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Author Topic: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash  (Read 85794 times)

Neil

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Re: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« Reply #30 on: January 13, 2013, 08:34:14 PM »
I suppose I should then add them to the compost, never thought about doing that before.
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ichristie

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Re: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« Reply #31 on: January 15, 2013, 07:39:27 PM »
Hello again, hope the show goes well Tim, I remember in my younger days when I worked in one of the best garden shops in Scotland that the bulb planting compost and compost for pots, tubs without holes in the bottom always had eggshells in it I was assured that this prevented the compost from going sour some compost also had charcoal for same reasons,  cheers Ian the Christie kind
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brianw

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Re: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« Reply #32 on: January 15, 2013, 11:30:33 PM »
we collect all the leaves to compost except the Ash and Sycamore which are very toxic,

Toxic to what Ian? Plants or animals? Sycamore is tapped like sugar maple in some places I believe.
Edge of Chiltern hills, 25 miles west of London, England

Tim Ingram

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Re: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« Reply #33 on: January 16, 2013, 11:06:44 AM »
We had a short debate about this on the AGS discussion pages and I think the size and texture of sycamore leaves means they tend to 'layer' and break down much more slowly than beech or oak (I called these the 'caviar' of leafmoulds!). Over a couple of years any potential toxins in sycamore leaves are likely to be degraded. Sycamore leaves are a lot more annoying to collect in the garden though - we tend to use a rotary mower which breaks them up nicely.
Dr. Timothy John Ingram. Nurseryman & gardener with strong interest in plants of Mediterranean-type climates and dryland alpines. Garden in Kent, UK. www.coptonash.plus.com

ChrisD

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Re: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« Reply #34 on: January 16, 2013, 02:23:00 PM »
Tim - a fascinating story, it is great to see your steady progress and I look forward to visiting when you are open for business.

I am always interested to hear about peoples experience with compost and leafmould, particularly which leaves you can and which you shouldnt use. The garden here has several trees in and around, and each year I make something like a cubic metre of leafmould (thats the volume when collected and stacked - it decreases as the rotting process occurs). Any excess leaves then get added to the compost heap. I heard recently that Walnut (Juglans regia) leaves contained a toxin and shouldnt be added to compost heaps (or presumably to make leafmould either). There does seem to be a logical reason for this, the Black Walnut (Juglans nigra) in particular, produces a compound called Juglone which inhibits the growth of other plants. It is apparently also produced by the Common Walnut too, but not in the same amounts. I have been using significant quantities of Walnut leaves to make leafmould and/or compost for 15 years without suspecting that I was causing any problems. I suspect that once the compost/leafmould is spread round the garden the concentrations of any toxins are insignificant. (I dont use these composts/leafmould) for germinating seeds

I had never heard that ash and sycamore were to be avoided, does anyone have ideas (in addition to sycamore layering idea mentioned above)?

To me the key to good leafmould (in particular) is too have a variety of different leaves and mix them well.

Chris
Letchworth Garden City, England

Lesley Cox

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Re: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« Reply #35 on: January 17, 2013, 11:52:56 PM »
Just discovered this thread and it will be very relevant to me as I start on my own new nursery within a very few week now.
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

Tim Ingram

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Re: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« Reply #36 on: January 21, 2013, 06:12:23 PM »
The weather has put a bit of a hold on activities for the time being. It puts a wholly different complexion on the garden and slows things down. I was dismayed to see an economist blaming the snow for x million pounds loss to the economy, as though the sun should shine every day! There can be few economists who are also gardeners.
Dr. Timothy John Ingram. Nurseryman & gardener with strong interest in plants of Mediterranean-type climates and dryland alpines. Garden in Kent, UK. www.coptonash.plus.com

ichristie

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Re: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« Reply #37 on: January 21, 2013, 07:16:36 PM »
Hello Tim, weather much the same here have spent some time today getting snow off the roof of glasshouses frames and clearing our road again probably over a foot of snow now and yes we gardeners have to accept what nature throws at us, cheers Ian the Christie kind.
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fermi de Sousa

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Re: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« Reply #38 on: January 24, 2013, 02:08:57 AM »
Ian,
your place looks a bit different to when I last saw it! ;D
cheers
fermi
Mr Fermi de Sousa, Redesdale,
Victoria, Australia

KentGardener

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Re: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« Reply #39 on: March 07, 2013, 02:07:57 PM »
the eggshells just went into the bin with everything else but they never break down.

All my egg shells go into a mortar and pestle next to a radiator.  Every few weeks I grind them up and sprinkle them either straight onto the garden or into my vermicompost bins.
John

John passed away in 2017 - his posts remain here in tribute to his friendship and contribution to the forum.

