Spring at Hillview

So far, this season has seen the 2 trainees Alice and Tom from Rodbaston College carrying out lots of new tasks to improve their horticultural skills. One task has been sowing seeds, many of which have appeared from friends and customers.  We now have several new species of Saliva (via Edward) which have been sown: it sounds very easy but some seeds need cold, others need heat while another type needs light so they have had a great deal to find out. Then pricking out requires great dexterity and good eyesight with some seedlings being minute whilst others are large and easy to separate and pot.

The weather has been playing its games again. Our first RHS propagation day was taken outside with lunch in warm sunshine but the following week was in the greenhouse battered by rain,
hail and a very cold wind. Still we did cover all the topics so those who attended have the basic knowledge from seed sowing to the advanced twin scaling of bulbs.

On the nursery, spring has come with lots of colour. The double primroses have been in flower for a couple of months and show no signs of stopping! The rest of the primulas are starting to flower too. One of our main interests, the auriculas, are in bud and will soon be flowering so their beauty should be showing by mid April. Why not come along to Ingrid’s Primula and Auricula afternoon on April 29th at 1.30, cost £5.00.

With spring here, it’s surprising that the Hellebores are still in flower just as they have been for well over 3 months.

On the “zoo” front, Maggie is now accompanying John on ever longer walks as he is in training to ascend Mt Kenya and Kilimanjaro in September.  Chilli has come out of winter hibernation in the greenhouse to meet and greet the customers as Jane, now 17, has retired from this particular job and now spends her days indoors demanding small portions of the most expensive cat food: it’s amazing how she has made us all so fluent in cat speak but we must be getting good at interpretation as we seem able to meet her demands.

Macy, Clemmy, Louis and Wain are all just having great kittenish fun, climbing trees, chasing bees and generally mucking about.

This weekend brings our first two plant sales so fingers crossed, people fed up with hearing about credit crunch and all the doom and gloom that brings, will get out and buy themselves lots of lovely plants to cheer themselves and their gardens up!