Every month Julie, our Tree Nursery Manager, brings readers a blog post all about our nursery, plants, gardening and more.

Whether you’re an avid gardener or nature enthusiast looking for inspiration, or simply interested in learning more about what’s happening at our nursery, we’ve got something for everyone in this monthly blog series. So sit back, grab a cup of tea, and join us as we explore the wonderful world of trees and gardening at Emmaus Cornwall!

What we have on site

My word, it has been a whirl wind month, starting off with Storm Antoni and Betty. This did not affect us too much, everything stood up to it. Even the new arrivals of trees that we are looking after at the nursery. They are cell grown trees which will be distributed and planted this year. We laid them down in groups on some Mypex which is sheeting that stops the weeds coming up but allows water to go through. There is a wide variety of trees on site – Alder, Willow, Purging buckthorn, English Oak, Cherry, Spindle, Hornbeam, Aspen, Silver Birch.

There is so much in a name, with common names of plants it is often about the use of the plant or what it looks like. Purging buckthorn being no exception – the berries were used as a laxative! It is a native plant of the U.K. and can be misidentified with Alder Buckthorn and Cornus (Dogwood).

Spindle is a very tough wood which was used to make spindles for spinning wool. Today it is used for making artist charcoal. It can be identified by the stem which is square in shape and in the winter it is a blaze of colour with it brightly coloured pink/red berries. If you find it in a woodland, it may well be a sign of an old woodland. It is a small tree/shrub and one that could be considered for the garden.

The nursery is now starting to fill up as both Rod and I bring the trees we have grown from last year’s seed collecting sessions to the nursery. The Hazel have done exceptionally well and are ready to be planted this year. Next year we will be able to offer Oaks, Holly, Sycamore, Horse Chestnut, Rowan, Elder, Hawthorn, Downy Birch, Holm Oak and Wild Privet.

I have started to propagate wild Privet and you can see how different they are from garden Privet that have rounded leaves. Wild Privet has pointed leaves and are much smaller – they are commonly found on sand dunes.

Privet now ready to pot, six weeks after taking cuttings.

Our polytunnel has arrived!

Probably the most exciting visible thing to appear this month is the polytunnel, which will be ideal as we go into the autumn, to allow us to build beds and prepare for next year in the dry. The nursery is coming on in leaps and bounds now and volunteers have started to arrive, not a moment to soon, with all the seed collecting we are doing and watering needed in the dry spells. If you would like to volunteer with us, please check out our seed collecting sessions.

To round off the blog for this month, we have now started collecting seeds from various locations in the county, so we will have thousands of plants to grow next year. If you are interested in volunteering, there are plenty of opportunities at the nursery and off site collecting tree seeds. Look on our Facebook page or our events page.

Finally, I wanted to thank our new chair Robin Tatum of Emmaus Cornwall for visiting the nursery and his enthusiasm for the project and its objectives.