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December Days

It's raining outside with gales forecast this afternoon so we're just deciding if we need to yet again take the cover off the greenhouses outside.  It's not a massive job but does leave the baby plants over-wintering inside vulnerable.  We'll see - so far it's pretty calm but it may not stay that way.  I'll let Andy make the decision as he's the one who keeps up with the forecast while I'm more of a 'look out of the window and see what going on' kind of person.  To note: Andy's way is recommended, mine just get's us into bother...

Despite the short days and unpleasant weather I do look forward to this time of year - mainly for the rest.  I, like I'm sure so many other growers do - look back at this time of year at the previous season and ask 'how on earth did we manage it all?'.  This year was definitely the busiest with many 18-20 hour days...followed by another one... Endless cycles of planting, harvest, arranging and meetings.  I suppose when I'm in the thick of it it's the momentum and the adrenaline that keep me going, along with the love of what I do and not wanting to let my customers down.  But it does come at a price, mainly family time.  So it's nice to have the quite, less frantic days for us to spend time with the boys, catch up with friends and just rest. 

I've the stove lit and coffee made and getting through the days tasks. So far today I've squeezed in an hour of yoga (keeps my back in good shape so I can physically keep working & doing what I love), several emails, quotations, kids off to school, wreaths made and taken a 'floral inspiration' walk - which is code for skiving off work to walk the dog - this time in the lovely Dunmore Woods in Durrow.  Just before lunch I watered the & checked over the benches in the heated tunnel.  I'm going to squeeze in as much more as I can before the school bus deposits the boys at the end of the lane and they come blasting up, hungry and not in the mood for homework (who ever is?). 

This is the first year I've kept the heated benches in position and turned on - but just in the little greenhouse.  It's been brilliant as the residual heat from the benches keeps the temperature in the greenhouse a little higher than normal which is great for overwintering more delicate plants.  I have loads of Asparagus plants in there which I'm growing for their foliage - it works really well in wedding bouquets and floral arrangements.  I bought the seed from Moles - 2 varieties - Asparagus plumosa and the less well known Asparagus sprengeri.  They were very easy to grow from seed and are currently doing very well in individual 9cm pots. When it comes to transplanting them I won't plant them into the ground as they need to be treated as a greenhouse/indoor plant so I'll transplant them into large pots when they're  ready and I hope to get lots of useful stems from them next year.  But knowing me I will probably pop a few into the ground just to see what happens....I let you know when I do!

                                 Asparagus plumosa                                      Asparagus sperengii     

                               Asparagus plumosa - It will green up again in summer.                              Asparagus sperengii - a vigorous variety!