Plant of the Week: Arbutus

Plant of the Week: Arbutus

This striking small tree’s common name says it all: the strawberry tree is an eyecatching sight when its clusters of huge, fat, scarlet fruit emerge brilliant lipstick-red against the handsome, glossy evergreen foliage looking for all the world like giant strawberries. It takes a year for the delicate froths of ivory-white, bell-like autumn flowers to develop the fruit – so often they’re both on the tree at the same time.

This is a fantastic choice for a smaller garden, making a spreading, shrubby tree to about 8m (24ft). It grows just about anywhere, including in coastal areas, and needs minimal pruning, just the odd snip to keep it in shape.

Displaying orchids

Give your home a touch of truly exotic beauty with some of the dozens of orchids on offer in our garden centre in Ripley. They're easier to grow than you'd think, especially the Phalaenopsis (moth) orchids, and come in a dazzling array of colours: everything from white to palest yellow to mage…

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Scrub out bird boxes

Clean bird boxes ready for winter, clearing out old nesting material and washing them with boiling water to disinfect them. Repair as needed, or if they're beyond rescue, replace them with new: there are some superb designs your feathered friends will love available now in the garden centre.

A. Luff & Sons Ltd

Welcomes you to Ripley Nurseries - Garden Centre and Farm Shop we are located on the Old Portsmouth Road coaching route between Cobham and Guildford just 2 miles from RHS Wisley in the Village of Ripley. Our Farm Shop is full of fresh produce and local products with a dedicated Florist and Garden Sundries department. We have been serving the local community since 1895 see our history page and among our patrons we served Sir Winston Churchill at Chartwell and Wimbeldon Tennis grounds.