CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Surrey Life today CLICK HERE

Visit Nags Hall Nursery in Godstone, the original Knights Garden Centre

PUBLISHED: 18:47 19 October 2015 | UPDATED: 19:00 19 October 2015

The scene at Nags Hall is of autumnal hues

The scene at Nags Hall is of autumnal hues

Leigh Clapp

Enjoy the autumnal colour at Nags Hall Garden Centre in Godstone with late-season flowers, glowing foliage and bright berries. Leigh Clapp takes us on a tour...

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine October 2015

***

Share your Surrey gardens photography @ www.surreylife.co.uk/photos

***

Need to know

Nags Hall Nursery, Oxted Road, Godstone RH9 8DB

Tel: 01883 742275

Web: knightsgardencentres.com

 

Autumn colour brings a new dimension to the garden, whether the season is one of mists and quiet beauty or intensely rich colours set against clear blue skies. Although leaf colour is greatest when the days are sunny and the nights frosty, by selecting a wide range of plants on different levels, you can ensure a final crescendo of colour as the season draws to an end.

Now is a great time to explore your local garden centre for autumn colour options to add to your garden, so today I’ve popped along to Nags Hall in Godstone, the original Knights Garden Centre, to see what’s on offer at this time of the year. This family-run business, which also has another branch just down the road, Ivy Mill, and one in Betchworth, has been going since the 1970s, so what they don’t know about gardening isn’t worth knowing.

“Autumn is nature’s time for planting,” says plant care manager, Steve Reynolds, as we wander the array of neatly-ordered rows and potted displays. “The warm, moist soil is perfect for planting and establishing trees and shrubs.

“People see leaves discolouring and don’t tend to think ahead or realise that you actually get a better established plant in autumn rather than planting in the spring.”

Wandering around, you can’t fail to be inspired, with seasonal colour everywhere you look – from brightly-coloured foliage to shining berries. Whether you’d like to augment existing deciduous colour in your garden, add a spectacular specimen tree or plan an autumnal display, perusing the rows and rows of possible choices is a great way to hone your ideas.

“We have a slightly different range of liquidambars this year that are ideal for a smaller garden, such as the aptly-named ‘Slender Silhouette’,” says Steve, when asked for his own recommendations. “And we also do a range of different berries – such as pyracanthas, or firethorn as it is appropriately known; sorbus in pinks, reds, yellow and white; as well as purple callicarpa, which are always popular.”

Going to pot

In addition to the range of trees, shrubs, herbaceous plants and fruit trees, there are displays of bedding plants and also containers brimming with flowering plants – the perfect way to add some seasonal colour by the door. “We do a wide range of containers, with different colours, foliage and plant choices grouped within,” continues Steve. “Some we buy in ready-planted, others we do ourselves in the nursery.”

Continuing on our tour, iridescent cyclamen shimmer in the low autumn sunshine, ornamental kale and shiny gaultheria fruit draw the eye, as do the cheery faces of tiny pansies. Plants tend to be grouped together, but don’t be afraid to lift pots off the benches and see how they look combined.

Also, keep in mind that as the plants won’t grow much while dormant, you can pack them into a container for a stunning display that will last through autumn and winter. Just remember to deadhead regularly to keep flowers blooming as long as possible.

“In our own displays, we also under-plant with spring bulbs, so that once the flush is finished they pop up through the foliage,” adds Steve.

When designing your containers, start in the centre with a statement evergreen, such as a dwarf conifer, ornamental carex grass or a cordyline, then fill in the space according to your preferred colour combination; you may want warm, fiery tones, burgundies or perhaps cool whites. Containers allow you to have fun making a mini-garden with colours and combinations that you may not be brave enough to use across the whole garden – which is what adds to the appeal.

“Try something a bit unusual with bright berries, such as crimson gaultheria or orange solanum” says Steve. “They make a lovely splash of colour at this time of year.”

