Get your thermals on!
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Spring in your step?

Despite the peculiar weather, we shall be opening, as planned, THIS SATURDAY, 3rd March; I wouldn't want anyone describing me as nesh. It may well be baltic out there, but a warm welcome awaits you at our little garden centre in Burnage (we have a gas fire in the polytunnel). Despite treacherous conditions in many parts of the country, we are missing only one plant delivery, from our marvellous peat free fern supplier. It should be with us before next weekend.

I have two new part-time colleagues this year: Anne, and Jason (not husband Jason, I see enough of him) are friendly and knowledgeable, and looking forward to helping you with your gardening queries and horti endeavours.

Let's hope for some warmth soon.

Very best wishes,


Meet our new shop, a grand replacement for the previous dilapidated structure, which served us well, but had been threatening to fall into the brook since we opened in 2011. The photo doesn't represent the finished product, and it has since been furnished with a back wall and shelving in each alcove. It is made from larch, felled in the northwest by Tree Station - we like to support other local, independent businesses whenever we can. Jason has spent a long time designing and building it, and has done a sterling job: although adept with woodworking tools, it is hard to believe that he has never made anything on this scale before.

Our new shop will afford us more room for all sorts of wonderful, including locally made pottery, and more planet friendly horticultural products - watch this wooden space!

UK Grown Cacti

Almost all cacti (and houseplants in general) on sale in garden centres, florists and 'lifesyle' stores - can someone tell me what a lifestyle store is? - are imported. I'm not anti imported goods, per se, but it does matter where they are imported from: supply chains can be long and complicated, making it difficult to establish the country of origin.

Without a doubt, there are environmental costs to growing indoor plants in the UK e.g. high heating and lighting costs, but I'm not sure that these factors outweigh the cost of air freight and unknown working conditions/inputs (I must do more research. If it's something that interests you, give me a shout). I have gone to a bit of trouble to source cacti grown in the UK, and am delighted to be working with a Lincolnshire grower who has won more than 25 gold medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Brian's plants are AMAZING, and far superior to the imported ones I sold last year.

Garden Design Workshops

Severine is back, with three workshops at Bud this year. More details and booking via Eventbrite (click on the link) or you can pay in cash at the garden centre. The first one, 'Create a New Border' is on Thursday 5th April. Hurry, as places are limited.

Not-so-fantastic plastic

It's down to all of us to make better choices when purchasing products for our gardens, and although it will be difficult to eliminate plastic entirely, we can make some changes, and any effort is better than none at all.

Here's my effort:

*Massive intake of breath* I am going to trial a return system for plant pots. I don't have the resources, or capacity, to sort and clean shed fulls of pots which your mother/father/grandfather has saved for the past 50 years. I have to keep this simple, and practical, so the deal is YOU CAN RETURN POTS IF YOU BOUGHT THE PLANTS FROM BUD. There are no recycling facilities for plant pots in Greater Manchester, as far I know, so I don't want to end up with pots coming out of my ears, which has happened in the past.

As mentioned in a previous newsletter, we are going to be producing more in-house herbaceous perennials, in addition to the bulbs/vegetable plants/fruit bushes we currently grow, and it would be most excellent if we can use pots already in circulation, instead of buying new ones (though we will also be using coir pots, where practical). The majority of plants we sell come in pots with detachable labels, are standard sizes e.g. 9cm, 1 litre, 2 litre, and almost always black, which matches the calibre of pot we need: it's a win-win situation. In addition, I might request additional pots throughout the year, if I need specific sizes. Under these circumstances, I would accept non-Bud pots, but they must be clean, free from sticky labels, black, and in good condition.

pots must be from plants purchased at Bud
*return pots during opening hours - don't leave them outside Bud
*please wash the pots, it will really help
*stack them, in size order
*bring them in a cardboard box, not a bin bag
*do not return broken pots

Other ways to dispose of, or acquire, plant pots:
*Free advert on Freegle, Freecycle, or even Preloved
*Ask your local school, allotment society, or community project

I'm sorry if it all seems rather authoritarian, and creates work for you, but we are all part of the problem. Why not have a Bud box in your shed, where you can save your Bud pots? I'm also happy for you to remove your plant purchases from their plastic pots and leave them behind... please email your suggestions, or pop in for a chat to discuss; I'm all ears.

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Bud Garden Centre · Omer Drive · Burnage · Manchester, Greater Manchester M19 2JN · United Kingdom

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