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Nursery Update

Witch Hazel flowers on a snowy winter's day.

Witch Hazel flowers on a snowy winter’s day.

After the warm(ish) Christmas period, the weather has been cold and snowy here this past week with more forecast. As we had a few centimetres of snow on the ground before the cold nights (-11C twice this week), the ground underneath has remained reasonably soft. so we are still able to lift bare-root trees, if a little slower than we would like. If you are unsure of how to look after new bare-root and rootballed trees during this cold weather, feel free to call us, we’ll be glad to advise.

The weather has also slowed progress on our greenhouse restoration. However, all the new timbers are in place and new glazing has started to be installed. Deadline is the end of February, so we can get lots of fresh plants in for the Spring.

This year we also celebrate our centenary, and are currently planning a series of events to mark this milestone. We’ll be sure to update you as soon as these are confirmed – we’d love all our customers old and new to be able to join us in celebrating 100 years of growing.

Keep warm!


Greenhouse Renovation

Here at the Plant Centre in Pickering, we have a lovely old greenhouse, made by F Pratten and Co of Bath. No-one here can remember when we originally bought it, but it must have been sometime in the 1960’s. Despite our best efforts, it has started to look much the worse for wear in recent years – the roof leaks and a lot of the timbers are now rotten.


We started to get quotes for a new glasshouse, but in the end decided to have the old one renovated. There actually wasn’t much of a cost difference, but it somehow felt much nicer to restore the old glasshouse to its original glory.

Our friends at SBA ( – architects and landscape designers in Malton, North Yorkshire – have managed the project for us, and have used local highly-skilled craftsmen to do the work. The glasshouse was completely stripped, which included removing a wonderful Rosa banksiae lutea and a mature Black Hamburg grape which was full of fruit – painful but necessary.


The replacement wood has now been machined by hand to the original profiles, and in the next few weeks the rebuilding process should be complete. We can’t wait!