Tuesday, 5 August 2014

When the going gets tough...

Whew ! It's been hot at the garden this afternoon. Dad and son Rowan have been toiling away digging up weeds from a particularly muddy, boggy bit of the garden. It looked like hard work so I slunk away to this soft, cool mossy bed. Well, honestly, gardens were made to be enjoyed, weren't they !
Keep up the good work , you two. No slacking.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Rare birch !

Well this is really exciting! Beleive it or not, these tiny plants are a very rare birch tree from Georgia in the Caucasus mountains. (Look it up, you heathens!).

Dad was out in Georgia last year looking for them, and he brought back seed to germinate.
Well, now it has germinated and as you can see the little fellahs are just getting going. At this point they can be teased out of the compost and put into individual pots to grow bigger. It is a very delicate operation but Dad has a lot of experience at this.
Because these trees are rare, they will be carefully grown into bigger plants that we will give to other collections and botanic gardens around the UK.
If you want to know more about this important bit of conservation work we are involved with see here.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

An 'Arty' day at Stone Lane Gardens

Yesterday was a lovely sunny day at the garden. We were holding an art workshop on how to illustrate a Nature Diary. All the ladies who attended said they had a very enjoyable day. The artist tutor Jennie Hale really got everybody stuck into sketching and watercolours. The photo shows me modelling in the garden.....is this my best side?...would you like me to arch my eyebrows?...

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Rabbit proof fence...

Dad's been watching too many Australian movies...
Anyway, here is our new nursery fence. Ta-dah !!

We got fed up with the rabbits getting into the nursery enclosure and eating the trees. They took the tops right off some of the trees. And they definitely had a preference for the birch species that have wintergreen (Methyl salicylate) in the bark. That is why we didnt sell any Betula insignis last year!

Believe it or not the rabbits were able to climb the new 4 foot vertical fence, so we had to include an overhang on the top......although Dad was all for wiring it up to the mains !

So the trees will be much happier this year. I like happy trees !

Wednesday, 26 March 2014


Ok Dad......and roll.....well here I am in our propagation area. Today I am checking the grafting that we did earlier...and here's one we did earlier!
Grafting is a kind of surgery for trees. It means you can grow one tree by ataching it to another tree. In this case we have taken a small twig from a special tree that we want to grow more of. We stick this twig against the bark of another tree.
If we do this right, then the twig grows onto the other tree and the two become one tree. Then we can let it grow into a big tree.
It's a bit more technical than that, but that's the basic idea.
This graft has worked, because the twig is starting to grow a new stem and this is a good sign. This means the twig has joined to the other tree and water and nutrients can travel between the two parts.
Daddy is very clever isn't he. I couldn't do this because my paws aren't able to hold a sharp knife!

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Well that's torn it !

As you can see, I am in our poly-tunnel. It's been repaired several times, but this last storm has ripped the cover right open. It was really blowing a gale, you could hardly stand up (even on four legs).
Small dogs were advised not to go out.
Our baby trees will get cold if there is a frost. I need to think of a plan, fast !!!

Monday, 27 January 2014

It's raining cats and dogs

"If you think I'm going out there, you are very much mistaken. It's hailing, hammering on the roof of the poly-tunnel like bullets. Why would I want to endure that? You go out if you want to Dad, but I haven't got a coat and hat....and I'm not being paid to do this!!!"
Dad and I are sheltering from the hail that has just swept in off the moor. We were digging trees up in the nursery, when Dad looked up towards the moor....and couldn't see it. By his reckoning that gives us about 5 minutes before the deluge begins. Anyway, 3 minutes later it started....wrong again, Dad.
Fortunately the poly-tunnel was only a short run away. The irony was that Dad had the overhead irrigation system going. Ha ha.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Bailey helps pack the trees

Today i am helping Dad pack our trees, ready for the carrier to take them all over the UK. Its slave labour, you know. I don't get any pay for this. It is very busy, busy with cardboard and plastic flying all over the place. One of these days I will end up in a parcel. That will surprise the customer!

Friday, 10 January 2014

Helping collect grafting material

Today I have been helping Dad to collect cuttings from the trees. Apparently if you cut a twig of the current year's growth, you can bind it to a living stem of a young plant and it will join and a new tree will grow.
Dad climbs the trees to get the material...sometimes it is difficult and there a few cross words!
I hang around at the base and generally look cute while trying to avoid falling branches. Here I am below a Betula utilis from Bhutan.

Star of stage and Screen

But Bailey Dog, how did you manage to miss your chance of stardom ? Why weren't you there when the BBC came to visit, demonstrating how you make the trees grow ? It could have been the start of a wonderful screen career .............

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Bailey on the BBC

Well, not me but my garden was!  The BBC came and filmed my garden a little while ago and it was on telly yesterday. Great British Garden Revival, BBC2 7pm Monday 6th Jan.
Anyway, it was really great to see all those trees at my garden being shown on the telly. I've wee-ed against all of those! That's why they grow so well. They're mine!! Daddy was away at the time they filmed it, so he missed all the excitement. See here

Anyway, this is my first blog. Sorry if I spell anything wrong but they don't make keyboards for paws.