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excellent quality plants when they arrlrived a couple of weeks ago. repotted and they are now all happily planted surrounded by stones and moist soil in the sun, hiding the metal on gabions at the edge of our pond. have a wish list ready for primulas (and others) which will be available in september. highly recommended. No casualties.
sharman, Dorset

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excellent quality plants when they arrlrived a couple of weeks ago. repotted and they are now all happily planted surrounded by stones and moist soil in the sun, hiding the metal on gabions at the edge of our pond. have a wish list ready for primulas (and others) which will be available in september. highly recommended. No casualties.
sharman, Dorset

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Spring Has Sprung

In the Kitchen Gardener's Calendar April is the last month where we have to be creative with the leftover vegetables from last year's harvests - as the beginnings of the new Season's crops are starting to appear. For all gardeners it is the month of hope - the warmer and longer days mean plants start to get away and we start to get an idea of what the garden is going to look like this year.

Here on the nursery we are well into our Spring production of young plants - vegetable and ornamental, and the almost daily ritual is underway of moving plants from heated space - to cold glass for a week or so - and then outside - before finally being dispatched. Despite the weather and very poor low light levels things are now catching up with themselves - it is amazing how nature always manages to do this.

We're missing Brian desperately this year on the vegetable garden, and wish him a speedy recovery from his recent replacement of his hip replacement. We will catch up somehow, but with pressure of fruit potting and get the retail beds tidy we really are struggling. In the greenhouse our early climbing peas are nearly 2 feet tall and crops of carrots and spinach are also well advanced - and we've been cropping fresh herbs for a few weeks now. These will probably be the last crops we will be squeezing into our production growing areas as, by the end of the month, our 'new' display polytunnel will be up and in use - recycled from one old large tunnel that has been cut in half with half being used as a fruit cage on our soft fruit bed and half as the new display growing tunnel (all thanks to our friends at First Tunnels for coming up with the missing bits - despite being a different make and 15 years old, and Dan and Nathan of Four Seasons for knocking their heads together and getting them put back up).

At home you should have tidied up your garden by now; if you haven't, take a little extra care now as birds will have started nesting. Your early sowings are probably nearly ready for hardening off and planting out now. If you haven't made any sowings you can quickly catch up by ordering young vegetable plants from us - already hardened off and ready for going straight in the ground. Its also time for getting potatoes and shallots into the ground as well as starting some of those direct vegetable sowings outside.

The continued cooler night temperatures does however have one bonus - there is still time to plant bare root fruit - whatever the gardening magazines may say (remember current issues were written many months ago when weather conditions for April were just a guess) - and of course pot grown fruit plantings can continue right through.

But enough about things you can eat! Now is a perfect time to fill those hungry gaps in your borders with young perennials - guaranteeing a show for later in the year. And for those who want to take the garden indoors why not turn over a part of your garden or allotment to growing flowers for cutting? Now is the time to be planning and making your sowings - the results will bring cheer and colour to both where they are grown and, when cut, to your house (and don't forget the bees and beneficial insects they will encourage and provide food for).

April really is a busy month in the garden - it certainly is a busy month here on the nursery.