9am - 4pm Wed-Sun
We are open on Bank holidays
Closed Christmas Day & Boxing Day
01939 211 900
Black Birches is a family run Rose Centre set in the heart of the Shropshire countryside, just outside of Shrewsbury.
We have specialised in roses for over 25 years and currently have over 600 varieties for sale on the nursery. Choose form our huge range of Floribunda’s, Hybrid Teas, Climbers, Ramblers an old fashioned roses. Our personalised and anniversary roses make the perfect gifts. We also offer a gift wrapped rose service for that extra special something.
Our helpful and friendly staff are always on hand to offer advice and assistance and we even offer a delivery service for items that won’t fit in your car.
The rural setting, incredible landscapes and beautiful gardens make us a perfect destination not just for gardeners but walkers, cyclists, photographers and wildlife enthusiasts.
HEAD GARDENERS’ PICKS
HEBE BABY MARIE
A dwarf evergreen hebe growing to around 40cm tall by 40cm wide. Flowers very early in the season around April/May time. Producing pink buds which open out to a lilac pink and finishing as white. A beautiful little specimen that can be grown in a container or the open ground. Its size makes it a great candidate for the smaller garden.
Unlike the foxglove that we all know and love this Digitalis is perennial. Clump forming and semi evergreen. Producing flower spikes of dusky pink up to 90cm tall during July and August. Plant in moist, well-drained soil in sun or partial shade.
VINCA MAJOR VARIEGATA
A very useful, hardy sub-shrub. Growing to 45cm tall with flowers of violet blue from spring through to autumn. It will trail down banks or cover ground. With its tolerance for dry, shaded conditions, it is the perfect plant to cover bare soil beneath trees and hedges.
ROSA ‘HIGHGROVE’ CLIMBER
A sumptuous, velvety, rich red rose climbing to around 8ft tall. What it lacks in height it makes up for in bloom. Repeating very well throughout the season producing lightly scented double flowers in large clusters. Given the short nature of this climber it is well suited to growing up fence panels and obelisks
Otherwise known as Mexican fleabane a dainty daisy like flower that will take an opportunity and grab it by the horns. It will seed in cracks on walls, it will root into a patch of moss on a rock or grow quite happily in a border. It will freely seed and before long you will have a mass of frothy pink and white daisy flowers adorning every nook and cranny of your garden. Needs full sun.
TOP 10 PLANTS FOR YOUR COUNTRY GARDEN
There are hundreds upon hundreds of varieties and forms to choose from in practically every colour and shade. They require at least 4hrs of direct sunlight, as a rule of thumb, to perform well. Most flower summer onwards with a few flowering just once in spring.
They’re generally very hardy garden plants with a good drought resistance once properly established. Repeat flowering varieties will benefit from regular dead heading to encourage further blooms. Feed well during the growing season and prune in late winter.
Is available in many varieties in various shades of white, pink, blue and purple. Be sure to choose a hardy perennial form. Needs full sun in a west or south facing aspect to perform well. It is a fantastic companion plant for roses and said to deter pests. Keep deadheaded for a display all summer long. Cut right back in late winter for fresh spring growth.
Is a herbaceous perennial forming a mound of velvety light green leaves. Yellow sprays of flowers are borne atop the mound during summer. Plant in full sun, partial shade or even full shade. Will thrive in any aspect and is extremely hardy. Will self-seed freely and is perfect for under planting roses. Cut right back after flowering for fresh foliage.
Most often found are Lavandula angustifoliar (English lavender) and lavandula stoechas (French lavender). With the former being the hardier of the two. They are available from white through to pinks and purples. Forming compact, evergreen shrubs when pruned correctly. Which is just after flowering. Ensuring that the cut does not go below green growth. Needs full sun and an east, west or south facing aspect. Perfect for pollinating insects.
Sweetly scented flowers which are most often bi-coloured in pinks, yellows, reds and whites.
Can be evergreen or deciduous and have a flowering range between spring and autumn. They require a moist well drained soil preferring partial shade but will tolerate full sun. Fairly vigorous in habit but can be pruned to shape.
Hundreds of varieties available in various heights, colours and habits. There are 3 main groups, and if you were to choose carefully, you could have a clematis in flower in your garden all year round.
A biennial or short-lived perennial. Semi evergreen with spires of tubular flowers in summer. Prefers partial shade or full sun on a well-drained moist soil. Will self-seed around the garden. Young self-seeded plants can be easily moved to where you would prefer them to flower.
Can be herbaceous perennials or shrubs. They are available in practically every colour and shade. Most often found are blues, purples, reds and whites. Needs full sun to thrive. With a well drained moist soil. Shelter from cold winds and excessive winter wet. Both herbaceous and shrub forms are hardy with the former being slightly hardier.
Not to be confused with the tender geranium (pelargonium). Hardy geraniums are usually shades of white, pink, purple and blue. Flowering from summer through to autumn. Shear back after first flowering to promote new growth and further blooms. From neat compact plants to ground covering sprawling varieties.
Decorative and useful. Flowers of white, pink, purple or blue from spring to autumn dependant on the variety. Needs a well drained soil with direct sunlight. Available as both upright and prostrate forms.
