Friday, 29 April 2016

Sun, Snow, Sun, T shirts, Snow, Layers

A glorious, sunny and warm day at the nursery

As I write this there are flurries of snow passing the window horizontally, sometimes they grow into blizzards, then hail stones then back to rain. Then the sun comes out and sometimes it snows and is sunny at the same time!?!?

My out door potting bench in the sun

Muscari and Luzula looking good together
Back to work for the start of my working week in glorious, sunny weather. It was great to shed some layers and enjoy the feel of the warmth on skin, I really hope we get a good summer after this cold spring. After I'd done the cafe flowers I set up a bench behind the office in the sun where I could work and absorb some warmth and vitamin D! From here I sowed more seeds and tidied more shades plants to go over to the new area. I also got a new batch of shrubs and herbs labelled and out into the sales area to fill up the tables. I am slowly getting through the shade plants, weeding, cutting back, top dressing and moving them to their new home in the stock bed extension. It's beginning to look full!

The evening was taken up celebrating step son Adam's birthday with his choice of chilli, nachos, wraps, tacos and all the sides that go with it. Made by David it was both very tasty and lovely to come home to dinner cooked after a busy day at the nursery.

Osmanthus burkwoodii
Tulip 'Fusilier'

Chilli for those who like it spicy and not so much!

The lovely sunny weather continued into a second day, wow, hooray, can you tell we need some sun and warmth? While it was quiet first thing in the morning I took the trolley of seeds I'd sown yesterday over to the tunnel. I spent a bit of time there sorting plants, making space and watering. I'm moving plants out as quickly as I'm filling the tunnel up with seed trays, it's all a bit manic in there at the moment. I brought another trolley load of plants back that are now rooted through and ready to go out in the stock beds. It was a busy morning with customers and in between I sowed more seeds and tidied more shade plants to move.  I'm beginning to wonder if we will have enough room for the grasses too, despite carefully measuring out all the space! It's good to see all the plants out in one area though.

Displays tables in the sun

A lovely sunny day in the nursery

Making the most of the sunny afternoon I started to mark out and dig over where the Thuja hedge is going at the end of the new stock beds. This hedge will give us a boundary on the north side of the nursery and we'll put a gate in for customers. I started by lifting off a foot wide strip of turf along the length of the planned hedge and then dug over the soil underneath removing any remaining weeds. The ground is solid being clay and having been run over by a tractor for years and people walking over it. The removed turf is going to fill in hollows behind the office so we can level that area off. Nothing is wasted! The pet lamb which is now in the field behind the nursery kept me company. David came over in the afternoon with some half barrels he picked up when out and about working in the morning. He does that, comes across odd, useful things, after all he came across me and I'm odd and useful ;) We'll keep two of the barrels for display and sell the other two. So if you fancy a half barrel planter, approx. two feet diameter.....

Pet lamb cuteness

Setting up the line for the hedge
Removing the turf

After a busy day it was home to tea via Biggar for petrol and food for tea and then a couple of hours in my own garden carrying on re-potting my Pelargonium collection. I'm over half way there and the greenhouse is starting to look more organised. It's great to see so many cuttings and the plants all freshly re-potted, hopefully they will put on lots of new growth this year two.

Friday and chilly again and not so much sun sadly, still it was dry so more progress outside with the hedge and it's a warm job digging too, good exercise which is useful and productive in getting another job under way. Win win me thinks. I got more seeds over to the tunnel first thing, got the tunnel watered and brought back another trolley of plants to go in the stock beds. The sales area got topped up and more bedding potted up. Whew, and that was just the morning! David came over at lunch time and we got on with planting the thuja hedge. Another big job ticked off the list as we got most of the plants in and caned before finishing time. It's looking really good and I'm looking forward to seeing it become a hedge and form our boundary on that side. It will also give a nice backdrop to the stock beds and planted borders at that end.

The hedge planted
and caned
Lots of baby blackbirds

Driving to work on Saturda

It's amazing how much can get done when the weather is better, sunnier and warmer. Not only does it mean we can get on outside it makes us feel better and more motivated, well it does me. We got lots of odd jobs done in the nursery on Saturday after a mocha from the cafe to start the day. The day ended up having a recycling theme, either creating new from something else or re-using found items. We got the hedge planting finished and caned, hope it grows well! I got more shade plants tidied and moved, my old china sink planted up with a collection of ferns and started a new display with the half barrels David found.

