Welcome to our Web Site
For new visitors, curious as to who we are and what we do (never mind why we do it) Click here to go to last year's ramblings.
I sit here today with catalogue requests ringing in my ears and a suitably guilty conscience… but in my defence, so much has happened this year that I hardly know where to start!
Well, the BIG news this year is that we have bought a second site; which has accounted for much of our “spare” time over the last 12 months. We are now the proud owners of 50 acres of the most wonderful soil I have ever seen! Situated approximately half an hour from us here, our primary intention is to grow a range of plants on into larger sizes in the open ground. Inevitably Japanese maples will form a major part of this crop as the demand for larger plants increases. By growing them in this more natural manner, I suppose one could say in the “traditional” way, establishment should be far superior for these largest specimens. In our view, too much stock is coming into this country from abroad, particularly these larger sizes. It is not in the interest of the environment for this practice to continue. Planting started last winter and early indications are extremely rewarding. However, as with all new ventures, there are setbacks and learning curves, so I regret that it will be a while before we are able to welcome you to our new site.
The other major excitement this year has been the long awaited publication of my book. I am delighted that so many of you have commented so favourably on it. It was a huge amount of hard work, so it is good to know that it was worth it. There is more information on that over the page.
Although this catalogue update for 2007 is some months later than my usual offering, there are actually advantages to this timescale. With the season further advanced I hope that I have been better able to accurately predict availability for the coming season.
I did find a little time last winter to improve the indexing on the catalogue section so you no longer have to scroll through everything to find anything. More improvements will be made in the fullness of time and further photos will be added. I also invested in a copy of Adobe Acrobat to enable you to download a printable version. Unfortunately I failed to appreciate that it would require a system upgrade in order to install, so that pleasure still awaits... I'm hoping that now my daughter has finished her exams she will install it for me, becasue I am a techno-idiot!
Also on the computer front, I will soon be upgrading my internet access to broadband and changing ISP. Therefore, I would urge you all to check the e-mail address that you have on record for us. Please use firstname.lastname@example.org and your ability to contact me will not be compromised once our Tiscali account is closed. The website address will not be affected.
Every year it gets harder to find new plants that we want to add to our collection. We are determined not to “collect names”, but only to grow plants that are truly worthwhile. Yet every year it surprises me how many we add! This year has seen a surge of Magnolia; we do have a fantastic range now and it gives us a real thrill to see the neat rows of home-propagated young plants. Another genus that we have side-stepped for a few years (disillusioned by identification errors) is Hamamelis. We are most grateful to Chris Lane, who holds a National Collection, for sharing some of the very best cultivars with us.
Remember that we use a soil based compost for all our plants. Putting the environment issues of peat aside momentarily, too often a peat compost is wet and sludgy or dry and dusty; rarely is it “just right” and this continues once it is planted out. Our soil mix, by contrast, is much closer to the soil which the roots will encounter when planted out; it maintains a more constant moisture level and makes them much more inclined to root out into the surrounding area. A very marked improvement.
I am delighted to tell you that our son Torsten has “joined” us on an informal basis. He has always been interested in anything to do with the natural world, but he has been participating more and more in the day to day work on the nursery, when school work allows. I was especially pleased that I was able to include some of his photographs in my book - a real family affair! His personal collections at present are eclectic, but include succulents and cacti; spares of which he hopes to sell to fund his hobby. (If you are interested, drop me an e-mail and he will get back to you). Budding entrepreneur that he is, he has also developed a passion for wood-turning and some of his handiwork is available for sale in our "customer reception building". (If the kind person who stole one of his pieces is reading this, then perhaps they would like to post him a few pounds, anonymously is fine, by way of apology. He is only 14, poor kid.)
Daughter Greta meanwhile has reached the dreaded exam years and has been tackling her GCSEs - I hope that her undoubted ability and hard work will be duly rewarded.
Some of you will already have met the latest addition to our family - Yetti. She is an adorable puppy, a Kangol or Karabash, which is an Anatolian Shepherd’s dog. She will be formidable when fully grown, so we are busy socialising her now. As if that wasn’t enough, our beautiful spotted Serengeti cat has just had a litter of 8 kittens, so we are definitely a “nursery” just now, in more ways than one! Loving homes will be required for some of these little poppets; give me a ring or drop me a line if you are interested.
As a slight diversion we are delighted to offer a very limited number (definitely on a "first come, first served" basis) of extremely high quality Lutyens style teak benches. This classical design will complement any garden and are incredibly comfortable! The perfect place to relax and enjoy the fruits of your labours! Don't worry, delivery can easily and inexpensively be arranged via our "man and van" service.
For those of you for whom it is possible, we will all(!) be delighted to welcome you to the nursery this year. Meanwhile it will be fascinating to discover what challenges the weather will bring to our gardens this summer. Whatever they are, we hope that your garden continues to bring you as much pleasure as ours does to us here.