BEGINNERS GUIDE TO CHOOSING PLANTS FOR YOUR GARDEN
We will start with soil type as this will often dictate how you grow your plants. However there are measures you can take to accommodate most plant requirements. There are 6 main soil types Clay, Sandy, Silty, Peaty, Chalky and Loamy.
Clay is made up of fine plate like particles of rock and soil. Due to the small size of the particles clay is very heavy and can be difficult to work as the particles settle together leaving little space between for air. On the plus side this nature prevents nutrients from washing straight through and therefore clay is usually very fertile. It can be broken up by digging in organic matter.
Sandy soil is composed of irregular or round shaped particles of sand. This allows water to drain quickly through the soil. It is classed as light soil and is easy to work. On the down side it does dry out quickly. Again organic matter can be dug in to help retain moisture.
Silty soils are made up from intermediate sized particles of rock and mineral. Larger than clay but smaller than sand. It is easily compacted but will drain well and retains more moisture than sand.
Peaty soils are formed from partially decomposed plant matter through anaerobic watter logged conditions. It is usually damp and spongy due to the high level of organic matter and is acidic.
Chalky soils are made up of larger grains and are quite stony. It is free draining and is usually atop a layer of chalk or limestone bedrock. It is alkaline which can cause stunted growth and yellow leaves. This can be rectified by using fertilisers. Water retention can be improved by adding humus by way of manure or compost.
Loamy soil is considered to be the ideal soil for gardening. It consists of an even mix of sand, silt and clay. Is of a fine texture, damp and has good structure. It allows for good drainage whilst being moisture retentive. Warms quickly in spring, is easy to dig and is full of nutrients. It does require regular replenishment by way of a mulch such as compost or manure.
So how do you know what soil type you have? There are a number of ways to test your soil. These are Water, Squeeze and Settle.
Water Test – This test will tell you how quickly your soil will drain. Pour water onto the soil and watch it drain. If it drains fast you have a sandier soil. If it drains slowly then you have a clay soil. This will not tell you the exact make up of your soil.
Squeeze Test – Take an amount of soil and squeeze it together. Clay will feel sticky and will hold its shape well. Peaty soil will feel spongy whilst sandy soil will feel gritty neither will hold shape and will crumble. Silt and loam will feel smooth but will hold shape for only a short while.
Settle Test – This is the most accurate test you can do at home and will give you more defined results. Take a clear container with a lid and add a handful of soil to the mix. Shake well and allow to stand overnight.
Clay or Silt will leave the water cloudy with a layer of fine particles at the base.
Sandy soils will leave the water mostly clear with a layer of particles at the base
Peaty soil will have lots of particles floating with slightly cloudy water and a thin layer of particles at the base.
Chalky soil will leave the water grey with a grey/white layer of gritty fragments at the base.
Loamy soil will leave the water nearly clear with layers of differing particles at the base with the uppermost being the finest.
The next and probably the most important factor is the orientation of your garden. Which way does it face? Some plants require a minimum amount of direct sunlight in order to thrive and others require a little to none. When talking about the orientation of the garden we say “which way does it face?” If you stand with your back to the house facing out which direction is this? North, South, West or East?
Here are just a few plants that are suited to each aspect. But remember, these are just the ideal conditions. It doesn’t mean you can’t experiment!
Lavender, Salvias, Marjoram, Thyme, Roses, Alliums, Nepeta, Euphorbia, Pittosporum, Grasses, Sedums, Chamomile, Santolina, Helianthemum, Cordylines, Yucca, Magnolia, Hydrangea paniculata.
Ivy, Chaenomeles, Akebia, Parthenocissus, Hosta, Ferns, Snowdrops, Hydrangeas, Foxgloves, Japanese Anemone, Acers, Alchemila Mollis.
Mahonia, Camelia, Jasmine, Campanula, Phlox, Elderflower, Roses, Hardy Geraniums, Amalanchia, Laburnum, Heuchera, Physocarpus, Philadelphus, Ceanothus, Clematis, Lily of the valley.
Clematis, Nicotiana, Fatsia, Viburnum, Berberis, Cornus, Hollyhock, Achillea, Lillies, Iris, Hemerocalis, Polemonium, Penstemon, Astilbe, Ferns, Acanthus Mollis, Hydrangea macrophylla, Acers, Hellebores.
So now you know what your soil type is, and which way your garden faces. Now you can choose your plants! The only limitations now are based on the space you have to offer the plant and most importantly does it suit your tastes? There are so many varieties within each plant species now, each with their own individual attractions, that it is pretty difficult to dismiss a whole family of plants.
So that just leaves size. The mistake most often made is buying a plant and thinking “That will fit perfectly in that space I have!” Well yes, it will fit, but the question is for how long? Always make sure that you read the label and check the ultimate height of the plant/tree verses how long it will take to grow to that height. Sometimes it may grow to meters and meters but will take 50 years to get there, meaning it is suitable for that space you have. Other times it may make it to 3 meters in a season and therefore, would swamp the plants around it.