So, head out into the crisp autumnal air and see what you can discover at your local garden centre to give your garden a seasonal facelift.

 

 

Get the look: our top 10 autumn choices

• Acer (flaming golds and reds)

• Cornus (autumn colour, winter stems)

• Cotinus (purple to red foliage)

• Crataegus (coloured foliage and red berries)

• Euonymus (crimson foliage, hanging lobed fruits)

• Hamamelis (colouring leaves, scented winter flowers)

• Liquidambar (maple-like leaves of golds, purples and crimson)

• Malus (coloured foliage and shiny crabapple fruits)

• Sorbus (pendulous clusters of berries)

• Viburnum (glossy berries)

 

 

Top planting tips

• The best time to plant trees, shrubs and bare-rooted herbaceous plants is between now and Christmas

• Check that the mature size is suitable for your space

• Also consider the mature shape – some are broad, some narrow

• Colour co-ordinate against your evergreens

• Remember to check on the soil needs first

• Many offer foliage, flowers, fruit and bark for year-round interest

 

 

Autumn container options...

• Statement evergreens include conifers, cordylines, grasses, buxus and bay

• Flower choices include chrysanthemums in an array of warm tones, from pink, through yellow and orange to scarlet, cyclamen, pansies, heather, hellebores and Bellis perennis

• Fillers include ornamental kale, solanum, gaultheria, sedum, trailing ivy, artemesia and skimmia

TOP TIP: Also plant bulbs to grow through in the spring, such as crocus, narcissi, muscari and iris

 

More from Surrey Life

Friday, October 19, 2018

We round up 10 of the most beautiful photos of Surrey shared on Instagram this week…

Read more
Thursday, October 18, 2018

This edition of Surrey Life features all the local ingredients to make this month special

Read more
Thursday, October 18, 2018

To mark the appointment of Peter Estlin, a former head boy at King Edward’s Witley, as new Lord Mayor of the City of London, Surrey Life has joined forces with the 400-pupil school to give away two tickets to the Lord Mayor’s Show on 10 November plus an overnight stay in London

Read more
Wednesday, October 17, 2018

With The Great British Bake Off back on our screens the nation is falling in love with baking once again. Head pastry chef at Pennyhill Park, Sarah Frankland, tells us about what it takes to make it as a professional

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Wrap up in your favourite coat and scarf, grab your sparklers and a warming drink, and enjoy one of these fantastic firework displays taking place in Surrey for bonfire night

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Home to outstanding architecture, ambitious community projects and arts ventures that are putting these villages firmly on the map, East and West Horsley are among our county’s most desirable addresses

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Chertsey’s best-kept secret, the Great Cockcrow Railway, steamed into a half-century this year

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

A taste of Korea has swept into the beautiful market town of Godalming as Bada sets out its stall with a tapas-style fusion of seafood, traditional dishes and spice

Read more
Monday, October 15, 2018

With friendship as the central theme in Adele Parks’ new book, Zoe Richards met up with the bestselling author and her publisher, Kate Mills, to find out how these two Surrey dwellers have discovered a successful working relationship, and become firm friends too

Read more
Monday, October 15, 2018

Great things to do in Surrey this weekend: art exhibitions, walks, concerts, theatre, places to visit and other events and ideas.

Read more
Monday, October 15, 2018

As the twilight falls, the magic begins… There’s something for everyone at Christmas at Kew – and we’re giving you the chance to win one of five family tickets for two adults and two children to the Preview Night of Christmas at Kew on Wednesday 21 November 2018

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Good table manners have long been a source of national pride but in this modern age of social media are our longstanding traditions being left behind? Rebecca Younger visits the stately Beaverbrook estate for a lesson in British etiquette

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Whether you're looking for fine dining, pub grub or exotic dishes, eating out in Surrey has something for everyone. Here's our guide to the best local restaurants and pubs

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The spookiest time of the year is fast approaching! We pick some of the best events to celebrate Halloween in Surrey

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search