As we speak, I’m just back from walking Milly and Maisie. Being a cloudy day, it is also pitch dark. I have a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle spread out on the dining room table, a fairly small number of back copies of the Telegraph with their cryptic puzzles waiting to be done and two new Kindle books downloaded onto my Kindle, one of which I read yesterday. Yes, folks, this is rest and relaxation!!
Today saw the beginning of the end for all that. We went down to the nursery and completed a survey of plant numbers ready for the coming season, and I noticed that quite a few pots are showing new shoots. It’s a bit of a juggling act between now and the end of March because, although it’s still full early to be dividing plants, in ten weeks time it will be nearly too late.
I’ve never counted exactly how many plants we have for sale, but I don’t think 1,500 is a very far out estimation. In ten weeks all 1,500 will have to be handled in some way. Some will just need dead foliage removing and given some feed for the coming upsurge. Some will need pruning for shape. Some will need to be potted on into a larger pot, but a good two thirds will need to be split and re-potted.
None of the split plants can be put back outside immediately because of the uncertainty of the winter weather. So they have to be kept inside for a short while to recover. However, leave them in too long and they’ll have made so much unseasonal soft growth that they won’t be able to go outside until May when there’s less chance that a heavy frost will kill them!
So, this really is it. The jigsaw puzzle won’t get finished before August. The back numbers of the Telegraph will reach up like a tottering tower and downloading books to my Kindle will only be useful again in August. Break over!!