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How to get the Best out of our Bulbs

Cornwall: A Year By The Sea
14th April 2022

We are super excited to finally announce that Fentongollan Farms will be appearing on Channel 5’s new series called ‘Cornwall: A Year By The Sea’. We feel honoured to be appearing on the series and look forward to watching it. It will give viewers an insight into what goes on during our daffodil season and our wonderful staff / pickers that make it all happen.

Lots of local Cornish businesses have taken part and we are so excited to be apart of it.

James Hosking and daughter Frances, will be appearing in the 'Winter' episode of the series.

Plant your Spring Bulbs - Our Top 5 Tips!
4th October 2021
Posted by: Frances

It’s that time of year again! We have lifted our bulbs, let them dry naturally in the fields before carefully cleaning and hand-packing them, ready for you to plant in your garden this autumn. We are often asked what are our top tips for successfully planting bulbs for the ultimate spring display, so here’s our top 5:

1/ The best time for planting is between September and November, plant in free draining soil to a depth that is twice the height of the bulbs and at least 5-6 inches apart.

2/ It is always best to check the flowering times and heights. Shorter stemmed varieties are best for exposed locations and by inter planting different varieties you can often extend the period of flowering by up to three or four months.

3/ If you are planting in containers or window boxes make sure there is a hole in the bottom and add bits of broken pottery or stones to assist free drainage and air circulation. It is best to use a peat compost or a potting soil and coarse sand mix. In containers they can be planted much closer together and a good trick is to layer the bulbs with the latest bloom time at the bottom encouraging multiple flowering. Protect from frosts by covering or place in shelter during freezing periods.

4/ For annual flowering allow the leaves to die back naturally before cutting them off and although not essential, it can be beneficial to add some potash rich fertiliser after flowering.

5/ Bulbs are incredibly versatile, they are best planted in sunny location and will bring colour to grass verges, lawn edges, hedgerows and other forgotten corners.

Remember, bulbs will appear year after year and require little maintenance making them one of the most rewarding garden investments you can make.

You can order your bulbs now via our website and they will be posted out to you so you can plant them this autumn. In the meantime if you have any questions, or would like any advice, please do not hesitate to contact us at the farm.

Tips for moving your bulbs...
Posted by: frances

Tips for moving your bulbs...

Some gardeners are now wondering what to do with their daffodils now they've died back for another season. We recommend leaving your bulbs where you originally planted them, but if you want to move them... here are some helpful tips to keep your bulbs in top condition before re-planting them in the autumn months. Hold off lifting your bulbs until the leaves have completely died or if unsure, July/August is a good time to lift them. This ensures the nutrients from their dying back leaves have gone back into the bulb. This gives them a better chance for the following season! We recommend to lift the bulbs delicately out of the soil and place them in an airy sack somewhere dry. Try not to leave them anywhere where they might become damp as this can lead to mould and diseases. Also, try to leave them out of direct sunlight. Lastly, we recommend planting your bulbs as soon as you can in the autumn months. Bulb planting usually takes place between September - November. Remember if you're expecting a harsh frost one night during the winter months, try and cover your bulbs or even better if they are in pots, bring the pots inside. Frost can stunt the flowers growth and lead to shortened stems.

We hope these tips are helpful!

Our Packaging
26th March 2021
Posted by: Frances

Our Flowers By Post Packaging:

Our flowers by post will reach our customer's front door, in a fully recycled and recyclable custom Fentongollan cardboard box. Customers can add a special touch by adding a Fentongollan card to their order. This is especially popular with customers sending flowers to a loved one, who want to send a personal message with their order. Our cards are printed on quality card and have a lovely finish to them. Our cards are protected in a plastic envelope for their journey, as it protects the card from sap. We are still researching into environmentally friendly options for our protective envelopes and hopefully swapping to bio-based (biodegradable) film in time for next daffodil season. Finally, our flowers are wrapped in recyclable tissue paper and our larger flower by post orders which require bigger boxes are secured with paper raffia ribbon for their journey. All our flowers are delivered by FedEx- next day delivery courier service for free. This helps to ensure that our flowers arrive to our customers in the best condition possible- straight from the farm!!

Tips For Tulips In A Vase
25th March 2021
Posted by: Frances

Tulips aren't just for planting in the garden or having in pots outside. Tulips are a very popular flower to have in a vase around the house or mixed into a bouquet with other flowers. They are known for their wide range of vibrant colours and can last well in a vase. Tulips do need proper care though and that's where we come in with a few helpful tips...so you can make the most of your beautiful tulips!

