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Green Fingers in Winter

At Caves Folly Nursery in Colwall, Bridget is preparing to celebrate a major anniversary.

Here we go again, celebrating Christmas and New Year. It only seems like yesterday I was watering all day and melting in the heat! The nursery has been put to bed and there is a natural slowing down in the plant and animal world. Now is the time to make plans for the next growing season.

Next year we are celebrating 40 years in business here at Caves Folly Nurseries. What a lot of digging, pruning, potting, pricking out, watering, customers, sales, landscaping and show gardens built. It makes me feel exhausted just reading it but what fantastic fun and satisfaction we have had through our work. To nurture a plant from a tiny seed and then sell it to a customer, who returns later to explain the enjoyment that it has given them, is so very rewarding. Many of our wonderful staff have been helping us for years and some of the original helpers still help at the Malvern Show!

Over the years we have faced many challenges. 25 years ago, we were pioneers in trialling peat-free and organic composts, adopting organic principles in horticulture and using reclaimed materials. Many of these principles have since been adopted by major organisations such as the RHS and the National Trust. We were looked upon as mad hippies then - funny how trends change (I am proud to say that we are still mad old hippies).

My huge challenge over the last few years has been trying to replace plastic pots. I have tried pots made from potato starch, Miscanthus, rice husks, coir, paper and biodegradable plastic. It is difficult to find a perfect solution. We will have a Pot Bank at the nursery this year for local customers to bring their used pots. To help make the project work please don’t just dump them, sort them and put them in the right sizes.

For the moment re-using is an obvious answer along with bought in coir pots and paper pots for vegetable plants. We can then experiment on the nursery with different pots as more products become commercially available. 

December and January are good times to have a break from gardening and build up your strength for next season. Order seeds and plan for sowing indoors in February. Don’t forget to feed the birds and do not disturb any hibernating creatures.

The retail nursery is closed now until March 2019. If you would like to order or buy plants anytime please call us on (01684) 540631.

Thanks to all of you who have put up with my horticultural ramblings for another year and I wish you all a Happy Christmas and a floriferous New Year!

Bridget runs Caves Folly Nursery on Evendine Lane in  Colwall (WR13 6DX). They are open from 8th March until October, Thursdays to Saturdays from 10 - 5. You can contact them on 01684 540631 or visit their website: