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Fun at Lymefield

This May, our team is running children’s activities during the half term holidays.

Call the Tea Room on 01457 764686 to book your child’s place.

Wednesday 29th May

Two sessions: 9.30am & 10am

All workshops are £6 per child including all materials & refreshment for the participant.

Payment is taken when booking.

There are only 10 spaces per session so book early to avoid disappointment.

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Choosing your favourite fruit tree

Fruit Trees

Fruit Trees are a fabulous & edible addition to your garden. The most popular tree fruit sold in our garden centre is an apple tree, providing one of your five a day from your garden. When the correct decisions are made when purchasing an apple tree, they can be very productive – find out below the different factors to consider. We have concentrated on apple trees throughout but many of these factors apply to all other types of fruit trees.

Type of apple

The first choice you will have to make is the kind of apple you want, either a dessert apple or a cooking apple, bear in mind that to get a good harvest it is necessary to have two trees to pollinate each other. So you can also have both types of trees too! In the North West where our garden centre, Lymefield is based, we would recommend mid- to late- flowering varieties to reduce the risk of the blossoms being damaged by late frosts.

Triploids or Not

Just to add to the decision, another thing that needs considering is that some varieties are triploids. These fruit trees are very poor pollinators and therefore if you wish to grow one that is a triploid (i.e. Bramley Seedling) then two other trees will need to be planted to ensure the best possible chance of pollination.

Pollination season

Below is a very brief list of a few popular apple tree varieties and their flowering times: Mid Season Flowering
  • Cox’s Orange Pippin (d)
  • Discovery (d)
  • Elstar (d)
  • Epicure (d)
  • Fiesta (d)
  • Granny Smith (d/c)
  • James Grieve (d)
  • Worchester Pearmain (d)
  • Bramley Seedling(Triploid) (c)
  • Crispin(Triploid) (d/c)
Mid/Late Flowering
  • Gala (d)
  • Golden Delicious (d)
  • Howgate Wonder (c)
  • Laxtons Superb (d)
  • Jonagold(Triploid) (d)
(c)=culinary (d)=dessert Ideally, you would be better off choosing two varieties that flower in the same season, either from mid-season or mid/late season. But do bear in mind that all trees will aid in pollination of each other.

Rootstock

Another major factor is what rootstock the tree has been grown on as fruit trees are often grafted onto another type of tree to aid growth. An apple growing on its own root i.e. if you planted an apple seed and just let it grow into a tree, would not be strong and it would take many years to fruit. However, if the apple tree is grafted onto a specially selected root stock, the eventual size of the tree can be determined and fruiting takes place much sooner. The very dwarfing rootstock (M27) will only allow the tree to reach approx 6ft but the disadvantage is the cropping capacity is quite poor. A more successful alternative would be a semi-dwarfing rootstock, such as MM106, which can support a tree of 14ft but can produce five times more fruit on the same variety of apple than a M27 rootstock.

Supported or not

The final decision to make is whether you want the tree free standing or supported. A freestanding tree can be trained into various shapes. A bush apple tree will have an open centre and a short trunk this gives the tree an advantage as it will come into fruit early and they are easy to maintain but not very attractive as a centrepiece. A standard fruit tree, where the tree has a long trunk and a round top, is suitable where space is not restricted and high yields are important. These larger trees, however, can be difficult to maintain. Alternatively, the tree could be supported (trained) along a frame as a cordon, where a single-stemmed tree is planted at an angle and trained along a support. This is an ideal solution for growing a few varieties where space is at a premium.  Another way is an espalier, where pairs of branches on opposite sides of the trunk a trained horizontally.  Both of these trained versions of fruit trees have the advantages of high yields and are very decorative but they can take up quite a lot of space and need lots of maintainence.

Come to Lymefield Garden Centre

At Lymefield, we have lots of choice of apple, pear & other fruit trees for you to choose from. You can find a selection online at www.lymefield.com or visit us to see the trees in real life, we are open 7 days a week & have lots of expertise & advice to help you choose your fruit tree.
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Spring flowers are here at Lymefield

Spring flowers have arrived!

