MAD AS A MARCH HARE!

By Jill | March 26th, 2011

The end of a mad week here at Crown Nursery!!  

The period between the end of March and early April is an incredibly busy time  – customers are all rushing in getting the last of the bare-root items planted – potting is going on at a furious rate of  bare-root trees for autumn sales and rootballed items before they come into leaf.

On the nursery David and myself have potted some very large – and incredibly heavy!! – pines for autumn sales – as well as several other larger trees.   Liz and Sue are pushing on with the shrub sales area – making everything look beautiful in their usual neat way. 

On the landscape side – Brian and Simon are flying around doing lots of planting jobs and creating garden makeovers.

Dick – our incredibly versatile maintenance and irrigation man is already well ahead of schedule on re-instating the irrigation system over the nursery – a surprising lack of rainfall recently means we are having to start irrigating stock much earlier than normal.

This week has also seen a big push on the final stages of pruning of our fruit trees – time is almost over for winter pruning of apple trees as the buds start to swell – it is already too late for the pears – which are approaching flowering  – so the secateurs are always near at hand!

So – as you can see – we never get bored here at Crown Nursery – soon shrub cuttings will start – there is a new tree bay to build – potting on will continue all summer – and of course there is also the small matter of the Suffolk Show stand to consider – but that is another story!!

The clocks go forward tonight – which of course will allow us all more time in our gardens – I view it with a mixed feeling – yes – it is nice to be able to see my own garden in daylight for a change – but it does show up all the work that needs doing!!

I often see the hares dancing around in the fields on the way to work – they jump and run round and round in circles – seemingly never getting anywhere – bit like nursery work then!!

UNTIL NEXT TIME – ENJOY THE EXTRA DAYLIGHT!

RICHARD

 

THE LAST CHANCE SALOON!

By Jill | March 18th, 2011

Here we are into the back end of March – and time for planting new bare-root hedging and trees is almost over – our bare-root hedging is now virtually sold out – although our Special Offer on Field Maple continues for now. 

The trouble is that as the temperature rises – the buds start to open – and the moisture pull on the roots is active – bare-root plants have to grow these roots first – so you have only another week or so  to get any bare-root fruit trees, soft fruit or hedging into the ground.

Container-grown fruit trees, shrubs and other items can be planted up to the end of April – but again – the sooner they go in the ground, the sooner they can start to root.

A busy week on the nursery – potting of bare-root trees for autumn sales is almost complete – and we are about to start potting of evergreens and those ‘softer’ items that prefer to have a spring makeover.

We have split and freshened up our Perennial sales area – and some nice new shrub items are starting to drift out of the tunnels.   There is much to look foward to in the next few weeks – but make sure you are ahead of the game this spring – you get nothing for being behind!!

UNTIL NEXT TIME,

RICHARD

 

MARCHIN’ FORWARD

By Jill | March 7th, 2011

Into March – the final month of winter – and the first of spring – the month of change!

Or to put it another way – the old Suffolk saying ‘ In like a Lion – Out Like a Lamb’ – is often mentioned.  But the honest truth is that it is a bit of a lottery what you get – but the promise of spring is there!!

Lighter evenings and birdsong in the morning – buds bursting – sap rising!! 

There – that’s all the positive stuff over – a lot of customers are now venturing out into their plot – and finding big losses on shrubs due to the bad weather over winter – it seems to have particularly affected the evergreens – Ceanothus, Choisya, Rosemary, Lavender – while some of these may regenerate – it is worth remembering that many of them are short-lived in actual fact – and after 10-12 years they are often past their best.

However, if they are younger – it may well be worth giving them the benefit of the doubt for the time being.  Try the ‘scratch the bark test’ – scrape the edge off the bark with a sharp knife – on a main branch – and if it is still light green underneath – there is still life there – so keep the spade at bay for a few more weeks!!  If it is brown and orange-coloured – wield the spade straight away before disease spreads!!!

We are now taking orders for ASPARAGUS  plants – these are always very popular – Asparagus is one of the gems of the vegetable world – and late March/early April is the time to plant once the soil has warmed up a bit.    We do not expect to have the crowns in stock before the end of the month – but do order early to avoid disappointment – since stock is limited.

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