Grown in Wales

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31

August

Nourishment

Charles Warner

Everyone thinks that they have the toughest job. We all have different challenges in our work even if it's just boredom. In my industry the challenge is it's seasonal nature. People love to visit the garden centre but they tend to visit once or twice each year or if they are very keen three or four times but it's not like the supermarket where most people will visit at least once a week and sometimes more. Those visits to the garden centre tend to be in a period from the beginning of March to the beginning of July. After that people just pop in for a browse or a cup of tea. This is what defines how a plant producer must operate to make a living. The nursery must be full to brimming by mid febuary and the plants must look superb and noone can expect more than a day off here and there.

I just heard on the radio that this year...

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7

May

Celebrity endorsements again

Charles Warner

It's spring bank holiday. The most important weekend in the garden centre year. April weather has been dismal and sales poor. In the garden centres bedding plants have been backing up because few people are venturing out. As I write this its all grey shreds of cloud and hammering rain outside.

I went to my local centre today because the sun peeped out briefly at the weekend and although it was not warm, it was not unpleasant.I wanted to check how sales had gone. The local garden centre was closed but next door B and Q had trollies in their unloading bay stacked with summer bedding so I popped inside. You couldn't miss the huge poster of Alan Titchmarsh staring down at you (a bit like big brother) as you left the store for the outside area. There were rows and rows of bedding plants. Some were ok. Many were in a dreadful...

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31

January

Doorstep

Charles Warner

It's been such a mild winter this year or at least in comparison to the last three winters. The last few days has sen a change to something much more like the seasonal norm. Although we have had no snow fall here there are cars in the village with thick wodges of the stuff on their roofs (they probably spent the night in Crymych where it always snows. I can't remember a winter where there has been quite so much activity from the wild animals that are our neighbours. During January as soon as the sun went down the foxes began to bark. Even as I write this the trees seem to be alive with Owls and every time we sow seed of coriander or sage an army of mice seem to move in for a feast.

It's the last chance now to finish all those fiddly repair jobs and to have a good hard think about the preparations for the spring. The garden centres...

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22

December

two types of business

Charles Warner

I think that there are two types of business. There is the type where someone has discovered a product or a sevice or something that they truly believe in and they simply have to take it out and offer it to people. The other kind is one where someone wants a business. Maybe as a money making machine or for the power it gives them or just to make a living. I think that you can tell the difference between the two and I think that sometimes a business starts out as the former and then turns into the latter.

My suspicion is that someone once ceated or found a recipe for a soft drink , thought it was wonderful and health giving and decided to market it to the world. Just because Coca Cola is now a huge corporation doesn't mean that it didn't start with someones belief in the product.

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13

December

Jamie

Charles Warner

Now don't get me wrong. I have nothing against Jamie Oliver. Someone made me a curry once from one of his recipies and it was one of the nicest curries that I have ever had. It must be a strange world that Jamie and other celebrities inhabit but as far as I know the passion that he shows for his food and his various campaigns is heartfelt, However.........

Back in the summer I popped into a Homebase store with my girlfriend to buy some paint. While she was choosing the colour I was having a nose around the garden centre. You can't really expect much from those places. They don't have the time or the in depth knowledge to properly get to grips with plants. They always seem to have an odd assortment and a very haphazard approach to plant care. There was the usual mixture of very basic plant varieties in a variety of states of health...

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