Monday, 23 November 2015

Stormy Weather

With storm Barney hitting the coast of Aberystwyth at the end of last week we jetted off to the sunny climes of Cyprus.  We are very grateful to have some fantastic friends looking after the nursery for us and are very grateful to them for doing so.  

Monday, 16 November 2015

Cold and Wet

This week we've been busy in the office, although we still like to get outside if we can, but there is becoming less and less to do out there now.  We do inspect the plants on a daily basis just to make sure all is well.  A lot of them are now going in to winter dormancy with their foliage dying back.  Its a good time to inspect their crowns and make sure they are firm before going in to their winter rest, the plants can then be protected with mulch.

Plants in pots are more vulnerable to winter cold and wet.  If you have any plants in pots its a good idea to wrap them up with fleece and move them to somewhere sheltered.  You can also group pots together for added protection, and if your pots aren't frost-proof its a good idea to tie bubble wrap around them for insulation.  Remember pots that absorb water are more likely to crack if the water then freezes as it will expand.  

The other important thing to do is to label your pots, particularly if you have a lot of them.  Unless you have a very good memory, you might find you forget what was planted in them.  Of course you may have photographs of them which can act as a visual reminder.  Here at the nursery we are busily making sure all our pots for sale are labelled and safe from too much cold and wet, but we still like to make sure there is plenty of air circulating around them so they don't suffer from disease.  

Looking good at the nursery this week:

Phormium 'Evening Glow'

Carex testacea

Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens'

Thank you for dropping by.

Until next time.

Rob & Debs

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Monday, 9 November 2015

Rain, Rain, Rain

Well as you may have guessed from the title, its been a very rainy week here in Aberystwyth.  Preparations for the winter are now in full force.  One or two Delphiniums are still flowering but the rest have been cut down ready for their winter rest and topped with mulch to protect the crowns.  The flowers of Geranium 'Rozanne' = 'Gerwat' PBR are now coming to an end and the foliage is dying back. No wonder it was selected for plant of the centenary for the decade 1993-2002, it is such a strong flowering plant and gives a good show right through the season.  We cant wait until it re-emerges again next spring.

The deciduous grasses won't be cut back until the spring.  Their straw coloured seed heads add an extra dimension in the winter, providing height, but also protecting the plant crowns from frost and wet.  They have the added benefit of providing temporary homes to help the insect population overwinter and also look spectacular on a frosty morning.         

We are watching the weather very carefully now, we don't want to be caught out by frost.  We've got the fleece at the ready for the plants that will be staying outdoors.  Being in pots they are more vulnerable to the extremes that the Welsh coastal weather brings.  

Plants looking good at the nursery right now are:  

Heucherella 'Sweet Tea'

Heucherella 'Alabama Sunrise'

Helleborus 'Double Queen Mixed'

Thank you for visiting our blog today.  Until next time, wrap up warm and enjoy the last of the autumn colour before winter sets in.

Take care

Rob and Debs.

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Sunday, 1 November 2015

Daylight Fading

This week started off cool and wet with some blustery winds but ended warm, sunny, dry and surprisingly calm here in Aberystwyth.  There's not much going on in the nursery in the late afternoons now that the clocks have gone back and British Summer Time has come to an end.  We have to make sure we get on with things earlier in the mornings so we get the best of the daylight and any sunshine that might peek through the grey clouds.  

We have been cutting back the dying foliage of our herbaceous perennials, and topping the pots with bark mulch.  Not only does this protect the crowns from the forthcoming winter cold, but it discourages moss and lichens from growing on the damp soil, stops the plants getting too waterlogged, (many plants don't like their necks in water), and it looks good too.  

Many shrubs are coming into their own right now, with the stems of Cornus beginning to colour up, and plants like Skimmia and Viburnum starting to come into bud.  Evergreen shrubs are a valuable addition to an 'all seasons' garden, and of course many provide a winter feast for our native birds.  We like to encourage wildlife into the area, so we are making sure the birds have plenty to eat as well as what they find in the wild, we are supplementing them with wild bird food in the form of mixed seed, peanuts and fat balls.  We have lots of Great Tits, Blue Tits, Magpies and even a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker visiting our bird feeders.  If you are feeding wildlife make sure you are giving them suitable food. 

Looking good in our nursery this week: 

Heucherella Tapestry

Tiarella Pink Skyrocket 

Helleborus Double Queen Mixed

We've had some Halloween fun too, carving pumpkins and getting dressed up to ride the Rheidol Valley Ghost Train which goes up to Devils Bridge....Very scary, but loads of fun.  

Thank you for reading our blog this week.  

See you next time.

Rob & Debs 

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