Thursday, 19 May 2016

May Madness, busy, busy

Still basking in the sunshine with a side order of strong breeze to take the edge of the heat. Having been off on Tuesday, Wednesday's first job was to water the tunnel. I gave it a good soaking, then moved some plants about and filled the trolley to take back to the nursery and then watered again. I'm doing a lot of cuttings at the moment, keeping the stock count up on some plants that are selling well or that I'm building up numbers before they go on sale. I did a quick water of the cafe plants and re-did the display table in the hall that gives visitors an idea of what we sell. I spent most of the afternoon topping up the sales area: printing labels, tidying plants and watering. I've planted a few more plants in the narrow stock bed border and in the drive border. Verbascum thapsus with it's furry leaves and tall yellow flowers and Uvularia grandiflora under the willows in shade.

Brunnera macrophylla

Cardamine pratensis 'Flore Pleno'

Lots of subtle purples, pinks and reds in the nursery at the moment.

Heuchera 'Marmalade', Polemonium 'Stairway to Heaven', Fresh rose shoots,
Lamium maculatum 'Orchid Frost', Sempervivium mix and
Sedum spathulifolium Atropurpureum Group

Rhododendron 'Wren', 'Scarlet Wonder' and 'Blue Diamond'

Another glorious day though the word on the street is it's not to last, there's a surprise. After the daily tunnel water I got on with topping up sales, slow going while the label printer still isn't working properly. I potted up a batch of seedlings and the grasses I divided yesterday. Grasses are the last plants from the old nursery stock we bought with the nursery to be sorted and re-potted, and there is an awful lot of them. I may some time! They are also in the worst state so it will be satisfying to eventually see them rejuvenated. I will be moving them from the lower level in to the potting area, a trolley at a time, weeding, re-potting and re-homing them in the stock bed extension. In amongst the grasses are a lot of Persicaria including P. polymorpha which I divided up with a knife and saw. They were so congested the pots had to be cut off and then the plants cut up. Now they have been re-potted they look so much better. Home for tea, a run to Lanark with Ben to drop off some things he's sold then home to catch up on chores n stuff.

Heavy duty plant propagation!

Euphorbia 'Wallenberg Glory' in the garden at home

Do you ever get the feeling when there is so much to do you don't know where to start? Me too. I am really organised person and so are my lists, my lists have their own lists, lol. But seriously it's that mad gardening time when everything is growing, especially the weeds, the seedlings need potted, the borders need weeded, it's been dry so everything needs watered. paper work to do, plants to label, whew. Fortunately youngest son is doing his work experience from school at the nursery next week, so I will have an extra pair of hands. As far as Friday was concerned once I'd got over the oh my goodness which job will I do first panic, it was cafe flowers, watering the tunnel, paperwork and then weeding the long border up the side of the entrance track. This is easy as the bed is covered with bark so I just need to go along with my pruning knife slicing off any weeds coming through. Eventually they will weaken and give up. I managed to get out in the garden after dinner, though it is a bit chilly in the evenings still. I got some seeds sown in the greenhouse a couple of house plants potted up and the grass edged. Daniel is doing a brilliant job of cutting the grass every week. One less chore for me to do.

Gerbera for the cafe, aren't they fabulous

The glorious sunny weather continues and it's warm in the sun but still very chilly in the shade. Disastrously we had a frost on Friday night which saw off the Rhododendron flowers, lots of new growth on many plants at home and in the nursery. Back to square one again. After a much needed long lie David and I headed in to the nursery for opening time. Any time we get together over the next two months is precious as David's survey season reaches it mad busy time and we pass like ships in the night. I did some cuttings I'd brought in from home then tidied some grasses and put them in the new stock beds. It was good to get the stock beds watered after the sunny windy days we've had. The wind blows the water away as it comes out the sprinklers and doesn't reach the plants. Fortunately there was very little wind on Saturday. I also started a new border which runs along the edge of the mypex in the new stock bed area. This will give me a chance to plant up some planting ideas I have and also act as a buffer between the bankings and stock plants, give me plants to propagate from and it will give customers ideas t take home too. It was good exercise in the sun and I got one area finished and the plants placed before it was time to go home. David built a barrier at the idea of the drive and planted more bottles in the wildlife garden path. He also finished a new sales table which will probably have all the herbs on it. It was good to get home to dinner cooked by Daniel, what a star. The greenhouses got watered and some laundry and paperwork done before it was time to collapse on the sofa with wine, chocolate and the doglet.

