Since my last blog, July has come and gone in record speed and in record temperatures! We have been incredibly busy. Our retail outlet is now open at the Ledene Golf Centre, and whilst small has over twenty different species of trees and shrubs. Our plan is to gradually build on the number of species available and whilst we have larger trees on offer for bigger gardens we want to concentrate on adding to our small to medium species to suit everyone. All of the species are grown from trees and shrubs on our farm and in our established garden. One of Ledene’s regular golf playing enthusiasts who, when he is not swinging a club, is employed by a well known garden centre remarked on how healthy our trees look and how competitively priced they are.

Fortunately I was able to persuade (bribe with hard cash) one of my grandchildren to organise the outlet project and with some help from his sister they worked tirelessly to get the project up and running. The Ledene Golf Centre is the perfect venue with a fabulous cafe, ample parking, essential visitor facilities and the opportunity to hit some balls!

So whilst the younger generation were busy I was left to quietly irrigate the trees currently growing to be sold bare rooted later in the year. I find it remarkable how soil moisture disappears so very quickly nowadays. It is hard to believe that after almost record levels of rain during autumn and winter we are still constantly in a water deficit. We have many ponds, lakes and streams on the farm and the periods of summer rain have made no difference to them. In contrast the water table continues to fall. Farmers need to be encouraged to develop ponds and lakes upstream to be released during dry periods. Doing so will allow gravity to do the work without the need for expensive pumps and electricity.