Monday, 14 August 2017

Hairy Rush

Morning all,
It’s a beautiful summers day here and the combines are slogging away after another up and down week on the farm. On a day like this it is hard to believe what a shocker of a day we had on Wednesday, wall to wall rain and very cool and real downer. A stroke of inspiration hit the local farmers here and they gave up all hope of achieving anything practical on the day and decamped for lunch at a local hostelry to drown in each other’s sorrows. A nice bit of ‘all in the same boat’ camaraderie did no harm and I’m sure it was a very jolly affair, after all we all know how positive farmers usually are, It even seemed to pick the weather up a bit, some gentle breezes to dry things out and a gap in the downpours has meant a return to the usual hassle of combine breakdowns and long hours but at least things are moving in the right direction.
Meanwhile we are having our own challenges on the nursery with a little bit of becoming the victims of our own success. On the main nursery we are struggling to keep on top of combining a long season of sales and deliveries, tunnel clearance, potting and pricking out, the week is just too short and it is already half way through August. The cool damp autumnal feeling mornings are a bit early and adding to the panic that there is not too much summer left and we need to get on. You would think after 33 years doing this we would have got the hang of it by now and to be fair we always get there in the end, one way or another. On top of all this the micropropagation unit we also run here is swamped with advanced long term orders, which seems bizarre as we keep getting told that microprop production in the UK is just too expensive. Last winter we invested quite a lot in cost and carbon saving LED lights, a new media store and cold room, a structure to cover the increasingly leaky workroom and growth room and a more effective aircon unit in the workroom which was all going to be the last hurrah to see the lab through the next few years. Now we are suddenly employing and training two new staff members in there and thinking about how we can squeeze more out this tiny unit by possibly reorganising the facilities again. If we could just have a week of time standing still to gather ourselves that would be great but hey ho such is life, in the odd moment of calm (just after Wednesday night yoga when the beer and crisps come out) we count ourselves lucky that our products are so popular and we have such a lovely bunch of eager customers.
Had a tough Sunday last weekend, didn’t fit in as many nursery hours as usual, after a fantastic party on the Saturday night, sore legs and sore head, I must have bumped it on something. A brilliant reminder of the benefits of getting a group of old friends together in a relaxed environment, providing a bit of sustenance and music and letting go a bit, or a lot. Luckily we were all too old to be recording it all on our phones so no incriminating or embarrassing evidence has come to light yet, we should do it again soon. Life is too short, must make the most of it.

Availability highlights
Signs of high summer are here with the last few Crocosmia now in bud and showing colour. The gold of George Davidson is always popular, as is the lovely red/orange big bloomed Babylon. There are a few nice short Nepeta Six Hills and Walkers Low in bud at the moment. The dinky little Junior Walker has just been trimmed again to get another flower flush in a week or two.We still have a few of the pretty Rhodanthemum Marakesh looking good with a fresh batch of bud coming. We have a great range of mini garden Chrysanthemums in bud. Disappearing fast. Naturally very bushy (no pinching required), they will produce masses of flower from now until the frosts (these are not fully hardy plants so will not always survive a winter outside).
We have a few Campanula Pritchards Variety coming back into bud and flower after an earlier trim. Several of the Asters are busting a gut to get into bud, Flora’s Delight is the first to actually show colour, the others are not far behind. The mildew free Asmo, Asram, Starshine and Eleven Purple now have well developed bud and the odd open flower. Best crop ever so don’t miss out. Lady in Blue and Starlight are both looking very smart with loads of bud developing. We have a fantastic crop of Ajuga in range of leaf colours just bursting to get into the garden. Sage Hot Lips has proved very popular again and we have a fresh batch of short trimmed plants with fresh bud on show. Dinky Erodium varieties are back again, low growing and flowering for ages.
Fresh batches of Euphorbia are looking nice in a range of foliage colours. Fresh young plants of the very compact Coreopsis Illico are back on the list with fresh bud appearing, proving to be a popular new line for this year. Bright variegated leaves of the short tufted grass Carex Evergold are looking very neat and smart.
Have a good week from all at Kirton Farm Nurseries.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Waxing Hairy

