Newsletter No.23: April 2012

I’m beginning to wonder whether we shouldn’t recommend people only sow in autumn and plant their bare root trees before Christmas. Because of these dry springs we’ve been having, spring sowing has been problemmatic over the last few years, and in any case there are species in the mixes we sell – notably Yellow Rattle – which need to “stratify” (chill to germinate). The trees we planted here in February have all needed regular watering, and I know customers will have lost plants which aren’t as accessible.
At least the weather will be good for our groundwork – by the time I write the next newsletter we should have broken ground for our new house. “Exciting” doesn’t begin to decribe it; I feel like I’m standing on the high board. Eek!

Seed Packets
Our wildflower seed packet ventures have catapulted to an entirely new level with recent projects for Friends of the Earth and, this weekend, a massive give-away for the Co-op in Mirror Group Newspapers as part of their Plan Bee. This is very exciting stuff, not only for us but also for our suppliers. These are really significant projects, and just the sort of thing which Habitat Aid was created to help facilitate.

Courses
A quick reminder that we’re hosting two courses over the summer; meadow making for beginners, and wildlife ponds. You’ll be able to find details on our website.

Competition Winner
We had gazillions of folk stop by at our stand at Ecobuild and sign up for this newsletter, but the winner of a pair of Pentax Papilio binoculars is Sara from Ecofirst Consult. Sara, let me know where you’d like us to send them!
Our next show is Gardener’s World at the NEC, where we’ll have a bumblarium featuring a wildflower meadow area as well as bees.

New Videos
Thanks to those nice chaps at Cambridge Filmworks we have unleashed some more videos on an unsuspecting world, including “how to” guides to making wildflower areas and planting trees. Check out our channel on You Tube. Despite the fact I look like a cross between Nick Robinson and a Sontaran don’t feel shy about “liking” any of them! I also added a podcast about the difference between using turf, plugs and seed.