It finally feels as if winter is fading away and the hopeful feeling of spring is in the air. Snowdrops have come and gone, while crocus are leading into Daffodils. These all herald the unstoppable spring that has been hampered by some icy blasts. Thankfully even during the coldest nights we had at the nursery temperatures did not fall low enough for long enough to cause much damage to our slightly more tender plants like young Olive trees and Bay, both of which have come through without so much as a frost-bitten branch. Due to weather and many other factors our new garden centre building has not been finished as quickly as we had all hoped, but progress is good and it looks like it will not be too long before we can offer you a wider range of products including more house/ tender plants which have been much requested over the winter and we are really looking forward to putting together some inspiring shop displays for you all to enjoy.
In the Garden Centre, we have been busy over the winter and completed re-potting everything in the nursery by late January. Salad crops have been slowly growing away under cover all winter to provide the coffee shop with fresh salad leaves, which our customers are now enjoying with their meals. We have had a lot of great feedback regarding our salads, there really is nothing like grown on site and freshly picked. We are now looking forward to summer and have sown three different types of coloured cherry tomato as well as some more exotic South American vegetables including Tomatillo and Jicama as we like to try new things at Tuddenham. If we are successful with these crops will offer them to customers to taste. So far the Tomatillo have sprouted well and we are still waiting for the emergence of the Jicama.
As for the beds and boarders around the nursery, we have had a disaster with our tulips in the new beds being eaten by a small hungry deer. That aside we have really been working hard the past few weeks to produce plants for our new extensive garden borders, which will consist largely of a theme of plants that give a long season of interest over the summer months as well as being bee friendly. With combinations of different taller growing ornamental grasses with Dahlias or Cosmos, we currently have a large number of just sprouted seedlings and splits for use in our big sky meadow inspired boarders that should thrive in the sun drenched surrounds the nursery. All of the plants in the borders we do offer for sale in pots or cell packs but do purchase early as although we make effort to restock the plants we display we often sell out of them fast and things like cosmos are best purchased at the seedling stage between mid-April and the end of May.
There are many jobs for Spring. Seed sowing, clearing, splitting and soil preparation. One job I often do at this time of year is plant established potted plants. The worst of the weather has passed yet it is still cool and with plenty of showers, which is a great moment for things to really get settled in. We have just had a brand new consignment of roses arrive and this would be a great moment to plant one. We also have some wonderful spring bloomers such as Forsythia, Magnolia and Cherries which are just about to start looking their very best, so do stop in for some tea and come and talk to us about our wonderful plants.