of in the past, and were slightly puzzled by ourselves.

More frequently we hear reports of agapanthus growing lush foliage at the expense of flowers – a problem commonly caused by poor watering after flowering, over-dividing, over-potting, or on the contrary, letting it become excessively pot-bound. But this problem was less familiar, so we turned to the wonderful world wide web for answers!…And the ‘go-to’ resource for gardeners, the RHS, came up trumps…

Agapanthus gall midge is a new species of fly affecting Agapanthus that can cause buds to become deformed and discoloured and fail to flower. It was first noticed in the UK in 2014 but may have been present for several years.

Agapanthus gall midge is a tiny fly that lays eggs on the developing flower buds of Agapanthus. The feeding activities of the larvae inside the buds cause abnormal bud development and infested buds can fail to open”.

Photo source: RHS website.

It seemed very possible that this gall midge could responsible for the troubled agapanthus and we passed on this information to the customer in case they wanted to investigate further/take action. On returning home, and under close inspection, the customer was actually able to see the midge-larvae in some of his flower buds, and is now taking action to manage the problem – by removing all contaminated heads and applying (and re-applying) ‘bug-killer’ to try and eradicate all larvae. Fingers crossed it works.

As a ‘new’ disease, highlighted above as only first being noticed in 2014, we thought it would be a useful one to share with you all, particularly agapanthus lovers and owners, in case something similar ever shows itself on your plants.

Research is ongoing – there is a lot more to learn about the disease, its effects and how it should be controlled, but it’s certainly one to keep track of in coming years.

Posted in Industry News, Product News |

Trevena Cross Competitor Price Comparison

Posted on by Trevena Cross

We want to ensure that all of our customers get great value for money – and in many cases exceptional value for money if we can offer it! We have always grown the vast majority (90%+) of our plants on site in our nursery to cut out the ‘middle man’ when it comes to sourcing mature plants. That way, we can pass on the savings to our customers….and be sure that our plants have been grown in a way that meets our high standards – in the best compost, with the best fertiliser, in the best growing conditions we’re able to provide.

Trevena Cross plants are propagated from seed or are grown from small plugs supplied by carefully sourced, specialist nurseries. They are ‘quality’ plants, that will produce impressive, enduring displays of their best quality, whether that be beautiful blooms or striking foliage. They are in a different league from the ‘equivalents’ you’ll find in many DIY or supermarket establishments that dabble in plants. These are often second grade plants grown on mass from seed abroad.

The unique nature of Trevena Cross, as both a nursery AND a garden centre, means we can offer you true value for money… Want an example? Click on the below image to find out how we fair against a couple of our closest competitors this bedding/patio season…

Trevena Cross Competitor Price Comparison

Posted in Business News, Industry News, Product News |

Trevena Cross Open Easter Sunday

Posted on by Trevena Cross

Easter eggs
Easter this coming weekend… and we’ll be OPEN over the whole Easter period, including Easter Sunday (usual trading hours). Due to trading laws we will only able to make plant sales on Easter Sunday (as we grow these on site in the nursery),  but the cafe will be open as usual too, serving up a delicious Sunday Roast alongside its usual full menu!

Sunday Trading Laws – Support for CHANGE!
We’re disappointed that enforced Sunday Trading Laws will prevent us, once again, being able to offer our customers everything that Trevena Cross has to offer on Easter Sunday. A day when families are out and about, and also want to spend time in the garden… it’s that time of year after all! We can only apologise in advance, on behalf of those politicians who clearly have no idea what our local communities/customers really want, and what we get asked for every Easter Sunday… I mean fertiliser and a pot to go with your plant – what a ludicrous thought!!

The matter of Sunday Trading Laws is a pertinent one at the moment, as a proposed liberalisation of current trading restrictions for larger stores has been quashed by the SNP (with alliance from members of other parties). A little hypocritical don’t you think? Denying people the freedom to shop, already available to those that they represent in Scotland, where no trading restrictions are in place! Standing in the way of people trying to choose what’s right for their own communities and local economy…how is this right? We couldn’t be much further away from Scotland, whilst remaining in the UK!…So why do they get a say?!

