Webbs of Wychbold garden centre installs new edible and pollinator gardens

Webbs of Wychbold head gardener Mike Rutter has transformed an area of the garden centre's Riverside Gardens into a self-sufficient garden

Webbs' Mike Rutter
Webbs' Mike Rutter

Everything planted can be eaten, from the strawberries, red currants and raspberries in the pop-up fruit cage to the nectarines growing in pots and the salad leaves, herbs and hanging baskets of tumbling tomatoes.

There is also a living roof on top of the shed in the new garden.

Rutter said: "This small new garden is really catching the imagination of our visitors. They can see it is manageable and really love the idea of doing something similar in their own space at home. Everything here has a purpose but still looks fantastic. It’s an outdoor room to enjoy and is packed with great things to eat. It just shows you can transform a space to give a lot back to your life."

He added: "The living roof on the shed is a wonderful way to create a pretty display that has great benefits visually and environmentally for a garden. It filters pollutants in the air and absorbs rain water and moisture which helps to create a better atmosphere. It also improves the quality of the water running off the roof into the garden and provides a refuge for garden wildlife."

The shed roof contains thyme, sedum, sempervivum, cerastium, barbarea, hutchinsia, silene, arias, potentilla and Veronica planted into compost over strong ply and pond liner.

The 10m x 6m garden also includes a painted hen house and a bee hive.  Elsewhere in the gardens Webbs has introduced eight working bee hives providing hundreds of jars of Webbs honey which is sold in the store’s food hall.

Also new is the Contemplation Garden, with scented planting to attract pollinators including bees and butterflies. Rutter said: "This garden room is constantly used by our visitors who just like to take a while to sit in the sun, rest, listen to the water feature and soak up the relaxing atmosphere. Our gardens are much admired by visitors and are always evolving to inspire them with ideas of new interests and styles as well as keeping favourite areas in tip top condition."

The Riverside Gardens are open free  and were originally designed by Chelsea Flower Show gold medal winner Marigold Webb.

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