1/ First thing to do... remember to cut the ends off your tulip stems before putting them in a vase. We recommend to cut about 1 inch off and then immediately put them into fresh water. 2/ Tulips don't like drinking dirty or warm water, so make sure you are changing the water every other day! 3/ Do not be alarmed if your tulips droop after putting them into a vase. They've had a journey getting to you without any water so will require time for a drink. As long as they are in fresh water and the ends of the stems have been cut off they will stand back up...just give them time! 4/ You can if you want remove any excess leaves you don't want 5/ We also recommend removing the tulips every three/four days and cutting the tips off the stems. This is to help encourage them to drink more water- hopefully preserving them for longer!

We hope these are helpful!!

Lambing 2021
22nd March 2021
Posted by: Frances

Here at Fentongollan Farm we lamb just under 500 ewes. We lamb inside during the months of February/March. The lambing season is just about to come to an end with only 15 left to lamb. The weather has been on our side nearly the whole time and our team has been wonderful yet again!

We are very lucky to have Jess (a fulltime paramedic/part time shepherdess) look after the mothers to be and lambs in the day time- along side local shepherd Keith who looks after them during the night time- around the clock care, in the best hands! We are also very lucky to have friends and family willing to get stuck in and help too.

This year one special ewe made it onto the news several times for giving birth to not one, not two, not three, not four but five healthy lambs (quintuplets)! What made it even more special was that the mother ewe was managing to rear them all by herself. They say quintuplets are very rare- one in a millionth chance!

We are looking forward to seeing them grow in the fields here on the farm, during the Spring/Summer months.

Cornwall to Miami
16th March 2021
Posted by: Frances

Cornwall to Miami.

We started exporting some of our Cornish daffodils to Jolo Flowers (located in Miami) in January 2018 and we've carried on sending to them each daffodil season since!

Our daffodils are cleaned and packaged up into boxes here on our farm in Cornwall. They then get inspected by officials to make sure no unwanted bugs are travelling abroad as well... The same day they get collected by a refrigerated lorry and taken to London where they are flown across to Miami. The travel time for the daffodils from Cornwall to Miami is roughly 24 hours!

We've had some lovely feedback and cards sent to us from customers in Chicago, Texas, New York, Alabama, Pennsylvania and all around the United States -who have been able to pick up bunches of Cornish daffodils in their local supermarket. It is great to hear that our Cornish daffodils are looking beautiful and are bringing a smile to people's faces all the way across the ocean! It's amazing that they arrive looking so fresh and vibrant still.

Daffodil Care...
16th March 2021
Posted by: Frances

For those of you who have grown daffodils and are now watching them fade for another year... make sure you don't cut the leaves off! As your flowers die back, your leaves will slowly turn to yellow then brown. During this period important work is going on underground. Your leaves will be drawing in as much nutrients as possible to the daffodil bulb to ensure you get as many blooms as possible the following season.

To help the process you can remove any dead flower heads then patiently wait until the leaves are brown and pull easily out of the ground.

Lasagne planting
5 October 2017
Posted by: Lin

If you are short on space, or prefer spring bulbs planted in pots and containers, this method of layering bulbs will give you maximum impact over the spring months in minimum space.

Simply choose your container – it will need to be fairly deep. Put a layer of gravel, broken crocks etc. to aid drainage, then a layer of compost. Then add tulips, they can be fairly close together but must not touch each other or the sides of the container (this applies to all layers). Now cover with compost and then add a layer of daffodil bulbs. You could have one or two varieties, maybe one early and one later variety.

Then cover this layer with compost. You can now add smaller bulbs. Look at the flowering times and work out a plan so that you have flowers in the container from January – April/May.

You can search different varieties by flowering times on our website now, so it couldn't be easier - or try one of our bulb collections, that would all work really well in a layered pot.

Remember that all bulbs planted in pots will need frost protection during cold weather - either move them into a garage or insulate it with a layer of bubble wrap or hessian.

A very special day
Posted by: Katie

We (James, Justine, Jeremy and Sophie Hosking) had an afternoon at Tregothnan, as guests of our landlords the Boscawen family.

We were among 6 families who were celebrating “over 100 years” of farming as Tregothnan tenants.

The Hosking family came to Fentongollan in 1893 and are still going strong today.

Planning for spring
01/07/2012
Posted by: Katie

For all of you organised gardeners out there, our new spring catalogue is now available to download, or will be with you in the post shortly (if you are subscribed to our mailing list). If you are not signed up to receive one then do so here

You can request a free copy of our value vegetable plants catalogue subscribe to our mailing list or download an order form below. Become a friend of Fentongollan Farm on Facebook for advice, tips and conversation.

Happy planning!

4 Easy Steps to Create A Multi-Layered Pot
27th October 2011
Posted by: Fentongollan

If you have never grown bulbs before or have little outside space, a planted pot or window box is an easy and rewarding project.

1/ Choose a container with good drainage. Place broken pottery or grit in the bottom and fill to about 3 inches with potting compost.

