Alleyn Park Garden Centre, Dulwich now selling Lou's Poo!!

Alleyn Park Garden Centre is such a treasure trove of stunning plants and lovely people. Go see Robby Ward and the Team and get yourself some wonderful plants and a bag of Lou's Poo, Dried Alpaca Fertilizer 400g, to feed them. I saw an amazing Octopus Campanula when I was there delivering Poo. The prices are astoundingly reasonable and the combined expertise is fan-dabba-dozy too. Plus you get to pet the resident cats. Brilliant place - Can't wait till I'm delivering there again.

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Batsford Arboretum; now selling Lou's Poo, Dried Alpaca Fertilizer 400g

Have you visited Batsford Arboretum in the Cotswolds? It is gorgeous and it has an incredible history; the Mitford sisters lived there during WW1. You can now buy Lou's Poo, Dried Alpaca Fertilizer 400g in the splendid gift and plant shop on the site (after visiting the arboretum of course!) 

The 56 acre arboretum at Batsford is home to one of the largest private tree collections in the country, providing something of interest throughout the year and famed for trees which originate in Japan and China. 

The collection includes a number of Red Data species which are extinct in the wild and several UK champion trees, famed for their size.

The arboretum is managed by the Batsford Foundation, a charity set up by the 2nd Lord Dulverton in 1983 to promote education, conservation and research into gardens, arboreta and historic landscapes.

A fascinating past

The arboretum has a fascinating history, much of which is reflected in the planting and design you see today.  For more information about who did what when, please click here.

An exciting future

As with all natural environments, Batsford Arboretum is a work in progress, just on a much bigger scale than most!  It will always be protected by the Batsford Foundation but it may also be developed in a sympathetic way, completely in keeping with our charitable remit but making it an even more interesting, informative and special place to visit. Come visit.


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The News....

For those who read The Archers at The Larches Blog regularly, you'll know I'm obsessed with gardening. Well, now I'm also obsessed with poo, though only Lou's Poo, Dried Alpaca Manure. Having spent the last 5 years here at the smallholding stepping over the stuff, picking it up or composting it I haven't run short: The sheep and chickens have kept me in good supply. But. The poo from these creatures is a hot manure and so needs to be rotted down with added greenery a dash of leaves, moisture and a fair wind. For those who have done it, compost making takes time and effort and a fair bit of space to encourage the red worms to feast and the mix to turn into rich, fertile compost. I often asked the farmer to drop me a ton of cow muck (lovely stuff) and then spent hours barrowing it to the compost bays. 

Those days are over for me. For the past 16 months I have been using my alpaca manure direct onto my plants (from bum to roses etc) There is no need for delayed gratification with the alpaca poo; I have been using that directly around my shrubs, flowers and veg because it's not a 'hot' manure and doesn't scorch the plants.

Good Lordy! The results are amazing in my garden this year. The growth on the roses is stunning, even though they are planted in a poor bed, with precious little soil thanks to a new soak-away! The sweet pea are bedded into a 4 metre long trench filled with alpaca poo. At more than 6ft tall, there is an avalanche of flowers in lilac, red, marbled purple and two tone purple. The scent is fantastic! [Update: August 7 2014. I won a prize for my sweet pea at a massive Agricultural Show this week. All thanks to Lou's Poo, Dried Alpaca  Manure]

In the veg garden I was already deluged by courgettes by late May; the ratatouille is already in the freezer for winter.  

My twice, hand picked, air dried, alpaca poo is a wonderful slow release nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium soil enhancer. The fact that it is picked twice is very important. I work very hard to minimise the amount of additional organic matter that is contained in a bag of Lou's Poo to ensure that you, as a gardener, get less weed seeds and less 'burn' from any organic matter decomposition.

sweet smelling... in my humble opinion it smells like mowed grass and muesli, probably down to my clean paddocks and the great camelid food I feed the herd. All you need is a small handful in any indoor or outdoor potted plants or you can, like me, administer direct to soil or into a planting trench.

If you fancy a boost for your garden you can purchase the 550g dried version of Lou's Poo, Alpaca Manure, right here, right now! It comes, as per the pic, in a resealable, compostable, lined brown bag and retails at £9.99. A Gardener's Advantage! It makes a marvellous (and very funny) gift for the gardeners in your life too!

Happy Gardening!



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New Outlets for Lou's Poo, Dried Alpaca Manure

I'm delighted to announce that three retailers are now selling Lou's Poo, Dried Alpaca Manure. 

Our wonderful retailers are:

  1. The Plant Centre at The Ludlow Food Centre in Ludlow, Shropshire. A gorgeous plant centre with a great array of gifts run by the lovely Liz Campbell and her team, plus there's very convenient parking behind the store. With an award winning food centre offering meat game and vegetables from the Earl of Plymouth's 8000 acre estate in Shropshire, a coffee shop, a post office and parking its a very happy way to shop.
  2. Apley Farm Shop at Shifnal, Shropshire is the most magical place. The farm shop is set in an old estate building on Lord and Lady Hamilton's Apley Estate. Offering the best fare from local and regional producers, the shop is filled with delicious goods. There are vegetables from Lord and Lady Hamilton's walled garden, a stunning traditional butcher, a dairy and on-site bakery, delicious delicatessen and the rest of the store is brimming with every store cupboard essential and delicious accompaniment you’ll ever need.
  3. Hintons Country & Garden Store in Leominster offers everything required by the Gardener, Pet Owner, Rider or Farmer. The store in Leominster, nestled in the antique district, invites you in, thanks to its colourful, seasonal display of flower and vegetable plants. Inside there are gifts, clothing, gardening supplies and an extensive range for pets. The huge warehouse on the Worcester Road offers a wide range of agricultural feeds and equipment and caters for smallholders (like me.) 

Watch this space, I'm in talks with several more retailers.... xx

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