July Gardening Tips 2023 - Squires Garden Centres

July Gardening Tips 2023

It has certainly been a busy few weeks. On the cusp of May and June we welcomed Adam Frost to our Milford garden centre where, hot on the heels of Chelsea, he gave some fascinating and highly entertaining gardening presentations to our customers. I also very much enjoyed my trip to the NEC for Gardener’s World Live where I was very privileged to be on one of the judging panels. It was an excellent show and a very friendly one too.

Last weekend (24 & 25 June) at Shepperton we hosted our 46th annual rose show. Held in association with the Rose Society UK we had a record number of entrants from across England and Wales. The show has become the largest of its kind in the UK.  Alongside the roses, The Walton and Weybridge Flower Club presented an array of floral arrangements on the theme of Midsummer Madness and visitors were invited to vote for their favourite. The awards were presented by Mayor of Spelthorne, Cllr Denise Saliagopoulos and Colin Squire OBE, Chairman Emeritus of Squire’s and President of the Rose Society UK.

This coming weekend (1 and 2 July)  we are delighted to host the National Sweet Pea Show also at Shepperton. Again, entry is free and everyone is welcome.  And of course it is the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show next week, although we are not exhibiting this year we are pleased to be helping Plant Heritage, (The body which oversees the National Plant Collections) with their stand in the Floral Marquee.

I have really enjoyed visiting each of our 16 garden centres to judge our ‘Crowning Glory’ Coronation displays. Each centre was invited to create a display under the theme of ‘Crowning Glory’ to commemorate the King’s Coronation.  There were awards for the Best Display, Best planting and a Peoples’ Choice award voted for by our teams.

The Best Display was won by Frensham. A wonderful collection of plants including succulents made up the Union Flag in shades of green and purple coupled with a background of ferns and some environmental quotes from our sovereign. There was even an incredible life size crocheted crown, created by Café Bar manager Emma. This display hit every note, from plant quality to originality, and all the many different elements worked together magnificently.

In second place was Badshot Lea for their interpretation of the Medieval Coronation throne, created from pallets and surrounded by planting, guarded by soldiers each bearing a card with an historical Coronation fact.

An award very close to my heart is the prize for Best Planting. The winner was Hersham. This planting, expertly carried out by Nina, would grace any national flower show. It is generous, works together as a whole with a great balance between flowers and greenery. It speaks to the King’s love of nature, birds and birdsong – and wildlife in general and there is even a planting scheme available for customers.

The runner up was Twickenham, where generously planted boxes represented each of the Home Nations, the paintings on the arbour celebrated the animals of Commonwealth and even the Queen’s terriers got a look in.

The Peoples’ Choice was won by Woking for their really eye-catching display at the front of the centre, full of vibrant red, white and blue planting, complete with a backdrop of the London skyline and its very own red telephone box.

Back at home we were somewhat horrified by the incursion of some unwelcome four legged visitors, the deer have been at our roses and other plants they carefully selected from the buffet of our borders. We are blaming a gate left open somewhat carelessly. So our patch is not quite so floriferous as it was this time last year. Never mind, the roses will come back from their untimely pruning and all will be well. That is, after all, the beauty of gardening and nature. It bounces back in time.

I sincerely hope that you have a good July and enjoy your outside space to the full – whatever the weather.


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