Tim Ingram

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Re: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« Reply #40 on: September 09, 2013, 11:11:51 PM »
Its more than 120 days since the last entry here and progress continues in a the sort of way you climb a scree; one step forward, and hopefully not one step back. The biggest difficulty is really committing to growing a range of plants that there is a relatively limited interest in - so there is also the need to engender more of an interest, hence other posts in other places. This year has probably been treading water, not helped by such a long dry spell through the summer, though this did enable a concerted effort to paint the house! We have always grown dry-loving species more suited to our climate, and a lot of oddball and unusual plants that can take some convincing for other gardeners to try. The alpine shows are an obvious place to parade such plants in front of gardeners, but it has to be said not too many new gardeners attend them. The garden itself is potentially a good alternative, but again most gardeners prefer the glories of dramatic plant fairs. So the specialist nursery really is a labour of love and an individual fascination in plants rather than an economic marvel!

Part of the need is to maintain stock plants from which to propagate and we are combining this with revamping parts of the garden. This raised bed was first made over twenty years ago and for a long time grew a wonderful range of alpines. We are now replanting it with a collection of small Mediterranean-climate species, of which a few examples are given below. Origanums are typical and the first picture shows O. 'Phoenix seedling', raised on Marina Christopher's nursery; very like 'Kent Beauty', but looks more robust. Marvellous plants for late in the year. The androsace may look little different to other forms of A. sarmentosa but was obtained years ago from a wonderful and rather unique French nurseryman, Jean Poligné, who ran a nursery near to St. Malo - so a reminder of a rare character - and in flower it is distinct (to the cognescenti). The third plant is a reminder of an enjoyable visit to the Czech Republic - Potentilla pulvinaris. A beautiful foliage plant, and one like others that will probably need some winter protection.
Dr. Timothy John Ingram. Nurseryman & gardener with strong interest in plants of Mediterranean-type climates and dryland alpines. Garden in Kent, UK. www.coptonash.plus.com

Tim Ingram

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Re: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« Reply #41 on: September 09, 2013, 11:28:48 PM »
Legumes have always been a great fascination. Oxytropis besseyi (from Alplains seed) would be very exciting to establish, and another O. zionis has also been planted on the bed. I haven't had great success with these in the past, so fingers crossed. They are unlikely to make good nursery plants, but some of the western American lupins are growable and can be stunning in the garden - the one shown is L. excubitis var. austromontanus, which Lester Rowntree (amongst others) praises in her classic book 'Hardy Californians'. This bed is not ideally situated, having a large specimen of Sophora tetraptera overlooking it (the best laid plans of mice and men...), but it does get good light for most of the day and succeeded well in the past. Our garden is also quite mild and next to the bed is the very beautiful Miscanthus nepalensis with its unique golden flower tassels. This is a relatively tender species but has grown well for several years.
Dr. Timothy John Ingram. Nurseryman & gardener with strong interest in plants of Mediterranean-type climates and dryland alpines. Garden in Kent, UK. www.coptonash.plus.com

Tim Ingram

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Re: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« Reply #42 on: September 09, 2013, 11:35:18 PM »
More familiar plants include Pulsatilla georgica (could this be an up and coming genus I wonder!), Thymus 'Peter Davis', a very good form named for the famous botanist, and an excellent sedum which has eluded identification so far (can anyone enlighten me?).
Dr. Timothy John Ingram. Nurseryman & gardener with strong interest in plants of Mediterranean-type climates and dryland alpines. Garden in Kent, UK. www.coptonash.plus.com

Tim Ingram

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Re: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« Reply #43 on: September 09, 2013, 11:48:55 PM »
Planting a bed like this is great fun, even if it is relatively utilitarian (i.e: not having the cachet of the crevice or rock garden). The next stage is to provide wooden edging so that the whole bed can be heavily top-dressed with coarse gravel. The narrow strip in front of the bed has been dug out and replaced with sharp sand, and planted with alternating dianthus and dwarf iris cultivars. My wife is unhappy with the Agave (a form of parryi), which should be very hardy given winter protection from rain), but which is a devil to weed around. So the trick is to allow no weeds to become established by several inches of top-dressing - and a planting like this does need some contrast from plants like this. The final two pictures show a couple more Californian lupins, L. albifrons var. collinus (a fine dwarf form of this very variable species) and L. breweri, which again gets high praise wherever I have read of it. Once these establish in a garden, even if short-lived, they generally set lots of seed and can be easily maintained. And can there be many more beautiful foliage plants?
« Last Edit: September 10, 2013, 12:00:23 AM by Tim Ingram »
Dr. Timothy John Ingram. Nurseryman & gardener with strong interest in plants of Mediterranean-type climates and dryland alpines. Garden in Kent, UK. www.coptonash.plus.com

Tim Ingram

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Re: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« Reply #44 on: September 09, 2013, 11:54:14 PM »
Finally a few pictures of the nursery - we have a great deal more to do to increase the range of plants, but the foregoing are examples of what we intend to grow, and by spring next year we should have a reasonable variety available and visitors will be very welcome. The garden also is of modest interest if you like snowdrops, woodland plants, many dryland species, and by summer a good assortment of weeds! (including a few umbellifers).
Dr. Timothy John Ingram. Nurseryman & gardener with strong interest in plants of Mediterranean-type climates and dryland alpines. Garden in Kent, UK. www.coptonash.plus.com

 


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