There’s always plenty to see on a British Flower Farm when Spring kicks in so this morning I picked up my camera and went for a jaunt around the nursery.
Thursday starts off with Alstromeria picking, being in heated greenhouses the Alstro has really begun to thrive now we’re getting some sunshine, in the pictures you can see Vaughan picking, Darrin is cutting his armful down in length so that they will stand in the water bins which are wheeled in to be graded on the automatic bunching machine by Lynn & Steve.
Next stop is the Misty Limonium house, this new crop is producing some very healthy looking stems, already about a meter high and just about to burst into leaf. Next to the Limonium we have the early Hybrid Delphinium house. These chaps have really responded to the change in the weather and the house is bursting with stems all reaching for the midday sun, some of these stems are already 7ft, shame we can’t sell them by the inch!!!
Looking in the first of the Stock houses and its a pretty disappointing sight. These should have been in flower by now, as you can see they are beginning to form the flower heads but they are still another week at least away from being ready. The concern is we run a tight crop rotation system and the last free house was planted out this week. This first house is due to be replanted in less than two weeks and they haven’t started flowering yet. It can take up to two weeks to pick a house once its started flowering and then it needs to be cleaned and prepared for replanting, going to be a stressful few weeks!!
The Snapdragons are also running a little late this year too. The prolonged cold and cloudy days have held a lot of the crops back. They are however looking better this year, last years grew almost unmanageably tall but this seasons are just over waist high and already starting to show colour, much much easier to pick!
Our Statice like the other crops are behind on where they should be but they have produced some very health looking plants while they’ve been waiting to flower. Sometimes if we have an early warm Spring the plants put all of their energy into producing stems leaving weak plants but this year they’ve produced some fantastic looking plants before throwing up their shoots so its looking good for a strong crop.
Finally there is life in the outdoor crops at last too. The new Phlox house has been staked and netted and is looking superb. The Astilbe house is already producing some lovely looking plants and the Astrantia and Sedums are looking nice and green. Even the Aconitum and Kniphofia we only planted two weeks ago are beginning to grow.
Its going to be a great year for British flowers, interest has never been higher and we are determined to produce the very best quality flowers we can.