Our first Late Night Shopping Evening took place this week, with many customers enjoying browsing in our shop and selecting their Christmas Tree from our new floodlit shopping area. We have two more dates for Late Night Shopping :
Thursday 2nd December 4pm – 6pm
Thursday 9th December 4pm – 6pm.
No need to book, just turn up on the night and take your time to chat with us and enjoy a leisurely browse.
If you hand over a full loyalty card on any of these Late Night Shopping Evenings you can enjoy a free mulled punch (non-alcoholic version also available) and a complimentary homemade mince pie.
Christmas Afternoon Tea
We are also hosting Christmas Afternoon Teas with dates to coincide with our shopping evenings so that you can come into the shop and browse after your afternoon tea. To book please call on 01835 830315 The cost is £12.50 per person for:
Homemade turkey, cranberry and chestnut sausage roll, smoked salmon sandwich, homemade spiced apple, cranberry and orange scone, slice of Homemade Christmas cake, Millionaires shortbread and a homemade lemon tart with tea or coffee (or a cold drink).
We have a vegetarian option too, so please let us know when you book if you would like this and if you have any food intolerances or allergies.
Christmas Trees for sale
Our Cut Nordmann Christmas Trees have arrived this week. We have sizes available from 4ft to 8ft, and hope to get a couple of 9-10ft trees in by Thursday this week. Demand is expected to be high again this year, following a record breaking season last Christmas for us, so don’t leave it too late to get your tree. Don’t forget that you can buy now and collect nearer Christmas. We also have a range of different sizes of Christmas Tree stands, so stop all that messy fiddling about with bricks and buckets, and wonky trees!
We also have a range of potted Christmas trees that can be planted out or potted on after Christmas.
We’ve had two new deliveries of statues and garden ornaments over the last couple of weeks, with quite a few new items now in stock. Look out for new birdbaths, cast iron “Musical Mice”, Greenman Wall Plaques (we had these in stock briefly in the summer before they all sold out!), dogs, cats, hedgehogs, otters, hares and more……
Christmas for your dog
Talking of dogs, we’ve had a top-up order of our popular dog treats from Green and Wilds, and have now extended our vegan range of treats. We also now have Santa Sacks for dogs, so that your best friend has a happy Christmas too.
Much more in store
A pretty range of aluminium painted robins arrived today, which are suitable for indoors or outdoors, and we have our little stone sparrows also back in stock.
Groceries have taken a seasonal turn, and we now have available an attractive range of chocolatey and nutty food items, as well as curry sauces and naan breads. Winter treats include packs of dates, dark chocolate covered ginger, English Russet and Bramley apples, our own home-grown Jerusalem artichokes, parsnips, beetroot and clementines. Our grocery shop is open every day 10am – 4pm and will also be open late until 6pm on the next three Thursday evenings. Don’t forget we have freshly baked sourdough bread available every Wednesday and Saturday. These keep well, and freeze well too, so get stocked up for Christmas.
I’ve also started making wreaths today for doors and for graves, and I’ll do my best to keep up with demand! To be sure you get yours you can order now for collection nearer Christmas – just phone on 01835 830315 to let us know your requirements.
There are new items arriving every day, and although our shop is small, it’s absolutely jam-packed with gifts, decorations, birdfood and so much more, so do take the time to come along and have a look…….
We were delighted that guest forager, Jonathan of HartyCulture, led foraging experiences as part July’s mini garden festival. We are hoping he will be joining us again in September, so I thought you might like to read his summary of the day’s sessions.
Foraging Experiences in July
“We had great fun on our voyages of discovery and they were enjoyed by young and old alike. We hardly had to leave the car park with so much there to discuss and digest.
We started off with the wild Geranium family, finding a few varieties of cranesbill, which is handy for anyone with radiation poisoning, heavy metal toxicity or sows scouring. The pineapple weed was as popular a surprise as ever, with one lady aptly asking, “What was it called before they discovered pineapples?” I didn’t and still don’t know, but we then spotted some escaping apple mint, which saved face. Great crop of edible hogweed, which we didn’t touch due to potential photo toxicity. Their broccoli heads were mainly out and the cumin replacement seeds will be ready to harvest soon. The ground elder is starting to flower, which brings it into the danger zone of umbellifer confusion with hemlock; however the celery like, unstained grooved stems of the goutweed was safely sampled by all.
Disappointingly, there weren’t too many nettles, but I rattled on about their many benefits anyway; sure the Red Admiral has to lay her eggs somewhere after floating up from the Med. Nevertheless we found some supertall ones down by the stream along St. Cuthbert’s way, which would be great for cordage. Masses of marestail, great for so many things. We haven’t run out of oil yet, there’s 500 million years of giant equisetum during the carboniferous period to thank for that, however I suspect Emma wouldn’t object to a pet dinosaur keeping it under control. It’s high levels of silica perfectly compliment the bone knitting properties of the comfrey, flowering among the bees buzzing in a corner near the white willow, which is good for everyone and nearly every ailment.