Morning all,

What a great win by Mo last night, it had us cheering him on in a great race. I love an uplifting feel good experience and that was certainly one to file away in the memory to draw on in times of need.
A slightly quieter week last week allowed us to get properly stuck into the potting and with no machine breakdowns plus a couple of extra bodies we rattled through some of the backlog that had built up. It is difficult to believe we are already potting big batches for next spring sales already when this season still is still rolling on. Let’s hope we can keep up the momentum over the next few weeks, it’s going to be tricky with the usual summer holiday interruptions and the amount of tunnel tidying we will have to do in preparation, but after years of practice I know it will all get done in the end so no point getting too tense about it. Having an hour or two extra available in the week has helped me catch up with a few maintenance issues which is always satisfying, I still haven’t manage to get out and replace the perforated work trousers and now it has been pointed out that my two ‘best, pairs are similarly affected. That’s the price you pay for sticking to your favourites and not getting out much.
Meanwhile I have been shorn by Caroline to tidy me up a bit and sorted out my failing hearing. A fabulous investment in some drops and a syringe kit has brought me back to some form of normality and created a couple of new tea lights for Christmas! Reduce, reuse, recycle.
The run of unsettled weather has been frustrating on the farm with harvest stuttering along between the bands of rain and showers. At least the breeze has kept up which helps dry things off quickly and they have done better than expected today with the showers mostly slipping us by. I can hear, thanks to my new aural powers, the grain trailers rumbling up and down the road which should hopefully mean some more relaxed party goers later tonight.
Thankfully the new potting machine drive belt and new chain arrived last week so Sunday should be the perfect opportunity to get them fitted without interrupting production, I’m just hoping I don’t get too ‘overtired’ tonight and sleep in too late. A few friends are giving a big party to celebrate their shared 25th wedding anniversaries with the promise of a lift there and back, plenty of refreshment and a live band, and we are both looking forward to that. It’s a ‘black tie’ do but luckily those trousers are intact so I won’t be embarrassing myself in that department, although there will be loads of dad dancing going on judging by the overwhelming numbers of aging attendees. I’d better get the watering finished so I can go and scrub up in readiness, wish me luck.

Availability highlights
Signs of high summer are here with the last few Crocosmia now in bud and showing colour. The gold of George Davidson is always popular, as is the lovely red/orange big bloomed Babylon. Star of the East actually has the biggest individual orange flowers of all the ones I’ve seen, a stunner.
There are a few nice short Nepeta Six Hills and Walkers Low in bud at the moment. The dinky little Junior Walker has just been trimmed again to get another flower flush in a week or two. We still have a few of the pretty Rhodanthemum Casablanca and Marakesh looking good with a fresh batch of bud on show. We have a great range of mini garden Chrysanthemums in bud. Naturally very bushy (no pinching required), they will produce masses of flower from now until the frosts (these are not fully hardy plants so will not always survive a winter outside). Several of the Asters are busting a gut to get into bud, Flora’s Delight is the first to actually show colour, the others are not far behind. The mildew free Asmo, Asram and Eleven Purple now have well developed bud and the odd open flower. Best crop ever so don’t miss out. Lady in Blue and Starlight are both looking very smart with loads of bud developing.
We have a fantastic crop of Ajuga in range of leaf colours just bursting to get into the garden.  A small fresh batch of the pink Armeria are now producing plenty of bud, neat and pretty. A fresh batch of the lovely Anthemis Sauce Hollandaise is short and bushy with bud showing. Just a few left. Buds and flowers are in abundance on the very popular Sage Hot Lips. Dinky Erodium varieties are back again, low growing and flowering for ages. Flower stems and bud are appearing on many of the Japanese Anemones already. Strong and bushy, the hardy Fuchsia range is doing its thing. Loads of colour. There are fresh batches of Achillea Terracotta and Red Velvet in bud and flower.
Have a good week from all at Kirton Farm Nurseries.


Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Hairy potting joy

Morning all,

The weather is a tad disappointing although at least the gardens will be benefiting. More changeable stuff around next week too which is better for my sanity although frustrating for the farm who are desperate to get stuck into harvest for more than a few hours at a time.
Last week’s village flower show went well despite the showers, and takings were better than expected, other than the ice cream stand and bouncy castle which did understandingly suffer in the prevailing conditions. The new stands set up this year seemed to be a real hit, a BBQ offering and a beer tent were able to warm the insides and drown the sorrows without depressing trade in the tea room, so happy stallholders in both sweet and savoury camps.
We had another poor group suffer a tour of the nursery this week, a gang of mostly ex fruit growers from Sussex who were great fun to show round. There is nothing quite like the coming together of a group of long suffering growers, from whatever sector, to make the most of an afternoons walk and talk. They seemed pleased with their afternoon out and for me it’s always nice to entertain another understanding and sympathetic audience.
The strong nursery sales have kept us really busy and the list of potting to get done has got longer, so slight panic beginning to set in on the production front. Luckily Friday was all clear of distractions and at 8.00 we tucked into our first full day on the machine for months. At 8.30 the dreaded call came over the radio, ‘Derek can you come and take a look at the potting machine?’ Not a fault we had seen before, motors running but all motion stopped. What fun. After two hours clearing out the compost and inspecting all obvious seizure points we came to a decision all we ‘masters of the hammer’ dread, we would have to call someone who actually knows what they are doing for some help. After lengthy discussion with said person we were instructed to take off the main motor and the ‘variater’ (controls the speed) so we could check that the gearshaft would manually turn without crunching and hopefully illuminate the most expensive repair option. With renewed motivation we went back to the machine only to find several of the bolts we would need to undo completely unreachable as they were so close to the machine body. Ace. Despite the expert advice not to take the ‘variater’ apart because we would need 15 hands to get it back together again, we went for it. With some trepidation I undid the cover and pulled it off, expecting all hell to break loose as it fell apart, but our expert had remembered a different variater than the one we had and no pile of cogs descended, just a lot of dirt and debris. It turned out to be a fairly simple belt driven unit with an adjustable pulley that changed the speed. Off came the bottom pulley and belt so we could test the gearbox and thankfully all was smooth and crunchless. We noticed the top adjustable pulley was stuck in one position and the belt quite worn, could this be the answer. A little judicial gentle persuasion got the pulley sliding on its shaft again and we put it all back together hoping for the best. Great rejoicing when everything moved again if only for about 10 seconds when it seized up again. This time we knew instantly the problem, we had loosened the lift conveyer earlier to free things up and it had jumped the cogs on the drive. An easy, if not embarrassing, mistake and a doddle to put right. Just 5 hours after apparent disaster we were up and running, immensely satisfying, but now even more to pot. A new belt has been ordered and next week’s potting target has been raised. Onward and upward.

Availability highlights
Despite the damp in the air, signs of high summer are here with most of the Crocosmia now in bud. The gold of George Davidson is always popular, as is the lovely red/orange big bloomed Babylon. Star of the East actually has the biggest individual orange flowers of all the ones I’ve seen, a stunner and we have just a few of the striking bicolour Harlequin. We have a great range of mini garden Chrysanthemums in bud. Naturally very bushy (no pinching required), they will produce masses of flower from now until the frosts (these are not fully hardy plants so will not always survive a winter outside).
Several of the Asters are busting a gut to get into bud, Flora’s Delight is the first to actually show colour, the others are not far behind. Best crop ever so don’t miss out. Lady in Blue and Starlight looking very smart with loads of bud developing. We have a fantastic crop of Ajuga in range of leaf colours just bursting to get into the garden. A small fresh batch of the pink Armeria are now producing plenty of bud, neat and pretty. A fresh batch of the lovely Anthemis Sauce Hollandaise is short and bushy with bud showing. Just a few left. Buds and flowers are in abundance on the very popular Sage Hot Lips. Dinky Erodium varieties are back again, low growing and flowering for ages.
Flower stems and bud are appearing on many of the Japanese Anemones already. The ever popular Dianthus are in bud and flower. Just a few varieties left. Strong and bushy, the hardy Fuchsia range is doing its thing. Loads of colour. There are fresh batches of Achillea Terracotta in bud and flower with some fresh stock of Red Velvet looking very strong.
Have a good week from all at Kirton Farm Nurseries.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Hairy pud

