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Author Topic: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash  (Read 85422 times)

Tim Ingram

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Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« on: August 08, 2012, 05:35:27 PM »
Edit by Maggi: This thread has been assembled from posts made in another, called 'Disappearing Nurseries' - Tim's posts are about the work he and his wife are doing to rebuild their nursery in Kent - it is too positive a tale to be left under such a gloomy title! Some of Tim's posts in the previous thread are also relevant there and so, rather than move them, link are included here which will allow the reader to see the photos posted previously.


Tim Ingram   August 15th 2011
http://www.srgc.net/forum/index.php?topic=7505.msg211435#msg211435
(photos  are in the original post link above)

Since this topic (Disappearing nurseries)  is close to my heart, we are working hard to make our small nursery reappear next spring! I would like to thank the SRGC forum, and particularly those who run it, for providing a lot of the inspiration. Small specialist nurseries rely very much on the two way traffic that goes on between gardeners and growers, since most of us are both of these things at the same time! Gardeners in the South may remember the famous (to the cognescenti) Ramparts Nursery, that specialised in silver foliage plants many years ago. These plants suit our dry and warm garden well so will be amongst those we propagate.

We have a little way to go(!) as the images of the nursery show, but propagation is well underway and is a good counterweight to the heavier work!

Maggi Young
Tim, this is excellent news!  We wish you the very best of luck.... and I am sure the Forumists will be more than delighted to become customers .... especially if you can manage mail -order! (Oh dear, that's landing you with yet more work, isn't it?   )

You will keep us updated with progress, won't you.... there is little so satisfying as watching other people work!!   

Tim Ingram
 
Reply #75 on: August 20, 2011, 07:30:28 PM
Our plans for rebuilding the nursery are quite closely linked to the local AGS Groups and the Shows held at Rainham in the Spring and Autumn. We are also going to open a group of our gardens via the NGS next spring. It seems like quite hard work, but anything worthwhile takes effort. What we don't have so effectively in the AGS is a proper balance between the 'Showing' and 'Growing' fraternities, and this makes it difficult to introduce new gardeners to these wonderful plants. The answer is to do what needs to be done until it works! So any aspiring nurserymen out there - go to it! Support will come from the people around you, whether moral or practical and difficult times can be overcome.



 Tim Ingram   March 02, 2012
http://www.srgc.net/forum/index.php?topic=7505.msg235528#msg235528 more  pictures there
I've come back to this topic because after a relatively mild winter, interrupted by a short very cold and snowy spell, there has been the opportunity to get on with our garden and nursery renovations, and the beautiful weather at present coincides with that wonderful time as seeds germinate and plants begin to grow away. We are progressing steadily with rebuilding the nursery, with seeds germinating and cuttings rooting and so a few examples are shown below. Much of running a specialist nursery has to do with finding and making a particular niche and the plants we have grown have always been dry loving species more suited to the south-east, and new and rarely grown plants. Inevitably these have a limited clientele and hence the importance of specialist plant societies like the AGS and SRGC which bring together gardeners who have the same fascination with the plant world. It is great reason for working hard at the local AGS events and Groups too.

So it is early days yet but we hope to really have the nursery up and running more efficiently by this time next spring, and by this time the shredder may see less action and the potting bench more! (The final picture of Eriogonum shows germination after the seed pots were placed in the fridge for 4 weeks after sowing. This allows more controlled cold treatment for certain seed when the required stratification treatment is reasonably well known, and helps when seed is available late or winter conditions are not cold enough. We are aiming to use this method more as results give us guidance).
http://www.srgc.net/forum/index.php?topic=7505.msg240877#msg240877    m ore pix.
Gradually the greenhouses are filling up... and the seeds germinating.

Ron M :  Looks like your getting a nice set up there Tim
 Will Itsell: Glass could do with a clean   
Oh, it's shading   
All looks good.  One can tell a lot about a nursery (and the nurseryman/woman) from general tidiness. Good luck!
Tim Ingram April 01, 2012, 10:38:19 PM
Will, thank you for your kind comments. The glasshouse is tidy but it's still not so tidy outside, but getting there! Mostly my wife's work, I am busy shredding and large scale weeding, in between playing on the computer!







August 08, 2012, 05:35:27 PM


Steadily the nursery is taking shape again. At this time of year, high summer, and especially with all the rain we have had, the garden begins to run away. There is a lot of weeding to do elsewhere and another section of the nursery to clear and remake but it is nice to see the plants beginning to line up again. The next step is to convince people they need alpines in their gardens!