Guess Basil didn't like the frost! This was a lush plant yesterday

Starting the border along side the new stock beds

Sunny warm weather makes such a difference to how we feel, motivation and general feel good factor. It was great to be in short sleeves again on Sunday making the most of the fine weather. I spent a bit of time weeding and watering in the tunnel until it was too warm. Back to the main nursery and watering stock beds and sales area and helping customers, what a busy day, it was brilliant. I got the plants into the new border, a mix of grasses and late summer flowering perennials, all available to buy in the nursery, I cant wait to see it mature.

The best bit of the job, being creative, planting out, inspiring

In this wee border I have planted:
Anthoxanthus odoratum (Sweet Vernal Grass)
Aster novae angliae 'Septemberrubin'
Aster (Symphyotrichium) novi-belgii 'Marie Ballard'
Carex nigra
Eupatorium 'Red Dwarf''
Helictotrichon sempervirens
Miscanthus sinensis 'Nippon'
Miscanthus sinensis 'Flamingo'
Panicum virgatum 'Shenandoah'
Rudbeckia fulgida 'Goldsturm'
Sedum 'Red Cauli'
Sedum 'Purple Emperor'
Veronicastrum virginicum 'Roseum'

I've also started on grasses, as I mentioned earlier. I'm bringing up a barrow at a time and working through it. The previously potted plants I did at the back end of last year are getting weeded and top dressed and moved and the ones still in need of TLC are getting split up and re-potted. I've been doing this at the outdoor potting bench in the sun, which makes it much more enjoyable. David had a productive day sorting out more of the work area behind the office and digging a drainage ditch to get rid of the "lake" there. Its great to get all these other non horticultural jobs done that make work and the nursery run more smoothly. The day goes so quickly when we're busy and I never get everything done I had hoped, but it is great to be making so much progress. Great chat with our landlord, Pete the farmer and more plans made to make the nursery and farm better. Home to Dan making tea again,  yeh. A relaxing night watching the latest installment of Outlander, a lovely sunset from the sofa and the bats fling about in the garden. 

Herb planter and zinc planters for sale in the nursery

Zinc planter available in the nursery

Monday again and this week I have my youngest son working with me in the nursery doing his week long work placement. It is good to spend time with him and have a help with the work in the nursery. We watered the tunnel and brought more plants back to pot or to put in the sales area. We also got the new big herb table filled up and it looks great. Dan was a great help printing labels and moving plants from one table to another. After that we re-stocked the sales tables and did some watering. While I was weeding the stock beds Dan potted up seedlings from the tunnel.

The new herb table

Looking good in the nursery this week, Orthinogalum umbellatum, Cardamine pratensis 'Flore Pleno', Tulips, primulas and Heucheras

Waiting for take off!

As you know the Quirky Bird is often found in the nursery giving advice and helping customers. Quirky Birds are mainly ground loving birds with short stubby wings that are more for decoration than flying! Let's do something relaxing on our day off? No, let's get Rona up in a glider. It's taken David nearly four years to get me to do this. He flies his glider as often as possible, so we headed to the airfield on our day off this week to finally get me in the air. I wasn't too happy at the thought but I do like to challenge myself and step outside my comfort zone occasionally. After all, life is what you make it. SO the Quirky Bird got air borne, and of course it was amazing as I knew it would be and I got lots of photos. Here are just a few, it was great to fly over hills I have walked several times and see them from a different angle.

Oh no, can't believe I'm doing this!

Ready for take off

The tug plane heading back to the airfield

Loch Leven Castle

Kinross and it's formal gardens

Bishop Hill and West Lomond behind

Looking north towards Perth

Another glider above Bishop Hill

Looking south

The open glider with no canopy

Flying over the airfield

East and West Lomond and Bishop hill

Coming back in to land

Once I'd landed we went off for a late lunch and then meandered home via shops to do erands, so all in all another very busy week and an exciting day off! 

Hope you are all having a great week.

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