Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Summer Has Come Early with Some Amazing Weather

Spring is well and truly springing despite the cold snap of frost and snow last week. In true Scottish weather style we've gone from minus temperatures last week to sun, warmth and no rain this week, and forecast to continue. Also in true gardener style I'm not exactly complaining about the weather, the heat and sun is wonderful but we really need some rain. The blue skies and sun really do lift our spirits and I'm feeling really motivated and getting everything and more done this week, especially now my leg is now completely better and I can move again (an excruciatingly painful trapped nerve in April for four weeks was not ideal at all, and I am so relieved it has released and the pain has gone).

Gorgeous blue skies and lots of progress in the nursery and gardens

It's silly season in the garden and nursery with so many tasks to get done as you'll know if you are a gardener too. Potting, propagating, seed sowing, weeding, watering, whew, at least it keeps me busy and out of trouble. I've been potting lots of last years propagation from 9cm pots (small) to 1 or 2 litres for selling, the stock beds are full too. They will root through and be ready for sale in a month or so with lots of new varieties for this year there should be something for everyone. I find it really satisfying potting up these plants I've created, seeing them thrive and then seeing customers admire and buy them. Even better is when customers come back and tell me how well the plants they bought last time are growing, yeh!

Tulips enjoying the sun

Seed sowing, well one half of the poly tunnel is full of seed trays, a lot of which are sprouting already. There are annuals for summer bedding, herbs, new perennials for next year and plants for the new herb garden.

Lots of seedlings growing in the tunnel

There is always plenty weeding to do, especially as we work organically here in the nursery, so it's hand weeding all the way. The annual weeds are easily hoed off especially in the current dry weather, but it's the perennial creeping thistles and couch grass that need constant removal, hopefully over time I will be the conqueror and they will weaken. I am experimenting using salt as an organic weedkiller for perennial weeds. This can't done in borders or lawns where the salt will leach and damage ornamental plants, but it does work after several applications on weeds in gravel, paths or driveways.

Planting Kale 'Scarlet' in the newly
weeded herb garden

The main tasks for this week are ;

~ to keep the water moving, it's so dry with no rain and the wind. 
~ to get all the herbs in the tunnel re-potted or propagated so we have enough stock for the season.
~ to pot up seedlings in the tunnel that are ready to move on from plugs to pots.
~ to keep moving plants out of the tunnel to the stock beds or sales area.
~ to get as much of the remaining stock beds spring cleaned, this job is beginning to take too long!
~ to empty David's workshop tunnel of plants that were in there for winter. 
~ to finish weeding the planted borders
~ to plant up more of the new herb garden.

Hmmmmmmmm thats' a lot of work for one wee Quirky Bird but so far I've managed to do a bit of a lot of these tasks and have finished the weeding.

All the Rhododendrons in the sales area are
coming into flower

As for the garden at home, I've been watering but that's about it, Daniel is cutting the grass but I really need to be getting everything out the greenhouses for summer, re-potting and top dressing as they go.

Veg seedlings now available

One of the trolleys that came back from the tunnel this week was full of all the veg seedlings ready to be sold. The first varieties available are Kale 'Pentland Brig', Kale 'Scarlet'. Pea 'Onward', Broad bean 'Suttons Early', Rainbow chard, Purple sprouting broccoli and red oak leaf lettuce. Remember we can still get some cold nights, so keep an eye on those temperatures and cover or move indoors if frost threatens. Annual herbs (Dill, Chervil, Corander and parlsey) will be available soon along with summer bedding.

Tulip 'Peerless Pink'

All the pots of tulips I potted up in autumn have added a real splash of colour to the gardens and seating areas in the nursery. From blousy double whites, to pinks, reds and dark 'Queen of the Night'. Some of them are still available to buy as potted bulbs in the nursery. Once the potted ones have finished flowering I'll plant them out in the garden for more colour next year.

Time to get the Bay tree and
 rosemary potted up and moved
into the herb garden
Looking down the herb garden

On Saturday evening we had a lovely evening visiting Andrew and Linda, with drinks in the garden in the wonderful sun enjoying the views down the Clyde Valley, lovely dinner then enjoying the sunset from the conservatory. Bracken managed not to disgrace us too much, though he ignored barking at the door to get back in and thought he's stand on the window sill and stare in at us to get back in.

Sunset over the Clyde Valley

Some of the first borders we did after buying the nursery were the native borders at the entrance to the wild life garden, they are really bulking up now and filling out. The primroses have done brilliantly and now bluebells and ferns are beginning to flower and unfurl. Oxalis acetosella, the wood sorrel is spreading around some logs and looking very at home.

Oxalis acetosella

Primula vulgaris, the primrose

The monster yucca needed a bit of a sort out, having enjoyed being in the big greenhouse for the last 2 years, it's grown to more than fill it's space. So I took the loppers and took off 3 of the big branches that were going outways. It's now more upright and a better shape.

The lazy (or busy) persons
answer to watering the greenhouse

The great weather has continued into our day off which is fab. After dropping Daniel off for his history exam we headed out to look for ideas
 for hedging to finish off the herb garden. We headed to a wholesale nursery then went to pick a few bits and pieces and some lunch in the sun on the way home including three gold fish for the pond in the herb garden. We released Hengist, Horsa and Vortigern the goldfish into to their new home in the herb garden this afternoon. I take no resposibility for their names, David is reading a lot about saxon and old english history and language at the moment. You can read more about them here
Who says you don't learn something new everyday

Enjoying some lunch in the sun
Dropping of things for the nursery

Releasing the goldfish

Hopefully you've been enjoying the good weather too, it looks like rain is forecast for the weekend and I have to say it is needed now. Have a great week.

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  1. What a lovely post! Full of spring, apring activities and spring hope. Your weather seems great right now - Finland is so far struggling with everyday snow, even here in the very south - but in between snow and hailstorms the sun shines so strongly and the days are getting so long that the snow has no chance in the end.
    I love your wildlife/native-area!

    1. Hi, thanks for commenting, we've had amazing weather for Scotland but it's really too dry for the plants now. Amazing to think of snow in May! We occasionally get some frost but that's it in May.

  2. You have definitely had better weather than we have had here in Essex, please can you send some sun xxxx

    1. It's raining today as I write this, to be honest the plants desperately need it and I'll get some potting done, have a good weekend x