April brings new plants to the Garden Centre that are bursting with colour, texture and vibrancy!

Spring brings rain and sunshine creating spectacular colours and textures in the garden. This is the perfect time to plant spring flowers that will last year after year – perennial plants!

British Grown Plants

At Lymefield Garden Centre, our new perennial plants have arrived. Grown in the UK, these British plants are suited to our climate and soil ensuring their Spring flowers will bloom in our environment. Perennial plants are very rewarding in your garden as you can plant once and they will provide their flowers year after year.

Perennial flowers

Sold as established plants in 1 litre pots, our perennial plants provide spring flowers, colour, texture and reliable growth year after year. We choose these hardy plants as they will tolerate our cooler (and sometimes wetter!) climate. We know that our weather, soil & climate need these extra qualities to ensure you have the best plants year after year.

Best prices

These Spring Flowers perennial plants start at £4.99 each or 3 plants for £12!

Come down to the Garden Centre now to discover a new addition to your garden or find more of your favourite – perennial plants are the heart of a garden providing Spring and Summer flowers.

If you are looking for top soil or mulch ready for planting, please visit our Garden Centre pages online to get these delivered to your home or order in store when you come and choose your perennial plants.

Looking forward to seeing you and your choices from our fantastic range of Spring Flowers.

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Guide to Rose health

Bee on a pale pink rose. Small blossom with double petals.

Our guide to rose health will keep your roses the most beautiful flowering shrubs grown in our gardens.

While roses bear blooms in many varieties, shapes & scents, it can be agreed that they also ooze class and elegance. Unfortunately, they’re also amongst the plants most likely to be oozing with sticky sap, spattered with powdery splotches of mildew, or cheerfully festooned with browning, soggy blooms, like so many broken Christmas lights.

If you’ve ever had roses in your garden, you’ll know the pain of trying to nurture a favourite rose through a dizzying array of different illnesses in the hope that it will put on a good show despite a wet summer. The first Gardeners’ World Awards, held in 2009, summed up the frustration of growing roses, with the embattled plants topping the “Most Loved” and the “Most Hated” categories of the gardening poll!

Here at Lymefield, we want to help you to get the most out of your roses, both new and old by creating a guide to rose health. Roses can be very easy to look after, and their versatility and old-fashioned charm, make them an indispensable addition to the garden. The real challenge to growing roses is pinning down what the problem is.

So, to help get you started, we’ve compiled a shortlist of some of the most common problems affecting roses in the garden, to explain what to look for, why it happens, and how you can keep it from happening again.

So without further ado, here’s Lymefield’s Most [Un]Wanted: Rose Pests & Diseases in our Guide to Rose Health.


I can see little green insects on my rose!

What it looks like

Hungry droves of tiny green (or black) insects cluster under leaves or swamp the vulnerable top-growth of the rose bush. The adult bugs may have wings, depending on species. You might find your buds and foliage covered in a sticky substance that the insects secrete.

Why it happens

These insects are aphids (sometimes known as greenfly or blackfly), an extraordinarily successful group of sap-sucking insects that are capable of rapidly reproducing throughout the year by a process known asparthenogenesis (‘virgin birth’), through which a female aphid can reproduce without the need of a male. This means that a single aphid landing on a new host plant can give birth to literally thousands of new aphids for the growing season. Some aphid species can even give birth to live young that are already pregnant with the next generation!

