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Herefordshire’s Most Inspirational Plant Centre

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Little Verzons, just three miles west of Ledbury. With numerous awards including three RHS Gold Medals from Malvern Shows, the whole team love to share their expertise and knowledge to everyone.

s we head into a new gardening season, we have a new contributor for our regular gardening pages: Mark Moir, owner of Newent Plant Centre @ The Nest Ledbury. Mark trained at Pershore College, graduating with a diploma in Hardy Plant Production. After working on several nurseries learning about propagation, plant production, marketing and maintenance of plants, he moved to working in local garden centres. Having sourced plants from all

over the world for several large garden centre groups, he finally realised his real passion was for “growing” plants. He set up Newent Plant Centre in 2009 which is now based at The Nest,

“I just love plants, growing plants and talking to customers about plants” explained Mark. “The Plant Centre is an exciting place every day of the year, it’s constantly changing and there are different plants for every season, so it’s different every time someone visits.”

Throughout the year Mark will be sharing his ideas for each month, and tips for your garden. If there are any gardening related questions you would like answered, please drop him an email: enquiry@newentplantcentre.co.uk March is always a very busy month in the garden, plants are coming back into life and there’s an endless list of jobs to do. Although the Daffodils, Primroses, and Daphnes are in full bloom, it’s time to plan for some summer colour Sweet Peas are one of the easiest annual plants to grow – they flower from June to October – and most varieties have a wonderful scent. Now is the time to sow the seeds. Pop about three seeds into a 9cm (3 inch) pot of fresh compost. They should be about 1.5cm

deep (½ inch). Some gardeners like to soak the seeds overnight in water before sowing, but I’ve never found this necessary. Water them in lightly and place in a cold-frame, greenhouse or warm windowsill. At around 150C the seedlings usually appear in around two to three weeks. Pinch out the growing tips when they reach about 5cms (2 inches) high; this will encourage them to bush out and produce more stems. Gradually accustom them to outdoor conditions from April onwards – avoid leaving them out overnight for the first week if there are any frosts expected. 38

Plant them out in a sunny spot about 30cm (12 inches) apart. Taller varieties will need some support – you can use tall canes, sticks, trellis or netting. Sweet peas produce tendrils at the ends of the leaves so they happily scramble up netting, but they are more likely to need tying up if you use canes. The big secret to success with Sweet Peas is to keep picking the flowers. They start to appear from June and will still be blooming in October. Pick flowers every few days – if you allow any seeds to set the plants will stop flowering. The plants will benefit from

Profile for Betty-Ann Ambury

Ledbury Focus March 2020  

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