Early July

During the period June to August most of the available space is taken up with Stock plants and our autumn cut flower crops.

During the course of the next year we will be creating tours around the nursery for different 3 month periods, these will give the viewer an impression of what goes on in a working nursery. Please remember we are not a garden center and as such pay less attention to the window dressing that goes with a garden center, on a real nursery plant pots do blow around and plants do get blown over when it is windy as any grower will testify. So while we endeavour to keep the place tidy things will invariably get missed. Enjoy the tour, but plese be aware it may take time to download all the images due to the sheer size of the nursery.

At first glance the nursery appears quite small certainly the main car park is small but apearances can be deceiving.
The first stop on the tour is what we term the top house (because it is at the highest point on the yard).

 

 At this time of year we are coming to the end of the bedding plant
season and have comenced our end of season sale. Irrigation in this  greenhouse is by automatic overhead sprinklers that work well provided we change the battery periodically..

 

 

 

 

 From the top house we progress further down the yard coming past the  sales beds for alpines and specimen plants.

 We then find the door to the pot plant house open. Upon entering it can be  seen there are fuchsias, Hostas, Diascia and al manner of hardy plants  dotted about the benches.  We will shortly be removing these plants to our  outside standing ground  and using this greenhouse for growing on next  years stock plants for baskets and containers.

 We then find the door to the pot plant house open. Upon entering it can be  seen there are fuchsias, Hostas, Diascia and al manner of hardy plants  dotted about the benches.  We will shortly be removing these plants to our  outside standing ground  and using this greenhouse for growing on next  years stock plants for baskets and containers.

 

 

A little further on and our way is blocked, under this shade hall can be seen  some of the many unusual plants and new developments such as this  variegated Helebourus Niger or Christmas Rose.

 

 

 

 

Whats this? a vineyard? This Grape vine is aproximately 6 years old and    presently produces  about 5 cwt of grapes per year 250KG.. somewhere in  excess of 300 bunches.  This greenhouse is also used as a holding area for  new varieties as yet un propagated that  will be introduced into  mainstream production in future years.

 

 

Further on and we can see the Penstemon sales bed on display are  approximately 30 varieties alongside which are the Garden Mums in 12  varieties.

 

 

 

 

To the left are the Azelea mollis and Camelia collections of which there are  ten varieties of each respectively.

 

 

 

 

 

Our next port of call on the tour is the shrub and Perrenial sales beds these  hold on average 100 varieties of each type at any one time.

 

 

 

 

This next greenhouse is the one of interest for all you dahlia growers, this is  where 90% of the dahlia propagation is carried out. Although there are few  Dahlias in here at the moment (most are now planted) this greenouse  produces aproximately 30,000 Dahlia young plants per annum in around  180 varieties. The bench in front of you is the mist propagator and the  benches to the left are stock holding benches. In July once the benches are  clear we bring the Geranium stock plants in to start propagation of next  years Geranium plants.

 

This next shot shows some of Pedro Harkers dahlias (he still seems to be  unsure of the use of a line and can’t use a hammer to save his life). The  plants where planted about the first of june and are growing well (this shot  was taken on July 5th)

 

 

 

Further still and we come to one of the cold frames, this is used for holding  pot tubers. Behind the coldframe and onto the next growing bed we meet  Don Sutcliffe and Morris White discussing Dahlias with Ivor Jones.[divider]  From here we enter what we term the bottom house, at present in the process of being planted with a crop of november flowering spray Chrysanthemums and Christmas sprays and blooms.

Next are tunnels 1&2 holding october flowering spray Chrysanthemums and in tunnel 2 the jungle that is our stock plants of unusual plants, Penstemmons and other Oddities.

 

Alongside the Tunnels is the main standing out area which holds up to  25,000 1 litre and 2 litre Shrubs and Perennials, Watering is automatically  controlled from a building 200metres away where most of our automatic  controllers are housed.

In the distance is our primary dahlia growing ground with capacity for in  excess of 2,000 plants.

 

Here is a view of our primary Dahlia growing ground, note the black  phormisol covering that the plants are growing through. This is somewhat  experimental, we have used this method in the past on inside crops of  dahlias growing under glass. It is the first time we have tried this system  outside and on this sort of scale. The benefits to be had from this are  improved weed supression and better moisture retention.

 

The phormisol membrane is permiable to water and allows the ground to  breathe. The main problem we have encountered is when plants are small  the wind can lift the membrane over the top of young plants and damage  leaves and growing tips, hence the use of a large number of ground staples.

 

 

 

The next stop on the tour is the goldfish pond! or as some people term it the  lake, built in 1992 it holds 500,000 gallons of water and is 8 feet deep at it’s  deepest point. It was stocked with 12 goldfish, 12 golden orfe and 12 tench  in late 1992 and at present we estimate there to be in excess of 2,000 fish in  it. They have been busy!

 

 

Past the pond is the last stop on the tour, This is the latest addition to the  nursery, a new polytunnel it is 27 feet wide and 60 feet long. At present it is  planted with early spray Chrysanthemums and a few Dahlias. During the  early spring this tunnel is home to the bedding plant production unit and  can turn out up to 100,000 plants over an 8 week period.

 

 

That is provided the geese don’t get in!

 

 

 

 

 

Visitors to the nursery are welcome to view the Dahlias and Chrysanthemums during their respective flowering periods from August up until Christmas.