Garden School:

Garden School:
Teaching this week: Nothing: my Trainee is on holiday!

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Tues: Another grim day...

...of rain and cold wind.  Cor,  the wind had knives in it today - significantly colder than yesterday. So much for spring approaching!

No work for me today, but I took the opportunity to get on with some preparation for year-end accounts - mmm, fun - and I took another half-dozen  pots of tiny Tete a tete daffodils up to my sales bench at Dews Meadow.

I love these little guys - mine aren't quite as far opened as these ones, but the photo I took of them was so dim and grey that it really wasn't worth showing, so I stole this one from the internet. Mwaaah haaa haaa! Whoops, maniacal laughter, so early in the post? Whatever next.

I've spent most of the afternoon working on a report, which involved a bit of research, which lead to some fascinating finds - you know how you start looking up one thing, find a second, which leads to a third....

For instance, did you know that parsnips can be seriously bad for you? If you leave them in the ground over winter, which we all do, and then don't lift them until the following spring/summer, be careful how you handle them:  if you break the stems and get the sap on bare skin, and the sunlight falls on those areas, you could be in for a nasty bout of blistering.

No, I didn't know that either until today, and I thought I was fairly well-informed on poisonous plants. One day I'm planning to have a garden full of poisonous plants -  I have been assembling my list of plants for some time now, it's onto the second page of my notebook, and they still keep on cropping up. All I need is a bigger garden...

Oh, and at last my Hellebores (oriental) are flowering: this is such a relief, now there's a chance that I might actually be able to sell some of them!  However, I'm keeping all the darkest purple ones, and the whitest white ones, as I want these for myself.

I'm still working on finding just the right balance between growing the plants - which I love - and selling the plants - which I hate. And when I do, I will need to have decided on my speciality. That was an early lesson from KH days - it's no good just offering "a  load of stuff", you need to specialise, so that people will come to you for the specific thing that you are offering. Otherwise they just wander round, admiring everything as though you were an Open Garden with free entry....

...and just possibly, I might choose to specialise in the colours black and white. Black being purple, of course, and this will include foliage and stems as well as flowers. I'd like to find a speciality that lent itself to a catchy name, but I'm sure I can work something out with those two colours as my main focus. Oh, and ornamental trees, of course. I love my trees. And topiary, really love topiary. No, it's not going to be easy, is it?!

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