Barlow Nurseries

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

Early summer

Hasn’t it been a lovely Spring? It seems to have been one of the most benign we’ve had for years, and the plant world has responded with some spectacular displays; the blossom has seemed heavier, and the green shades stronger than ever. And the Met Office have promised us a “barbeque summer”, so alls well with the world! (Actually, we seem to remember the Met Office suggesting we were in for a decent summer last year, so we’re not holding our breath on that one, but we really hope they’re right).

Every gardening season seems to have its “must have” plant, and this year the increasing popularity of grow your own and healthy eating seems to have delivered the latest super food, the Goji Berry, to every gardeners wish list. Watchers of Gardeners World will remember Joe Swift planting them on his allotment last year, only to have to remove them a couple of weeks later when Defra declared them a health hazard (because many of the plants on sale at that time had been illegally imported from China). The horticulture industry has been working hard since then to produce Goji plants in Europe, and locally raised plants are on the sales benches at Barlow Nurseries now. They’re as easy to grow as tomatoes, are hardy down to minus 15 degrees so will crop year after year, are crammed full of vitamins and other good stuff, and most importantly, taste delicious!

We’ve been inspired by the grow your own trend too, and have added a small veg plot to our own garden, so we hope we’l l soon be eating our own lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, spring onions, carrots, beans (dwarf French and runner) courgettes, and butternut squash. Oh, and blueberries, gooseberries, cranberries, and Josta berries ( we’ve already started on the Rhubarb). We’re suckers for a trend at Barlow!

The new border we installed last autumn is starting to fill out nicely, and we hope to add a pool and further borders to the garden later in the summer, so after more years than we’re prepared to admit, we’re finally looking forward to having a garden attached to the nursery! Not only somewhere we can enjoy from time to time, but also a place where visitors can see many of the plants we sell in a garden setting.

And finally, a plug for an event combining gardening with a good cause – the Severn Hospice is hosting a garden festival at Hodnet Hall gardens on Sunday 31st May; Barlow Nurseries will be there selling plants alongwith several other local nurseries, the BBC Radio Shropshire team will be broadcasting their Gardeners Question Time live from the gardens, and there are 63 acres of gardens to explore. Entrance is £4.50, opening times 11am–5pm.

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