Barlow Nurseries

Growers of trees, shrubs and hardy herbaceous perennial garden plants near Newport, Shropshire


Hooray! It’s Spring! The sun is shining, the grass is growing, buds are bursting, what seemed like an interminably wet and cold winter has become a distant memory, and alls well with the world. It is most definitely time to garden!

Spring always starts early at Barlow Nurseries. The slightest hint of early spring sunshine turns our polytunnels into wonderfully inviting places to linger, and we’ve been busily potting and propagating ready for the coming season. By the time you read this the nursery will be bursting with plants full of promise for the growing season to come. We’ve added to our ranges in all departments this year, and have even wider selections of trees, shrubs, and herbaceous border plants to tempt you to fill that gap in the garden!

Betula utilis jacqmontii at RHS garden Rosemoor

Betula utilis jacqmontii at RHS garden Rosemoor

We managed a short trip to the south west in the autumn, and called in to see what was happening at one of our favourite gardens – RHS Rosemoor in Devon. The garden has only been owned by the RHS since 1988, having been donated to it by its previous owner Lady Anne Palmer, and most of what visitors now see has been developed entirely from scratch on land which was formally pasture. If you need inspiration to see what can be done in a short time from a standing start, go see Rosemoor! Our picture shows one of our favourite garden features, using what seems to be one of Rosemoor’s favourite trees, white barked Betula. There are dozens of Betula in the garden, with several different cultivars in use, but our favourite is Betula utilis jacqmontii, which you can see in our picture, and which is one of the cleanest whitest barked varieties. The trees are planted in groups of three in several places in the garden, with spacings varying from 2 – 3 mts apart, down to as little as 1 mt . They don’t get very tall, and their canopy is not too dense, so they are very well suited to many garden situations – they make a very striking feature, but will never dominate a space. We’re just trying to work out how we can work a group into our garden!

And finally, a seasonal reassurance – in spite of all the credit crunch doom mongering in the media, you can still enjoy your garden! In our experience, and anecdotal evidence from many other traders, life is going on much as usual; while there may be some contraction in spending on big ticket items, a trip to the garden centre still seems to be within reach, and surely there’s no better and more affordable way to mark the arrival of Spring than to spruce up the garden?

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