Monday, 13 October 2014

Hairy Hat Trick

Good morning all,

Things getting a bit quieter here now as the temperatures fall away. Just rushing round now trying to make the most of the remaining warmth. There is the usual autumnal burst of plant growth from all the perennials before things start going dormant. Always nice to see the heart of the young stock build up before the winter, ready for that early strong spring burst of growth and sales. Looking forward to that.

Relief all round as we got three more tunnels re-clad last week which just leaves one little one to do and we need to do some constructional repairs on that one before covering so that might take a while.
I’m now getting stuck into ordering young stock for potting next spring which is always an interesting exercise. On one hand I know the cash-flow is about to dive in the wrong direction along with the temperature so it feels like time to batten down the hatches. But in reality I really need to prize open my jar of optimism and assume we will sell some stock again when the days lengthen and with demand looking really strong for 2015 we are going to need plenty to sell. There is always that scary unknown factor of the weather to work into the equation, but hopefully we will get a good run at some point through the season to pull it all together.
I’m really looking forward to seeing the stock next season resplendent behind our new design of label. I’ve always been quite jealous of those nurseries big enough to run with their own bespoke labels creating a smart coordinated look, even if they might sometimes be a bit overpowering. Recent changes in digital printing means the size and cost of minimum print runs has come down, together with the ability to print our own short runs on site to the same design, which makes having our new look economically viable. The added bonus with our new labels is the really practical and innovative design providing so many extra benefits to us, the producer, and you, the customer. It all helps add to my excitement. It does take much!
Talking of excitement, we are off very soon for our weekend trip to Tresco. The build up has already begun with the successful purchase of new holiday socks last weekend. The weather however, looks pretty scary for our little airplane ride across from Land's End, just wondering if new holiday underwear might have been a wiser purchase. Just wonder if the venue might change to Penzance Tesco’s after all.
Just wondering if things are beginning to turn in our favour again, the signs are there I feel. If I can ignore IS and Ebola for a minute and look a bit closer to home, things are beginning to look a bit rosier. The nursery is looking promising, holidays are close and one of our long standing staff is moving into the cottage by the nursery gate which will help us both out, we get the added security and help and he can move out of Mum and Dad's place, win, win. On top of it all, after 44 years playing club hockey I scored my first hat-trick on Saturday, just hoping I don’t have to wait that long again.


Hellebourus are just starting to come ready with a few new additions to the range. We are trying a new H. orientalis selection called Crown Dark Purple which is reported to flower after its first winter, it is certainly coming on nicely at the moment. We have a few H. niger Praecox to try out and three great new H. viridus varieties which are looking very smart and distinctly different from each other. ‘Silver & Rose’ has attractive solidly silvered foliage, ‘White Green’ has deep green leaves with strong cream veining, and ‘Rose Green’ has a more glaucous green leaf with pretty flush of pink in the stems and some leaf veining. Nice short varieties looking enthusiastic in their pots.
Flowers showing on the Erodium Bishops form which never seems to stop once it starts. Evergreen Bergenia’s are now making a tidy pot ready to produce their early spring colours. Ajuga’s looking smart, nice pot full’s of coloured foliage.
Another winter interest group are the Pulmonaria’s. We have extended the range this winter with the white edged leaves of David Ward (pink flowers) and the pretty white spring flowers of Sissinghusrt White (sold out for now) held above white spotted leaves. The regular stunners are still there, Blue Ensign (pale leaves but the best blue flowers), the fabulously variegated/white blotched leaves of Opal with its lovely delightful pale blue flower in spring and the narrow spotty leaved E.B. Anderson.

Wooden Box Collections

We have had a really good round up of trays over the last few weeks but if anyone still has any of our wooden boxes ready for collection please do drop us an email and we will try and pop in and retrieve them. We can then prepare ourselves for some winter whittling and repairs. Thanks.

Have a good one, from all at Kirton Farm Nurseries

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