News from the nursery January 21
What a crazy year 2020 has been, with some joy and also sadness.
In February 3 weeks the nursery was flooded again, many plants were underwater. We were lucky in the house as the water only reached the floorboards, no facilities, several houses nearby were flooded out.
Then came the covid!
Luckily weather-wise the spring was very good. Lovely sunny days, plants and wildlife flourished although the Pleione flowers last longer if cooler. Outside the blossom in the orchard was amazing, the Dactylorizas surprised us with their flower display, as they had been submerged for three weeks. We had an abundance of wild birds with goldfinches feeding all year. The Disas flowered well in the flower colours were excellent. In late May, Dave and Tracy planted out 100 dahlia plants for exhibition in the autumn, then the shows were all cancelled. We had a lovely display of flowers, with the bees enjoying the, collerettes. The flowers were bunched and left at the gate for donations, the RNLI and York’s air ambulance benefited. The dahlias flowered well into October
We had many hedgehogs feeding nightly some into December.
During the year two friends who were excellent Orchid growers have died Stuart Knox from Teeside who won many awards locally and nationally for his specimen plants and Howard Taylor from South Yorks who specialised in Disas. We also lost our dear friend Sue Watson who looked after the nursery when we were at shows or away. She loved helping with the Disas and Pleionies but admitted she didn’t like watering the Disas, she loved the cats. We had some very cold nights, the temperature dropped to read minus 7° in the greenhouse, despite this the Disa Unilangley has put up a flower stem. We are once again in danger of flooding from the River Aire.
Recently we had 16 blackbirds feeding on apples in the garden, long tailed tits, blue tits and goldfinches the seed feeders and fat balls all at the same time, very pleasing as we like to encourage wildlife.
We send out our best wishes to friends and customers for 2021, but please note we are no longer able to supply the EU.
News from the nursery May 2019
After a mild winter, with only a few nights of sharp frosts, the Disas have budded up well. The early varieties like the D.UnilLangley and D.Collett Cywes `Blush` should be in flower by mid-May.
We have given the Disas a very dilute high nitrogen feed in their water in April to help flower growth.
Although we are not attending any flower shows this year, we are still growing and catering for all the Disas as before, we also have some seedlings which require special attention and division.
Most of the Pleiones have flowered well, we hope to add some additional varieties to our autumn list.
The outdoor Orchids are looking well. Tracey’s dahlias been slow to send up cuttings, perhaps due to some cold nights in April.
We have had an abundance of garden birds feeding all winter. Gold-finches, Blue tits, Great tits, Longtailed tits, Blackbirds, Robins and sparrows still feeding daily. Many have nested nearby. Unfortunately the magpies have killed the chicks of the Gold-finches and Blue tits. Too little owls have been found dead nearby. It always upsets us to lose birds and animals.
On the good news Blackbirds, Wrens and Robins have hatched young the Disa house and a Longtailed tit is sitting on eggs in the rhubarb forcer.
Buzzards are still seen close by. TheTawny owl often keeps us awake at night. We have a pair of resident pheasants called Fuzzy and Fiona, who like to clean up under the birdfeeders. We take great pleasure from watching all the wildlife on our nursery, try our best to care for them. The orchard and the wildflower areas are good for the bees.
Our Disas give us so much pleasure we hope you also enjoye them. We are still selling plants by mail order and are available for questions and advice via the telephone.
Have a good growing season.
News from the nursery. Late Sept 2018
What a cold, dull and wet spring we had, which delayed the early flowering Disas. D unilangley was the 1st to flower, closely followed by D. kewensis ‘May’.
Then came the heatwave, with soaring temperatures, it was impossible to keep the greenhouses cool. So the amount of watering was increased trying keep the roots wet and cool. It takes four days to water all the Disa plants, so Dave had a constant merry-go-round watering for most of the summer. Although the foliage suffered with the extreme heat, looking pale green and untidy, the flowers thrived in the heat, producing some fantastic intense colours, possibly the best display of colour and flowers we have ever had. The downside being that the flowering season was much shorter and was finished by mid July. Very dilutive liquid feed can be given in the early autumn. As autumn progresses shorten flower stems and remove brown leaves.
Our Pleiones enjoyed the cool spring weather and flowered well, the flowers lasting for a longer time. Stop watering the Pleiones at the end of September and remove the leaves as they turn brown. Keep dry for winter.
