|Power washing in the Fernery|
Another job that has taken place recently is the potting up of bulbs for forcing. Forcing is a method of growing a plant so that, in our case, it flowers earlier than it might do if allowed to grow naturally. Plants are also forced to give a vegetable or fruit crop earlier than normal. We do this by growing plants warmer than they would normally be, but you do not want to grow them too warm too soon. So, at the end of September the Narcissus Paperwhites and N Chinese Sacred Lily bulbs were potted up, closely followed by the hyacinths at the beginning of October. These were then plunged in beds of compost outside in the frames with several centimetres of compost over the top of the pots to exclude light. Once the bulbs have shoots of about 5cms, they are taken out of the frames and moved to a cool and bright glasshouse. The earliest bulbs to flower will be the Narcissus Paperwhites, which will flower before Christmas and these along with the other forced bulbs will be displayed in the Conservatory, bringing a splash of colour on a dull winter day.
Hyacinths in the Conservatory