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Last Thursday all of us gardeners disappeared from Hestercombe for the day and went to Bicton college near Buddleigh Salterton in Devon for a study day.
As some of you know we have recently moved and restored two large Victorian glasshouses which we intend to use to propagate plants for the garden, and also to start to supply the shop. This is a big move forward for the team as previously we have tried our best at seed sowing and cuttings on a terribly small scale with a domestic size glasshouse and a small poly tunnel with limited success.
Having a glasshouse just makes the whole gardening cycle make more sense. It means that we can hold stock plants such as rosemary and lavender, we can save seed annually from the garden to create more plants, and we can start to produce all the plants that visitors see in the garden and want to take home.
At the moment we have just the shell of the glasshouse up but fund raising is continuing to get purpose built benches made, to put in a heated bench for cuttings and seeds, and to get a heat source to keep the glasshouse frost free- meaning that we can overwinter more plants.
It is exciting times for us, so to get us fired up and to refresh our memories about glasshouse work, we arranged for a one day course, just for us, at Bicton college. We spent the day in the glasshouse with Janice Hindley, who took us through several propagation techniques, seed sowing, and glasshouse pest and disease issues.
It was a really informative day and has mentally prepared us for the task in hand- so watch this space!
And keep an eye out for a Bicton college open day- they have lovely grounds and a great plant collection and you can fit in a visit to the seperate Bicton park Gardens too.