Bud Garden Centre Newsletter January 2021

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Thank you

HELL'S BELLS, we raised £2690 for Wood Street Mission!
I'm a bit overwhelmed to be honest, and would have been chuffed enough with £1,000: a huge, huge thank you to everyone who made a donation. As I have stated numerous times on Twitter, I have the very best customers.



The government has placed garden centres in the essential retail category, which means we can reopen at the end of February. Rest assured, we will continue to make our premises as safe as possible: Jason is already on the case making new 'one-way' arrows and posters explaining the rules. We will continue to accept card payments only, unless cash is your only option. I'm always happy to give gardening advice, but refrain from showing me anything on your mobile phone, so we can uphold the 2m rule. Please continue to be considerate and courteous to others. As an extra precaution, we would like you to wear a face covering whilst on the premises. Your co-operation is much appreciated.


Open on Fri 29/01 and Sat 30/01

We'll have a new batch of organic herb, vegetable, and annual flower seeds from The Seed Co-operative; peat free compost - Dalefoot and Sylvagrow; Strulch; fruit and ornamental trees; fruit bushes; pots; and shrubs. If you're new to vegetable growing, and need some advice, don't hesitate to ask.

If we can't open on the above dates due to a tightening of restrictions, we will offer a click and collect service.

We struggled to provide a continuous supply of peat free compost during spring and summer last year, and had difficulty buying seeds too - much like every other garden centre in the UK, I gather. I am in no way trying to hard sell, it's not what we're about, but it would be wise to stock up early on vegetable seeds and compost. Our peat free compost suppliers have ramped up production, but anti-peat campaigns are slowly coming to fruition, and if you factor in the estimated 2 million new gardeners due to the pandemic, and legal wrangles in Ireland over peat extraction, it is inevitable that there'll be increased pressure on peat free supplies.


Another thank you

As most of you already know, 2020 turned out to be a brilliant year for Bud, despite a very worrying, and frantic start. We couldn't have done it without the excellent service provided by the UK plant nurseries and other suppliers we buy from: we received a sterling service all year, which is impressive, considering they had to cope with staff shortages and new working arrangements. And of course, the Buddists! We thank you for your support, and your patience; I think delivery lead times stretched to 10 days at one point during the first lockdown, but you were so gracious. And you continued to support us, wholeheartedly, when we were allowed to open again, whilst adhering to our safety guidelines without complaint. It goes without saying that our success is bittersweet, and difficult to celebrate when so many people are coping with the death of loved ones, struggling financially and emotionally, or watching their livelihoods crumble. We know that we are so lucky to be doing what we do, and doing what we love: there's a big dollop of serendipity in that mix, alright.

Reading recommendations

I've just finished reading Darwin's Most Wonderful Plants: Darwin's Botany Today by biologist Ken Thompson. It is based on Darwin's six books about plants, which he wrote in the 30 years between his travels and publishing On The Origin of Species. I found the chapter on carnivorous plants particularly interesting, and was amused to read that Darwin tried to feed his carnivores with all kinds of foodstuffs. It's an easy and enjoyable read, with a conversational tone, and a peppering of dry wit, much like other books by this author.

Garden designer Dan Pearson's Dig Delve blog posts, relating to gardening, growing, cooking, and making, are beautifully written, and his partner's photographs of their garden in Somerset exquisite.

Very best wishes for the coming year,




The government has temporarily lifted restrictions on a neonicotinoid banned by the EU in 2018. This has nothing to do with Brexit - several EU member states have done the same to protect their sugar beet crops from a virus spreading aphid. However, I am not defending our government's decision: bees, essential to life? Or sugar? Please sign the petition and help to protect our pollinators, and read Professor Dave Goulson's blog post, for Wildlife and Countryside Link, for background information and implications.
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