2/ Begin by placing the tulip bulbs at the bottom about 1 inch apart with the nose pointing upwards. Add another layer of compost then the miniature daffodil bulbs add a third layer of grouped iris and crocus. You can pack the bulbs fairly densely in a container but make sure they are not touching one another or the sides.

3/ Keep at least 1 inch free around the top for ease of watering. Protect from frost by placing in a garage or shed during cold weather.

4/Once flowering has finished allow the leaves to die back naturally and feed with a bulb fertiliser. The daffodil and crocus bulbs should continue to flower for several years.

New Packaging boosts sales of vegetable plants
28th January 2009
Posted by: Katie

REVOLUTIONARY packaging for mail order vegetable plants is attracting major interest for a family-run farm near Truro.

Fentongollan Farm launched the packaging, following scientific trials, which retains the quality of their vegetable plants being sent out to mail-order customers.

Now several major mail order companies are interested in securing supply contracts for this year.

Brothers James and Jeremy Hosking have been supplying the horticultural industry with vegetable plants for the past 25 years.

Jeremy said: "We were staggered by how well the packaging performed in our trials. We can now guarantee our customers that the plants, if correctly stored, will retain their good condition for up to 10 days, although our trials suggested that the plants can happily be replanted after much longer periods."

The trials evaluated a range of technologies used in the food industry. From these a product was developed that creates a modified atmospheric environment around the plant, slowing down its rate of respiration but still allowing it to photosynthesis when placed in the light.

Fentongollan has extended its range to more than 70 different vegetable plant varieties by mail order and offers a 'pick and mix' service.

www.vegplants.co.uk

Fentongollan mourns the loss of Jim Hosking
27th October 2008
Posted by: Katie

TRIBUTES have been paid to Jim Hosking of Fentongollan Farm who passed away on October 27th at the age of 76.

Jim was one of the UK’s leading daffodil growers and horticulturalists. He was a passionate advocate of all things Cornish and of the continuing importance of agriculture in the modern world and the research needed to sustain it.

A man with an enormous enthusiasm for life, he was involved in many organisations including the Royal Agricultural Society of England, the Royal Cornwall Agricultural Society and the City of Truro Choir. He will be sadly missed by his family, work colleagues and so many people across the UK who attended his memorial service that filled Truro Cathedral.

His son, James Hosking, said: "He was a total gentleman with an enormous circle of friends. He was completely enthusiastic about everything he did, for his family, for the county, for agriculture and for the local community."

Jim first fell in love with Fentongollan Farm, part of the Tregothnan Estate when he was evacuated there during the Second World War to live with his uncle.

He met his future wife while studying at Seal Hayne agricultural college. He leaves his widow Jill, four children and eight grandchildren.

A Host of colour at Eden's Bulb Mania
15th April 2008
Posted by: Katie

For the past four months a display of Fentongollan's finest daffodils have been supporting the 2008 Bulb Mania festival at the Eden Project. Visitors to the attraction have had the chance to admire some 35 different varieties grown on the farm which have included some new and unusual varieties. Passers by were full of questions about planning and planting their own daffodil displays and were keen to find out more about the daffodil industry in the region.

Jim Hosking who headed up and maintained the display said "it has been particularly good this season, the cool weather has kept the daffodils fresh and they have lasted right up and through the tulip season, a great compliment to Eden's magnificent display".

A extensive collection of Fentongollan's daffodil bulbs will be available to purchase from the Eden shop from September onwards and Fentogollan hopes to be back at Bulb Mania again next year with an even bigger and better display.

Fentongollan scoops Gold Award at Boconnoc show
6th April 2008
Posted by: Katie

Jim Hosking and three generations of his family attended the Cornwall Garden Society Show this week where their splendid display of over 50 varieties of locally grown daffodils won a gold award.

Many members of the public who attend the show were seen clutching large bunches of Fentongollan Daffodils as they wondered amongst the many stalls and displays of Cornish horticulture.

Jim later said "we were very proud to receive this award especially considering the high standard of displays this year, Boconnoc is one of our favourite events during the year and it is great to be here with my daughter and grand daughter".

HRH the Prince of Wales visits Fentongollan.
13th June 2006
Posted by: Katie

Earlier this year we were honoured to have HRH the Prince of Wales visit us at Fentongollan. To mark this special occasion, Fentongollan and the bulb growers of Cornwall named a new variety of Daffodil in the Duchess of Cornwall’s honour, ‘Narcissi Camilla Duchess of Cornwall’, a framed picture of which was presented to Prince Charles on the day.

The new variety is a striking colour combination of pink and white, it is without doubt one of the most beautiful varieties bred in Cornwall and is now available to buy online, here in the Fentongollan bulb shop.

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