Autumn Tree Planting

Frank P Matthews tree nursery aerial shot

With darker evenings  and farmers busy harvesting, our thoughts are turning to autumn tree planting.  Autumn is fast approaching, it is my favourite time of year and a busy one for gardeners.

The late summer and autumn are the perfect seasons for getting trees established. Here at Woodside we bring on some of our own trees from British sourced stock and also work in partnership with Frank P Matthews tree nursery – a multi-award winning nursery which supplies top quality container grown trees to many UK planting projects. As you can see from the photo, this is a huge operation consisting of propagation greenhouses and polytunnels, nursery beds and fields and fields of trees. The lake you can see to the left of the photograph is their reservoir for all that watering.

Autumn Tree Planting Tips

We are now taking advance orders for autumn trees and if you click HERE you will open our list of container grown fruit and ornamental trees that are available this autumn. I’ve indicated rootstocks when appropriate for fruit trees, and pot sizes for the ornamentals, as well as the price. Some of the items are available just now, and the rest will be due in late August/September. If you would like to order a tree from the list please call 01835 830315 and have your card handy to make a payment.  Alternatively email me with your order and leave your phone number so we can call you back for payment. We’ll then phone as soon as the trees are available for you to collect, or we can arrange delivery.

Don’t forget to:

  • stake and tie to secure your trees against wind damage
  • feed trees with bonemeal
  • help the roots establish with Rootgrow
  • use planting compost for sites with poor soils
  • use tree guards if you are plagued by rabbits and hares.

Autumn and Winter Bedding

Autumn and winter bedding plants will be arriving at Woodside soon, along with our biggest range of bulbs yet – lsign up to our newsletter to receive the latest updates.

Gardening In August


Whilst most of you have been enjoying your garden in the sunshine over the last week or so, we have been planning our stock for the rest of the year. In the gardening business we always seem to looking at least three months ahead, which is why I am busy placing Christmas orders. (Sorry!)

Many gardeners will also be thinking about what they would like to improve for next year and will be planning for colour throughout the year. Here are a few things you can do in your garden now and over the next few weeks to increase the enjoyment of your garden.

  1. Plant potatoes ready for Christmas – we have in stock both Charlotte and Pentland Javelin seed potatoes which can be planted now for you to harvest home-grown new potatoes on christmas morning.
  2. Sow autumn and winter bedding plant seeds such as pansies, wallflowers and sweet williams – seeds available in the plant centre
  3. Sow green manure seeds to improve the fertility of the soil
  4. Plant some conifers – we have a new delivery of conifers from specialist growers Golden Grove. These plants offer great value for money with year round interest
  5. Feed your garden – quite often when Stephen and I are answering questions to do with garden plants under-performing it seems that a lot of gardeners don’t realise that plants need regular feeding. With the weather set to break soon (maybe later today?) now is a great time to get some feed into the garden. It’s not difficult to do and usually involves scattering handfuls of granular fertiliser onto your borders, or watering fertiliser into pots and containers, so no heavy digging required! Feeding now will enable plants to build up strength and vigour before autumn and winter set in, which will in turn improve performance and growth next year. Our current range of fertilisers includes Growmore, Bonemeal, slow release granules, TopRose and more. Just ask for advice when you visit.
  6. Plant spring bulbs in autumn – these will be coming into stock in August and into September. Planting in autumn will ensure a riot of colour next spring.


Photo credit: Photo by mostafa meraji on Unsplash



It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Christmas Trees

Christmas TreesIf this cold weather isn’t enough to get you in the Christmas spirit, we are sure a visit to our best ever Christmas shop will get you well on the way. Take a look at our video below! With gorgeous decorations and gifts there is plenty of choice.

Christmas Trees for sale

The beautiful Nordman cut Christmas trees have arrived at Woodside. Nordmans are the best Christmas tree for keeping their needles and will last well into the New Year as an indoor cut tree. If you prefer something different  – and an extra Christmassy fragrance, we also have some Blue Spruces in stock.

