Best of British for Christmas

CHRISTMAS shoppers can buy the best of British when it comes to their festive blooms.

Heighley Gate Nursery and Garden Centre, near Morpeth, has assured customers that they can support British businesses through their displays as its poinsettias have been grown in the UK.

General Manager Roger Wale said: “All of the garden centre’s poinsettias are grown to the highest possible grade and we choose healthy strong plants, with large, colourful bracts.

“We take great pride in providing our customers with the best of British when it comes to plants and products wherever possible.”

The plant’s association with Christmas began in 16th Century Mexico when it was said that a local girl who was too poor to provide a gift for the celebration of Jesus’ birthday was encouraged by an angel to gather weeds from the roadside to place at the church altar. Crimson blooms then sprouted from the weeds and became poinsettias.

Mr Wale said that with care, the blooms sold this Christmas should last well into the new year.

“Although associated with Christmas, if properly cared for a poinsettia should bloom until March, giving plenty of colour in the house during the duller months.

“A plant with a minimum of five flowers will give a longer lasting display. Always ensure that the poinsettia is put in a sleeve before taking it outside or back to your car and once you get it home you should place it in a warm, draught-free spot.

“Let the compost dry out between watering and if it’s in a saucer make sure you empty it out too. Feed your poinsettia once a week with houseplant feed to get the best from it.”

The garden centre is situated off the A697.