About Seaside Plants

Geranium oxonianum A T Johnson Geranium oxonianum A T Johnson

We are a small family run business set in the South Hams area of South Devon. We have been trading since 1979, supplying trade customers throughout the south west.
In that time we have built up a wide range of different plants, many of which are suited to coastal conditions.
We now feel we would like to offer our knowledge and range of plants to you through this site.

Easter News From The Nursery
We are busy on the nursery as everyone seems to have the gardening bug, brought on by the lovely weather. So sorry I am late with this month's note.
Beautiful though the weather is and no nurseryman would admit to disliking the sales it brings, it does mean that watering duties have increased.
Tubs that have been self sufficient during wet weather will benefit from watering and top dressing. To perk up more permanent planting like evergreen Bays, Myrtles and Box, remove the top inch or two of compost and replace with new. Preferably a compost with slow release fertiliser added. Liquid feeding is also helpful, as if applied regularly through the summer season, it will keep your seasonal planting schemes fresh and longer lasting.
Although we are running low on over wintered stock, we have a good selection fresh plants becoming available.
Now is the perfect time to establish young herbaceous plants like Achilleas, Asters, Hardy Geraniums and Rudbeckia.

March News From The Nursery

Lovely day and I am out on the nursery doing a stock list of what's available. Apart from plants rolling about after several days of gales it's all looking spring like.

Lots of the herbaceous plants need splitting and with the longer warmer days (hopefully) they will grow away very quickly. In the garden situation this can be a messy job on borders and adjoining lawns. To avoid undue damage in wet conditions, take clump onto polythene sheeting on drives or pathways to do the splitting.

Check containers of plants that have been placed in the lee of a wall or hedge. These containers may well be very dry and the plants struggling to sustain new growth. Any plants that have dead top growth, but starting to shoot should be chopped down now to avoid damaging new shoots.

The new crop of Griselinia littoralis are potted into 9 cm pots and will be ready later in the year, after selling out quickly we have none left at the moment.

Other hedging alternatives we have available now are Olearia traversii, Fuchsia magellanica Floriade, Fuchsia magellanica var. molinae 'Alba', Pittosporum tenuifolium, Luma chequen, Myrtus communis tarentina, Pittosporum tenuifolium, Pittosporum tenuifolium French Lace and Pittosporum crassifolium.

February News from the Nursery

If February is to continue in this current manner I am glad it's a short month. We are waiting to be engulfed in rain (already here) and gale force winds, up 70 mph, so not a nice prospect.
At least it is mild at the moment so we are taking advantage of that and potting frantically.

Sales have been good for the time of year and we have sold out of some lines. Hence the potting activity on days when fingers are not frozen!

The rain and wind is making a mess of any herbaceous and ornamental grass plantings. I do leave mine until the new year as a home for wildlife and to reduce damaging cold winds on more tender treasures. However the grasses are beginning to send up new shoots so if I don't cut them down soon I will be chopping off the new growth.

There is still plenty of time for a big freeze as the newspapers like to call every low temperature event! So keep the fleece handy and an eye on the weather forecast.

Remember to check containers that might get waterlogged – put feet under them, big pebbles, bricks anything to raise them up so water drains out.

The best thing at this time of year is to enjoy the early flowers – Aconitites, Snowdrops, Hellebores and of course the bulbs coming through that you knew what they were in the autumn when you planted them and now - well they will be a nice surprise.

January News from the Nursery

At last we are getting some cold winter weather, nice and sunny today as I write this, a welcome addition.
As I put our Christmas tree outside, it had started to struggle with the heat fom the woodburner, I noticed a flower on a clump of Iris unguicularis. This such an amazing winter flowering plant. The leaves are evergreen and quite robust, but the flowers are so fragile looking with a spring like freshness. There are also snowdrops showing white in a tub. I remember reading that snowdrops don't like being in a container - obviously no one told mine!
Some plants have really got ahead of themselves, because the weather not long ago was so mild. I have a few Pulmonaria Redstart on the nursery coming out in flower and the Carex elata Aurea have yet to die down. In the early part of the year this grass is a lovely sight - bold gold foliage and black flower heads.
The plants that have not really toughened up would benefit with fleecing in this cold snap as it might come as a shock to them, especially if they are on the tender side.

December News from the Nursery

The first official day of winter got off to a suitably wintery start. Minus 4 degrees and thick mist.
We have been busy over the last few weeks moving our less hardy plants into tunnels. Most would not be killed by frost, but it can damage the young growth making them unsightly for early season sales next year.
Although we have had a few frosts the ground is still warm enough to plant shrubs and now is a great time to get a hedge established.
We have a wide choice at the moment including the ever popular Griselinia littoralis, Elaeagnus x ebbingei, Olearia traversii, and many varieties of Pittosporum. Viburnum tinus Lucidum also makes an excellent hedge or stand alone specimen, with lovely dark glossy evergreen leaves and heads of white flowers.
There are also plenty of shrubs available which make a more unusual and distinctive hedge. Luma chequen for example is an upright growing Myrtle with sweet smelling evergreen leaves and white flowers, while Myrtus communis tarentina will make a beautiful neat low hedge.