In 'The Garden' (last issue) Mary Keen speaks of specialist nurseries and plantsmanship with the sense that younger gardeners are more drawn now to Naturalistic gardening and growing vegetables. There is a paradox there in that more thoughtful and educated gardening is just what is needed at a time of strong environmental and economic concerns. None the less we sell few plants at the local farmer's market so specialist nurseries are only ever likely to charm those of us who find the plants themselves charming and fascinating; a small but select band.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2015, 09:50:36 PM by Maggi Young »
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

Brian Ellis

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Re: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2012, 05:40:33 PM »
How very satisfying Tim, it's shaping up nicely, you must be really pleased....I hope you convince the plebs ;)
Brian Ellis, Brooke, Norfolk UK. altitude 30m Mintemp -8C

David Nicholson

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Re: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2012, 05:42:59 PM »
Must be hard work Tim but it looks to be coming on really well. Will you be doing mail order?
David Nicholson
in Devon, UK  Zone 9b
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Tim Ingram

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Re: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2012, 06:32:51 PM »
Thanks Brian, David. We may well do mail order when we get properly into our stride, but it is hard work in addition to running the garden - will wait and see.

Brian - I certainly don't want to imply that gardeners not hooked on alpines are plebs. That would be unfair. No I think the onus is on those of us fascinated by these plants to carry that on to others - by no means easy, but at least if more are being grown there are more chances for new gardeners to discover them too.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2012, 09:53:31 AM by Maggi Young »
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

Brian Ellis

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Re: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2012, 10:34:14 PM »
I certainly don't want to imply that gardeners not hooked on alpines are plebs. That would be unfair.
Indeed not, I perhaps would have been better to say the uninitiated, we have visited many, many gardens which have been wonderful even though there was a lack of many alpines.  In my defense I did have one eye on the Olympics and one on my laptop.
Brian Ellis, Brooke, Norfolk UK. altitude 30m Mintemp -8C

Maggi Young

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Re: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2012, 11:06:00 PM »
Hmmm,  this is rather odd.... the thread is about disappearing nurseries and there Tim is, busily building up his enterprise again .... I thihnk this thread needs a revamp ..... I'll have a look tomorrow!
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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David Nicholson

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Re: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2012, 09:49:01 AM »
"Not Disappearing Nurseries" ?
David Nicholson
in Devon, UK  Zone 9b
"Victims of satire who are overly defensive, who cry "foul" or just winge to high heaven, might take pause and consider what exactly it is that leaves them so sensitive, when they were happy with satire when they were on the side dishing it out"

Maggi Young

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Re: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2012, 10:03:22 AM »
I've pulled together the gist of Tim's posts in the 'Disappearing Nurseries' topic and renamed it to reflect the positive feel of Tim's work.
Good luck, Tim and Gillian!
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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fermi de Sousa

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Re: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2012, 11:59:23 PM »
I think it's great that you are re-building your nursery, Tim and Gillian,
at a time when things seem to have to be "dumbed down" or made as easy as possible we need to encourage "new gardeners" by example! Once they know they can grow vegies from seed they can try perennials then alpines!
Afterall, Alpine Gardening is the Pinnacle of the Gardening World! ;D
cheers
fermi
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Victoria, Australia

John85

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Re: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2012, 02:25:14 PM »
Tim ,
Is there a technical reason why you have grass path between your beds.Seems a lot of work maintaining them  looking fine compared with gravel path.Also in spring and autumn are they not a bit soggy?

Tim Ingram

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Re: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2012, 08:34:07 AM »
John - there are a lot of idiosyncrasies with our garden which don't equate with efficiency. One reason we have never been terribly successful. The ethos behind the garden and nursery is to do with the way they complement one another and the view that I have of the garden as a place to learn about plants and discover more of them. The grass paths are more to do with how the nursery has developed. We have well drained soil so rarely have problems with the grass becoming too soggy - but yes it does take quite a bit of maintainance.
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

John85

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Re: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2012, 04:07:17 PM »
The most important thing is that you like it!

Maggi Young

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Re: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2012, 04:18:16 PM »
The most important thing is that you like it!
Yes! That's  very true, John!
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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Tim Ingram

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Re: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2012, 07:56:44 PM »
At the moment the nursery is under winter wraps with only the excitement of seedlists and seed sowing claiming attention. While the weather is reasonably good though we have a lot of work to do in the garden, preparing for opening next February for snowdrops. A lot of these grow under rows of dwarf fruit trees, intermixed with a whole range of woodland perennials and ferns. These are slowly being worked through, cutting back leaves of plants like hellebores and mulching with good compost. The trees themselves also need quite regular pruning, though this is something I have still not really got the hang of. Generally we try to keep them open and not too congested, and preferably not catching visitors in the eye as they walk past!
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 #14 on: December 23, 2012, 08:02:49 PM »
It is very satisfying tidying up areas, except when you turn the camera and see the next part that needs attention. Many of these woodland plantings become more more sophisticated with time as new plants are added, present plants seed, and a succession of species give interest right through the spring and into the summer - foliage plants like ferns keep this going right through to the winter. This makes them wonderfully interesting, but also means a lot of care needs to be taken maintaining them.
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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