Mini-rant over, we’d love local people and other small, local independent businesses who survive in the main on weekend support from the local community… to come together and fight for change!…

Posted in Business News, Easter, Industry News, The Garden Kitchen Cafe |

Low plant stocks not a problem here at Trevena

Posted on by Trevena Cross

Following reports from local customers and industry contacts, we’ve become aware of the fact that plant stock levels are low at various local garden centres (and most likely those further afield) – something we’re really pleased and proud to report is not the case here at Trevena Cross Nurseries.

While many garden centres rely on external suppliers to source their plants, something that can be tricky as well as expensive to do at this time of year, we do not have this problem, growing more than 90% of our own plants on site in our nursery from seed or plant plugs. Plants have never been scarce here at Trevena Cross and never will be, as there are always tens of thousands of plants being grown on, and becoming readily available in the large 30 acre nursery, or down on the garden centre where they come to the end of their journey with us…. and start their journey with you.

Trevena Cross Owner Graham Jeffery comments:

“We’ve had customers visit recently, very surprised to discover the copious numbers of plants that we have available here at the moment. Having done the rounds of other local garden centres, we’re apparently unique, able to meet every plant need where others aren’t.  Growing our own stock is a real advantage, for so many reasons, but being able to assure a consistent supply of plants to our customers whenever they require them is certainly one of the most important”.

Plants in nursery tunnel

Posted in Business News, Industry News, Product News |

It’s National Conifer Week again!

Posted on by Trevena Cross

Organised by the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) and the British Conifer Group, National Conifer Week is running this week from 27th September – 5th October 2014. 

Despite the lovely pleasant, dry September most of us have been fortunate enough to enjoy, there are definitely signs that autumn is on the way, and with this season change, evergreen, structurally strong plants like conifers really come to the fore and their importance in the garden is realised.

Do you give these ‘back-benchers’ the time of day in your own garden? Do you have room to give a bit more structure to your space with one?

Conifers at Trevena Cross Nurseries

An annual event, see what we had to say about the humble conifer during last year’s National Conifer Week here. 

Posted in Industry News, Product News |

National Gardening Week is here!

Posted on by Trevena Cross

What a start to National Gardening Week – the beautiful sunshine is beating down on beautiful Cornwall, and things have gone just a little crazy here at Trevena as a result! The garden has leapt to the top of the priority list for many and we’re seeing the knock on impact, particularly as we head for the long Easter bank holiday weekend too.

National Gardening Week logo

A lovely busy spring is just what the doctor ordered and so far mother nature is delivering. A few April showers are to be expected, but we’re certainly pleased that a return of spring 2013 hasn’t emerged.

There’s no better time to join in a ‘celebration of gardening’ – and that’s what National Gardening Week is all about. Springtime, fine weather, and a long weekend ahead…. there really is no excuse not to get in the garden and make the most of it.

Find out more about the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) National Gardening Week here.

We’re open on Easter Sunday!

This Easter weekend we’ll be open as normal. Due to Sunday Trading Laws however, we will be open for the sale of plants, compost, fertiliser and seeds only on Easter Sunday. The rest of the shop will be closed/cordoned off for the day. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Posted in Business News, Industry News |

Week 6: Time to think spring

Posted on by Trevena Cross

Last week was week 6, an important week in the nursery calendar – lots of new plugs and liners were delivered to the nursery, and months of planning behind the scenes for the spring season ahead began to come to fruition.

Plans for the garden are still a little way off for many of us, but once February hits, garden centres and nurseries really start gearing up for what they hope will be a great spring and subsequent summer season. Gardeners and non-gardeners alike are fed up of the rain and the other challenges presented by a gloomy winter, but we’re now looking forwards to a rewarding spring awakening – as I’m sure are all of you ‘outdoorsy’ types.

It is hard to imagine a turnaround in the weather after the last couple of weeks down here in the south west, (and indeed across much of the UK), but that doesn’t stop us! We’re extremely busy behind the scenes preparing for the season ahead – and we look forward to welcoming you all this 2014!

Posted in Business News, Industry News |

Gardening starts with pot luck!

Posted on by Trevena Cross

‘It starts with a pot’– a new PR initiative launched by the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) is aiming to get even the most beginner and ‘scaredy cat’ gardeners out into the garden to make a difference this spring. The perceived complexities of gardening; of ‘getting it right’; which also encompasses the fear of being responsible for killing off the ‘newly planted’, puts a huge proportion of people off taking the plunge and getting out into the garden.

