Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Spring come back .............. was it something I said?

The sales tables are filling up

Spring come back........... was it something I said? Please bring your sunshine and warmth back, don't turn your back on us and throw a chilly, wet, wintery tantrum again! Ok you did, and it's still freezing. Still the cafe flowers this week are cheery and colourful.

Gerbera made an appearance in the cafe this week

Those couple of weeks of milder sunnier weather in mid March have long gone and it's not April showers but low temperatures, hail stones and snow! On Wednesday it was no better when I did the cafe flowers and re-planted the window box planter on the dresser but at least the coffee was hot. I started potting up some plants that have sat in crates behind the office for a while and sorted through more shade plants, top dressing and tidying for sales. We are hoping to extend the stock beds in the next week or so and the shade plants will be moving to their new home there. I've finally got on to planting up the containers I bought in a reclamation yard a few months ago. The larger metal box has a selection of miniature conifers in it and the smaller one some grasses and Heuchera 'Marmalade' and the glazed trough has some alpines in it. The bowl with sedums and succulents I bought a couple of months ago, they are all placed around the sales area and next to the bench to give customers ideas and inspiration and of course most of the plants are available to buy in the nursery.

A new planter for the seating area, small succulents, Sedums and Euphorbia,
 including Euphorbia mysinites, Sedum spathufolium Atropurpureum, Echivera 'Red Magic'
and Echivera elegans. The Echiveras will require winter protection and all these plants will
be available to buy over the summer here at Quercus.

A selection of colourful dwarf conifers planted in an old metal drawer

Heuchera 'Marmalade', Helictotrichon sempervirens, Stipa tenuissima,
Molinia 'Moorhexe' and Carex comans Bronze will make
a colourful display in summer

An old glazed trough filled with Saxifraga 'Spotted Dog', Hepatica noblis, Hacquetia epipactis,
Corydalis ochroleuca and Mitchella repens. 

Thankfully this week I am feeling better than I have in a long time, the lurgy seems to have gone and I don't feel as exhausted any more. This, along with the lighter nights is a good thing as it means I get out in the garden at home in the evening and catch up on some wee tasks. At the moment I am working through the plants in the wee greenhouse, tidying, feeding and top dressing, taking cuttings and putting out side if appropriate. Although given the forecast for the next week, I may be moving them all back in again!

I have no photos of the camera shy birthday boy so Bracken said he
would pose for a photo instead!

On Thursday we celebrated the 22nd birthday of my oldest Ben. Yeh I know 22, where has the time gone? Scares me quite a lot to be honest but he is a great lad and I'm proud to be his mum. He spent the day with Granny and youngest son on the Borders railway to Galashiels and back while some of us had to work. In the evening David and I took him out for dinner and we had a lovely meal at the Robertson Arms in Carnwath. Meanwhile at work I spent the day putting together a table of wet soil loving plants including Ligularia Eupatorium, Phalaris and Petasites. You can read about plants that like these conditions in a previous blog here. I also got on with sorting more stuff out behind the office (I think we are going to need another trip to the tip!) and potting up more Inula from the crates there. I filled a trolley of re potted herbs and trays of herb cuttings to go back to the tunnel which will then come back full of plants to go on the sales tables and out into the stock beds.

Plants for wet soil

Give me the birthday cake and no one gets hurt

The weekend turned into one of those rare creatures, a child free weekend! With both oldest and youngest away for the weekend, it was very quiet and we had the food we like......... on Friday David cooked one of his signature dishes, a very nice spicy chilli with crusty bread. We also had the meagre internet to ourselves so we started an Outlander first series re-watch fest in preparation for the new series beginning on Sunday. Yes I am a huge fan, I've read the books many times since Diana Gabaldon first wrote them. I am re reading them now, one after the other and loving them all over again. I've got the CDs of the theme music in the car, so yes I am a fan. I love the books, the characters, the stories and plots, the music. 

New water plants in the water
feature in the sales area

Meanwhile at work I worked in the gloopy mud behind the office making room for the bare root trees to be potted soon, sowed some seeds, potted more plants, and lots of other bits and pieces. The new water plants have filled up the water feature and the water lilies are beginning to shoot away. We also have a working tap, hoorah! I know, simple things. But it makes a big difference, not as powerful as mains but driven by a pump from our water supply it does the job and I can now connect up either the hose to the tunnel, the stock beds or the hand watering lance from one place. 

Mrs Chicken was waiting for a lift when I passed on my way back to the nursery from the polytunnel

The sun was out on Saturday and that was the last we saw of it for the next few days. David was over for the day and we started potting up the bare root trees that are heeled in behind the office. They've been there at least a year and a half and were there when we bought the nursery so it's good to get them potted up at last. They are lovely big trees and will make a great purchase for customers once rooted and ready for sale. It was a busy day, which is always a good thing and nice to meet new customers and old We had lunch in the sun sitting on the bench in the sales area.

Lunch in the sun

We went home via West Linton for some shopping and discovered (this could be a bad thing) a Chinese take away van which is in the village on weekend evenings. We decided to of course to try it out, it would be rude not to, and the food was very good. I can see this becoming a regular thing when we have been working hard on those weekend days and can't be bothered cooking. Despite the sunny day we drove home n a hail storm!

This is not what I expected to see when I opened the curtains on Sunday morning!

I have to say I wasn't expecting to see snow when I woke up on Sunday, luckily it didn't last but the day was freezing cold, wet and overcast. Despite the good start of a lovely breakfast of croissants, salami and cheese with freshly ground coffee the day was decidedly wintry. We got on with potting the rest of the bare root trees and worked on late to finish them, which we did, yay, another job off the list.

Driving to the nursery on Sunday

The temperatures were still chilly on Monday with a freezing wind coing from the north east. I spent the day catching up with outstanding tasks and jobs, mainly indoors. I did a bit more sorting out behind the office and it's nearly finished, much tidier, and rubbish we don't need put aside to go to the tip. It is so muddy as the field on the hill behind the nursery drains through the nursery. It will be so good to get some kind of surface down at some point instead of wading through gloop, failing tht a dry warm summer would help. I got another barrow load of seed trays sown, but it was really too cold to do that. On the plus side I got some time in the evening to take photos of plants looking good in the garden at home. Most of them will appear in another blog, but here's a few.

Aeonium 'Swartkop', Glengarry

Fig beginning to fruit in the greenhouse

Cutting of Salvia officinalis
Purpurescens in the greenhouse

Day off Tuesday and great to get a good lie in and sleep followed by breakfast of home made bread. We had nothing planned for the day as the forecast unsurprisingly was bad. I caught up on some chores, made bread and biscuits, edited photos and did piles of laundry. Exciting I know but good to catch up. In the afternoon we took oldest son through to Hamilton for another job interview. While he was ding that we went and did some shopping nd had a coffee. Fingers crossed something comes of his interviews, as come this June he'll have been unemployed for a year. Keeping everything crossed for him.

So that's my week, nothing too exciting or riveting, lots of progress as always at the nursery and living the quiet life at home, which is not a bad thing.

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smile emoticonsort back of office / plants in crates / sow seeds / Antique ideas, see winter book

sort back of office / plants in crates / sow seeds / Antique ideas, see winter sort back of office / plants in crates / sow seeds / Antique ideas, see winter book

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