North Dorset’s leading Garden Centre with Florist, Café and award-winning Farm Shop
Tel: 01747 835544
Shopping Basket

Late spring: May at Orchard Park

Garden Planting this May

So far, so good! Spring in North Dorset has been kind to us all, gardeners and outdoor lovers alike. The weather was a bit on the cold side at first but has stayed relatively dry and is warming up nicely with no serious frosts to spoil plants.

You’ll have noticed that blossom has been absolutely glorious this year. Cherries started off with the early flowering Myrobolan, then the purple-leafed sand cherries before the more ornamental Japanese cherries started their display. Not to mention the magnolias and the ornamental pears!

At the time of writing, all looks well and we are hoping that the pear trees blossom will escape harm from frost along with the plums and bush fruit, especially gooseberries and blackcurrants. That would mean a substantial fruit crop later in the year, so it would be worth investing in a little protection, such as a fruit cage, to keep the birds off.

Our Dorset Farm Shop

We had a lovely visit from the reception class at St Mary the Virgin CE VA Primary School in April. Following their current theme, ‘On the farm’, they enjoyed a veggie workshop, tour of the farm shop and a sausage making demonstration from our butchers Chalky and Phil!

Regulars to the farm shop will have noticed some tasty new treats on the shelves, including these, quite frankly, marvellous Honeycomb Dips from Mighty Fine Chocolate.

If the words ‘Honeycomb’, ‘dipped’ and ‘chocolate’ haven’t already grabbed your attention and you’re a little more visual, check out how delicious they LOOK here!

Stylish Garden Entertaining

With the Bank Holiday looming, have you thought about how to get your garden set for the summer? If the thought of getting prepared leaves you trembling at the knees, never fear! We have the perfect guide to getting your garden summer ready.

We have wonderful ranges in store to really give your garden the magic touch, whether you’re looking for a reliable Weber BBQ with innovative accessories or a sturdy yet stylish Alexander Rose dining set, we can suit any budget.

Dorset Events

We’re counting down the days until Weber join us for an unmissable opportunity to see their 2 hour live cooking show, with fantastic barbecue recipe demos and tastings! The shop will be open afterwards for you to shop if you wish, and ticket holders will get a special discount on Weber products on the evening. Click here to read more about this event.

Job Vacancies at Orchard Park

Would you like to join our friendly, hard-working team? We’re on the look out for brilliant people to join our cafe and office. Come and take a look at the positions we have available!

Easter Activities for Children in Dorset

Easter Ideas for Kids

The Easter holidays are the first long break of the year, and the changeable weather can leave some parents and carers pulling their hair out whilst they try to keep the children entertained!

This Easter holiday may have been a little damp and windy so far, but whilst we have our fingers firmly crossed for some warmer weather next week we’ve thought of some great ideas to keep you all entertained.

Easter Egg Hunt

Good Friday 25 March – Thursday 31 March

Entry fee: £1 per child (all proceeds to be donated to Greenfingers charity)

Come and join the fun at Orchard Park and take part in our Easter Egg Hunt which will run over the Easter half term Good Friday 25 March – Thursday 31 March!  It is £1 per child to enter and money raised will be given to the Green Fingers Charity as well as the chance to win a wonderful Easter Hamper packed full of tasty delights.

 

 

 

Hot Cross Buns

Delicious glazed hot cross buns with a cross, sitting on a wooden boardIt is traditional to eat warm hot cross buns on Good Friday. Hot Cross Buns, with their combination of spicy, sweet and fruity flavours, have long been an Easter tradition. The pastry cross on top of the buns traditionally symbolises and reminds Christians of the cross that Jesus was killed on.

The buns were traditionally eaten at breakfast time, hot from the oven. Nothing quite beats the smell and flavour of a freshly baked hot cross bun, so why not bake your own with this recipe? All items marked with a * are available in our Dorset farm shop.