Morning all,

Just back from dismantling our stage display (decoration only) at the local King Somborne Horticultural show. Our little stab at looking pretty for once in the year. It’s nice to be able to show a bit of support for the local volunteers in the club who work so hard to keep these things going year on year. Despite a pretty damp day first impressions are that entry and stall takings were ok so relief all round. Even the ice creams did ok, just a few Fabs left, I didn’t realise they still made them.
It’s been a whole week of looking presentable, which makes a change for me. Last weekend we hosted a birthday tea for Caroline’s Mum who had a significant celebration which demanded a bit of extra effort and a full on family and friends gathering. Luckily we had lots of help with food provision and house preparation as we were in the usual state of chaos trying keep on top of things elsewhere. We hit on a winner by getting the help of a very local catering company (The Little Kitchen Company) who had been with us picking up an award a few weeks ago in the Winchester Guildhall. They provided us with a few foodie extras including some fab little cakes, the only issue being that we were given twice what we ordered and despite providing the nursery with nutrition for their coffee breaks, I still had to force myself to consume a chocolate brownie, vanilla sponge and coffee and walnut slice with cream and ice cream, for lunch and dinner, for 5 days in order for none to go to waste. The efforts I have to make to reduce that food waste mountain. It’s that sort of dedication that helps win awards you know!
On Thursday evening we hosted a nursery and wind turbine tour for a couple of local sustainable business groups which was quite daunting. When I booked it in back in February I rather naively thought we would be relatively quiet and back on top of things by mid-July, so we did need a little whizz around on Thursday morning to tidy up a bit and make things look a bit more together. I’m not sure whether anyone in the group really noticed as they had not been on a nursery before so it was all a new and ‘exciting’ experience for them. At least I felt it looked pretty good and it was nice to be able to have a bit of a quick sort out after a long season and things to get back to looking professional without too much fuss. The trip round went really well, more or less on time, mainly thanks to Caroline cleverly limiting my endless waffling when I got over excited.
So the house is tidy and the nursery slightly more under control, cue the cats leaving bloodied piles all over the floor. It’s like a challenge I reckon, even to the point of chucking up on the computer keyboard after a good office clean up. First nuthatch seen in the garden, a young one but it has been about all week so with luck and plenty of suet it may hang about. Need to go, I have to beautify myself for the post show pub supper, it’s early so we can all be back home tucked up by 9.30.

Availability highlights
Signs of high summer with most of the Crocosmia now in bud. The gold of George Davidson is always very popular, as is the deep red Emberglow. Star of the East has the biggest individual orange flowers of all the ones I’ve seen, a stunner. A small fresh batch of the pink Armeria are now producing plenty of bud, neat and pretty. A fresh batch of the lovely Anthemis Sauce Hollandaise is short and bushy with bud showing. Buds and some colour the last couple of this year’s batch of Phlox varieties. Buds and flowers are in abundance on the very popular Sage Hot Lips. Don’t forget that this variety does produce pure red and pure white flowers on occasions but the ‘proper’ red and white lippy ones will prevail throughout most of the summer. We have a range of mini garden Chrysanthemums in bud, in a great range of colours. Naturally very bushy (no pinching required), they will produce masses of flower from now until the frosts (these are not fully hardy plants so will not always survive a winter outside). Dinky Erodium varieties are back again, low growing and flowering for ages. Flower stems and bud are appearing on many of the Japanese Anemones already.
A few of the Asters are busting a gut to get into bud, Flora’s Delight is the first to actually show colour, many others are not far behind. Lots more to come in the next few weeks. Best crop ever so don’t miss out.
Verbascums are strong and coming up to bud. Hurry not many left. Masses of bud coming on the two deep pink flowered Lythrums. Robin is the shorter one or the two. The short Campanula posharskyana are all showing bud and looking good but not a huge number left. The ever popular Dianthus in bud and flower. Just a few varieties left. Strong and bushy, the hardy Fuchsia range is doing its thing. Loads of colour. Summer has arrived, in case you hadn’t noticed, with bud and colour showing in the remaining Hemerocallis varieties. There are fresh batches of Achillea Paprika and Terracotta in bud and flower. A fantastic range of foliage sizes and colours in our Hosta range, all showing off well. To see the colours check out the hosta pages in our flip book catalogue.
Have a good week from all at Kirton Farm Nurseries.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Hairy Ever After

