News – Page 4

Belle & Joe’s Kitchen Reopens July 4th

Well, it’s been a rollercoaster few weeks (months!) and we’ve a mountain of things to get done in the next 6 days but by hook or by crook, we will be Covid compliant and the restaurant will be open and ready to serve by 8.30am Saturday July 4th.

We are busy constructing screens to separate tables; meeting guidelines without the place resembling a field hospital is proving a challenge in itself! We chose the hottest day of the year to scrub the restaurant floor, none of us are in any hurry to scrub out the grout again.

Greg has sanded our 31 wooden tables although, even with the new social distancing guidelines (2m or 1m+ with ‘risk mitigation’) only around half will be in use (inside). We have expanded the restaurant into the top gift area to create some extra seating and are looking at creative ways to use our outdoor areas.

With only 1 week to go, we’re still figuring out a booking/queuing system so we will announce on Facebook once we have that ironed out. The restaurant opening hours will be extended to 8.30am – 5.30pm while the garden centre hours are changing to 8.30am – 6pm now that it is becoming slightly quieter.

In the garden centre summer bedding is still coming through, ideal if you have a few gaps to fill and we have a very good selection of herbaceous perennials.

We are very proud to be hosting Woodborough Virtual Open Gardens this month on our website, in aid of the NSPCC. We have sponsored the Open Gardens for several years but for obvious reasons, the event could not go ahead this year.

The NSPCC, the garden owners, Michael Dobbs and our excellent friend Andy Baxter, have all made the most phenomenal effort in putting together this virtual event. There are over 25 Woodborough gardens featured, several of which would not have opened under normal circumstances so are a rare treat plus quizzes and recipes.

If you can spare £5 to donate to the NSPCC you will be entered into a prize draw to win a garden bench which we have donated. Charities are struggling under the circumstances so your donations are needed now more than ever to help fund vital work protecting the most vulnerable children in society. 

See our gardening tips below for July and many thanks to you all for your support and patronage during these turbulent times! Best wishes, Sophie, Greg & all the team at Timmermans.

Your Garden in July

June went out with a bang with record breaking temperatures followed by the inevitable thunderstorms. Your garden will now need some urgent attention!

Roses: tie up any shoots and flower stems that have been bashed down after the rain. Deadhead (or snip off) the faded flowers to encourage fresh new growth. However, leave the flowers intact if you want rose hips in autumn.

Hanging baskets: all will need a daily water even if it has rained. The sheer density of plant canopy above the compost surface stops rain getting to the roots. Water until it runs out of the base of the basket making sure the water isn’t simply flowing over the surface of the compost. Same goes for bedding plants in containers.

Newly planted shrubs and herbaceous: need to be checked for water. If it’s dry give them a drink. A long drink. Established shrubs don’t need watering unless they look like they are flagging.

Planting time: you can still pop in plants wherever you have gaps. Lavender is looking terrific and is happy in either well drained soil or containers. Echinacea and achillea are two terrific herbaceous plants flowering soon and perfect for planting now. Sunny spots in the garden are best for those two. And of course hydrangeas are at their very best with a wide range to choose from. Plant them, water well and away they go untroubled by anything.

Veg garden: pick early courgettes and have a rootle around for new potatoes – a good indication that you should have a few little spuds ready is when the flowers fade and fall off of the potato tops. Keep picking your lettuce leaves on cut and come again varieties to ensure fresh supplies every week. Plant ready grown seedlings of varieties you have forgotten to grow from seed and sow a few short rows of carrots, radish and spring onions to squeeze in some harvestable crops in this growing year.

Tomatoes: need feeding with a tomato fertiliser every week. Plants are working hard and need nutrition. Same goes for your cucumbers. Nip out the side shoots of tomatoes that are growing on one stem. These side shoots mop up energy from the plant and rarely provide any flowers and fruit. They pop up at the exact point where leaves join the stem. 

Lawns: forget watering unless you simply have to have it green. Rain soon turns the most straw coloured lawn green within days. Leave the mower in the shed when the weather is super-dry. Long grass survives drought better than a close cut sward.

Ponds: keep an eye on the water level in ponds. Punctures to lining happen and evaporation on hot days will reduce levels. Top up whenever required.

Bugs and beasts. The dry weather has reduced slug and snail activity, but crikey, they return with a vengeance at the first spots of rain. Treat according to your gardening principles. Pellets are available alongside other methods of control. Greenfly don’t take long to take hold of juicy new shoots – have a daily check and nip them in the bud.

Finally, get your garden furniture out and clean, repaint or even replace and ensure you make time to actually sit back and enjoy your garden. It’s what all your hard work is for.