March 27th 2012

After an extremely busy week at the Excel Ecobuild exhibition in London’s Docklands we finally made it back to the farm.  We were worried our sedum species trays would not be ready in time, as we wanted it to look good on our stand.  However, it looked even better than we could have wished for.  Even an article about us!

The show was a great success.  We didn’t stop for all three days.  The interest was enormous and we even had people queuing to talk to us!!  We have had so many enquiries and even orders, we couldn’t wait to get back and check the fields!

I have to admit I snuck back a day early, utterly exhausted.  Richard,  Jim and Juliet stayed on and were amazing, always full of enthusiasm.

I managed to go to a few lectures.  Dusty Gedge gave an interesting lecture on the anatomy of a successful roof and Stefan Zeller from Optigreen ,whom we supply, talked on cost effective installation establishment and maintenance.  An evening on Monday with the team from Blackdown was fun as well…..drank far too much!

The lack of rain has caused the Sedum to remain slightly stunted and not to come on as fast as we would like.  However with new techniques conjured up by our horticulturist, Matty, we are doing fine.  Luckily we have no hose pipe ban here so can irrigate without any problems.  Unfortunately, we are on metered water even though we are on a farm!  We are thinking of sinking a few bore holes to help the situation.  Fortunately, there is plenty of water around the farm so should be fairly easy to tap into…another project!

Last Autumn’s mats that we laid have come on very well and are ready to roll soon.  Once Sedum establishes there is no real need to water.  It’s only in the very early days it needs a bit of help. We have our ever faithful Eldrid who checks the mats for any weeds which may have blown in, once the mats are established and have full cover the weeds don’t have much of a chance but in the early days of mat cultivation we have to watch for those stray dandelions!

At the farmhouse we are putting a new roof on the garage and have decided to lay Sedum down.  We are going to Video it and put it on the website.  I shall get the whole crew to help so that you can meet all the characters on the farm, including the chickens and peacocks!

Time to hydromulch the new mats next week.  This is a great way to keep the new cuttings and small plants moist and stable on the newly made mats.  Our team have made their own hydromulch which is brilliant.  We used it last year and it did the job to perfection.  Saved on hiring in a hydromulch and often the driver as well. Will try and get some pictures of it in action.

Next project is to cultivate some fields in Surrey we have as this will save on haulage if we can have fields dotted around the countryside.  We already have a site in Scotland so this will be great to spread Sedum Green Roof!

Well this is my first blog and hope to keep you updated on a regular basis.  I expect there will be lots of dramas to report.  The storms at the beginning of the year nearly wiped out our top end field, which was a real disaster.  We have got to rethink the way we anchor some of the mats to keep them from wind damage. No doubt there will be other problems we will encounter!  Our main aim is to keep the quality of the Sedum mats and our plug plants up to scratch, we never want to send out inferior qualtity.

Back to the fields now to check on progress.  Just a bit of rain would be very welcome!

Elaine Carp, Director Sedum Green Roof