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Roses and China Blog

Beamsley, Spring 2014

Dear Friends,

Time has flown since my last blog entry, so what has happened at Roses & China since my last post...

Well, I have pretty much finished the stock take and the addition of further storage racks. This has led to the realisation that I cannot store everything that might come in handy for a wedding or party one day! I have tried to streamline and let go of a few ideas and items that are too whimsical and demanding of space. On the other hand I am in the process of adding two new lines: Royal Worcester ‘Royal Garden’ dinner service and brightly coloured drinking glasses for children. The latter are chosen on the basis of their colour but also on whether they are suitable for gripping with little hands.

Although the weather has been very mild this winter, work in the flower garden has been delayed by the wetness of the soil. Tramping around on the soggy ground to dig up weeds and add compost would, until last week, have resulted in clay-like, highly compacted earth and a mud-covered frustrated gardener (me). However, a few dry days in a row have done wonders and work has begun in earnest.

Once the old strawberry bed has been cleared, compost dug in and annuals sown, it is time to give some serious thought to the slugs, which are waiting in their hundreds (I am convinced!) ready to mow down the tender seedlings.  I have decided that I cannot live with slug pellets - organic or not. Instead, I collect up all the slugs and snails I find in or near my flower beds, put them in a container and tip them out in a hedge bottom miles from home. I make sure that where I release them is nowhere near anyone's garden or arable crops and not always the same bit of hedgerow.

What to do with unwelcome animals in your flower bed is not the only moral dilemma that faces a flower gardener. Just now I was digging up weeds to clear the ground for seedlings that are waiting to be planted out when I came across a patch of bluebells. Now are they the native English ones that grow on the bank behind the house or are they a hybrid with the Spanish bluebells someone planted in the front garden years before my time? I.e. do I replant them somewhere else or do I compost them? After a quick bit of research on the internet I have decided that they are OK, but other clumps in the garden are definitely hybrids and will have to go. I find it hard to dig up and discard large numbers of flowers, but it has to be done to protect the native bluebells from cross pollination. Gardening is not always the gentle pastime it is sometimes made out to be!

Susanne xxx

roses and china roses and china

Plates of the ‘Royal Garden’ pattern by Royal Worcester and coloured children's glasses.


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