Plants for the Perfect English Garden

The Walled Garden, Saxmundham, Suffolk. IP17 1JB
Tel:01728 602510

Jim’s Jottings2017-04-18T12:14:03+01:00

Jim’s Jottings

For three years, I wrote a monthly article for a local magazine. My aim was to tell a bit more about what goes on behind the scenes on a nursery and to dispel the idea that plant production is an easy task. It is, of course quite the opposite .In a lifetime of working on nurseries you accumulate a large number of skills in administration, finance, computing, building and machinery and above all, in learning what makes plants grow well. I have been persuaded that it would be a good idea to use this newsletter to give a glimpse of what generally goes unseen.

1904, 2017

The busy season

By |April 19th, 2017|Categories: Jims Jottings|Comments Off on The busy season

Jim’s Jotting for April   It can be hard to fathom which are the climatic factors which make the nursery busy in March. After the winter customer drought, I am always relieved when the thermometer climbs above 10°. Whilst I don’t regard this March as particularly warm, sunshine levels have been higher than normal and there has been no night frost. As sunshine is my power source, growth results and this year plenty of it. That all makes for good sized and healthy plants. Sunny weather results in low humidity and that results in low incidence of fungal disorders. But above all, the greatest impact of this frost free March has been in the preservation and longevity of that glorious feast of spring: the rich and exuberant blossom of magnolias, Rhododendrons, Corylopsis, Camellias and Cherries. On a difficult day, I had the privilege of walking a garden full of [...]

903, 2017

Sowing and pricking out…

By |March 9th, 2017|Categories: Jims Jottings|Comments Off on Sowing and pricking out…

Pricking out; the process of putting a single seedling into a cell or pot was in my college days an essential skill. Nowadays, the total mechanisation, mass production of and distribution of plants in trays of up to 300 cells has vastly reduced the importance of this skill. Allowing the seedlings to grow for an additional two days while a ‘pricker outer’ is off work, makes the task of pricking them out slow and with a loss of quality. I therefore grabbed the opportunity to purchase a secondhand seeding machine from an old college friend. He swore it was the best thing he every bought and the results had funded 30 bird watching and ringing trips around the world. It is much easier to germinate seeds in February than from mid March on. It is easy to provide heat when it is cold. When germinating seeds are covered in plastic, [...]

2701, 2017


By |January 27th, 2017|Categories: Jims Jottings|Comments Off on January…

We are almost at the end of January, a moment that is highly significant as on the final day, I can walk home in good light, even on a cloudy day, though even at this time of the year, 5pm is an early finishing time. In the soil, despite the freezing temperatures, there will just be the slightest root growth, and though average temperatures in January and February are very similar, the light levels certainly increase. And this sends a powerful message to me; Get moving, spring is coming and there is a lot to do. You have only to look in the carpark of your local supermarkets to realise that the art of pruning is largely lost; it has degenerated into a form of cutting where the only object is to decrease plant size. If we cut our hair in the same fashion, we would revert to the pudding [...]

612, 2016

Happy Christmas…

By |December 6th, 2016|Categories: Jims Jottings|Comments Off on Happy Christmas…

Just 3 weeks away from the shortest day, I hear the forecasters say that winter has begun. It’s not the temperature that dictates the rhythm of life so much as the hours of daylight. My intention was to carry on with British Summer Time, getting up nice and early and leaving work as it became dark. However, with time in the office now dominating my working life, this intention soon went as I found myself working into the evening. My evening winter preoccupation is geared to preparing for spring and the production of colour header cards. In our years of trading we have written descriptions for over 5000 plants. We now have the technology to print colour onto plastic cards and we need to get the cultural and descriptive information onto a card together with a picture and symbols for the plant’s use. Starting with shrubs, these will provide the [...]

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