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.