The best results for looking after your Christmas trees is to site them away from radiators and put them in a stand that will hold water. We have used the same supplier of British grown trees now for a number of years, and the trees are as good as ever – with no price increases!

Cut Christmas tree sizes range from about 4ft up to about 10ft, and for the best choice I would recommend that you buy early – even if you’re not ready to put your tree up just yet. (We can hold them here until you are ready).

Living Christmas Trees

We also have a good selection of pot Norway Spruce Christmas trees, sometimes known as “Living Trees”. These have been pot grown on a specialist nursery, rather than being grown in fields, dug up, and stuffed in a pot, so beware of sellers using the term “potted” rather than “pot grown”.

There is a big difference in quality and future survival rates between the two methods of growing, with pot grown trees reliably growing on well to make good plants in the future. Norway Spruces have a poor reputation as cut trees because they drop their needles, but this isn’t a problem when they are a pot grown tree, and I find that they make the best pot grown trees.


Wreath making season has also started, and we are now taking orders as well as having some stock available to buy.

Now that Halloween is past we can really start to look forwards to Christmas. Here's a little taster of what is available at Woodside

Posted by Woodside Plant Centre & Birdhouse Tearoom on Monday, 5 November 2018


How to Plant Raspberry Canes

raspberry canes

With our raspberry canes now in stock, I thought I’d share a few tips on how to plant raspberry canes:

  1. Choose a well drained spot in full sun, weed the ground and construct post and wire fencing support for summer fruiting varieties (autumn varieties don’t need this), avoiding ground that has previously grown raspberries.
  2. The planting depth is important with raspberries and as a rule of thumb, aim for the old soil mark on the stem to be at the same level as the ground after planting. To do this, dig a shallow hole, about 30cm (1ft) wide and 8cm (3in) deep. Add a scattering of Rootgrow in the bottom of the hole to help root establishment.
  3. Spread out the roots and cover with soil, firming as you go.
  4. Plant canes 40cm (16in) apart.
  5. Cut canes down to 30cm (1ft) above the soil, pruning above a bud, and water well.

Good Choice of Raspberry Varieties

As usual we have some excellent varieties in stock this winter.

Erika – a primocane variety (meaning it fruits on the current year’s growth) bred in Italy and performing well in the UK, with large, firm tasty fruits which hold their shape well.

Glen Ample – a mid-season summer variety producing abundant fruits on almost spine-free canes. Scottish breeding.

Glen Clova – another Scottish bred variety, which is a reliable early-season summer variety producing high quality small but firm fruit. The best of all the early varieties for this area.

Glen Prosen – another mid-season Scottish variety, reliably producing extremely high yields of fruit on spine-free canes, with good resistance to aphids and virus.

Tadmor – a fairly new introduction from New Zealand, this late summer variety produces large firm tasty fruits. This is the latest maturing of all the summer varieties and has been trialled widely in the UK with outstanding results.

Tulameen – a late-season summer variety bred in Canada from a Glen Prosen cross, this hardy variety has a long cropping period and sweet juicy fruits.

Autumn Bliss – probably the most reliable of all the autumn fruiting varieties producing delicious fruit from late August until the first frosts of the winter.

All our Raspberries are available in packs of 5 or 10. If you’d like us to reserve any for you, please give us a call on 01835 830315

More Planting Trees available!

Some may be sad to see the end of Summer, but here at Woodside we are excited that Autumn has begun and that it is the start of Tree Planting season.

We have the best choice in the Scottish Borders for ornamental trees suitable for planting in this area.

So many to choose from, we have around:

  • 14 varieties of Sorbus (Rowan & Whitebeam) to choose from including rare varieties such as: Ravensbill, Fingerprint, Bisetti Pearls, and Hemsleyi John Bond.

  • 5 varieties of Liquidamber (Sweetgum Tree) which put on an exceptional show of autumn colour.

  • 6 varieties of Malus (Crab Apple) which produce showy edible autumn fruits.