Ingredients

  • 500g Stoates strong white bread flour*
  • 7g Doves Farm quick yeast*
  • 2 heaped tbsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 150g Wilton Wholefoods mixed vine fruit*
  • 50g Wilton Wholefoods chopped mixed peel*
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 50g butter, softened at room temperature*
  • 200ml warm milk*
  • 2 Blackacre Farm eggs*
  • A pinch of salt*

For the crosses

  • 40g Stoates plain flour*
  • 10g softened butter*

For the glaze

  • 1 tablespoon Billington’s golden granulated sugar*
  • 2 tablespoons of water

Method

  1. Sift the flour into a bowl and mix in the spices, sugar and salt.
  2. Blend in the butter, followed by the dried fruit, the yeast and mix together.
  3. Warm the milk in a separate pan. Take it off the heat and beat in the two eggs. Once beaten, add this liquid to the main mixture and combine together to make a moist dough.
  4. Leave the dough for 5 minutes then divide it into 8-10 bun shaped pieces.
  5. Place the buns on a baking sheet, covered loosely with cling film, then leave for around 45 to 75 minutes until the buns have risen.
  6. Pre-heat the oven to 220°C or Gas Mark 7 (or 200°C for a fan oven).
  7. Meanwhile, put the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter. Add just enough cold water to form a dough then roll it out thinly on a lightly floured surface to an oblong about 12cm by 16cm then cut it into 16-20 strips depending on how many buns you have made.
  8. Bake the buns for around 12-15 minutes until they have risen and are golden.
  9. While they’re cooking make the glaze in a small saucepan by slowly melting together the sugar and 2 tablespoons of water over a gentle heat until the sugar granules have dissolved and you have a clear syrup.
  10. As soon as the buns come out of the oven, brush them immediately with the glaze while they are still warm then cool them on a wire rack.

Let us know how you got on! We’d love to see your pictures.

Image credits: Hot cross bun © Jan Smith / Cress head © Ian Hughes

Hanging Basket Workshop for North Dorset Carers

North-Dorset-Carers-Association-hanging-basket-workshopOn Tuesday 29th April, we welcomed the North Dorset Carers Association for lunch and a hanging basket workshop with Garden Centre Manager, Gavin Cooper, and the Orchard Park Plant Team.

To kick the afternoon off, the team at the Orchard Café served the group some of our delicious fresh, seasonal and local food from our very own Lagan Farm and Farm Shop. Once everyone was satisfied, they joined Gavin and the Plant Team in the sheltered garden.

Gavin pulled some great tips out of his sleeves to get them started on their hanging baskets. The workshop included an enthusiastic demonstration of plants, products and accessories that are currently in store, and even set the audience a challenge to come back and show us their baskets at the end of the summer!

As Orchard Park is an active part of our local community, workshops and events are particularly important to us. We love to accommodate group visits, and create fun, factual and interesting days out for local organisations. If this is something that is of interest to you, please do email Nikki.Higgs@orchardpark.uk.net or call Nikki on 01747 835545 for a chat about your requirements and we will see what we can do.

Gardener’s Question Time Event

We held our own version of Gardeners Question time here on 28th March in association with Shaftesbury & Gillingham Tangent Group and in aid of Marie Curie.

Our illustrious panel included Sara Cross of Gold Hill Organic Farm at Child Okeford, garden designer Diana Guy who was BBC Gardener of the Year in 2004, Gavin Cooper of Cranborne Manor and our own Richard Cumming.  The Chairman was Sara Jacson of Melbury Abbas who has spent many years creating a beautiful garden.

The panel were informative, enthusiastic and really interesting, their knowledge and passion for gardening clear.  The audience of nearly 100 thoroughly enjoyed themselves and topics covered included problems with chalky soil, what to do with a clay bank, ideal trees against a south facing wall as well as the inevitable concerns about weeds and wildlife!    There was a long discussion about good gardening techniques in what is expected to be a dry spring and summer.  (If you would like tips about water wise gardening please visit our plant page.)

Chairman of the Tangent Group, Mrs Alison Highnam was clearly delighted with the response to the evening and will confirm how much was raised for Marie Curie at the event in the next few days.

If you would like more information about Shaftesbury & Gillingham Tangent please contact Alison on 01747 838133.


Orchard Park Garden Centre, Shaftesbury Road, Gillingham, Dorset, SP8 5JG
Tel:01747 835544
info@orchardpark.uk.net
© 2013-2015 Orchard Park Garden Centre
Site designed by The Graphic Edge
Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Delivery Terms | FAQ & Returns Policy