Morning all,

Little nephew Tom and Emily are married and I am very tired. Everything went beautifully, a fantastic village wedding and dinner, emotional and funny speeches plus beer and dancing in a big tent until late. I can’t remember a couple looking so relaxed and happy at their own knot tying, a monster smooch when invited to kiss the bride in the church (get a room), followed by a big green tractor to drive off in. A great live band in the evening and a few fireworks rounded it all off and resulted in a tough couple of days of catching up with sleep and reality, on returning to base.
Young plants, compost and pots are all piling into the nursery ready to get put together for next year’s output, it’s a job to know where to turn first. Orders are still piling out (thank goodness) and tunnels are ready to clear and clean, the pricking out is building up and those incoming plants demand attention to keep them healthy and growing. We usually get one or two summer workers pitch up to help out and this year is no different but those extra hands just never seem to be enough as others disappear on holidays or summer breaks. Back in the winter we always think that by July/August all will be quietening down
and we can get on with stuff. We delay any nursery visits until then as we think, rather naively, that we will have time for a tidy up and that a nice summer evening nursery tour will be just what we would like to do. In the end it just adds another layer of panic and the nursery ends up not looking quite as perfect as one would hope. Luckily most visitors will not have seen a commercial plant unit before so even if it isn’t quite as commercial as some it can still be quite an entertaining tour. We should be ok on the first one which is next week, as it is the local Sustainable Business Network group and I am hoping that all will be forgiven as long as I take them up the hill so they can have a hug of the turbines! I’m just hoping there will be enough breeze to push them round, forecast looks ok at the moment.

Availability highlights
Signs of high summer with most of the Crocosmia in bud. The tallest variety Lucifer is all gone but the others are looking great and a bit easier to manage as they tend to be more upright in habit. The gold’s of George Davidson and Sunglow are always very popular, as is the deep red Emberglow
Buds are now appearing on a fantastic fresh batch of Phlox, monster bushy plants in the new Sweet Summer range of colours. Don’t hang about with these we don’t have huge numbers available this year. Several colours sold out already. Buds and flowers are appearing on the very popular Sage Hot Lips. Don’t forget that this variety does produce pure red and pure white flowers on occasions but the ‘proper’ red and white lippy ones will prevail throughout most of the summer. Echinacea Prairie Compact are looking great, plenty of bud and colour on strong stems, selling well. The really short dinky variety Nepeta Junior Walker are just coming into bud now. Walkers Low is a great plant and sounds like a short one but it isn’t particularly small, Junior is.
We have a range of mini garden Chrysanthemums in bud, in a great range of colours. Naturally very bushy (no pinching required), they will produce masses of flower from now until the frosts (these are not fully hardy plants so will not always survive a winter outside). Dinky Erodium varieties are back again, low growing and flowering for ages. Flower stems and bud are appearing on many of the Japanese Anemones already. A few of the Asters are already threatening to flower, Flora’s Delight the first to actually show colour, many other busy producing bud. Lots more to come in the next few weeks. The gold leaved Tradescantia Blue and Gold is in bud and flower. A standout plant if ever I saw one.
Persicaria Darjeeling Red is carrying bud and flower now. A great groundcover plant in the garden although it has in the past been a nightmare to keep tethered to a pot. We now have the secret recipe, pot it sideways or upside down! Verbascums are strong and coming up to bud. Hurry not many left.
Masses of bud coming on the two deep pink flowered Lythrums. Robin is the shorter one or the two. The short Campanula posharskyana are all showing bud and looking good. The ever popular Dianthus in bud and flower. The scented compact range (Scent First (SF)) are really coming into their own. Strong and bushy the hardy Fuchsia range is doing its thing. Summer has arrived, in case you hadn’t noticed, with bud and colour showing in the Hemerocallis varieties. There are fresh batches of Achillea Paprika and Terracotta. A fantastic range of foliage sizes and colours in our Hosta range, all showing off well. To see the colours check out the Hosta pages in our flip book catalogue.
Have a good week from all at Kirton Farm Nurseries.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Hairy Bells