Making the path edge and recycling, a new display in the sales area, 
Old china sink planted upwith ferns

The new recycled pallet gate

While I was doing all that David marked out the path in the wildlife garden and started "planting bottles" for the path edge. This involves making a slit in te ground in a line and then tapping the bottles in with a piece of wood and hammer. The bottles sit slightly out the ground and will retain the chipped bark for the path. The other great piece of recycling we did on Saturday was a gate for the hedge. David made this out of a nice pallet and then painted it our Quirky bird colour. It looks fab. We gave in and picked up Chinese take away in West Linton on the way home, yes we did. A combination of child free weekend and working hard and treating ourselves again. We took the doglet for a walk along the river in West Linton while it was cooking. There was lots to see, from the ford, daffodils, wee river and old buildings and plaques. Normally we just see the main road and co-op so it was good to have a wander and Bracken enjoyed his wee walk too. After dinner it was a relaxing evening and thankfully I didn't fall asleep on the sofa again

Church in West Linton

Trying to persuade Bracken to go for a paddle in West Linton

Daffodils and fords, West Linton

From sunshine to snow over night and a chilly wind and sunny intervals on Sunday. David was busy again hammering in posts for the new gate, making a sign for it and hanging the gate, it looks great. He also put more bottles in the wildlife garden path edge, which is grabbing everyone's attention .I got bedding potted up at last and all over in the tunnel to grtow on. The tunnel got watered while I was there and I tidied more plants. Once back in the nursery I worked on more shade plants and moved them, watered stock beds (I know, snow in the morning, watering in the afternoon, it's crazy. We were very pleased to get lots more done again this weekend, lots of progress with lots of different tasks.

We have lots of herbs for sale now

Snow in the morning, watering in the
 afternoon, must be Scotland

Evening sky driving home after a busy day

As the title of this blog suggests we are having wacky weather at the moment, sunshine and t-shirts on day, snow and winter layers the next. Monday was no different, it was freezing! Colder than any I can remember in the winter with the wind coming straight out the north and blowing right into the potting area. We had snow, hail and sunshine, quite often at the same time. I know Game of Thrones is due back on TV this week and they say winter is coming, but really? In between snow showers I managed to get the sales area topped up and re did the display tables. It feels like the plants (and I) have gone into suspended animation with the cold. There are lots of flower buds just waiting to open lets hope they don't get damaged by the frost we are getting at night. 

Tidied and re-stocked display tables

You know the weather is bad when I REALLY look forward to a day off and a chance to keep warm. The weather was no better on Tuesday with hail, sleet, snow and a freezing wind again. After a long lie and lazy breakfast we headed to Livingston and shopping. Something we don't do rarely, spend a day pottering around the shops, but we enjoy the novelty when we do. I even treated myself to some new clothes, another rare occurance, but I've been saving and it's about time I spent something on me. Even better when everything was half price or more, I love a bargain. We enjoyed lunch in a mock American diner and I treated everyone to something from the Cadbury shop, well I couldn't pass without going in, it would have rude not too and yes a bag of creme eggs did go home with me. Home for tea and more snow, brrrrrrrrrrrr.

Lots of lovely ribbon while looking for wedding invitation inspiration

I leave you with some photos of the daffodils in the garden at home, needless to say with the downturn in weather I've not got much done there, not even any more re-potting of greenhouse plants. I hope you have a good week. Take care

Daffodils in the garden at home

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Friday, 22 April 2016

Good Weather Equals a lot of Progress in the Nursery

A very wet, cold and windy Wednesday, we've stepped back with the weather. A day for being indoors and catching up with writing, admin and so on. Having done the cafe flowers and watered plants I did some tidying in the office and covered area and then contemplated what to do. Started writing a blog on the native garden entrance to the wild life garden and then wrote a new web page for the website on plants for water logged and wet soil which you can see here. and the cercidiphhyllum page here, I got more seeds sown to go over to the tunnel. Thank goodness for the office heater and coffee today, its been colder that alot of days through winter, especially with the wind coming from the north and straight into the potting area.

Aeonium arboreum 'Magnificum' in the greenhouse at home

Mammillaria sp

Pelargonium stellar zonal 'Chocolate Twist'

Rhododendron 'Snow Lady'

The Sun was out on Thursday, still cold though but at least dry. I had another trolley of seed trays to go to the tunnel and a trolley of Sanguisorba came back to go in the stock beds. Herb planters, having been refreshed went back in to the cafe and a mocha treat for me. After some admin I got on with preparing the ground for extending the stock beds. This involved taking off the humps and bumps with a spade and raking all the dead grass off. A good job for chilly sunny day. I also started digging over the narrow bed that is going between the existing stock bed and the new one. I'll plant this up with low plants in interesting colour combinations, as they say, watch this space. It was great to get some progress outside again and starting the stock bed extension will mean we can get on with a lot of other tasks.

I've been taking lots of photos of plants flowering in the garden at home and rather than fill this blog up you can see them here

A glorious sunny day in the nursery

Looking back over the stock beds

The next area to tackle, new stock beds!