Unfortunately, with all of those tiny sucking mouthparts to feed, plant health is affected. The main things to watch out for are:

  • Reduced growth and vigour
  • Tender new shoots that wilt or new buds that bear curled, warped leaves in heavy infestations
  • Secondary infections, such as the spread of unsightly black sooty moulds over the sticky honeydew or frass produced by the aphids

How you can keep it from happening again

A spring and summer infestation of aphids ought to be added to Benjamin Franklin’s famous idiom, ‘…nothing can be said to be certain, except death, taxes, and aphids’. To preserve your sanity, it’s easiest to accept that there will always be aphids present somewhere in your garden (even over winter, although usually as eggs), and they will always ultimately converge on your roses when the opportunity presents itself. However, there are still a variety of options available to treat or reduce infestations:

            Organic Solutions:

  • Try growing nasturtiums or cosmos as sacrificial plants – plants that are so irresistible to pests like aphids that their presence as a food source might reduce the burden on your roses. Nasturtiums and cosmos are available as part of our bedding range in the Garden Centre.
  • Aphids aren’t very fast, so they’re very easy to squash by hand. If you’d rather not be caught green-handed and sticky by a vengeful giant aphid (nb: currently unknown to science), then a variety of gardening gloves are available to buy in the Garden Centre, to help you hide the evidence.
  • Soapy water in a spray bottle can put a dent in aphid numbers, as it seems to either suffocate the hapless bugs or disrupt their cell membranes. The liquid solution has to coat the insects themselves, and it doesn’t last long, so there’s slightly less risk of affecting beneficial insects like pollinators or predators. Spray bottles are available in the Garden Centre.

Chemical Solutions:

  • A systemic insecticide can be applied to the plant, rather than the aphids specifically. Aphids feeding on your roses will die, and the plants will remain toxic to future generations of aphids (reapplication may be necessary). Probably best reserved for extreme outbreaks, as the solution is also toxic to pollinators.

My rose has black spots on its leaves!

What it looks like

Black lesions appear on the leaves in spring, often fringed with yellow. Leaves are readily shed, and unsightly black, textured scabs can also appear on the stems in more severe infections.

Why it happens

Ah, the creatively-titled Rose black spot. This fungal infection is met with dread by gardeners, but the disease is rarely fatal. The spores colonise new parts of the plant by wind and by rain-splash (whereby water hits infected leaves and splashes across uninfected areas of the plant). The loss of leaves in severe infections can greatly reduce the vigour of the plant.

How you can keep it from happening again

Black spot is often credited with the decline in popularity of the English rose garden. It spreads rapidly from rose to rose, and many strains of Diplocarpon rosae (the fungus responsible) exist, making treatment difficult. However, a good treatment regime might include:

           Organic Solutions

  • Carefully remove all infected plant matter, including leaves and stems. Where a rose has many stem lesions and plant health is already so poor that it is unlikely to withstand a hard prune, then disposal of the plant may be necessary. Secateurs and hard-wearing leather gloves are available in the Garden Centre for particularly thorny encounters.
  • Mulch around the plants with manure every spring, improving plant vigour and smothering fallen leaves to prevent the spread of spores.
  • Choose a resistant rose variety! Whilst far from immune, disease-resistant cultivars such as ‘ Sexy Rexy’, and ‘Loving Memory’ promise less of an uphill battle against fungal infection.
  • Avoid monoculture (where only one kind of plant is grown, as in a rose garden), and incorporate your rose into a mixed planting with a variety of herbaceous perennials such as Salvias, Geraniums and Foxgloves. A beautiful and savvy solution!

Chemical Solutions

  • A systemic fungicide will protect plants for up to 3 weeks, and will also control for other fungal infections. Water or spray on to the plant according to the recommended dosage.

There are tiny orange spots on my rose plant’s leaves!

What it looks like

Plants show yellow lesions or splotches on the surface of leaves. On the underside of the leaf, below the yellow lesions, are the telltale mounds of powdery orange spores. The infection can also warp young stems and gird them with the same orange dust.

Why it happens

Older rose varieties are more commonly infected by Rose rust fungus than newer, more resistant varieties. Outbreaks are most likely to occur in cool, wet spells. Whilst rose rust is less common than black spot, its resting spores can overwinter on objects other than the plant itself, such as fences and the soil surface. These spores are spread by wind and rain splash.

