A shaky start, but 2021 is firmly established


What a strange time we live in. It has been months since we’ve seen anyone else in the greenhouse. I’ve been working away in there since the new year, going through every pot, dead-heading, depotting, checking for pests, pruning, taking cuttings, collecting seed, and repotting where required. As of today, 30th March, I’ve completed nearly 2000 plants.

There are a few tiny flower buds starting to appear, but the signs, inside and outside the greenhouse, are that the spring season is about 2 or 3 weeks later than it was last year. Our daffodils are just newly out in flower.

There was a minor disaster in February. We saw the coldest temperature for 25 years, when it got down to minus 15 degrees C outside (it was recorded to minus 23 degrees C a little further west). During the night, our electricity supply RCD tripped, and the greenhouse heating therefore stopped. The inside temperature plummeted and wasn’t discovered until I went down in the morning. I lost a few nice plants including some Crassula, Begonia and Aeonium which were too close to the glass. Thankfully all of the National Collection came out of it unscathed, being cold-hardy mountain plants.

In the hope that we can eventually get some visitors again (things are looking optimistic in the news; but I daren’t hold my breath) I’ve continued with the usual transplanting of seedlings, taking what we need for the collection and putting the rest on the sales table. That table is currently groaning under the weight of a thousand or so plants. Check the “sales” page of this website to see which ones are available.

As well as that, I’ve planted around 500 packs of seed, from specialist nurseries in Europe, so there should be a good list of spare plants in a couple of years’ time!