Changeover to Plant Sales

We have changed the website and have stopped bare root sales and changed over to plant sales.
Thankyou to everyone that purchased bare root Hostas, we will be shipping them to you over the next few weeks.
The website only has a few potted Hosta varieties currently available but more, will be added each week as they are checked and have started growing and we know they have all done well over winter.

Garlic Drench Time

Well it is that time of year again, Valentines day, February 14th and it is time to start drenching Garlic into the pots to give you that head start for the year.
Why do we do this? Well by starting the process now it affects the eggs of slugs and snails that are in the pots and any that come into contact with the solution will not develop. Also the small black slugs that are in the pot’s soil tend to die. So by doing the drench it gives you a month or so’s head start on the season and you only have to contend with the slug/snail population that is elsewhere in yours and your neighbours gardens.
When we do the drenching we make a stronger/double solution to ensure that we thoroughly drench the pots.
Note of Caution: Never buy your garlic mixture, always make it yourself and dispose of and make fresh every 2 to 3 months. Your mixture can go off and it looses its garlic smell and becomes quite rancid! The other reason for not keeping your mixture for too long is that it can develop botulinum which can be very nasty, so always wash your hands.
How we make our Garlic.
We take 1 to 2 garlic bulbs (not cloves, but whole bulbs) This amount varies dependent on your bulb size and strength.
Cut horizontally across the middle to expose the garlic, place in a pan of water with 1 to 2 litres of water, crush and boil for 10 to 15 minutes or until it stinks the house out. You can’t over cook it and again garlic varies in strength.
Let the mixture cool.
Sieve the mixture to take the bits out and put it in a bottle.
For normal spraying mix we take about 4 table spoons to a gallon of water and spray on the leaves and soil to deter slugs and snails.
When we drench into the pots as we are doing at present we use about 6 to 8 table spoons to the gallon.
We repeat this process every week to 10 days.
Once the Hostas are in leaf we change from drenching to spraying. Remember if it rains you have to do it again, can get quite busy, but with the larger sprayers it doesn’t take too long. We tend to use 5 litre sprayers so hence the gallon amount.
Last little piece of advice, this also works on other plants that are attractive to slugs and snails, such as dahlias and delphiniums.

2 days since Hosta June was taken out.

Well it has been 2 days since June has been in the seed growing booth and as you can see it is growing fast and furious. Will try and acclimatize it outside again once the extremes of the weather have settled down. But on the positive side it is nice to see fresh Hostas leaves.

Update on the Terrarium

Well had to take one of the Hostas out of the new Terrarium as the Small Hosta in it has grown exceedingly well. I think that since the depth of soil in the Terrarium is deeper than we would normally have it hasn’t Bonsaied the Hostas as much as previous Terrariums.
So here is the one taken out a June, and the Terrarium as seen now.
We also have 2 spiders in the Terrarium at present which is keeping down the little midges which have hatched form the moss that was in the Terrarium, so a proper little eco system.

Here are our event dates for 2024

6th April – Forde Abbey Spring Plant Fair
14th April – Mapperton House -Plant Fair
27th & 28th April – Dorset Spring Show (Attending as South Hele Cross Farm)
3rd & 4th May – Powerderham Castle Tobey’s Garden Festival
11th May – Yarlington House – Plant Fair
12th May – RHS Rosemoor – Devon Plant Heritage
16th to 18th May – Devon County Show
30th May to 1st June – Royal Bath & West Show
8th & 9th June – Hellens Garden Festival
22nd & 23rd June – Axe Vale Show (Attending as South Hele Cross Farm)
14th July – South Molton Panier Market – Devon Plant Heritage
2nd & 3rd August – Taunton Flower Show
7th September – Forde Abbey Autumn Plant Fair
7th September – RHS Rosemoor – Devon Plant Heritage
27th to 29th September – RHS Malvern Show tbc

Terrarium for 2024

Well, here is the new hosta terrarium for 2024. This was put together over the weekend and is much larger than our Teapot terrariums. It was put together over the weekend after acclimatising the 3 Hostas in here. I won’t tell you what they are yet. I’ll let you discover as we go through the season.

Bare Root Hosta Sale

Our Bare Root Hosta offering will end on February 15th and we will be changing our website over to potted Hosta pricing after this date. So to celebrate the beginning of the new Hosta growing season we thought we would offer you a discount of 15% off all bare root orders.