Morning all,

Still lots in flower and big family wedding to get to so dad dancing stories will have to wait till next week. Still madly busy here so looking forward to some extra hands next week. Hopefully I will be re energised after having a day off so that will help too. Harvest has started, the earliest start since 1976, great timing for a family do, First swallows fledged a couple of weeks ago and seem to be buddying up with a gang of other juveniles while mum and dad get on with brood number 2. Last night there were over 40 young ones diving about the yard attracted I suspect by the water feature (puddle) we create each summer in the yard. The gang has been getting bigger each evening and hopefully they will hang about a while and hoover up lots of bugs. Must go and see if I can still get in the suit, part time here we come.

Availability highlights
Buds and flowers are appearing on the very popular Sage Hot Lips. Don’t forget that this variety does produce pure red and pure white flowers on occasions but the ‘proper’ red and white lippy ones will prevail throughout most of the summer. Echinacea Prairie Compact are looking great, plenty of bud and colour on strong stems, selling well. The exotic Eucomis are starting to show their pretty columns of pale yellow flowers. The gold leaved Tradescantia Blue and Gold is in bud and flower. A standout plant if ever I saw one. Persicaria Darjeeling Red is carrying bud and flower now. A great groundcover plant in the garden although it has in the past been a nightmare to keep tethered to a pot. We now have the secret recipe, pot it sideways or upside down! Don’t try this in the garden!
Verbascums are strong and coming up to bud. Pink Kisses is a compact variety with lovely pink flowers, and they are in bud now. Hurry not many left.The really short dinky variety Nepeta Junior Walker are just coming into bud now. Walkers Low is a great plant and sounds like a short one but it isn’t particularly small, Junior is.
We are racing through the Erigeron karvinskianus Stallone batches which is in bud with the flowers opening. Masses of bud coming on the two deep pink flowered Lythrums. Robin is the shorter one or the two. We have fresh batches of the Gaillardia Messa series, the first buds are showing on short chunky plants. Sedums are in early bud already. The short Campanula posharskyana are all showing bud and looking good. Signs of high summer with many of the Crocosmia are now showing bud. Rhodanthemum is deservedly proving very popular. Low growing silver foliage with pretty flowers all summer long. The ever popular Dianthus in bud and flower. The scented compact range (Scent First (SF)) are really coming into their own. Strong and bushy the hardy Fuchsia range is doing its thing.
Exotic Oxalis are both in bud and colour now. The purple foliaged triangularis has delightful contrasting pale pink flowers, while the Iron Cross looks quite different with its greener dark spotted leaves and deep pink/red flowers. Summer has arrived, in case you hadn’t noticed, with bud rushing up in the Hemerocallis varieties.Nice fresh batches of Veronica are now bushy and in bud. Inspire Rose/pink is the looking particularly fresh. There are fresh batches of Achillea Paprika, Terracotta and the Desert Eve series now in bud again. Plenty of Leucanthemum in bud now. The pale yellows of Banana Creme and Real Dream are proving popular. Coreopsis Sunray and Sunfire are in bud and back on the list.
Buds are now appearing on a fantastic fresh batch of Phlox, monster bushy plants in the new Sweet Summer range of colours. Don’t hang about with these we don’t have huge numbers available this year. Several colours sold out already. A fantastic range of foliage sizes and colours in our Hosta range, all showing off well. To see the colours check out the hosta pages in our flip book catalogue.
The variegated Eryngium varifolium is showing signs of flowering too. A pretty spiky flower stem, quite dramatic. Dinky Erodium varieties are back again, low growing and flowering for ages. Fresh young stock of Erysimum Bowles Mauve are looking good (in bud).
Have a good week from all at Kirton Farm Nurseries.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Hairy Exposè

