The calendar says it is May, but if you notice the clothes people are wearing you’d think it was February. At least we seem to be having frost-free nights and the plants are growing well now. Buying a sprinkler might be the reason why we are now having an excess of rain. The sprinkler has now been hung up in a corner in the shed gathering coal dust because, yes, we are having a fire at work. The ground is soggy and squelchy as it often is through the winter, there are mini moats round the edge of the borders. The wonderful freshness of the spring greenery is a delight especially this year because so many plants have been later to leaf up than usual. I’m still a bit concerned about the catalpa tree, no sign of leaves when I looked a couple of days ago.
There have been quite a few garden visitors so far this year which is very pleasing. All charities need the support of your donations, now more than ever. It’s not really a spring garden in my opinion, it’s at its best in late summer, but this year it really is looking good. The camassias have been splendid, the cowslips are huge and have flowered for weeks and weeks and epimediums continue to perform well and look beautiful where-ever they are. The bamboos are becoming a bit scary. If Philip has to delay mowing the you can see shoots popping up in a very wide area, how long before they march into the pond?
The production of plants carries on relentlessly. No sooner do I have what seems to be a goodly quantity of certain plants when people come along and buy them!! Since writing last time time I have been back into the garden digging up more perennials to divide and pot up. The tunnels are stuffed full of young plants which need to be potted into larger pots as soon as I know they are rooting well. The delivery of plants from the wholesaler was disappointing. Some were weak and straggly and others had frost damage. They are beginning to recover now but it didn’t solve my problem of needing more plants on the sales benches. I have been credited for most of them. But here is a problem….I’d already put in a new order before this one was collected. Now the wholesaler is saying that his plants aren’t really for resale but for amenity planting. This begs the question of why should there be two standards? Is he really suggesting that my expectations for a decent quality of plants is unrealistic? It’s not so difficult to grow strong healthy plants. But, again, this year has seen unprecedented demand so I expect short cuts are being taken in order to meet the clamour for plants.
One other fairly major hiccup has been the break down of the label printer. It is very old and has been an vital part of producing plants for sale. I can hardly remember the days when I used to laboriously hand write the labels.
To invest in a new system would cost a considerable amount of money which is hard to justify when there might not be many more years of working like this, after all I am of an age when all my contemporaries are retired. Martin and Janet to the rescue. These lovely people run a nursery near here where they produce rooted cuttings of shrubs and I’ve already had my first batch of labels printed by them. This is such a relief but extra work for them.