How you can keep it from happening again

Rose rust infections are unlikely to cause serious injury to a plant, but they are unsightly and in some extreme cases, a rose may have to be replaced. Treatment is largely the same as for black spot, so refer to the advice above. We’ve generally found that cultivars that are resistant to black spot hardly seem to develop rose rust at all, but we might just be lucky!


I don’t actually have any roses so I don’t need your Guide to Rose Health!

What it looks like

A gaping hole where a rose ought to be.

Why it happens

Cowardice.

How you can keep it from happening again

 *Ahem*

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Growing your Potatoes from seed potatoes

Pile of seed potatoes on soil with potato leaves next to them

Seed Potatoes are the key!

Seed Potatoes arrived in our garden centre this January.

They are the first thing to kickstart our thinking towards the new season of growing, a timely reminder during a usually barren month to get preparing for Spring. It is time to be looking to get prepared for planting your seed potatoes.

Building raised beds, improving the soil in existing beds with manure or compost, adding nutrients, and improving the drainage of borders will all help when planting time comes around.

Choosing Your Type of Seed Potatoes:

There are two main types of potato. Earlies and Maincrops.

The difference between the two is the time taken to reach the stage of harvesting.

The early varieties go into the ground first and will be ready to be lifted around June/July. Maincrop varieties will be planted around mid to late April and be ready for harvesting in August for immediate use, although potatoes being grown for storage over the following winter should be lifted from September to October.

If you have room enough to grow varieties of both types, you will be able to have potatoes throughout the summer and through to the next year if stored.

If space is limited, choose Early varieties for growing. Although they may not produce as large a yield as Maincrop potatoes, the fact that they can be harvested at a time when potato prices are higher, as well as taking up less space and missing the period most susceptible to blight means that they are the ideal choice.

Chitting Your Potatoes

If you have bought your Seed Potatoes nice and early, ‘chitting’ them is a way of giving them a great start. A few weeks before planting, usually around mid to late February, place your seed potatoes on an egg tray or a wooden tray. Then move them into a light (but not sunny) room, safe from frost. After 5 to 6 weeks they will have developed several shoots (chits) meaning that they have a good head start for when they are planted into the ground. For Early varieties especially, this is a vital process. The great thing about growing potatoes is that they will succeed in almost any type of soil. Having said this, there is no harm in trying to provide them with the best growing media possible, for the best possible results come harvest time.

Planting Your Seed Potatoes

When you are ready to plant your Seed Potatoes, dig a 10cm deep, V-shaped trench. Make sure that there is room to pile earth back on to the exposed tubers. The covering of the potatoes whilst in the ground is vital.

Guide to planting times:

Plant First Earlies and Salad Crops from March-April

Plant Second Earlies and Maincrops from April-May

For those of us in the north, it is usually best to wait a little later than March, until early April to plant First Earlies due to the colder weather.

Planting Distances For Seed Potatoes

Plant First Earlies, Second Earlies, and Salads are 30cm apart with 45cm between your rows.

Plant Maincrops between 35-40cm apart with 65cm between rows.

Maintenance

Firstly, in the early stages if there is a chance of frost or snow when chutes have begun to poke through the surface, draw some soil over them. The main bit of ‘maintenance’ to perform on your potatoes is known as ‘earthing up’. Green stems and leaves will grow up out of the ground from your potatoes and ‘earthing up’ is the process of drawing up a mound of soil along either side of these stems or ‘haulms’. It should be done when the haulms are around 9 inches in height. Use a hoe, and break up and loosen the soil between each row of potatoes, removing any weeds. Then draw the soil inwards towards each haulm creating a flat-topped ridge around 6 inches in height. Some people do this gradually over the season as the plants grow further, some just once. Either method is sufficient.

Earthing up not only helps to prevent weeds around your potatoes, but it also aids drainage. The biggest advantage though is that any sunlight exposure to the actual tubers themselves will turn them green thus making them poisonous. Be sure to water the potatoes liberally during any dry spells, especially once the tubers have started to form.

