Garden centre cultivates its events diary

Emma Gibson, Customer Service Assistant, helping get ready for Orchid Weekend on March 26 and 27.
Emma Gibson, Customer Service Assistant, helping get ready for Orchid Weekend on March 26 and 27.

A BUSY Morpeth garden centre is springing into a new growing season with a series of free events.

The fun kicks off at Heighley Gate Nursery and Garden Centre on Saturday with an orchid weekend.

Staff will offer customers advice on caring for the exotic plants and 12 varieties will be on display. There will also be special offers and information leaflets while stocks last.

General Manager Roger Wale said: “We wanted to have a weekend dedicated to these beautiful plants to give people interested in orchids an introduction to them.”

The outlet, which is situated off the A697 north of Morpeth, is also planning a number of activities throughout April for Grow Your Own month.

Potatoes will be the first vegetable to come into focus in a weekend event from Saturday, April 2, including the chance to find out about the different varieties available and how to grow them.

Children can take part in a competition to create a potato model of their favourite celebrity.

The contest is open to youngsters aged four to 11, with prizes in two age categories – four to seven years and eight to 11-year-olds. Any size or shape of potato can be entered and any other materials can be used to enhance the character.

Entry forms are available in store and can be completed when models are handed in.

The closing date is noon on Sunday, April 3, and models will be displayed anonymously until the following Friday, with customers voting for their favourites.

Each winner and runner-up will receive a certificate, Thompson & Morgan bag of seed potatoes, Burgon & Ball triple pack potato planter and New Horizon organic and peat free vegetable compost.

Mr Wale said: “The competition is part of our Potato Weekend. It is a fun idea and we hope as many youngsters as possible enter. We will have the models on display in the garden centre and will ask customers to vote for their favourites via a ballot box.”

Other events scheduled for the month include fruit and vegetable advice clinics and free seed planting workshops for children.

For further details about any of the events, call 01670 513416.