Customers regularly ask me how the hosepipe ban will affect the nursery. Fortunately, as a business we will still be able to use a hosepipe for watering our plants. Can you imagine filling a watering can 6 zillion times a day to water a whole nursery?
We’ve been more interested in how our customers will water their plants. So I have been asking all of them what they intend to do this year.
I’ve yet to speak to a customer who is altering their planting habits this year. It seems that very few use a hosepipe anyway. Most are on meters and view hosepipe usage as unaffordable decadence. Instead they have stocked up on water butts in preparation for when the rain does fall, and extra watering cans. They have joked about cancelling their gym membership and getting fit from all the extra trips with a watering can if the dry weather continues. They have quizzed us about plants that are drought tolerant. They have installed drip irrigation (not banned), and laid moisture-retaining mulch. They are saving plastic water bottles to insert in the ground to carry water to the plants’ roots. They are determined to enjoy their gardens and add new plants, regardless of any adverse conditions our unpredictable climate throws at them. They are going to relish the challenge. They love gardening and adding new plants and will NEVER surrender!
So I was extremely disappointed by the response to a question posed to Christine Walkden on Gardener’s Question Time on Radio 4 last week. She was asked how she would cope with the hosepipe ban this year. Ah I thought, my ears pricking up in interest. Here’s an experienced celebrity gardener about to share her wisdom with an eagerly awaiting public. An opportunity to give some sound advice for gardening in drought conditions. Instead she said she wouldn’t be planting anything this year because of the drought. Talk about throwing the towel in!
Urban Jungle has had a very strong start to the season, no doubt helped by the lovely warm weather – I can remember snow in March in previous years. From the first of April, will we be nurturing stock that no one will want to buy, and cancelling our outstanding plant orders? Somehow, I don’t think so. Gardeners are still gardening.
So come on Christine – where’s your fighting spirit?