The beech leaves have gone well chewy and was disappointed not to find any porcelain mushrooms growing on the fallen ones. Loads of yew down the woods, which is exciting in chemotherapy and the brave had their heads blown off by green wild garlic seeds. Wood avens in abundance for those with mouth ulcers. Found my first wonder violet among the hazel and lime trees. Some huge wellingtonias, great for totem poles and a sweet chestnut too.There was so much on offer: St. John’s wort, green alkanet, hedge woundwort, common nipplewort, wood-rush, flowering currant, Leopard’s-bane, burdock, ladies mantle, even primrose, which we resisted sampling due to scarcity.
However there was no scarcity of wild strawberries, with banks full of them, but we did keep running out of time, which might have made some late for their lunch, but thankfully no one complained of hunger and for those who mentioned friends and family who would be keen to come too, all being well, I’ll be back to Scotland in September, which will bring a whole new element to the harvest.”
Booking for September Foraging
If that report has tickled the taste buds, please sign up to the newsletter to be the first to hear about the date in September.
Numbers will be limited so I reccomend early booking once details have been released.
Jonathan is usually based in Northern Ireland, so we are very lucky to be able to book his expertise to share with Woodside customers. Established in 2007, HartyCulture is a family-run business based in the heart of the beautiful orchards of County Armagh, Northern Ireland, offering a wide spectrum of horticultural and landscaping services to private, public and third sector clients, with a focus on quality, sustainability and listening to our customers’ requirements. They have also contributed a regular gardening column to the lifestyle magazine “Flavour”, and always enjoy presenting to community and other groups on areas of horticultural interest. Most recently, they have introduced year-round Foraging and Nature Tours in a range of locations across Northern Ireland, where they explore our natural environment during a guided walk through beautiful countryside.
This blog was updated on 16th July to include the July session report.
Our next “Mini Garden Festival” is this coming Wednesday, 9th June.
We will be welcoming back Helen from Tinnisburn Plants , a small family run nursery from Dumfries and Galloway. Half a Hedgerow from Kelso will also be exhibiting their garden obelisks and ornaments once more. We are also hoping that we will be able to offer Streptocarpus from indoor plant specialists, Dibley’s – fingers crossed that the delivery arrives in time! The event will run from 11am – 4pm.
Last month we had an issue with parking with everyone turning up early – don’t panic, there is enough stock for everyone, so please don’t feel you have to attend in the morning as there will be plenty of plants available all afternoon too! If the carpark is full, please be patient – we will fit you in as soon as we can.
This week in the Plant Centre
The plant centre is bursting to the brim with plants, so there is still plenty on offer if you can’t make Wednesday. We have our best range of shrubs yet – look out for
Cistus (Rock Rose) corbariensis, purpureus and Snow White, Olearia haastii, Ozothamnus Silver Jubilee, Skimmia Kew Green, Spiraea arguta (Bridal Wreath). We have so many perennials in stock that some are being temporarily displayed on pallets, highlights include:
- Anemone Wild Swan – a much sought after perennial with white flowers and a distinctive blue back to the petals
- Geum Totally Tangerine – probably the best of all the orangey geums with good vigorous growth masses of flowers
- Geranium Pink Penny – a really pretty hardy geranium and one of the longest flowering varieties available
- Digitalis luteum – a perennial foxglove with small creamy yellow flowers
- Brunnera Jack Frost – one of the most popular silver leaved Brunneras with delightful forget-me-not type flowers
- Euphorbia characias wulfenii and robbiae – we’ve been waiting all season for these to come in stock and they are selling fast!
- Persicaria bistorta Superba – a magnificent perennial with candy pink spires of flowers held above vigorous ground cover foliage.
We have also received a new delivery of bedding plants and vegetable plants for you to squeeze a few extra into your garden.
On Wednesday 1st July we will be hosting a plant stall from a guest nursery, Tinnisburn Plants between 11:00 and 17:00.
Tinnisburn Plants is an RHS Gold Medal winning nursery, specialising in truly hardy perennials; many of which are choice and unusual. Founder and owner, Helen Knowles, has a lifelong passion for plants and propagates plants for sale at her nursery set 600ft above sea level near Canonbie.
Helen usually sells her plants through plant shows throughout the UK, but of course they have all been cancelled this year, so I thought it would be good for her (and for Woodside customers) if she could bring her plants here for you all to see and hopefully buy. If it is a success she will be back again in another couple of weeks.
Looking forwards to seeing you soon.
Our annual equestrian theatre performance is nearly here!
