Spring has sprung in New Zealand. The willows are sprouting new leaves and the delphiniums are all shooting up like crazy. Janice and I are getting back to work after a five week trip which included the west coast of the USA, Canada and Europe, visiting clients who buy our seed, viewing the delphinium seedling trials at RHS Wisley, England and attending the wedding of a good friend in Montbrisson, France.
Amidst all the work we have returned to, Janice has convinced me that email newsgroups have now been superseded by blogs and that I should be offering discussion and answering grower questions in this medium now. This is the start. But first some bio:
In 1999, after growing cut flowers and plants for 20 years or so, Janice and I left our nursery in Tuakau, a small provincial town in New Zealand and came to Wanganui (still in the North Island of New Zealand, but further south) to see if we could exist solely by breeding delphiniums and producing seeds for sale on the world market.
The climate in Wanganui is extremely temperate and offers almost year round growing conditions. Delphinium plants have only a few weeks dormancy here (like 2 or three). The move has been very successful and we now have a well established delphinium seed business selling our high quality New Millennium Delphinium varieties to many of the best perennial plant suppliers and seed companies in the world, and also directly to gardeners everywhere. We have 2 permanent staff and this climbs to about 10 in the pollinating season (Dec to May) when we hand pollinate our delphiniums - very time consuming.
Janice and I have been fortunate to be able to establish a business that we both enjoy while being able to also enjoy family life and friendly people around the world - and still pursue our various hobbies too. Janice is a quilter, loves computers (yeah, weird!) and has her own, well established blog. I'm heavily involved in a relaxed and friendly, local Rotary club (yeah, weird too!), love playing the guitar, writing, gardening, travel and people. This blog will touch on all these things and no doubt more. Right now we are making plans for a new growing house that should be completed by the end of December, extending the house a little and producing our delphiniums. The Rotary club is producing a "Last Night of the Proms" concert in aid of "Women's Refuge Wanganui" which will raise around $10,000 to help women and families escape, or turn around, violent relationships. The concert is on September 15th and will be attended by the British High Commissioner to New Zealand.
We have a full life and love it.