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Margaret's Blog






Acorus Gramineus Ogon


Acorus 'ogon' is the most wonderful evergreen grass, that shines like sunshine in winter. Sometimes known as Slender sweet flag 'Ogon', they are moisture-loving perennials forming tufts of linear or sword-shaped leaves, with insignificant spike-like flowers borne near the tips of central leaf-like stems.
It can grow in shade and can tolerate wet boggy conditions so it is ideal for a damp shady area of your garden. It's bright cheerful appearance gives any garden a cheerful apearance all winter and it stays evergreen even in cold wet conditions 

Perfect for container planting either on its own or mixed with plants, best planted in groups of 3 or 5 to give a good effect,it's a lovely plant for poolside planting and it will even grow as a marginal planting enjoying its feet in water. Acorus has a lovely flowing effect which adds movement to any garden

Species 'Ogon' is a compact deciduous grass-like perennial forming a clump to 30cm tall, with narrow, bright yellow leaves, lightly striped with yellowish-green

Acorus can be propagated by splitting the clump at this time of year, a great plant to give to your gardening friends.

Plants that look stunning with Acorus :
Berried Skimmia 
Leocothoe scarletta
Choisya astec pearl
Spring flowering bulbs 

Care of Acorus:
This is a plant that is virtually maintenance free. Just feed once a year with slow release feeding. At times, your acorus may get tired looking, especially in hot weather. Simply cut it to ground level and give it a seaweed feed, Maxicrop is the one I use - this will bring back lush new growth to it.


What gardener hasn't wished that a plant grew somewhere else? Plants in pots are easy to move around. Light up a dark corner with pots of white, pink, or yellow flowering shade lovers. Some plants with a short blooming period, such as lilies or foxglove, look magnificent in containers and grow well in those temporary quarters. Transplant them to the garden when they're finished blooming. Of course, if you are about to move your household, containers allow you to take the garden with you!

For people who have poor, waterlogged soil, pots are a way of creating a garden without utilizing the original soil. For people with bad backs, planting in containers is a brilliant and far easier alternative - especially with all the lightweight pots on the market right now! These pots are so easy to move from A to B. Of course, putting pots on wheels is another super easy and efficient way of moving pots around your garden.

Pots, tubs, and half barrels overflowing with flowers add appeal to any garden, but container gardens can serve a practical purpose too. Gardening in containers is ideal for those with little or no garden space. In addition to growing flowers, gardeners limited to a balcony, small yard, or only a patch of sun on their driveway can produce a wide variety of vegetable crops in containers. Basil, chives, thyme, and other herbs also are quite happy growing in pots, which can be set in a convenient spot right outside the kitchen door. Container plants also add versatility to gardens large and small. They lend instant color, provide a focal point in the garden, or tie in the architecture of the house to the garden. Place them on the ground or on a pedestal, mount them on a windowsill, or hang them from your porch. A pair of matching containers on either side of the front walk serves as a welcoming decoration, while containers on a deck or patio can add color and ambiance to such outdoor sitting areas. You can use single large containers for outdoor decoration, but also consider arranging groups of pots, both small and large, on stairways, terraces, or anywhere in the garden.
Vegetables and fruit trees can be grown in large pots, as can a large tree, so the possibilities are truly endless!

Margaret's tip: The best compost for containers is Westland John Innes multi purpose compost, which contains soil in it that acts as a buffer and great for growing healthy plants. Slow-release fertilizer is the best to use as it gives off food for a full 6 months!


This method is the same for all forced bulbs, apart from the alternative ways mentioned below:


To have hyacinths in flower for the Christmas period make sure you buy bulbs labelled 'prepared'

You may wish to wear gloves when handling the bulbs as hyacinths can cause skin irritation

The simplest compost to choose is bulb fibre, especially if the container has no drainage holes. Alternatively, John Innes Multi-purpose compost can be used, provided it has a good, open texture and is moisture-retentive but free-draining. It is not necessary to use a fertiliser-rich growing medium or to feed the bulbs after planting

Wet the fibre or compost first and place a layer in the bottom of the bowl or pot

Set the bulbs on the fibre or compost. They can be close together, but not touching each other or the sides of the container

Fill around the bulbs with more fibre or compost, leaving about 1cm (½in) between the compost surface and the container rim to aid watering

The tops of the bulbs should just be showing at the surface


Forcing Bulbs


Bulbs may be forced into early growth for indoor display in winter.

Keep in a dark place at temperatures above freezing but no higher than 45 degrees F, for at least 10 weeks to allow roots to develop.

When shoots are about 1 inch long, increase light and temperature gradually.

Water carefully, avoiding wetting the shoots or waterlogging the soil.

After flowering, forced hyacinths may be planted in the garden and they will flower again in subsequent years.