November News from the Nursery

Now as winter is about to take hold, (4°C forecast for Wednesday 2 November at the nursery) it's a good time to see which gems in the garden are still in flower. These are the star plants that give months of colour and prop up the others that, gorgeous as they maybe, are not stayers .
First up shrubby Salvias. Any garden with a sunny spot cannot afford to ignore this group of plants. The herbaceous Salvias are also winners, even the tender ones are worth growing and taking a few cuttings to overwinter. Plant Salvias in the spring to ensure they get a good start.
Verbenas – still in flower and have been since the late spring. Amazing.
Penstemons have lots of flowers for ages, and benefit from dead heading.
Euryops chrysanthemoides is a small shrub that flowers continually in sunny sheltered sites.
Hardy Fuchsias are very long flowering and indispensable in coastal gardens or for providing shelter in mixed hedging, such as Riccartonii, magellanica molinae and magellanica Floriade. They are also useful for partial shade areas.

October News from the Nursery.

We could not have planned it better, lots of hot summer days and now some good drenching rain. It all adds up to very good conditions for Autumn planting. The ground is warm and moist the best combination for establishing new plantings. Looking across the nursery beds it is looking good, there is still plenty of colour from things like the ever popular Verbena bonariensis, Achillea Walther Funcke and Hebe Wiri Image.
In between the blocks of colour the grasses are doing a good job by introducing their elegant foliage and amazing range of funky flower heads.We have a good range of grasses, in 9cm pots, including Pennisetum alopecurodes Hameln, P. thunbergii Red Buttons, P. villosum, Eragrostis curvula Totnes Burgundy, Panicum virgatum Shenadoah, Calamagrostis brachytricha and the ever popular Nassella tenuissima which planted now will give you big established gorgeous plants for next year. See our Grasses Special Offers.
Just a thought, to shade an area when it is very hot for sitting out, like a bower, pergola or veranda, why not plant a lovely Vitis vinifera Purpurea. The largish leaves (15cm) a beautiful dusky purple, provide summer shade, but fall in the autumn, so don't keep out the light through the darker months. The leaves are soft in texture and readily compost.

September News from the Nursery

The wet spell has come just in time to refresh the garden. The rain will also ensure hat the late summer/ autumn flowering plants don't falter.
Hopefully the rain will refresh the gardener as well, to get out and dead head perennials and annuals like the lovely Cosmos and Salvias. This really helps to keep plants flowering for longer.

August News from the Nursery

The late start to good weather this year has now been forgotten. We have had weeks of good weather and the plants have been loving it.
With the earlier wet weather many shrubs have put on lots of growth. When pruning remember the golden rule - prune spring flowering shrubs after they have flowered and not in the autumn/winter or you will prune off next years flower buds.
There is still time to get late summer/autumn colour in the garden. Plant Verbenas, Salvias and Grasses. They all flower like crazy into autumn.
To cheer up the edges of paving or steps, plant Erigeron karvinskianus the small pink/white flowers are constantly produced and if they get raggedy just prune down to a few inches and they will soon be flowering again.
To guard against box blight keep plants healthy by ensuring they are watered and fed. We have a nice range of Box in 1 litre pots including Buxus sepervirens and the low growing Buxus sempervirens Suffruticosa.
We also have a nice selection of Hydrangeas available in 9cm pots, which will soon be potted on into 3 litre pots.

July News from the Nursery

After a very disappointing June we are still waiting for summer to arrive. However the warm temperatures coupled with plenty of rain means the plants have really grown well. What we need now is a nice settled spell to encourage people into their gardens and hopefully keen to buy more plants.
We have a nice selection of new stock available including many shrubs suitable for coastal conditions such as Myrtus communis Hebe Wiri Image Tamarix tetrandra and the hardy Fuchsias like F. riccartonii

May News from the Nursery

Instead of advancing towards summer, the weather has taken several giant steps back towards winter.
If it's not hail stones clattering down, it's cold winds from the north west rattling the the doors of the potting shed. - Come on this is South Devon! We have holiday makers who want to wear shorts.
The long days seem to be enough for the plants to grow away, so that is encouraging.

April News from the Nursery

Storm Katie battered its' way across the South over the Easter weekend. It drenched the ground again, causing flooding and uprooting many trees. Things had started to dry up and will quickly do so again with the longer days and higher temperatures.
The young hedging plants are all growing well and are starting to be added to our web site.
A new improved web site is being built which, will be up and running in a few weeks time. It should be easier to use and fully responsive on smart 'phones and tablets.

March News from the Nursery

March may be the official start of spring, but the weather shows little sign of agreeing so far, still more rain and gale force winds. We have had some nicer cold clear days and the sun when it shines is really gaining strength.
We have been busy potting up our plugs of rooted cuttings into 9 cm pots and with the longer daylight hours and warmer temperatures they are showing good signs of growth.
The mild winter has meant that many pests have continued to be active, especially in the protected tunnels. Aphids have been around since January, bad news for the plants, but good news for the birds, although the blue tits seem more interested in feasting on peanuts at the moment!

February 2016 News from the Nursery

There are quite a number of lovely things flowering at the moment. They may be well out of season, but still welcome. Driving around the countryside there are drifts of snowdrops looking fantastic and lighting up the often gloomy days.
The pale green flowers of Ribes laurifolium are looking good. They will make a low shrub or can be trained against a wall.
We have some good bushy Euonymus japonicus, which is one of the most tolerant plants for coastal garden protection – it also grows well elsewhere. The tough evergreen leaves shrug off sea spray laden gales.
Evergreen oak Quercus ilex makes an excellent hedge and again takes seaside conditions in its' stride.
Hedges do take the strong winds much better than fencing, which seems to be toppled over everywhere one goes. The weatherman has been mentioning the latest damaging gales “Henry” by name. The north of the country is getting the worst of it yet again. Living in the south we have not escaped unharmed, our large Eucalyptus gunnii has had the majority of its leave ripped off.
For sheltered gardens to provide winter flowers you could try Grevillea Canberra Gem. Good for a winter tub to be seen from the house.

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