Monday, 15 December 2014

Hairy Decorations!

Good morning all.

Hope those till bells are ringing and those Christmas trees flying out of the door. That will hopefully release a cash flood and get us all in the mood for a big sales push on plants as soon as the weather smiles on us all. We all live in hope.
Getting quite excited here with the dawn of a new hairy labelling era creeping up on us, the bamboo skewers are here, the blank sheets of ‘new shape’ labels arrived this week for those extra varieties that we will print ourselves, the confirmation of printing (and cost, ouch) of the Floramedia ‘new shape’ labels arrived and we are well underway with setting up all the new picture formats to fit on those blank label sheets. We have even put together the next label order for the early summer. That’s confidence for you. The matching of our home printed labels with the Floramedia ones should make such a difference in presentation impact. Last year we had a fantastic range of super stock with propagation material coming from more varied sources, but we had at least 6 different label designs decorating them which was ok but perhaps a bit disjointed at times. Watch out 2015 coordination is coming to town, well to labelling anyway!
I am going to warn you now that when we get into 2015 I don’t want to see any of the new management catch phrases popping up. Apparently the latest couple are ‘derisking’ and ‘unbuying’. I know there has been quite a bit of this going on over the last 2 or 3 years, but I hadn’t actually heard the terms for it before. They are pretty self explanatory but just in case you are as slow on the uptake as me, ‘derisking’ is not ordering or buying any stock and ‘unbuying’ is cancelling orders or sending stuff back after delivery. Now I know we all have our jobs to keep but let’s get a bit of empathy going for the plant suppliers,who take huge risks growing their crops for very marginal or non-existent return. We all have to shoulder some element of risk in selling stuff, isn't that what makes commercial enterprises prosper in the longer term? Shove all the risk onto one level and it will all collapse. Growers currently struggle to find the motivation to be innovative and forward thinking when there is not the commitment and sensible thinking in place further up the line. Is there something wrong with working together for all our mutual benefit and is short term bullying really such a positive tactic? There is a New Year round the corner let’s work together and make it a good one.
Must get off and decorate the tree before I run out of weekend. Great decorations in Waitrose I noticed, all very tasteful, simple corrugated card cut-outs. Someone had thought about it hard at an early stage, a combination of sustainability, style, simplicity, value, image, practicality and christmasyness. Well done them, you can do it all, if you believe. I did make a point of letting a member of staff know of my approval, ‘Nutter On The Bus’ aisle 6!

If the weather holds off getting too wintery we should have an expanding range looking good going into early 2015. The new labels are due in week commencing the 19th January so the complete new refreshed display will be ready for then, if any brave souls want to get started on their perennial displays.
Erysimum varieties are coming on stream already, beautifully bushy with the shades of crimson red on Red Jep already showing really well and even a flush of bud and a hint of colour on the very long flowering. Even the ever popular Bowles Mauve has good bud appearing.
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. There were 3 great new H. viridus varieties looking very smart and distinctly different from each other. ‘Silver and Rose’ and ‘Rose Green’ have sold out but ‘White Green’ with its deep green leaves with strong cream veining is still looking great. A nice short variety with the odd flower shoot appearing and looking enthusiastic in their pots. Euphorbia’s looking smart, nice pot full’s of foliage.

Have a good one, from all at Kirton Farm Nurseries

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