The field Dackylorizas flowered really well with over 40 flower spikes.
In spring our first fruit orchard was a mass of beautiful blossom, resulting in an abundance of apples and pears.
Tracy’s dahlias have grown well and she has exhibited at several Northern shows with much success, turning the clock back full circle, as we started exhibiting with dahlias nearly 50 years ago. The collerette dahlias, which are open centred are a fantastic magnet for attracting bees and butterflies and asset for any garden.
We have continued to feed the garden birds all summer and provide water, we’ve been rewarded by the numbers of birds in the nursery. The goldfinches have been a lovely site. Llittle owls and buzzards have bred nearby, we have watched them with their young a real treat. Hedgehogs have been fed and watered all summer and we’ve had an increasing number appearing each evening.
Health-wise this year has been troublesome, Mary having eye operations in March and then and knee replacement in June, were hoping for continuing improvements.
We are still continuing to grow Disas and Pleiones on the nursery and will continue to sell them mail-order. At the present time we have no plans to exhibit at the shows. Please remember we are available to answer your questions and queries on the telephone.
We thank you for your interest in diesels and hope these lovely flowers will come 10 you to give you pleasure.
News from the nursery November 2017
The Disas flowered well, although the flowering season finished early, perhaps due to the changeable weather. We flowered really nice seedlings and many made an appearance at the RHS Tatton Park.
Continue to water the Disas, late autumn is time to remove the old brown leaves and stems please remember to keep the Disas damp throughout winter. Protect from frost.
Our final Pleione watering is done by the end of September, which allows the compost to dry out before winter. Remove pleione leaves as they turn brown.
We have had an abundance of garden birds throughout the summer, we are thrilled to see the return of wagtails to the greenhouses.
Daughter Tracey has grown an area of dahlias on the nursery. The collerette dahlias have been a magnet for bees and butterflies their open centres are perfect for obtaining nectar. Hedgehogs are still feeding regularly and the owls are still calling, newts and frogs are in the greenhouses.
Because of the variable weather, some plants are doing strange things, like the Magnolia grandiflora, which flowered in July (its normal time) and is now flowering again in late October.
In previous years are spring and summer have been devoted to growing and exhibiting Disas the shows. As we have decided not to exhibit in 2018, we hope to have more time to enjoy the flowers and wildlife around us.
In August we attended the funeral of Les at Kirk Merrington, County Durham what a great gentleman.
We first met Les in the early 1990s when he gave a talk to Sheffield ought Orchid Society on South African disas. What an inspiration.
He was so knowledgeable about diesels, growing them himself and travelling to South Africa with his South African wife Dawn, seeing them growing in their nave native habitat and meeting all the top South African growers.
Over the years Les has become a dear friend Les was always willing to share his great knowledge and his love of Disas with other people. Each year at Raby Orchid show, he would come to our display and sit and answer questions on Disas. In 2016 wheelchair nearly blind (age 94) he still came and chatted to the public about Disas.
What a privilege to know Les, he was our inspiration and a great loss to the Disas world.
News from the Nursery October 2017
The winter was mild, cloudy, so the plants are struggled for daylight. In early March the Disas had started to produce buds. Sunshine was required to encourage new growth. A weak liquid feed was given. Late March and most of April was dull with cold nights, which slowed down bud development and growth. We had only three Disas in flower for Raby in early May. Plant stems seem to have grown very long, due to the low light levels.
Then came Sonny June, when temperatures soared and flowers appeared and opened at a rapid rate. The colours are magnificent, really vibrant and inspiring.
We have unfortunately had to withdraw our entry from Hampton Court show, due to family reasons please accept our apologies.
Many new Disa seedlings starting to flower some look very promising.
Our outdoor area of self seeded Dactyloriza are growing well with over 40 spikes of flowers ranging in colour from pale pink to purple.
We have had an abundance of wild birds using the feeders in the garden during winter and spring. Long-tailed tits have enjoyed the peanuts, as well as the Blue Tits and many Goldfinches are still feeding on the Niger seed.
Blackbirds, Wrens and Robins have all nested in the greenhouses. Sparrows and Swallows nesting in the sheds. Little owls are still calling close by. Bats are still enjoying the warm evenings what a lovely abundance of wildlife we have.