The Nursery News
Keeping you up to date with the latest news of what is happening on the nursery, 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. I anticipate we'll still offer for sale a few special varieties on a seasonal basis but only a fraction of what we used to offer.
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.
14 June 2021
Our next day for accepting orders will now be Thursday 8th July.
As well as our own planned hospital visits we now have a parent who was rushed to hospital with a burst stomach ulcer. Until we know what will happen we must suspend taking orders.
10 June 2021
Our next day for accepting orders will Thursday 17th June at 9.00am.
Orders received 17th June will be dispatched the following Monday/Tuesday.
Thereafter, our next day for taking orders won't be until Thursday 8th July.
We have a few hospital visits to attend followed by a period of enforced idleness - nothing very major but it neccessitates time off. We'll update here if anything changes.
Ordering plants, spring/summer 2021.
Here is how we intend to operate over the coming weeks or until further notice.
We will open our online shop each Thursday morning and 'close' by hiding the the 'Add to Basket' button once we reach as many orders as we can handle. These orders will be delivered the following week as we usually do. We work week to week in the same manner.
We do not accept pre-orders for anything - everyone has the same opportunity to buy and you can only buy when the plants are made available.
We will also be be limiting orders to a maximum of 32 plants (per order per week) as we did last year. This allows us to offer our service more widely but it also speeds up our packing process. Last spring, some people persistently tried to circumvent this. We reserve the right to refuse and refund any order without notice.
We have a huge stock of plants to get through, many more than this time last year, so we hope to be able to meet demand - if we can work efficiently.
A few tips for ordering.
Have your list of plants to hand ready for the 9.00am opening. You may view the plants we have at any time.
- When our shop opens at 9.00am each Thursday, refresh your browser - if you don't know, it's typically the little circular arrow to the top left of your screen but it can vary. We open at 9.00am sharp and demand some weeks means we can only accept orders for a short time.
- Don't rush through the checkout/payment pages - your details need to be entered accurately, most especially your email address.
- If your order is processed and payment accepted, you must receive a confirmation of your order by email - no confirmation, no order! This is standard online buying practice but payments can and do fail for various reasons, compliance and technical. It may appear you have placed an order - you will even have an order number - but until the payment processes, your order isn't final. We only know of orders once payment is accepted by Nochex and it will happen that someone will be mid-transaction when we need to close the shop.
We don't like operating this way but it's essential we maintain control of what we do. The alternative would be a huge pile of orders, you waiting weeks for delivery, plants becoming unavailable meaning refunds and so forth. At least with the way we now work we can offer what we hope is a good service to those who are successful in placing an order. If only things could go back to how they were ..... a phrase we have all uttered or thought of in the past year, I'm sure.
20 May 2021
Our next day for accepting orders will be Thursday 3rd June at 9.00am.
We have decided this year to not send out plants in the week following the Bank Holiday Monday. We are always busy after a holiday Monday and losing a day for dispatches really concentrates our workload. So this year we're taking a short break from selling and it will allow us to catch up with much needed jobs around the nursery.
Orders received on 3rd June will be dispatched the following Monday/Tuesday as usual.
11 March 2021
Our next day for accepting orders will be Thursday 18th March at 9.00am.
Orders received will be dispatched the following Monday/Tuesday.
2 March 2021
Our next day for accepting orders will be Thursday 11th March at 9.00am.
Our online shop did open yesterday as planned but only for a relatively short time in each case, such was the rush of orders. We have taken a massive load of orders and we are working our way through them for dispatch next week. We can fully appreciate that some customers have been disappointed and unable to place an order but please understand that we are working at our absolute limit.
Orders received from Thursday 11th will be dispatched the following Monday/Tuesday in our normal routine with a fall back of Wednesday dispatches if needed. Our previous update (23rd February) explains our current method for ordering.
23 February 2021
Ordering plants, spring 2021.
Here is how we intend to operate over the coming weeks or until further notice.
We will open our online shop to new orders on Monday 1st March. The first opening will be at 9.00am and we will probably close once we reach our halfway target. . To allow wider access, we have a second opening at 8.00pm. Depending on demand we may repeat this on subsequent days, it's impossible to predict how busy we might be. All orders received at this time will be prepared for delivery the following week, Monday 8th - Wednesday10th.
Thereafter, commencing Thursday 11th March we will open our online shop each Thursday and close once we reach as many orders as we can deal with for delivery the following week, as we usually do.
We will also be be limiting orders to a maximum of 32 plants as we did last year. This allows us to offer our service more widely but it also speeds up our packing process. Last spring, some people persistently tried to circumvent this. We reserve the right to refuse and refund any order without notice.
We have a huge stock of plants to get through, many more than this time last year, so we hope to be able to meet demand if we can work efficiently.
A few tips for ordering.
Have your list of plants to hand. You may view the plants we have before the shop opens.
When our shop opens at 9.00am each Thursday, refresh your browser - if you don't know, it's typically the little circular arrow to the top left of your screen but it can vary. We open at 9.00 sharp and demand is such that we may close in as little as half an hour.
Don't rush through the checkout/payment pages - your details need to be entered accurately, most especially your email address.
If your order is processed and payment accepted, you must receive a confirmation of your order by email - no confirmation, no order! This is all fairly standard online buying practice but payments can fail for various reasons, compliance and technical. It may appear you have placed an order - you will even have an order number - but until the payment processes, your order isn't final. We only know of orders once payment is accepted by Nochex and it will happen that someone will be mid-transaction when we need to close the shop.
We don't like operating this way but it's essential we maintain control of what we do. The alternative would be a huge pile of orders, waiting weeks for delivery, plants ordered but becoming unavailable and so forth. At least with the way we now work we can offer what we hope is an excellent service to those who are successful in placing an order. If only things could go back to how they were ..... a phrase we have all uttered or thought of in the past year, I'm sure.
On which note, I get my Covid vaccination tomorrow!