Harvesting Your Potatoes

Earlies – Wait until flowers have opened before examining the tubers. Do this by removing soil from a small part of the ridge. They are ready for harvesting as new potatoes when they are the size of hen’s eggs. Insert a flat-tined fork into the ridge well away from the haulm and lift the roots forward into the trench.

Maincrops – If you are storing your Maincrops, cut off the haulms once the foliage has turned brown and the stems have withered. Wait for 10 days before lifting the roots. Dry the tubers by laying them on the soil for a few hours after you have dug them up, then store them in a cool, frost-free, airy place away from direct sunlight. Sheds can be fine, but don’t leave them directly on the floor as they may get damp. Hessian and paper sacks are good for this but steer away from using plastic as this may cause them to sweat. Be sure to remove all tubers, however small, to avoid any problems the following season.

Potatoes Grown In The Container

Container growing is an easy method. Plant your seed potatoes about 10cm from the base of your container, (multi-purpose compost will be fine for this, add well-rotted manure if you are feeling lavish), then add about the same amount of soil above them. As the plant grows, keep adding compost until you reach the top of your container then allow the plant to grow normally. As a rough guide, it is recommended that 2 seed potatoes be planted in a container of 40cm depth and 40cm diameter, so use this as a basis for how many you will plant.

For any more help or advice get in touch via our contact page, come into the Garden Centre or ring us on 01457 764686.

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Bulk Bags Delivered to your Door – Local & Nationwide!

Bulk Bags Delivered to your Door!

Lymefield Garden Centre can deliver bulk bags of Topsoil, Paving, Decorative Gravels, Building Aggregates, Bark, Manure, Kiln Dried Logs & Lymefield Turf locally and nationwide.

We cover all postcodes with our Local and National Delivery Service for all our bulk bag products. Delivery costs vary depending on Postcodes.

LOCAL DELIVERY

The Lymefield team provides a local delivery service Monday – Saturday.

  • Our deliveries are fulfilled by using HGV trucks with a HiAb crane.
  • Local delivery available when total order is over £35.
  • Our team will use a HiAb crane to manoeuver your goods as close as possible to your desired position.
  • Covering Glossop, Tameside, Oldham, Stockport, Manchester, Trafford, and Buxton – our local delivery service covers lots of postcodes to these areas.
  • Obstructions can cause delays and where the site is completely inaccessible, delivery of these bulk items will not be possible.
  • Delivery is not possible on Saturday afternoon or Sundays.
  • If you have specific delivery requirements, please provide them in the Comments Box at Checkout. Alternatively, you can contact us on 01457 764686 or info@lymefield.com.

Nationwide Delivery

Our bulk bag products can also be delivered by nationwide Monday – Friday. Contact our team if you require a delivery outside the Greater Manchester/Derbyshire area.

  • Our deliveries will be fulfilled by a courier service.
  • All nationwide orders must be over £35 to qualify for the courier service.
  • The courier service will deliver to your kerbside. The driver will be able to move the pallet to a safe location using a pallet truck but will be unable to move the goods over uneven terrain (e.g. gravel or grass) or up a substantial slope.
  • Delivery is not possible on Saturdays or Sundays.
  • If you have specific delivery instructions, please use the Comment Box at Checkout. Alternatively, you can contact us on 01457 764686 or info@lymefield.com.
 
 

