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LIVE 24-SEVEN


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then Nordmann firs stand in a line waiting to catch your attention, their branches fresh and full of excitement for the season ahead. Hedging too is available – and not in tiny plants you have to wait years for! Just pick up a planter full of laurel, take it home and pop it in – instant hedge!


The nursery raises 85 percent of their plants, which is important in preventing the spread of plant disease. You may have heard of Xylella – not something we can catch – but pretty nasty if you are an oak or lavender or one of the 350 different host plants. It was first discovered in Italy and pretty much destroyed vast areas of olives. It affects the water systems of plants and is pretty hard to detect. There is a strong message from the RHS to stop holiday makers bringing back a cutting of anything in their case for fear of importing disease. I've done it years ago with pelargoniums from Austria, but we really should stop if we want


to protect and preserve the special species that make up so many of our beloved green spaces.


Back to Hortus, and as if they weren't busy enough, they have just made a monumental decision to go wholly organic. This means looking at completely peat free soils for all new plants and implementing biological pest control throughout the site. On such a huge scale, this is a colossal commitment to the environment and to be championed.


Thankfully, with such a hectic schedule, there is a perfect covered outdoor seating area where you can enjoy an elderflower or perhaps a hot chocolate as the temperatures decrease. Not that the team on site have much free time to sit around, as a plethora of private clients are busy taking their pick of their preferred plants and plans are already underway for next year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The work of a nursery is never done!


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