Astroturf for Plowmans Garden Centre
If you thought that AstroTurf was only produced for football pitches, think again. It’s revolutionising the lining of hanging baskets, with specialists of hanging baskets Plowmans Garden Centre at West Parley, Ferndown, now the main supplier of it throughout south east England right down to Cornwall.
Unlike the basic material that has been used for years for hanging baskets, which is a mixture of plastic and woollen fibre and does not last more than a season, AstroTurf- lined baskets will last for 20 years, even looking as good as grass if left empty for the winter.
BBC Autumnwatch makes Westonbirt its October home
Westonbirt, the National Arboretum, which is managed by the Forestry Commission, will host BBC Two's Autumnwatch Live and Autumnwatch Unsprung for four weeks of this year's series.
From the launch programme on Friday 7th
October to the Cotswolds episode October, Autumnwatch Live will
Westonbirt’s Holford Ride
broadcast live from the arboretum's Great Oak Hall. This year Michaela Strachan will join Chris Packham and Martin Hughes-Games to present the shows. The three will also be joined by a host of roving reporters from around the country. From exploring autumn colour to taking a closer look at traditional woodland coppicing and the work of the National Arboretum's tree team, Autumnwatch will delve into one of the country's most famous autumn locations.
Days of the dinosaurs return to Dorset
A primeval swamp filled with plants from the time of the dinosaurs has been created at Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens in Dorset.
The unusual landscape feature was inspired by the Jurassic Coast of Dorset and East Devon, England's only natural World Heritage Site.
Hanging baskets at Plowmans Garden Centre
It’s recycled too, so ticks the ecological box. Plowmans is devoting 4,000 square feet of space to AstroTurf at their site, being the main distributor in the south of England. They produce thousands of hanging baskets every year and are the main supplier for hotels in Bournemouth.
“It’s an exciting product and we’ve gone over to it by 90 per cent for our hanging baskets. These liners are a recycled product, they will last for at least ten years and they look incredible, just like grass,” said owner Vic Plowman.
Plowmans, an independent family- run business, also offer a range of plants, shrubs and trees, garden ornaments and much else besides on their nine-acre site.
Plowmans Garden Centre, West Parley, Ferndown, Dorset BH22 8SW. Telephone: 01202 582169 or visit the website at www.plowmansgardencentre.co.uk
Stephen Griffin, curator of Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens Country Gardener
Steve Griffith, curator of Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens, said: "The idea is to have plants that have been seen in fossils, ancient plants that have been on the earth since the Jurassic period 150 million years ago.
"What we've got here now was once dinosaur food. It's amazing, really. The dinosaurs have long since disappeared but these plants are still here. They've gone through massive changes of climate and temperature, adapted and survived."
Plants from across the world now settled in at Abbotsbury include the rare Wollemi pine, thought to be extinct but re-discovered in 1994 in a remote Australian valley, the Dawn Redwood and medicinal Gingko from China, the scaly tree fern Cyathea australis that feels like a wooden rasp, the startlingly hairy tree fern Dicksonia fibrosa and young Chilean Monkey Puzzle trees.
The swamp is at the bottom of the Subtropical Gardens, in an area previously out- of-bounds to the public. It's crossed by a boardwalk and a bridge.
Mr Griffith said: "It's got that jungly feel, that primeval atmosphere. We cut the path so you're brushing the ferns and the trunks as you're going through. You've got the humidity, the water running through, the sound of running water, the birds: it just plays on the senses.
"You feel like you're transcending into a different world down here."
Mr Griffith said the swamp showed that gardens did not have to be conventional.
"One of the beauties of this is its foliage. It's evergreen. You don't have to rely on colours and flowers. You can get the atmosphere of a garden with shape, and form, and texture, with leaf."
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