Postcodes for Nationwide Delivery

 Delivery cost per bulk bagPostcodes
2£43.88 B, BB, BD, BL, BS, CB, CH, CV, CW, DE, DN, DY, GL, HD, HG, HP, HX, L, LE, LS, LU, MK, NG, NN, PR, S, ST, SY(1-6), TF, WA, WF, WN, WR, WS, WV
3£54.15 E, EC, N, NW, SE, W, WC
3a£55.89 SW
4£51.70 DA, EN, HA, IG, RM, SL, TW, UB, WD
5£47.80 AL, CM, CO, DH, FY, HR, HU, IP, LN, ME, NE, NP, NR, OX, PE, PO(1-29, 42+), RG, SG, SN, SP, SR, SS, TS
5a£49.55 RH
6£56.68 BA, BH, BR, CF, CR, CT, DL, KT, LA, SM, TA, TN(8-16), YO
7£61.60 BN,CA, DG, DT, EH, EX, FK, G, GU, KA(1-26,29,30), KY, LD, LL, ML, PL, SA, SY(7+), TD, TN (1-7,17+), TQ, TR
8£96.00 BT
9£83.32 DD, PH(1-4, 14)
11£83.63 AB(10-25,30, 39), PH (5-13, 15,18)
12£83.63 AB(26-29, 31-38, 40+), IV (12,13,30-32,36)
13£89.98 IV(1-11, 14-29, 33-35, 63), KW(1-14), PH(19-40, 49-50)
15£113.75 PO(30-41) ISLE OF WIGHT
16£158.15 IM (ISLE OF MAN)
17£145.46 KA27
18£149.26 IV(40-56), KA28, PA(20,41-80), PH(41-44)
19£164.48 GY(1-8), JE
20£192.38 HS, KW(15-17), ZE
21£265.93 GY(9-10) ALDERNEY & SARK
22£107.42 PA(34-38)
23£102.65 PA(21-33
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Working at Lymefield Garden Centre

faded picture of the front entrance to Lymefield Garden Centre with the words Working at Lymefield over the top of the image.

Join the Lymefield team!

Click our ‘Join our team at Lymefield’ page on the footer for current vacancies.
 

Teamwork

Lymefield Garden Centre is made up of four distinct areas of work, Garden Centre, Farm Shop, Tea Room & Landscaping. Each of these departments is customer-facing & requires the key skill of teamwork. We call ourselves the Lymefield team as many areas of our jobs overlap making working together essential. Throughout the year, our Garden Centre is a hive of activity beyond the sales through the till. We host many events for ourselves & for our local charities. These include a Santa’s Grotto, a Pumpkin Patch, Coffee Mornings, Pop-up Stall, Food Tastings & we are always adding more. Teamwork is essential for these events to work as our team is small but very productive. 

Teamwork is vital to ensure that the customer has the very best experience when they visit Lymefield. Working together to solve problems & delivery the very best service every time has always been at the front of the Lymefield Garden Centre ethos.

Continuous Learning

An expectation at Lymefield is that each member of staff will take on training & learning throughout their role, this may involve gaining qualifications, keeping updated with current legislation or teaching our newest staff members & apprentices. Be ensuring that everyone is continuously learning we can expand roles, host different events, & give our customers to best experience whenever they visit Lymefield.

Caring for the Environment

One of the things that staff regularly mention is the beautiful environment in which our place of work is set. Lymefield Garden Centre is placed in the river Etherow Valley with trees, woods & fields surrounding us on all sides.
Coming down into Lymefield from the village of Broadbottom, the sky opens out for our buildings & car park. There are often sheep in the fields for you to admire, buzzards can be spotted flying high in the sky as they hunt for prey & during the summer, there are plenty of migrating birds including swallows & swifts.
To add to the animal spotting, you will also meet our resident dog, Jyp. She is the family dog, living & playing in Lymefield Garden Centre. She is a friendly dog as she always wants to play ball, occasionally asking for strokes & cuddles but mainly it’s about playing with the ball, please!
 

Starting a New Job

If you would like to be part of a team that values each other & their work environment, please CLICK HERE for our current vacancies. 
If you want to know more or you want to meet our team, please call in during work hours to chat & ask questions. We do value everyone who makes the special trip to find us for work at Lymefield Garden Centre. 
Follow us on our Social media links for more information on our work, services, events & job vacancies – we hope to meet you soon.

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LYMEFIELD GIFT VOUCHERS

Lymefield Gift Vouchers are the perfect gift for food lovers and green-fingered friends!