  • 7 varieties of Betula (Silver Birch) including the aptly named variety “Edinburgh”.

We also have the stunning long needled Pinus Wallichiana, the rare oak Quercus Crimsonschmidt, beautiful Acer Rubrum October Glory, and the maple syrup tree Acer Saccarinum.

All of which have good Autumn or Winter interest.

Please note that some trees were ordered in as singles, meaning we only have 1 of that variety for sale. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Interest in the trees this weekend is likely to be strong, so don’t delay your visit to pick out the tree you’re looking for.

Tree Planting for the Autumn Season

It is now tree planting season, and in stock we have a great choice of fresh trees available for the autumn season.

Grown in Yorkshire, the trees selected have been chosen for hardiness and autumn interest.

Highlights include:

Cercidiphyllum Japonica Pendula – The Weeping Katsura Tree, which has attractive heart shaped leaves which turn fiery shades of red and orange in the autumn. Originating in Japan, this ancient tree gives off an unmistakable smell of candyfloss in the autumn as the leaves begin to fall.

Liquidamber Palo Alto – This is a rare form of Liquidamber, rarely offered for sale in the UK, which has an upright habit, and leaves resembling a Japanese Maple. Liquidambers are well known for autumn leaf colour, and this one turns dark mottled red in the autumn.

Malus Rosehip – An attractive new form of crab apple which has masses of white blossom in the spring and forms beautiful rounded red fruits in the autumn, which strongly resemble rosehips in appearance. The fruits can be used for cooking, jam and jelly making, or left for the birds to enjoy.

Sorbus Joseph Rock – This is a yellow berried form of the native Rowan, or Mountain Ash, and is easy to grow and very hardy. A good plant for autumn berry colour in colder gardens.

Quercus Crimschmidt – This is a new Oak hybrid, sometimes called Crimson Spire, and it has a narrow habit with dark green leaves turning a stunning red in autumn.

Betula Jaquemontii – Probably the best of all the white stemmed birches, the Himalayan Birch is hardy and easy to grow, and is offered as a single or multi-stemmed tree.

Tree sales are likely to be brisk over the next few days, so if you would like us to reserve any of the trees listed please give us a call on 01835 830315. Better still, come in and see what trees we have, as there are many more varieties available.

How to Choose Plants for Your Pond

water lily

Here at Woodside we have decided to stock water plants, after so many customers have asked us to, so I thought I’d tell you a bit about water gardening and how to choose plants for your pond

Wildlife Habitat

Ponds make a wonderful addition to the garden – as well as creating extra habitats for wildlife, it also provides different planting conditions for a whole host of plants. The most successful ponds tend to have a boggy area next to them to allow moisture loving plants to grow there and to make a smooth transition from pond to garden. Not only that, but the sound of moving water is very relaxing, and the presence of fish in the pond gives an extra dimension to your enjoyment of your garden. Ponds are generally sited in sunny spots, which makes plant growth stronger, but also encourages algae growth.

Water Lilies

Ideally a pond should have 30-40% of its surface area covered with plant leaves, using plants such as Water Lilies, and other deep water marginals like the very pretty Water Hawthorn (Aponogeton) and the Yellow Fringed Lily, which isn’t strictly speaking a lily at all, but a close relative (Nymphoides Peltata). This will help shade the water from the sun and reduce algae growth. Water lilies prefer still water to moving water, so be sure to site them away from fountains and inlet streams, and read the label carefully to make sure they are at the right depth within the pond. Miniature Water Lilies can be submerged in large water-tight containers if you don’t have space for a pond.


Oygenators and floating plants are vital for the health of the pond. Oxgenating plants grow and photosynthesise under water, releasing oxygen into the water which is essential for water dwelling animals as well as for keeping the water full of healthy bacteria to help keep it clean. Crystal Confetti (Hydrocotyl) is one of the most attractive oxygenators and should be submerged in the pond. Floating plants, such as Water Soldiers (Stratiotes) can simply be thrown into the pond, making them the easiest plant in gardening to actually plant!  Barley straw products also help keep pond clear and they act as an algae inhibitor – the product we currently have in stock treats up to 2000 gallons and last approx. 6 months.