And new borders going in between old and new stock beds

After some sun it was back to freezing drizzle then heavy rain on Friday. I did get the track bed hoed before it got to bad and the rest of the box cubes trimmed and fed and spaced out. This will hopefully encourage them to fill out on the bare sides that were defoliated due to being crammed together for so long before we got the nursery. I sowed more seeds, feeling like we are getting there with them now although Ben worked out how many I've sown so far and it was a frightening number! The rest of the day was spent doing indoor jobs near the heater, brrrrrrrrrr, while there was rain, sleet, hail and snow, (fortunately not lying). It was great to get home to the warm and a hot and spicy prawn and choritzo jambalaya for dinner. Followed by a wel deserved relaxing evening of hair, shower, reading and relaxing while David was out doing bat stuff.

I've been given some Dalefoot compost to trial. The composts are either made from recycled wool or bracken
so it will be interesting to see how it performs alongside the compost I usually use

The Dalefoot compost is similar to other seed composts in texture and looks

We had an over night frost annoyingly but plants all seem to have coped with it ok. I'd really like to have switched the big greenhouse heater off at home by now to save some money, but with temps as low as they have been in the past week or so this isn't going to happen any time soon. David and I headed over to the nursery on Saturday morning in brilliant sunshine but deceptively cold. There was still snow on the hill and snow and hail showers through the morning. Still we got on with extending the stock beds, levelling and laying mypex so that we can move the grasses and shade plants and have everything together. We'll then put a hedge and gate in to give us a boundary on the north side of the nursery. I even got some plants in place once we'd finished. The new area looks huge, a sea of mypex! It was great to work together and get another big job ticked off the job list.

Lovely blue sky, green fields and lots of lambs, love this time of year

I met the pet lamb when I took some plants across to the polytunnel. It didn't run away and came running over to me, easy to tel it's the pet lamb then, so we did some lamb selfies!

Colourful Pelargoniums in my collection at home

Mrs Blackbird has chosen an interesting place to nest, amongst the pot
carry trays!

Lots of seeds are now germinating

Laying the new stock bed mypex

This is where all the shade plants and grasses will be moving to

Looking back over the new stock beds

It's amazing the difference two days and dry weather makes in the nursery. With the help of Adam on Sunday David has put in a wooden edging along the top of the new and existing stock beds and Adam has barrowed up four ton bags of chipped bark to put on the mypex around the black currents. It's all looking very neat and tidy. In between helping customers I continued to dig over the new border between the old and new stock beds. These will be planted up in wee planting plans of plants we have for sale, I have ideas, watch this space. There was the odd short rain shower through the day and frost first thing. On the way home we went to lanark and picked up middle son who is home for a couple of days, it is always great to have my three boys home together :)

A narrowborder between old and new stock beds

The pet lamb is now in the field behind the nursery

First of the shade plant tidied and in their new home

Monday and its still windy and cold despite the sun being out, most of the time. After stocking up the sales tables I spent the rest of the day tidying shade plants and moving them to the new shade stock beds we made at the weekend. I also planted up one of the new borders, I couldn't wait! I've put in Stachys byzantina, Alchemilla erithropoda, Chives, Sedum 'Bertram Anderson' and Nepeta 'Six Hills Giant'.The will make a low growing planting between the stock beds with lots of colour and scent through summer.

Meanwhile at home in the wee greenhouse the scent from Pittosporum 'Silver Queen' is over powering when I
open the greenhouse in the morning, lovely

In the evening or before breakfast if dry I've been continuing to tidy the greenhouse plants. The wee green house is done, apart form a few plants I've kept in until the threat of frost is well and truly over. Everything is re-potted or top dressed and fed and out on the patio. I finished the auricula primulas on Sunday night when I got an hour or so out after tea. It wasn't too cold and great to get another wee task done. Some of the smaller pots of auriculas had vine weavil so were stripped right down and re potted.

Tidying out the big greenhouse and re-potting the Pelargoniums
and taking cuttings

Awaiting re-potting and the chop!

Auricula Primulas outside for summer

Primula auricula 'Kisum Krushna'

Out for summer

A glorious sunny Tuesday and I was off. After doing some errands to Lanark including taking youngest's gym trainers to school which he forgot I spent a lovely four hours in the sun in the garden working through more of my Pelargonium collection, re potting, feeding , cutting back and turning the off cuts into cuttings. I emptied the bench and shelf putting everything on the floor and am now working my way through the plants, small ones back on the shelves and bench and bigger ones rowed up on the floor, working from the door in where I've cleared space. It's a bit of a guddle at the far end but will improve as I work through the plants and very satisfying too.

At night we went into Edinburgh for a family get together with all 5 kids and granny at Cosmo, a great place to eat with the hungry horde as they can eat as much as they like. It was great fun , Jamie went back to Glasgow after, great to have him home for a couple of days.

One of my dessert plates!

Giraffes at the Omni Centre, Ednburgh

Getting a photo of me and my boys without them realising

Dan is trying to ignore me, lol

Sunset on the omni centre

So that's my week, busy, hectic and mad as seems to be the way these days. Hope yours has been good too

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