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Friday 9th August, 2019
Meet the Team
I think that sometimes it may seem like there are only a couple of people on duty as I am occasionally asked if I am the only one working or "is there only the two of you here" but really there is a whole team beavering around the nursery somewhere... LOL I think it's just because the place is so large that you don't often notice just how many staff are in amongst the shrubs maintaining our plants to our high standard. Just as a quick aside... many a wife or husband have been lost to each other as one or the other go fossiking in some far corner looking for just the right plant.
So to put the record straight, for those that are curious, we are an energetic team of 16 that cover 8.30 am to 5 pm 24/7, except of course Good Friday, Christmas day and half of Anzac day. We are all on board together only 3 days of the week, for when the bulk of the deliveries arrive, however five is the minimum number of staff here at any one time, including one administrator.
As I said the nursery is a big place so we use walkie talkies as a tool to help us be efficient when finding plants requested by our customers. Anyone who has shopped locally with us will know that we have a small area that is our shop (just enough to finish the purchase of your plants) which only holds two sale stations and therefore only two staff serving in the shop at a time and that is where our walkies are a blessing as they allow us to direct the other staff in the nursery to aid in finding plants and guiding people to the right place for the plants they are looking for. All staff are capable of serving our customers either in the shop or out of it and additional help is always just a radio call away.
We work loosely in teams but can all fit into each others roles which is essential in any small business and is a blessing when we need to cover a missing team member due to sickness or annual leave.
Slaty Blue Snow Frills Ivory Prince Dampiera Hibbertia
I am proud to say that we have a pretty amazing dispatch team, actually I shouldn't single one team out as all of the teams are pretty awesome.
Cherie and Matthew are the mainstay of dispatch with Cherie picking all of the orders (if she doesn't know where a plant is then we are in trouble) and Matthew doing an amazing job of packing. We often receive lovely comments from you our customers about the arrival of boxes and how well they have been packed.
The Admin team are amazing in their ability to keep things ticking along smoothly. Sue in accounts keeps us on the straight and narrow, Jan in backorders is kept busy sourcing plants for orders, organising truck deliveries for trees that are too big for couriering and works closely with Cherie. Cathie looks after indent ordering, receiving of stock and web stuff.
The gardening team of Alex, Simone and Josh look after the whole property including keeping all the hedges razor sharp, gardens up to scratch, lawns mown and general maintenance... they have also been the mainstay of the potting team and are all a dab hand in the garden centre too, especially on the weekends, but are always somewhere out there, just not always immediately visible.
The team that are most visible, being mostly in and around the garden centre per say, consists of Angela, Virginia, Cecilia, Andy and Radica. They all work really closely together and are always in contact by walkie. These are the team that ensure the nursery is well laid out, displays are looking good, and that the plants are kept looking their best for you to buy. just because it's too big a place to go looking just to ask a question.
Then there's moi, where do I fit in to the above, well anywhere that needs me the most. I guess that when you start a business from a road side stall then you know it inside out from grass roots and up, Sues been on hols and the bank rec has been my baby for the past two weeks and if you know me at all, admin is just not my thing.. yahoo I'm outside probably from next week!
Its definitely spring on the way with all that has being arriving here this week
Well after that glorious July August hasn't been quite so sweet but never the less the seasons just rolls on in and thanks to Ange so do the plants.
When I thought that we had seen the last of the Hellebores or winter roses, in roll a few more... I would not have thought that we would offer such a huge selection.
Slaty Bluejust an amazing colour of blue blackish burgundy and double flowers to boot...
Connywhite flowers that are heavily spotted with burgundy quite startling
Cryptandra Scortechinii or cotton bush, a superb evergreen shrub for rockeries delivering a mass display of rusty buds opening into a stunning display of dainty white flowers throughout the winter months.
Hibbertia Serpyllifolia or Guinea Flower is a compact evergreen ground cover with dark glossy green leaves and yellow buttercup flowers in spring.
Dampiera diversifolia A fast spreading ground-cover from Australia that has masses of small violet blue flowers which smother the green foliage in spring.
