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.

Companion planting

Some combinations of plants just work well together. Tomatoes and basil, for example: not only do they look good, they make a perfect partnership in the cooking pot too.

But there are some combinations that go beyond looking (or tasting) good. Companion planting uses features of one pla…

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Cover alpines

Cover alpines with a small cloche or pane of glass to keep off the worst of the rain. These exquisite little plants don't mind extreme cold, but can't tolerate soggy soil. Any with woolly or fleshy leaves, such as lewisias and saxifrages, are particularly susceptible so keep as dry as possible.

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.