The demand for plants is far higher than normal. There is a general shortage caused in part by Brexit and partly due to Covid. Importing plants is more expensive, there is more paperwork and there are delays. Not that I have ever imported any but the knock on effect is serious. Wholesalers are unable to supply a full range of plants. More people want to do their gardens too. Last year at the start of lockdown many nurseries did less propagating because it was thought there would be a recession so there is a shortage of home grown plugs and liners.
This spring has been unusually frosty for night after night which has slowed the production of roots and caused some damage to tender foliage. Daily I can be seen lifting pots to see if any roots are popping out. The temperature in the tunnel has ranged from 0 degrees to 30 degrees in 24 hours! Poor plants. I’ve just had a swearing session, I just realised that I forgot to shut the doors of the tunnels last night. It’s too warm to shut them at 4 or 5 o’clock and I meant to shut them later, fingers crossed that no rabbits went in for a casual munch.
My main task is to try to make more plants, as many as I possibly can because there are many more people wanting to buy them. I’m potting up rooted cuttings, digging up clumps of perennials from the garden and splitting them up, taking cuttings and sowing seeds. I even have an order in at the wholesalers which can be collected tomorrow but he didn’t have a third of the things on my list. I am compiling a new list to send to him to try to bulk up the plants in the sales area. Although I’m feeling stressed and tired I do get tremendous satisfaction from producing new plants. It still feels special to be so creative, there is a lot of pleasure involved in the success of growing anything especially the more difficult plants. I sometimes feel quite attached to a plant and don’t always want to sell them.
Garden work is now way down on my list of priorities. Sarah comes for 8 hours a week and she is doing most of it and I do a bit some afternoons when it’s too hot in the tunnel. I’ve just bought a sprinkler and the garden will be watered from time to time during dry times like it is now.
It is getting harder to do all this work as I get older but I feel determined to carry on as long as I can or until we have the perfect gardening weather year!