Height and Structure

A selection of tall, grass like plants are useful for height, structure and for allowing emerging larvae of dragonflies to hatch. Recommended varieties are Lesser Bulrush (Typha Angustifolia) and any of the water loving Irises. Other marginal plants provide colour and texture.

Bog Garden

By creating a bog garden you give yourself the opportunity to plant a whole range of plants from the beautiful green foliage of Hostas and Ferns to the bright colourful flowers of Candelabra Primroses.

We have a good selection of water plants available, so why not drop by if your are planning to create your own pond from scratch or re-stock your existing one.

How to Grow Clematis


The most colourful of all climbing plants are Clematis. They give a delightful extra dimension to the garden and with a good selection of different varieties can provide colour throughout the summer.

They are easy to grow if you have the right conditions and prepare the ground well. Clematis dislike a waterlogged soil, so make sure drainage is adequate, particularly if planting in a pot, and take care not to overwater. Remember the golden rule “Feet in the Shade, Heads in the Sun”, meaning the roots enjoy shade, and the stem and foliage need sun. Clematis require a support of some sort, and a common mistake is to plant too close to a fence, wall or tree, so be sure to leave a minimum of 12” distance. If growing up an obelisk then you can plant directly against it.

Planting Tips

When planting dig the planting hole much bigger and deeper than the size of the flower pot; 18” diameter and depth is ideal. Break up the soil in the bottom of the planting hole and add compost. The best compost for clematis is John Innes No.3. Sprinkle a good handful of Bonemeal into the hole and mix into the loosened soilAdd a scoop of Rootgrow and sprinkle at the bottom of the planting hole (don’t mix it in). Remove the pot the place the plant carefully in the hole making sure that the top of the root ball is buried about 3” (8cm) deeper than it was in its pot and re-fill the hole with a mixture of soil and compost, firming down well. Lean the cane towards the support.

You can also plant clematis in a pot, which needs to be at least 20”deep and with good drainage holes. If growing in a pot you may need to provide additional shading for the roots, and remember not to over-water, particularly in winter.

Provide Shade

Clematis planted by a wall, fence, tree or shrub, may need regular watering especially in its first year but be careful not to overdo it if planting in the autumn.

If your clematis is planted in a hot position, where the base of the plant will be baked by the sun for a large part of the day, place bark chippings or mulch around the base to provide shade for the root system.  This will help to keep the roots cool and moist, avoiding the plant drying out so quickly.

Choose your clematis with care


Choose your variety with care – montana types are early summer flowering and very vigorous. These are suitable for covering large expanses, such as house walls. The macropetala and alpine types flower in spring and are good for scrambling through summer flowering shrubs or climbing roses. The texensis and viticella varieties are later flowering and look good growing up an obelisk or trellis. My favourite of all is Clematis texensis “Princess of Wales” which has slender rich pinky-red flowers, but the popular variety “Nelly Moser” also takes some beating.

I’d strongly advise keeping the label of the clematis once it is planted, as this will remind you of it’s pruning requirements. Some need cutting down to about 18” each year, and some are best left alone, with just a bit of tidying up. The label will tell you the precise instructions for the variety you have purchased.

We currently have a good selection of clematis and other climbing plants in stock.

New Stock arriving at Woodside

Winter may have just crept back again this week, but here at Woodside it’s spring all the way! We’ve just taken delivery of our first potted roses of the year, and we’re delighted to introduce a range of Peter Beale’s Roses (World leaders in Classic Roses).

Here’s what Peter Beales Roses have to say about themselves –

Since 1968, Peter Beales Roses have grown millions of roses, from shrub, climbing to modern hybrid and floribunda roses that are now growing all over the world, from small city gardens in London to hundreds of acres in Japan. All roses and plants are lovingly cared for by hand by our East Anglian based rosarians over two years before they are sold.