Morning all,
Still lots in flower so not much room for waffle again this week.
Nice little spread in the local paper this week featuring the presentation of our Winchester Business Excellence Award for green stuff, might get in next week too with the Green Impact awards yet to hit the headlines. Bit disappointed no one has requested an autograph yet, but maybe I will need to get off the nursery to give them a chance. Fat chance this weekend, another long list of orders to prepare and jobs to get done, mind you it all helps reduce the overdraft a bit, so I won’t complain. Still haven’t managed to replace the favourite work trousers yet, just can’t find the time to get out there. The old ones have finally bitten the dust, a couple of hole enhancing accidents made them even more indecent and they had to go. Getting by on the ones with the failing elastic for the moment. I will need to be careful and keep an eye on their performance or my next exposé in the press might make the front pages for all the wrong reasons.
Started potting some of next Spring’s crops this week, where did that come from? Still at least the St Ives holiday is now booked. Looking forward to November already, it might have quietened down by then.

Availability highlights
Echinacea Prairie Compact are looking great, plenty of bud and colour on strong stems, selling well, The exotic Eucomis are starting to show their pretty columns of pale yellow flowers. Verbascums are coming up to bud. Pink Kisses is a compact variety with lovely pink flowers, and they are in bud now. We have some lovely batches of increasingly popular Erigeron karvinskianus Stallone in bud with the flowers opening. Masses of bud coming on the two deep pink flowered Lythrums. We have fresh batches of the Gaillardia Messa series, the first buds are showing on short chunky plants.  Buds and flowers are appearing on the very popular Sage Hot Lips. Don’t forget that this variety does produce pure red and pure white flowers on occasions but the ‘proper’ red and white lippy ones will prevail throughout most of the summer. The flower spikes of Liatris are looking great with the odd flash of purple beginning to show. The short Campanula varieties, carpatica White and Blue and posharskyana are all showing bud. The first Crocosmia are showing bud. Lucifer is usually the first to get going and sure enough it’s there again. Rhodanthemum is deservedly proving very popular. Low growing silver foliage with pretty flowers all summer long. The gold leaved Tradescantia Blue and Gold is in bud and flower. A standout plant if ever I saw one.
The ever popular Dianthus in bud or holding up their first flower or two. The scented compact range (Scent First (SF)) are really coming into their own. I have plenty of Passion but you probably don’t want to know that. If you do, it is a new one to us this year, a fabulous rich deep passionate red, very aptly named and beautifully scented too. Fresh batches of Salvia nemerosa in a range of colours are now back on stream with plenty of bud showing. Strong and bushy the hardy Fuchsia range is doing its thing. Exotic Oxalis are both in bud and colour now. The purple foliaged triangularis has delightful contrasting pale pink flowers, while the Iron Cross looks quite different with its greener dark spotted leaves and deep pink/red flowers. Summer has arrived, in case you hadn’t noticed, with bud rushing up in the Hemerocallis varieties.
Nice fresh batches of Veronica are now bushy and in bud. There are fresh batches of Achillea Paprika and the Desert Eve series now in bud again. Plenty of Leucanthemum in bud now. The pale yellows of Banana Creme and Real Dream are proving popular, and the very fluffy double flowers of Sante are spectacular.
Coreopsis Illico, a really compact form with masses of sunshine yellow blooms over a long period. Loads of bud already and the odd flash of colour. Sunray and Sunfire are in bud and back on the list too.
Buds are now appearing on a fantastic fresh batch of Phlox, monster bushy plants in the new Sweet Summer range of colours. Don’t hang about with these we don’t have huge numbers available this year. Several colours sold out already. A fantastic range of foliage sizes and colours in our Hosta range, all showing off well. To see the colours check out the hosta pages in our flip book catalogue.
The compact Eryngium Blue Hobbit is just about to do its thing with flower shoots erupting from the centre of the leaf rosettes. The variegated Eryngium varifolium is showing signs of flowering too. A pretty spiky flower stem, quite dramatic. Dinky Erodium varieties are back again, low growing and flowering for ages. Fresh young stock of Erysimum Red Jep and Bowles Mauve are looking good (in bud).  The Rudbeckia Goldsturm is looking great, very strong bushy plants with the first buds forming now, always a popular plant.
Have a good week from all at Kirton Farm Nurseries.