Keeping you up to date, important announcements etc.
May 7 2022
Jubilee holiday week. As you probably know Thursday 4th June and Friday 5th are holidays. We will be dispatching plants on Monday that week, just in case a parcel gets slightly delayed.
Alpines coming to an end. We expect to sell out of alpines (not Sempervivum) by the end of May, more or less, but we still intend to offer for sale a few special varieties on a seasonal basis.
April 27 2022
We now hope our online shop will remain open for orders from Thursday mornings through to Sunday evenings. We are less busy as we run down the alpine side of our business but going forward we still intend closing to new orders on Sunday evenings. This allows us to deal with orders received on Mondays and Tuesdays.
We may still need to close if we reach a limit of orders - we do this by hiding the 'Add to Basket' button on our shop pages. Our shop is fully updated each week so availability should be accurate. We anticipate that any plants currently showing as 'Sold Out' will be available later this spring or summer - we try not to list plants we probably won't have this season.
16 February 2022
We intend re-opening our online shop around mid March.
We will have a limited range of alpines - our list from last year still appears online but this will be greatly slimmed down in the coming weeks. In case you missed the announcement, this will be our last spring for selling alpines but we'll continue with Sempervivum.
Online ordering will (probably) be restricted just as we have done in the past two years but we'll see how it goes.
Thank you to everyone who has offered us support and good wishes during recent months; it is greatly appreciated.
1 October 2021
We have now closed for the season but we have plants ready for sale in early 2022.
We had hoped to start selling plants again this month - as we hoped in previous months - but we're still unable to.
We also announce some major changes - we intend running down the alpine side of our business in 2022 but we'll continue with our Sempervivum collection. After 33 years of growing alpines, next year will be our last season of growing alpines - more or less, we may still do the odd variety. Due to circumstances this summer (you can read below if you're not aware) we have been unable to grow many alpines at all. Normally at this time of year our nursery is bursting at the seams with plants for next year. We will still have some superb alpine plants to sell though, just not in the wide range we usually have and only a fraction of the quantity.
We'll continue with our Sempervium though and we'll have a wide range for sale next spring. They are all potted now and recently moved to their winter quarters to wait for spring. The last couple of years have been difficult for most people and to be honest, I think we have fared better than many. But it hasn't been easy - when other businesses were forcibly closed, we were snowed under with demand. Whilst that was good in the short term trying to handle a massive surge in demand was incredibly difficult - and stressful! Many people don't realise that we (my wife, Nicola, and I) run the nursery entirely on our own and the nature of the nursery trade means that for many months of the year we are already working at our maximum capacity.
Sales in 2022. What we propose (at the moment, it may change) is that we will start selling alpines only (not Sempervivum) some time in January. This will be weather dependent of course so we won't start until we're hopeful of acceptable conditions. Sempervivum sales will start late February/early March, maybe earlier depending on how things go and as ever, the weather. We're also hoping that as the spring progresses we'll be able to restrict dispatches to one day a week. We can pack Sempervivums more quickly and they won't object to being packed the day before dispatch, something we would never do with alpines.
Nicola's recovery. Regular readers may be wondering how Nicola is doing after her surgery - well, she's fine, getting back to normal, all be it slowly. Her wound is very nearly healed, just one tiny bit of skin needs to join together in the centre of the hole; yes, it really was a hole and she is likely to have an enduring 'notch' on her shin. She is gradually getting fitter too as she lost a lot of fitness with her enforced resting. Nicola has only worked a few hours in the nursery recently and she now feels it afterwards; unused muscles and all that. We don't realise how physically fit we need to be 'just to grow a few plants'. Nicola still has to be very careful not to knock or damage the site of her wound so I'm managing most jobs myself and that will be the case for a while yet. We have a hospital appointment next week and I'm fairly sure that will be her last visit, for now.
Can I just thank everyone, sincerely, for sending their best wishes for Nicola.
7 August 2021
Due to personal circumstances we have suspended all sales of plants until further notice.
Our situation hasn't improved at all. The treatment of Nicola's leg is still ongoing - in fact, she is no further forward than she was a few weeks ago. We had two visits to hospital this week, another course of antibiotics and a different treatment in an attempt to get her skin graft/wound to heal. She has still to rest with her leg elevated, walking for essential trips only, no driving and definitely no standing. Nicola is signed off work until the end of August (that will be 8 weeks in total) but that will certainly be extended. We were told originally that Nicola would be back to work after about 3 weeks but, well, things happen.
As you will appreciate, this has totally messed up our growing season when we should be producing plants for next year. I am doing what I can but in all honesty, all I can manage most weeks is simply looking after the plants I have been able to grow and pot whatever cuttings we had ready. That has mostly been Sempervivums that were propagated last year. At least we will have a good range of Sempervivum to sell but I have grown hardly any alpines.
I'm hopeful we will be able to start sending plants out again next month but I can't honestly say for certain.
4 July 2021
Nicola had some relatively minor surgery recently (removal of a suspect mole) and I'm afraid things haven't gone too well. She is okay, her mole was 'only' pre-cancerous, but her treatment and resulting skin graft hasn't gone as well as we all hoped it would - she is now signed off for 3 weeks with probably further time off to follow. She has to keep her leg rested, foot up, only minimal walking and no driving. This is all harder than it sounds, especially for someone like Nicola who is always on the go. She will be fine eventually but her full recovery is likely to take several weeks.
My mother - who we very nearly lost 3 weeks ago - is back home recuperating and doing well, but she does need more attention and help with everyday things. Mum lives half an hour away and hospital for Nicola is half an hour in the opposite direction - it's a long time since I used a full tank of petrol in a week!
Most days I am only able to do the essentials on the nursery. This time of year should be our busiest for getting plants propagated and potted for next year but that just can't happen. Many people, even regular customers, don't realise that we only work by ourselves - we have no staff and no helpers. To be honest, our present predicament doesn't concern us greatly but we would like to be able to grow and sell plants. It's unfortunate that we can't at the moment but you'll appreciate that our priorities are elsewhere.
I shall post any further news here. In the meantime, enjoy your summer and make the most of our relative freedom.