Please note that all Bare Root Hosta orders will be dispatched either at the end of February or the beginning of March.

Review 2023 Part 4

Happy New Year to everyone! This is the final part 4 look back on 2023.

As I sit here remembering looking back at the high lights of 2023 I am reminded that we meet many of you at a lot of other shows and plant fairs not mentioned and I would just like to thank all those that came to see us, and all those that organise and support us at these other events, such as the #specialistplantfairs, the Devon Plant Heritage Group, Dorset Plant Heritage Group and Hellens Garden Festival. We enjoyed our time we spent with you.

Back to the review. The next and final big engagement for the year was attending the 3 Counties and RHS Malvern Autumn show. We hadn’t attended any RHS shows before as exhibitors and this was only the second time we had created a 3m x 3m island display, so quite daunting.

We revised our display from Taunton as a result of our feedback and input from several of our fellow exhibitors. We also received a few additional beautiful Alice art pieces from James at the Robert James Workshop to utilise on our stand. Janet had perfected her cup cakes which we shared with the public and encouraged all participants to discover all the characters from Alice on our display!

Luckily we went up on the Monday to start the build as we weren’t confident on how long it would take use to build being so far from Taunton. (By the way we went there and back each day, to the surprise and amusement of our fellow exhibitors) It was lucky we arrived when we did as the base for our display was a bit loose (to the point I could have done dives from some of the boards and possibly even got scored out of ten). The staff at the 3 counties were extremely helpful and we solidified the base and started to build.

There were no other exhibitor’s there on Monday and few there on Tuesday, but everyone started to turn up on the Wednesday.

We built away and try to get everything together, learnt lots of lessons of building displays. Everyone was encouraged to depart Thursday after lunch and I got an early night.

Couldn’t sleep well as I kept on going over all the elements I had missed etc and was sure I was going to get a Bronze.

Came in early as usual on the Friday morning and was very pleasantly surprised to see that we had got a Silver Gilt. Wow, chuffed and could relax and enjoy the coming day, the part I really enjoy which is to meet the public, entertain and educate.

I was asked several times “Did I enjoy the build”. My response was the same “No, I am proud of what we created, but the enjoyment comes when the public come.” We had some beautiful comments. We entertained loads of children, their parents and many more. We gave out a load of small cup cakes(checking before that, that was ok before handing out!)

Janet’s favourite comment was from a pair of ladies who came over and said “Now that’s what I call a show garden”, what more can you ask for.

Loved meeting everyone, a highlight finish for the year and we have a lot more going on and coming in the new year related to both Hostas and other things too. We are hoping to have an open day at our Clayhanger Site in Devon so you can come and see what we are getting up to.

Review of 2023 Part 3.

Looking back on 2023 part 3. The next major event of the year was Taunton Flower Show #TauntonFS held at the beginning of August. This was important to us for lots of reasons. It is the oldest flower show in the country, and the second oldest one in the world behind San Francisco. It was first held in 1831.

This was also an important event to us as we had won the Bellman memorial cup the previous year, this was the first time we would be undertaking a 3m x 3m island display, and finally it is our local show.

The ideas and preparation for this event had begun before Christmas 2022, where the theme of the display was picked by the family. We had always wanted an element of fun in any display that we were going to do, so the theme was The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party from Alice in Wonderland.

You won’t believe how much research went into this project. We looked into operating teapots with running water, props, china, cutlery, and I won’t tell how much selection was made on the material for the Hats and table cloth for the table.
As part of our research we were lucky to meet a local artist who does stunning bronze sculptures and water pieces. James Coplestone from Robert James Workshop #robertjamesltd. We loved his work so much we purchased a small piece and he allowed us a loan of his wonderful Mad Hatter water feature.

Taunton Flower Show is a 2 day event, we had a truly brilliant first day with loads of children and adults alike enjoying our display. And I can remember the reactions of several of the visitors vividly, even now as I write this. So I think we managed to achieve one of James’ sayings “Let us enchant you!”

On the Second day we certainly had quite an experience. There was a big storm, lots of wind. People being ushered out of the Marquee as lights and sides of it came tumbling down. The marshals did a great job of keeping everyone safe. Something else to remember! So overall we had a wonderful time, a memorable time and by the way we got a Gold.