“The Age of the West” is a unique production, performed by Equestrian Theatre Scotland, in the garden at Woodside. It is a one-off performance taking place next weekend on Saturday 10th August, and features stunning horses and talented riders, fresh from filming “Outlander” and who can also be spotted in “Game of Thrones” and in the recent film “Mary, Queen of Scots”. You may also see performing dogs and we are sometimes lucky enough to enjoy the performance of a talented goat! Combined with live music, a freshly prepared buffet supper, and an attractive setting in the garden – what more could you wish for?!
Tickets are on sale now, and can be purchased by calling during our opening times of 10-5, or you can call into the Plant Centre and pay in person. We accept all major cards except American Express. Tickets are £18 for adults, £12 for children and £50 for a family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children). The ticket price includes a two-course buffet.
We are anticipating that this show will once again be a sell-out (we have been hosting the equestrian theatre for a number of years now) so please note that you will not be able to purchase tickets at the door.
Gates open at 6.15pm, with the buffet served from 6.30pm. The show starts at 7pm.
You are advised to bring something to sit on, such as a picnic blanket or deck-chair as we have limited seating, and also to bring with you everything you might need for an evenings outdoor entertainment (umbrella, midge repellent, sun glasses etc).
This year we have purchased two large gazebos, so there will be a certain amount of undercover seating in case of rain.
Don’t forget to book your tickets by calling us on 01835 830315 and have your card details handy. It should be a wonderful evening’s entertainment.
We are pleased to announce that we have scheduled an exciting program of events throughout the year and into the start of 2020. Please note that we’ll probably add to this list as new event opportunities present themselves, so keep an eye open or check our Facebook page. As you can see our first event is this Sunday, 10th March, so come along and support In-Chorus and Comic Relief if you can.
The new gardening season has now officially started! How do I know? Because our delivery of seed potatoes has arrived.
It may seem very early but many potatoes can be planted in March – May, and even earlier if you are growing in a polytunnel or in a greenhouse.
Chitting potatoes (encouraging them to sprout before planting) can lead to an earlier harvest than planting directly into the ground. This is done by placing the seed potatoes into an open container such as an egg box, in a light, airy and frost free position.
Traditionally potatoes have been planted in the garden around Easter time, by chitting the potatoes they will grow shoots and be ready for planting out from late March or earlier if in a frost free environment.
Tips for planting;
- Dig 5″ deep trenches
- Enriched with well-rotted manure, chicken manure pellets or other potato fertiliser
- Taking care not to damage the chitted shoots
- When the leaves start to emerge draw the earth up the sides of the plants using a draw hoe (covering the leaves)
- This will protect against late frosts and prevent light from reaching the growing potato tubers, and will encourage a higher yield
- Remember to water the plants regularly during dry spells
- Potatoes are ready for harvest in around 10 weeks
Scottish Grown First Early Potatoes available are:
Arran Pilot – A white fleshed variety with a firm waxy texture which holds together when cooked, making it a good “new” potato variety. Plant in March to harvest in July.
Athlete – Good crops of small pale yellow fleshed potatoes. A good salad potato with excellent flavour. Plant in March/April to harvest in July/August.
Duke of York – A popular variety in the Borders with a dry mealy texture and is excellent for baking. Plant in March/April to harvest in July/August.
Epicure – The original “Ayrshire new potato” and has a deep cream skin and white flesh. Great for boiling or for baking. Plant in March/April to harvest in July/August.
International Kidney – When grown on Jersey this potato is known around the world as the Jersey Royal, and is one of the best flavoured new potatoes. Quick to mature, this potato should be planted in March/April to harvest from June.
Maris Bard – A popular and widely grown variety with white waxy flesh. A good all rounder variety suitable for boiling, chipping, mashing, roasting and baking. Plant in March/April to harvest in July/August.
Pentland Javelin – A white skinned, white waxy fleshed potato which makes a good boiled potato and great for salad use. Plant in March/April to harvest in July/August.
Rocket – A quick maturing variety suited to growing in containers or in potato bags, which reliably produces high yields. Good for boiling. Plant in March/April for harvest in June/July.
Sharpes Express – A pale yellow fleshed potato with a mealy texture which holds its shape well when cooked. An excellent potato for mashing. Plant in March/April for harvest in July/August.
Organic Colleen – Excellent blight resistance makes this a suitable variety for organic gardeners. A good all rounder, suitable for boiling, chipping and baking. Plant in March/April for harvest in July/August.
Scottish Grown Second Early Potatoes available are:
Catriona – A firm mealy textured potato good for chips and baking. Plant in March/April to harvest in August/September.
Charlotte – Our best selling variety which boils well to make an outstanding salad potato. Also makes a surprisingly good baked potato if left to grow bigger. Plant in March/April to harvest in August/September.
Nadine – With cream flesh and a moist waxy texture, producing high yields. Good for boiling and for baking, and stores right through the winter. Good blight resistance. Plant in March/April to harvest in August/September. (One of our personal favourites).
