Spring Is In The Air! | Notes From Boyd

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Spring Is in The Air

We asked Adam Pasco, writer and broadcaster, for his plant of the ‘moment’…

“When everything is still bare outside, the evergreen shrub Camellia japonica (also known as Japanese camellia) is already flowering abundantly. Neither cold nor snow will stop this winter bloomer. Highly valued for their stunning floral displays and fresh, glossy, evergreen foliage, few hardy shrubs signal the end of winter better than camellias. 


With dozens of varieties available you’ll be spoilt for choice – you can pick from camellias in shades of pink, red, white and cream. Camellia flowers vary in size and shape, and their forms can be divided into six descriptive groups depending on the number of petals and their pattern or arrangement within the flower. These forms are described as Single, Semi-double, Anemone-form, Peony-form, Rose-form double or Formal double, so take your pick from the ones that most appeal.

Like azaleas and rhododendrons, camellias are ericaceous plants, and this means they need to grow in an acid or lime-free soil to ensure they stay healthy. A simple soil test kit available can be used to check your soils acidity/alkalinity (often called its pH), and composts and fertilisers can be added to help make soil more acid. Alternatively, compact varieties of camellia grow well in large pots or half-barrels filled with ericaceous compost.”

Thanks Adam for this insight in to the wonderful camellia family. The great news is that we have a wonderful range on sale at Hilltop this month!

Plastic… fantastic?? Not unless you use it.

The most recent series of David Attenborough’s Blue Planet on the BBC really brought home the issue of plastic disposal. It’s a global problem that isn’t going away BUT at a local level we have an idea of how to put some of it to use. At Hilltop this summer we want to build a Pop Bottle Greenhouse and to do this we need your empty 2 litre plastic pop bottles. We have a drop off area at Hilltop so start collecting them and bring them in – sorry, nothing back on the empties! But we’ll put the new greenhouse to good use and reduce the plastics heading to the ocean.

We will keep you updated on our progress here on our blog and on our Facebook pages!



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