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.

Reviewing 2023 Part 2

Looking back on 2023, the next major event for us was attending and putting together a small display for the Devon County Show.

This was our first floral marquee, normally we end up outside and I particularly remember one event where we were almost blown away. Couldn’t put up a pergola as it was too windy and we had to use the banners as wind breaks to protect us and the plants. Needless to say we didn’t rush back to that one again.

The Devon Show was a wonderful experience where we didn’t have to worry about the weather. We were going to put a display on, but there was some confusion about the booking and so we took a small 1m x 1m display and some more tables, and so we weren’t judged.

We did several talks over the 2 days, a bit different from the one we did at Tobeys Gardenfest at Powderham Castle where we were stuck on stage with a short lead for the microphone and ended up throwing the samples into the audience to willing participants. I should be quite clear we didn’t throw the gravel sample as that would have been asking too much.

Checking after the flooding

Did the inspection rounds as the flooding had prevented me from visiting our Milverton and Clayhanger Sites.

We start feeding the birds this time of year, especially when it gets colder and they were waiting for me.

The #hostas have all been put to bed over the last week or two, as part of this process we get to check the growth of them and there are some really good looking Empress Wu, Big Daddy, Formal Attire, Silver Wedding, Sea Dream, Queen of the Seas, Wundergolds looking very good for next year. Lots of other ones are doing well, but I particularly noted these. Also funnily enough our Hosta Big Boys are still hanging on!

At the Clayhanger site had to run the tractor for a while to keep it turning over and clear up and put on their sides some Dahlias.

Next year looks really exciting.

Show year Review 2023

As we come towards the end of 2023 I thought it would be nice to look back on the years show highlights and take stock of what we have achieved this year. Especially as the weather turns darker and colder.

The first thing we did was attend the RHS training course held at the beginning of May at the RHS Malvern Spring Show.

Before you are allowed to show at RHS shows you have to undertake a training day with them. This is to ensure that we conform with their show guidelines, learn techniques and gain experience from established show exhibitors and look behind the scenes as an RHS show is being built.

On the day we were there it thundered and there was torrential rain. Ironically whilst we were there it hail stoned back at our Milverton site and half our stock and larger plants which we would have used for displays for the year were shredded.