Many growers of roses, outsource the growing of their roses to Eastern Europe, or keep their roses in cold store late into the spring and early summer – both practises, we believe, lead to inferior roses and disappointing results. Peter Beales’ roses are all grown in East Anglia tended for by local, expert nurserymen with many years’ experience.”

We are very pleased to be stocking the following roses from the range: Sandringham, St Ethelburga (pictured), Countess of Wessex, Evelyn May (pictured), Raymond Carver, Grosvenor House (pictured), McMillan Nurse, Dunholm Massey and Churchill Rose (pictured).

Experience has taught us that although the David Austin Roses are stunning, they don’t always do so well in our cold Northern climate. Because Peter Beale’s don’t use the practice of cold storage, we have found that they do much better in this area. So, if you’ve previously tried and failed to grow Classic English roses, this could be the year to try again!

We also have lots of other roses available now, including the popular varieties English Miss, Peace, Margaret Merrill, Buff Beauty, Iceberg Climbing and American Pillar which can be seen gloriously adorning the swags in the walled garden of Floors Castle each July.

Pop into Woodside to see our full range of roses. We’re open every day 10am – 5pm.

Rose Grosvenor House
A richly fragrant hybrid tea style rose in a rich honey colour fading to creamy white at the edge of the petal.

Rose Evelyn May                                              Named after Peter Beale’s mother, this rose produces scented blooms in shades of peach and salmon.

The Churchill Rose
A repeat flowering rose with a lovely perfume to it’s soft apricot blooms, with good disease resistance, so suitable for organic growing.

Rose St Ethelburga
Often regarded as a superior choice to the popular Gertrude Jekyll, this rose has an old fashioned, classic appearance, with scented flowers of soft pink.




Hints and Tips for Feeding the Birds

feeding the birds

long tailed tits on bird feederIn winter weather all birds need to eat around 40% of their body weight every day. They need as many calories as possible, so feed with the highest calorie foods possible.

    • The best food is sunflower seeds, either as hearts or as seed with the husks. They are quickly digested and converted into energy. Suet pellets, suet blocks and fat balls are also of the highest fat content. Peanuts are also good, but are not as efficient at converting into energy as the other choices.
    • Peanuts can go “off” quickly when outside, so only put out a weeks supply at a time.
    • Seed can be given all year round. We use the Feeder Seed in all our tube feeders as this attracts a good variety of birds, but remember to give high calorie foods as an extra in bad weather
    • Not all birds can perch on the hanging feeders, so don’t forget to provide food for the ground feeders such as blackbirds and robins. A table seed is ideal.
    • Avoid giving bread – not only does it attract vermin, but it has little or no nutritional content for the birds. Birds can actually starve to death eating bread as it fills them up and makes them too lethargic to go hunting for nutritional foods.
    • Feed the birds as early in the day as possible – remember they have been huddling all night against the cold and they need a boost as early as possible to give them the energy to forage for more food.
    • Feed the birds all year round as they depend on us to compensate for habitat loss. Avoid feeding whole peanuts in the Spring as fledglings can easily choke to death on them.

Here at Woodside  we stock a large range of CJ Wildlife products in the shop and a good choice of feeding accessories for all gardens.

New Range of Bird Feeders

The design of bird feeders has remained unchanged for decades…..until now! We are really pleased to be offering for sale a brand new range of bird feeders from Europe made from recycled plastic and in several modern designs.

Many of them come with a velcro type band so they can easily be attached to tree trunks or even drainpipes. They all come boxed and are light weight, so ideal for posting off as Christmas presents. I would imagine they would appeal to people in more contemporary style homes, and younger people wanting a “funkier” look. Prices start at just £2.99 for a small fat ball feeder, so they are a great price too!

bird feeders

This seed feeder will fasten to a tree trunk or drain pipe

new bird feeders

This feeder has two inserts – one for seed and one for nuts

fat ball bird feeder

This fat ball feeder comes with a velcro style fastening, so is easy to fix in place

Any type of feed can be put in this hanging feeder