For those that grow their own tatties, spuds are in now.
Its still early but the whole range is in now and you could have these sprouting in a nice warm, light spot and be ready for getting that early crop in now and have spuds for Christmas, then you could get in a follow up or main crop... don't forget to get potato fertiliser as well to have on hand when you plant these seed potatoes.
Popular demand this year according to Ange are
Purple heartEarly. A relatively new potato that was bred to combine the best of 'Maori' potatoes and 'European' potatoes. The result is a large potato with deep purple skin and purple flesh that is high in anti-oxidants. Quite different and delicious with a somewhat floury texture.
KarakaOval tubers with white skin and white flesh. A high yielding potato that is a good all-rounder and has an excellent flavour. Matures in approximately 90-100 days.
Karuparera . Round tubers with dark purple skin and white eyes. Cream flesh which is ideal for salads and boiling.
KowiniwiniWaxy variety ideal for boiling. Matures in approx 120 days. Tuber is round, skin multi coloured, flesh cream.
Challenger Purple Endeavour Kowiniwini Karaka
Old favourites being Agria, Rua and Cliffs Kidneyand Ilam Hardywhich probably don't need any description but click the links if you need to know more... If you go to the potato page in general I'm sure that you will find other older favourites
Jersey Bennesare always a popular choice for Christmas and so get these in early too as you will need a bit of time
Swiftand Rocket for quick harvest which will approx 60 to 70 day harvest otherwise all others are 90 to 100 days
Other plants for the vege garden to get in now
Don't forget that its time to plant Peas, Broadbeans and Yams as well... These like being planted in a cool time of the year of which I must get another crop of broad beans in as well.
We all the love the stuff and I can't wait until the spring is here and we are into eating fresh spares every day. To grow your own you need a dedicated bed of good rich soil. It will take 2 to 3 years to get in full production and the plants will then crop for the next 20 to 25 years. My guess is that you will need 5 crowns per person in the house to get a feed.
The nursery gardens are going to have a serious revamp and we started yesterday... and was going to continue today except gardening in the rain isn't that much fun especially when planting.. So the next step will just have to wait until next week.
I now have the opportunity to get some more roses into the garden and I especially wanted to grow some more from those that Rob Somerfieldhas bred and from the Glenavon stable.
I have chosen Eye Candy standards to go against the house as I seem to recall seeing them in flower at the Hamilton gardens and being quite taken with the sheer volume of flowers. Rob has bred his roses for high health and I have to say that even though I spray the roses in the nursery I am not keen to have to spray the roses in the garden as another task so think this range will be a great choice... Now that I am looking for roses for my own garden, well the choice that we have is really quite daunting.
Another one of his roses that I am really keen to plant is Little Miss Perfect, just love the colour of this one... I have to say that I should really find a spot for Lemon n Lime, colour is stunning and its always in flower.
Eye Candy Little Miss Perfect Lemon n Lime Greensleeves Golden Wings
The other garden that we got cracking on is one down the bank on the left of the path which had become quite the shade garden and is well overdue for an overhaul... so out everything came and the standard hydrangeas Kyushus, which were under the windows of Garden Graphix studio, have now become a feature in here. Now we just have to sort the under plantings with shade plants and have decided upon some dwarf Camellias like Moonlight Magic and Sweet Emily Kate.
Then I think that Anthony was going to include some Lily of the valley shrubs Pieris.
It's been a big week of arrivals and also includes new seasons Delphiniums which if you are keen on adding these to the perennial garden, ensure that you get the slug bait out.
A wet weekend is on the cards, some might even say a storm is brewing. Hope that you have at least started, if not finished pruning, because the next fine day may be some time away. Is also time to think about feeding the garden so have the fertiliser on hand.
So exciting... its that time of the year where the birds start to chase each other in a frisky way, the males parts of those wind pollinated trees shed their pollen, the buds on our roses and trees have really started to swell and the best part is that the days are getting longer so with these lengthening days...