Wilja – A firm, dry textured all rounder suitable for all cooking uses, but particularly useful as a baking potato. Plant in March/April to harvest in August/September.
MORE SECOND EARLY VARIETIES WILL BE AVAILABLE IN MARCH
The Scottish grown maincrop variety currently available are:
Pink Fir Apple – Producing bumper crops of knobbly long tubers with a firm flesh and strong flavour. Good drought resistance. Excellent new and salad potato that stores well. Great for chips, although they can be strangely shaped! Plant in March/April to harvest in September/October. (Another firm favourite).
Please note that we sell all the above varieties in nets, and we can also sell them as individual tubers, meaning you can buy as many, or as few as you like. Also, we will have more maincrop varieties available in March.
There are also “Taster Packs” available (in packs of 10 tubers), of the following varieties for you to try:
Carlingford – This is a second early variety which is suitable for all round use in the kitchen. It has good disease resistance and is an excellent variety for containers or potato bag planting. Plant in March/April to harvest July/September.
Inca Bella – A maincrop variety with a creamy texture and a nutty flavour, and with a speckled red skin. Good for baking and roasting. Plant in March/April to harvest August/September.
Sarpo Kifli – A maincrop variety from the Sarpo breeding programme which has excellent blight resistance. Unusually for a maincrop type it cooks fine new and salad potatoes. Plant in March/April and harvest July/September (8 tubers per pack).
Highland Burgundy – A maincrop variety with red skin and red flesh inside a white ring. Good for mashing and for chips. Plant in March/April to harvest in September/October.
There’s nothing like home grown potatoes and as always we are happy to offer our expert advice.
We stock a lovely range of real Christmas Trees to give a traditional feel and a Christmassy smell to your festive home display. Our freshly cut Christmas trees are available in 3 different varieties:
Nordmann Fir – well known for it’s non needle-drop properties and bushy shape making it, in my opinion, the best Christmas tree of all.
Omorika, or Serbian Spruce – similar to the Norway Spruce, but holds it’s needles better. The Omorika Spruce is the best buy if you are on a limited budget.
Blue Spruce – a lovely eye-catching tree.
Pot-Grown Christmas Trees
We also have a selection of pot-grown living Christmas trees which can be placed indoors for the festive season, and then either planted out in the garden, or potted up into a bigger pot to use again the following Christmas. These are available as a Nordmann Fir and as a Norway Spruce (needle drop isn’t a problem with growing trees), and make delightful table-top Christmas trees.
I’ve also made a good start on making fresh Christmas wreaths with wreaths suitable for front doors and for the cemetery available now. I’ll be making table decorations, swags and garlands too as we get closer to Christmas. If you’d like to order a wreath please call on 01835 830315.
Or why not make your own, we have a handful of spaces left on our wreath making courses next Wednesday and Thursday. Please phone the shop on the same telephone number to get up to date availability information.
We have just received a delivery of delicious preserves and foodie gift boxes ready for the Christmas season! Laura is having great fun unpacking them. There are several different gift boxes to choose from, as well as individual jams and chutneys, perfect for gifts or to simply stock up your own cupboard.
Winter Opening Times
Please also note that from 1st November our opening hours change to 10-4pm, and remain at these times until next March. We stay open all winter except for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and the 1st & 2nd November.
It’s a busy season for us at Woodside and there’s plenty to get involved in! We’ve got some exciting events coming up which you can find out more about here: https://woodsidegarden.co.uk/events. We have lots of opportunities to volunteer in out wildlife garden and you can even bring your tools in to us to sharpen!
For your own garden, it’s the season to place your orders for bare-rooted fruit trees and hedging plants. Christmas Wreaths are also available to order, and, on the topic of Christmas, we have a Christmas Evening menu on the 14th December!
For more information about any of these things, just ask a member of shop staff for details.
We have added some lines to our half price clearance sale!
These ‘Topiary Planters’ are beautiful frost-proof pots in green or dark brown with an attractive topiary motif. A variety of sizes are available with prices starting at £3.99 – so at half price you would only pay £2. They are perfect for planting bulbs! For best results use Dalefoot Bulb Planting Compost.
Our quirky metallic hedgehogs are just desperate for a new home! These are also half price and were £34.99 meaning they are now just £17.50. Perhaps a fun Christmas present for someone who is hedgehog mad?
That’s all for now!
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Yes, it’s nearly time for our annual Equestrian Theatre performance in the Woodside garden.
This year’s performance is ” The Age of Nottingham”, so I’m guessing lots of goodies, baddies, highwaymen and references to Robin Hood! The event takes place on 14th July at 7pm (gates open 6.15pm) and tickets can be booked by phoning 01835 830315. The prices are; Adult £18, Under 16 £12, Family (2+3) £50, under 3’s free. Your ticket also includes a two-course buffet supper.
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