Hillers this winter
Nick Millham Head Gardener
I guess most of you have put your gardens to bed by now in time for Christmas, in The Hiller Garden we are beginning to prune our large collection of roses and preparing to mulch the whole garden.
It is a good time to plant hyacinths in bowls for spring scent. Place the nose of the bulb just proud of the surface in bulb fibre. Try planting indoor daffodils or crocus in glass containers for a modern feel.
For a taste of winter interest, I love the look of Cornus, ‘dogwood’ with their colourful structured stems, not too late to plant them out.
Evergreens are very important in the winter months, for example sarcococca confusa gives off a wonderful sweet scent and can be kept as a low hedge or specimen bush.
Vegetables at their best
Late Autumn and early Winter at the Farm Shop is the very best time for English Vegetables. Hillers pride themselves as supporters of local growers which are all within 10 miles of the Farm Shop and this means our seasonal produce has travelled very few food miles which is great news for the environment. The quality and freshness that Hillers have established a reputation for relies totally on this close working partnership which means that all seasonal produce is picked at the peak of perfection and brought to the farm shop shortly after harvest, where it is sold that very same day. You can’t get much fresher than that. Also, without the usual transport, distribution and packaging costs Hillers believe the supermarket can’t compete on price. Take the Red cabbages that are grown on the Farm here at Hillers, currently selling at 65p per kilo. Like for like, that is up to 50 per cent cheaper than most supermarkets.
The local farmers grow a full range of fantastic vegetables including Cauliflowers, Leeks, Purple Sprouting Celeriac, Calabrese, Potatoes and a wide variety of Cabbages including Spring, Celtic and Savoy. Why not visit to see for yourself!
How to look after your Christmas Tree
The key is buying locally grown trees that have done fewer miles and will be fresher. To reduce needle drop, take an inch off the trunk to expose the cells; this helps the tree soak up moisture. Place the tree in a bucket or tree clamp that holds water. Keep it away from direct heat and top up with fresh water when required. There is a great selection of Norway Spruce and Non Drop Nordmann varieties for sale at The Hiller Garden this Christmas.
Dunnington Heath Farm, Dunnington, ALCESTER, Warwickshire B49 5PD Tel: 01789 772771