Monday, 30 September 2013

Morning all,
Shockingly busy week for an old fart. Not only lots to get done on the nursery with very few people, but the candle has been burnt from all ends in the evening too.
Made the most of the quiet winds earlier in the week to prepare a couple of tunnels for re-cladding but the orders and Erysimum arriving to pot we got delayed in the actual covering. In the end the wind returned a little earlier than expected and we only got one recovered which was a bit frustrating. Hopefully we will get another lull before it cools off too much to gethe other done and a third which is nearly ready to go. We also took delivery of our autumn batch of nematodes to attack anyvine weevil that escaped the biocontrol fungus that is incorporated into all the potting compost. This extra level of protection gets applied to all those lines that are susceptible to attack and any older stock still knocking about. The nematode application is quite a fussy job with their dislike of sunlight and the need for agitation and aeration in the stock solution as it awaits its destiny. So this year we put together a natty little compressed air device which sits in the bucket stirring and aerating constantly from our air compressor so we just have to wait for cloudy conditions or the late evening to get them into the compost.I am hoping for a quiet couple of hours later to recover from a long week. We have been to 3 concerts, one dinner and birthday tea in the last 5 days. It was Basingstoke first to see Chastity Brown a young American blues/folk singer, not usually my cup of tea but she was brilliant. It was a small room (the Osmonds were in the main h all but couldnt get in there!) and she sang so well, putting her heart and soul into it and a few tears too. Then the next night was our trip to the Half Moon iPutney to see Ben Waters and his band recording a live CD. It was a very entertaining and lively night as usual and it will binteresting to hear how the CD turns out as it was a pretty noisy venue. The entry into the gig was a bit slow as they had to write down everyones name and address so we could be all credited on the CD and get our free copies. Ben's lovely Mum took down our details and always remembers us as Caroline & Derek Kirton who do something with fuzzy plants and rather than disillusion her we confirmed those details so we will be immortalised on a CD cover under names that mean nothing to anyone but Ben's mum. Very late home that night. Last night we saw a couple of very talented singers at the local village hall (King Somborne Sessions) one from Norway, Dagny, who has supported Sting and Sir Elton before, and a young London singer Jake Morley who was very entertaining. Not usually my thing but a good evening out.
Also recovering this week from my first hockey game of the season. Unfortunately my back injury flared up again so havinanother couple of weeks off hockey to recover. Slight embarrassment at home this week when I was trying to find a comfortable position for my back. Kneeling in front of the armchair with my head and chest resting on the seat was perfect and there I nodded off quite quickly. But old nurseryman issues followed with excessive dribbling during the open mouthed nap and I suddenly awoke to find the telly still on, a wet cheek and Caroline already doing the washing up. I then had to tidy up and try and explain away the large damp patch in the middle of the armchair. I dont suppose it will get any easier. 
AvailabilityFresh Asters coming on song with loads of bud and colour showing.We also have a fresh batch of Anemones coming into their own. Strong plants with flower stems appearing.The short Verbena bonariensis Lillipop is in flowerPanicum Prairie Sky looks great too with its tall, upright, elegant blue/grey foliage and flower stems bursting forth. There are some late summer blooms appearing on the new bushy Salvia which will brighten the border.Winter and early spring favourites are coming beautifully with strong late growth on the Helleborus, Pulmonaria, and Bergenia varieties. There are even a few stray flowers on the Primula vulgaris having a quick practice for their spring performance.
Box returnsThanks for the great response to the email appeal I sent out for the return of as many boxes as you can lay your hands on.Dont worry if you are still using them for display of our stuff we just need to track down the spares of which there appear to be a scary number out there! It is really very important we get these boxes returned or accounted for, so we can maintain a good looking and sustainable delivery and display system. Please do drop us an email to update us on the current position if you havent already done so.
Cheers.Have a good one, from all at Kirton Farm Nurseries