It Starts with a Pot Logo

‘It starts with a pot’ aims to encourage a straightforward, fun approach to planting. Simply planting up a few pots, containers, (or more imaginative and unusual vessels if you’re the creative type!) easily creates a high impact outdoor colour display with little effort or worry, and with only basic ongoing maintenance that the most novice gardener can easily succeed at. Pots also work in any size space – from a tiny courtyard to acres of garden, there is always a place for a pot or two.

We plan to go ‘pot potty’ this spring as we introduce a greater range of potted spring colour here at Trevena Cross Nurseries, and invite you to choose your own pot from our huge selection, to ‘pick n’ mix’ your own plants and pots. Knowledgeable growers ourselves, we’ll be on hand with expert advice regarding colour coordination, pot size, compost, drainage, feeding… and any other pot worries you may have, to help make your ‘potting experience’ an enjoyable one.

Small pot planter

For the more experienced, take advantage of the opportunity to make your pots the star of the garden this spring. Perhaps try utilising more unusual… even weird and wacky containers for your plantings. From welly boots, to watering cans, the only limit is your imagination!

For novice ‘potters’, start with our ‘Tubs & Baskets’ Guide to get the ball rolling!

Posted in Business News, Industry News |

Two days to go until the start of Wild About Gardens Week

Posted on by Trevena Cross

Wild About Gardens Week starts in two days time…. so why not set aside an hour or two in the next week to do something for the wildlife in your garden?!

Bumble bee on heathers

After ideas? In brief…

  • Build a bee hotel
  • Make a log shelter
  • Plant a tree
  • Put in a pond
  • Catch the rain
  • Plant for bees and butterflies
  • Compost

… or click here for more ideas!

So just what wildlife are we talking about? Who really needs our help?

From frogs and toads, to birds and insects, there’s a whole range of ‘garden helpers’ out there, each with their own role to play in maintaining local biodiversity. To find out more about these creatures click here.

Go on… go wild in your garden this coming week! 

Posted in Events, Industry News |

Lend wildlife a helping hand this October

Posted on by Trevena Cross

Wild About Gardens Week takes place in a couple of weeks time (25th – 31st October 2013). Designed to help encourage support for local biodiversity in gardens across the UK, this week, a joint initiative between the RHS and The Wildlife Trusts, highlights just how important it is to ‘think wildlife’ and take steps to make our gardens more wildlife friendly – often with surprisingly little effort, or with little change to the way it looks.

Increase wildlife in your garden - bee on lavender

Britain’s wildlife needs our help. Over the past five decades, two thirds of the UK’s plant and animal species have declined in number, for many reasons, including loss of habitat. We see less frogs, hedgehogs and sparrows now, than at one time, and the same goes for many other common garden species that are so important to local biodiversity.

The week will be supported by lots of wildlife-gardening events across the UK, organised by community groups, schools and individuals, and so whether you get involved in one of these, or take your own individual steps to improve biodiversity in your garden, there is always something you can do to help…. even if it’s just ONE thing.

Here’s a few ideas…

– Provide flowers for food!  – pollen producing flowers will be heaven to bees, butterflies and other insects. For plant ideas see our ‘Bee Friendly Plants

– Grow a range of tree & shrubs (& plant a new tree!) – Larger plants can support more wildlife, so why not plant a new tree to support more wildlife with food and shelter?!

– Compost! Great for wildlife, great for your soil, for your garden plants and great news for landfill! You just need organic material, (greens like weeds and grass cuttings, and browns like dry leaves and shredded newspaper) air and water to make compost.

– Feed the birds, year round – Providing food and water for birds throughout the year is a great way to keep them in your garden. Natural fruit, berries and seeds on your plants will be a big draw, with supplementary feeding in the colder months / through winter hugely important. A supply of (unfrozen) drinking water is just as important.

– Dead wood – a pile of dead wood in a shady spot is the perfect habitat for a range of more specialist wildlife, growing increasingly uncommon in our gardens. A cool retreat in the summer and a site for frost-free hibernation in the winter makes it very attractive. Whether stacked neat and tidy or in a less conventional manner, our garden wildlife don’t mind.

For more great ways to attract wildlife in your garden click here.

 

P.S- Be in with a chance of winning 500 Crocus bulbs by subscribing to the ‘Wild About Gardens’ e-newsletter! Just click here!

Posted in Competitions, Events, Industry News |