I am a nurseryman and as such am prone to complain about everything that prevents me producing what I consider 'the perfect crop'. So I have, for the past couple of months, had the perfect foil with which to carve a really miserable grumble into my days.
I can honestly say, however, it has been the opposite for me this year. Yes, I have sold less than I would like and I have tunnels full of plants that really need to go out but I have had the time to spend getting that crop to it's best and I haven't had to make any compromises. I have potfulls of rooted bulk standard plants and an incredible selection of plants that are very unusual and they have all had much more time than they would ordinarily have had.
I now need to sell them but that is a minor detail because the plants are great. They will sell themselves and my customers will get much more than they bargained for. We never sell bad plants but I do feel that sometimes one more feed or a touch more picking over would just finish the plant to a higher standard. With Chelsea just around the corner I feel this more than ever and I hope that the weather hasn't made things more difficult for the exhibitors.
The other thing that I am pleased about is that I have given my customers more time. It is very easy when things are hectic to organise the plants for customers and get them out, without really talking to your customers about where they feel the plant market is or should be going. I am now stocking some lines I didn't and selling them. In this case a little more conversation a little less action is certainly proving beneficial to the nursery and the customers that shop here.
We hold regular open days for our trade customers and by talking to them about why we grow in a particular way or why it's best to buy Bay from Belgium and Photinia from Italy. It has allowed a really good relationship to build up based on the experience of grower and landscaper.
I could do with some dry weather now but I have in a round about way really enjoyed the wet.