Much has happened in family and business since I last wrote including wonderful times with grandchildren, a business trip to western and mid USA and Canada, Europe and Germany and a sweet homecoming to my lovely Janice who kept the business running beautifully on her own - I should go away more often. Ouch Janice,don't throw things!!!
Also at home was a weedy spring garden.
Having a laptop and Skype made being away far more bearable and it was a treat to be able to speak to, and see, Janice, Aimee (6) Jessica (4) Sarah and Chris (our daughter and son in law) and anyone else who has entered the modern communications world.
Visiting our major business clients was a great experience which was undertaken to check out how they were being affected by the "D" word - Shhhh! New Zealand is regarded by North Americans and Europeans as being a long way(s) away and they were all grateful that someone had made the effort to travel so far to see them. This surprised me as I had only traveled for a day or so (including airport down-time) and that is no more than a long car drive. I guess we New Zealanders see travel as something we just do, regardless of distance as all destinations, except for Australia (and who wants to go there?) are "a long way away". It was also timely, as I arrived when I could check out propagation methods and offer a few pointers to enhance production. Well worth while. Please remember to cover delphinium seeds as this prevents drying out of the young root as it emerges!
Time out at the Children's Garden, Frederik Meijer Gardens, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The most important thing to come out of the overseas excursion was undoubtedly the fact that our communications with clients, prospective clients and the gardening public generally needs to be improved considerably in just about every area I can think of be it via web site, magazine, personal visits, demonstrations, radio talks, displays of plants...whatever! It was therefore great to be able begin work with the VanDusen Botanical Garden (Vancouver) to organize a future display of New Millennium Delphiniums within their bounds. Fantastic.
Another highlight was to see our plants growing in The Butchart Gardens and doing so well that they are removing all their old varieties and replacing them with ours. They are absolutely delighted with the way they perform and who wouldn't be after seeing this photograph of the comparative trial they conducted in their nursery area this year.
New Millenniums are staked and in the background left while the Pacific Giants are in foreground right.
On the home front plant sales this season are going extremely well and seed production stock is so well advanced that we may start almost a month early. Our staff managed excellently in my absence; another reason for me to disappear more often.
Other family matters have been to the fore in recent times too. Janice's mother died a few months ago and we have also needed to organize rest home care in Wanganui for my mother and transfer my father, in the latter stages of Alzheimer's disease from Auckland to Wanganui too. Such is life. I need a rest!