Thursday, 17 March 2016

Stepping back in time, Fairies and Easter Events

On the looking good table this week in the nursery

Another nursery week begins and we are hurtling towards spring at an alarming rate. It was a dull, damp start to the day last Wednesday, but the day brightened up as it went on. I ordered shrubs (Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Roses and a few other interesting evergreens) and compost then potted up bulbs for next year. In the afternoon I carried on with re-potting the "A"s, I'll be so glad when they are done as that will be all the stock we bought with the nursery re-potted (apart from some grasses). It is making such a difference rescuing them and getting them back in fresh compost. In the end I lifted the rest to be potted and stacked them under the bench in the covered area. I got the rest of the area swept and it looks so much better. The poor, messy plants waiting to be potted are less obvious under the bench! Despite the sun coming out in the afternoon I kept potting, making great progress. Then it was home to tea with all the boys, food shopping ordered and catching up with chores.

Finally the last path is swept and cleared

The weather is doing that mad thing of lurching from one extreme to the other this week. Wednesday was dull, damp and cold and on Thursday it was warm, I managed to shed a layer and still feel warm. After I had freshened up the cafe flowers it was on with outside work. It was great to be standing working outside in the sun with great views of the Pentlands while I started tidying up the stock beds. It is good to see all the plants I rescued and potted last year sprouting away, I was accompanied by the sound of pigs in the field behind, but I gave them my best Paddington bear stare and they retreated to the other side of the field. I weeded the pots, cut back last years growth, top dressed and re-wrote any missing labels. I also liberated some rooted shoots of the Veronicastrums to produce some more stock. These will get potted up for future use. By the end of the day I'd done just over half of one row, and it looks good. There were a few people up wandering around and shopping which is encouraging. Evening was spent putting shopping away, doing my hair and trying to keep on top of everything to keep the chaos at bay.

Starting to tidy the stock beds

Friday turned out to be not what I had planned and quite often the best things turn out to be the unexpected. So instead of doing more of the stock beds I found myself on a bit of a skive for the day, all in the aid of nursery research of course. I had a very enjoyable trip to my old stamping ground where I studied at Threave School of Gardening near Castle Douglas. I will be covering the trip in another blog but I did have a great day enjoying having time to wander around and take lots of photos. Lovely lunch and dinner on the way back, interesting to meet some of the current staff and students in the gardens and see how so much has changed. To top off a great day I also saw not one but two red squirrels playing in the trees! 

Crocus under the fruit trees in the walled garden, Threave

Equisetum hymale by the lower pond

Gunnera covered for winter, like giant spiders

Fish in the pond in the greenhouses

Last years honeysuckle 

Gates into the walled garden, Threave

Veins on Xanthosoma violaceum
in the glasshouse, Threave 

Red squirrels at Threave, I was delighted to see them and get some not too bad photos

Back to earth on Saturday with a busy day at the nursery. I took plants over to the tunnel and watered there. Everything is starting to grow in the tunnel and I still get a buzz out of seeing all my propagated plants coming away. David and I unpacked all the new wee shop stuff we bought in to sell, it looks good and fits in well with what we are doing here at Quercus. Unfortunately the lurgy is still lurking and I'd really like to hibernate but there's far too much to do. Andrew has finished the first part of the fairy walk so we took a walk up with him to have a look. He has created lots of wee fairy doors, bridges, houses and fun things in one of the woodland walks on the farm as you can see in the photo below.

We were lucky with the weather on Sunday having organised a get together of all the businesses to tackle one of the car park projects. We removed the logs around the centre hedge and put them on the terrace as a beasty log pile. We then weeded under the hornbeam hedge (it was wall to wall weeds, willow seedlings and tussoks of grass) and put down landscape fabric and chipped bark and a defined path in the middle. It looks so much better! It was great to all work together on a project and catch up. We need to do more of that. We also got a few other wee jobs done around the cafe, it's all progress. After such a hard working day we decided on take away for dinner, chinese it was and very good too. A shower, creme egg and feet up for the rest of the evening, I was absolutely done in but it does feel like spring is around the corner with the birds singing and a bit of warmth in the air.

The new log pile in the Wildlife garden

Some of the new items in our wee shop

Soap and boxes

Monday was a beautiful day, the sun was out all day and it was lovely and warm. I took some photos of my monster Hippeastrum outside in the sun before heading to work. The Narcissus in the pot is the variety 'Tahiti', they were in the greenhouse but I brought them out onto the patio so we can enjoy them every day.

Narcissus 'Tahiti'

Monday was the first day this year I managed to shed 3 layers and be down to short sleeves. It was great working at my mobile potting bench tiding the stock beds with the lovely views of the Pentland hills. I got the rest of the first bed done and it looks so much better. But the best thing is seeing the new roots and shoots coming away on all the plants I've re-potted. I also set up a new wee seating area with a couple of cafe chairs and a vintage table. A Hellebore nigre in one of the crackle glaze pots we have for sale finished off the scene.

A new seating area
Helleborus nigre in my favourite
colour of pot

The moon from the back garden at home

A much needed long lie was had on Tuesday while still trying to escape the cold. It was a day of catch up out in the garden and in the house. I got the leaves lifted off the drive at last and the car hoovered and some rust treated. The greenhouses got tidied and watered, the outside potting bench was also tidied up. Inside biscuits and bread were baked, lots of paperwork caught up on and the back log of photos edited.  I was also at the dentist in the afternoon (yuk), teeth put back together again, a few errands done and home for tea. It was roast chicken for dinner, my favourite.

How has your week been? More relaxing than mine I hope. It all feels a bit manic at the moment, but that's spring for you.

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  1. Hey Rona,
    It does indeed sound manic, but thoroughly satisfying too. I quite enjoy that weary feeling after a day working in the garden. Your nursery is looking fantastic. I adore the fairy garden! Have a great rest of your week. I hope the lurgy trundles off soon.
    Leanne xx

    1. Hi Leanne, hope you are well, now I've caught up on my own blog, I'm hoping to get back to reading everyone else's! Absolutely agree there is nothing better than that tiredness you get after a good day in the garden, it helps me sleep. I'm really pleased with how things are looking and it can only get better as everything grows and leafs up. Andrew has done an amazing job with the fairy walk, it will keep kids entertained hopefully. I've had a couple of days of feeling better so keeping fingers crossed it's on it's way, have a great week x