Growing hyacinths in bulb vases


This is an alternative method for growing hyacinths. The bulb should be slightly smaller in diameter than the vase so that it sits snugly in the vase. Fill the glass with water to the neck and then place the bulb in the top. The water level should be just below the bottom of the bulb. The plant can then be treated in the same way as potted hyacinth.



Margaret's tip

Just as your hyacinths are beginning to flower ,you can add a personal touch by adding a few stems of variegated holly , some pine cones and contorted hazel.





Gardenstone Stepping Stones are ideal for random paths through borders and across lawns. When using in a lawn, the top surface should be kept level with the turf to ensure easy mowing.
At Griffins, we have been selling Kelkay products for the past few years: stepping stones, walling, edging and sleepers. People love them because they are so easy to work with, without

having to employ someone to do the job. Logstone captures the weather worn  authenticity of wooden sleepers - using the joining post along with the sleeper you can create an interesting raised bed.
Stepping stones 
Gardenstone stepping stone are ideal for random paths through borders and across lawns. When using in a lawn, the top surfaces should be kept level with the turf to ensure easy mowing. Gardenstone is great for growing your own fruit and veg, or as a feature of a bed at a raised level. For anyone who has wet soggy soils a raised bed is an ideal way of getting plants to grow where normal soil conditions prevail.
Gardenstone edging has been proven as the perfect finishing touch to paved and gravel areas. They are also ideal for retaining soils when creating beds and borders. 
 These products come in a range of 2 colours: Cotswold stone and greystone.

Margarets tip of the week:
Are your primroses lasting for a long time or do they rot after a short time? Does this happen to your cyclamen as well? It may be that your soil is heavy, and needs to be dried up somehow. But rather than spending a lot of extra money on a drainage system, what you can do is add lots of grit when planting! If you find grit is too heavy for you to lift then the feather light 'Perlite' will do the same job. Always keep your plants raised a little off the ground and tilt them to the side - ever notice how primroses grow on a dry ditch and at an angle so that the rain runs off! For more of these helpful hints check out the Griffins Garden Centre Facebook page.

Cajun salmon


• 1 piece of Salmon
• 50g of cajun spice
• 50g garlic butter
• 1 red onion
• Chopped coriander
• Salt & pepper
• 100ml of olive oil
• 100g of butter
• 1 large plum tomato
• 1 clove of garlic
• 6-8 baby potato
• 1 lemon, 1 lime




Top the salmon with cajun spice, then place the fish on a pan with olive oil and butter to cook at a low gas level. During that time, dice the plum tomato and red onion, chop the garlic and mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Add the chopped coriander, salt, pepper and the jus of lemon, olive oil. Turn the salmon and take the pan off the gas.
In a pan put garlic butter, dice boil baby potato, warm up the mix, add salt and pepper, then dress the dish with the baby potato, then the salmon and finally the salsa on the side. Enjoy!

Exotic emperor tulipa

Tulip Angelique

A Tulip as good as 'Angélique' comes along once in a lifetime. This exquisite semidouble bears 2-3 blooms on each stem, and the individual flowers are soft and slightly ruffled, with a full flush of the most delicate pale rose shades against a creamy white self. At 12-14in, 'Angélique' is just right for the front of the border or, of course, a vase. This remarkable variety belongs in every garden. It is our best-selling Tulip by a mile. One of the best Doubles for forcing. Late mid season.

Tulipa ‘Showcase’ in a pot

Tulipa ‘Showcase’ also grow wonderfully in a flower pot. Make sure you use fresh potting soil, John Innes multi-purpose and place a layer of gravel or perlite at the bottom of the pot. Plant the bulbs in a hole that is three times as deep as the height of the bulbs. For example, a bulb of 5 cm should be planted in a 15 cm deep hole. The planting distance of the tulip ‘Showcase’ in a pot is about 7 cm. Add extra colour to your pot by planting low growing anemones or our hardy cyclamen just above the tulip bulbs, which will flower beautifully below the tulips and give you lots of colour all autumn and winter.

Tulipa 'Exotic Emperor'

This is so different and refreshing looking,'Tulipa 'Exotic Emperor' grows well in a flower pot or patio container. Make sure you use John Innes multi purpose and put a layer of gravel or aeroboard or perlite at the bottom of the pot. Place the bulbs in a planting hole three times as deep as the height of the bulb.  The planting distance of the Tulipa 'Exotic Emperor' in a pot is about 7 cm. For extra colour in the pot, plant low growing violas or trailing pansies and these  will flower beautifully below the tulips.cover your pot with slate mulch or grit and you will have no need to water.

Margaret tip for planting Tulips

Soak your bulbs in a solution of tomato food for a few hours before planting or over night if you wish. This gives the bulb an extra supply of food which will result in longer and better flowering in the Spring. If slugs are a problem, sprinkle a few organic slug pellets in with the bulbs - this will sort any slugs intending to feast on your tulip.




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