Only available to spend instore which means you can choose from our full range of freshly produced and locally made food or find your perfect plants and garden accessories in our garden centre.

Click here to buy your gift vouchers.

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A walk near Lymefield Garden Centre

Walking around Broadbottom from Lymefield

In Winter, there is no better place for new ideas than by going on a walk outside your door.

At Lymefield Garden Centre, we are lucky to find ourselves surrounded by woodland trails, river walks and hillside rambles which are just waiting to be explored.

Take a walk around the area near Lymefield & there is something rewarding to be found, regardless of the time of year. You can spot fantastic wildlife locally; an elusive deer population, a great bird population and plenty of British flora and many trees. You will find sights of outstanding natural beauty which every path you take.

Broadbottom Circular walk.

This route takes in the very best of Broadbottom, from the lowland areas where we find ourselves here at Lymefield Garden Centre, alongside the River Etherow, up to the higher points where the whole valley can be admired.

The walk starts and finishes at Lymefield.

It begins through the Broad Mills heritage area and onto Summerbottom. 

Don’t cross the bridge, go up the path with the handrail and turn left down Hodge Lane before turning back up the hill into Great Wood.

Under the railway bridge and climb up to Hurst Clough. 

Cross Broadbottom Road and past the new houses on the ‘The Waggon’ pub site. 

Go up the road to Littlemoor Road. 

Cross a few stiles onto Pingot Lane and pass oak trees to Hague Road. 

Follow this road all the way back to Gorsey Brow, turn left onto the main road and go down the hill to Lymefield. 

For full details click here for a downloadable descriptive path and map for this walk – and happy walking!

For more information about the Broadbottom and Tameside countryside, take a look at this helpful page over on Tameside Council’s website. 

From all the team at Lymefield Garden Centre, Farm Shop & Tea Room, we hope you enjoy this walk.

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Seven ways to increase wildlife gardening

Bee on a pale pink rose. Small blossom with double petals.

In this blog, we look at an aspect of gardening which is relevant all year round, and that’s wildlife. Here we provide a few handy (and often overlooked) tips on how to maintain a healthy environment for wildlife to thrive in.

Grow A Variety of Plants

Shrubs, climbers, evergreen, and deciduous plants will all increase the range of visiting wildlife. The key elements of a wildlife-friendly garden are rich food sources, shelter, and safe habitat. This means that a good mix of plants and shrubs will go a long way towards helping improve these factors.

Cut Down On Chemicals

Insects are of course an important link in the food chain. Whilst at first it may seem like a good idea to rid your garden of problem insects such as slugs, snails, wasps, and aphids, this could have a detrimental effect further on in the food chain for those who may feed on them normally. It is worth considering though that organic alternatives are available in order to dispose of slugs and other pests if they are proving too much of a problem.

Think Before You Tidy

Try to disturb things in your garden as little as possible. Piles of logs, twigs, and leaves encourage insects and shelter wildlife. It is also advisable not to cut hedges until nesting birds have moved on.

Plant A Tree

Trees support a huge variety of wildlife including birds, fungi, butterflies, spiders, ants, and other invertebrates. A fully-fledged Birch Tree for example can provide a home for as many as 229 differing types of insect species.

Provide Water

With the decline of countryside ponds, this is a must. Absolutely anything that can harbour water can be used; an old washing-up bowl for example would do nicely, but of course remember to place a large rock near the side in order to allow frogs and other visitors to get back out!

Give Someone A Home

Create smaller habitats; areas of long grass, nettles, and log piles, as well as bug boxes and bird boxes, are ideal for providing cheap and cheerful homes for wildlife.

Build A Compost Heap

A valuable element in any garden, providing food to improve soil and plants, and also providing an attractive habitat for all manner of wildlife, compost heaps are not only useful for getting rid of organic waste but in turn, provide food and nutrients to the wildlife of your garden. Look out for sheltering amphibians and hedgehogs though before emptying!

All these ideas will help build up the natural biodiversity in your garden which will benefit your plants and you. Good luck!