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Get your garden to thrive this summer with the help of Bellflower Garden Centre

PUBLISHED: 15:18 21 June 2018

Bellflower Garden Centre. Picture: Gareth Roberts

Bellflower Garden Centre. Picture: Gareth Roberts

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Bellflower Garden Centre at Stonham Barns is a must visit for those lookig to spruce up their gardens this summer.

Dahlia at Bellflower Garden Centre. Picture: Gareth RobertsDahlia at Bellflower Garden Centre. Picture: Gareth Roberts

Since being established in January 2014, Bellflower Garden Centre, based at Stonham Barns in Stonham Aspal, has focused on providing quality plants to its customers. Manager Gareth Roberts is passionate about ensuring customers get the best out of their plants and has ensured this is achieved by continually improving the garden centre and its offering.

Gareth says: “The garden centre has undergone a lot of improvements over the last four years. We’ve had a new look and feel, as well as being made more user friendly, particularly for those using wheelchairs or mobility scooters.”

There are also more improvements planned going forward. Gareth continues: “We’re also currently in the process of making a new dedicated car park and loading area to the rear of the garden centre to offer more convenience for customers. And although we now offer a wide range of quality British grown plants, we have further plans to expand this offering as we renovate more of the garden centre.”

Similarly Stonham Barns has also undergone many changes and improvements over the last few years to transform it into what it is today.

Bellflower Garden Centre. Picture: Gareth RobertsBellflower Garden Centre. Picture: Gareth Roberts

Having studied horticulture at university, worked in garden centres in both the UK and Australia and worked on three Chelsea Gold Medal winning displays, Gareth is an expert in the industry, specialising in clematis.

Commonly known as ‘Old Man’s Beard’ (Clematis vitalba), Clematis is one of the most popular garden plants, and this comes as no surprise as this versatile plant has a multitude of uses in the garden. Large flowered clematis can quickly transform walls and fences during the summer, while evergreen clematis and winter flowering clematis varieties bring colour and interest to gardens during the darkest months. Ugly outbuildings or sheds can be hidden with the vigorous growth of Clematis montana cultivars, and you’ll even find more compact clematis which are suitable for smaller gardens or trailing from patio pots.

“Over 90% of our plants at Bellflower Garden Centre are grown in UK nurseries, most in East Anglia, and we work closely with 11x Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medal Winners Thorncroft Clematis who supply all of our clematis,” Gareth adds.

In addition to plants the garden centre also offers an extensive range of other garden products such as tools, pots and compost where again the focus is on providing quality at affordable prices, as well as a good range of animal and pet feeds and accessories.

Bellflower Garden Centre. Picture: Gareth RobertsBellflower Garden Centre. Picture: Gareth Roberts

For more information, call 01449 711103, visit Bellflower Garden Centre’s website or search on facebook @bellflowergc.

Advice for gardeners this summer

If you’re looking to get your garden ready for the summer months, Gareth’s top two tips are:

Clemantis Blue Angel at Bellflower Garden Centre. Picture: Gareth RobertsClemantis Blue Angel at Bellflower Garden Centre. Picture: Gareth Roberts

- Watering

Keep plants well watered, especially through periods of hot weather. Watering is best done in the evening or early morning with water applied directly to the roots of the plants where possible, rather than spraying the foliage which can encourage fungal infections. Also, a thorough drenching every two to three days is better than a splash every day.

- Dead-heading and feeding

Encourage plants to keep flowering by dead-heading and feeding them regularly. Tomato fertiliser every two to three weeks is ideal for most shrubs, climbers and herbaceous plants as well as and fruit bearing plants.

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David Vincent

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EADT writer David Vincent has more than 40 years experience in Suffolk. He has explored the highways and byeways of East Anglia, meeting homeowners, developers and estate agents from Bury St Edmunds to Aldeburgh and Colchester to Diss.

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