Monday, 9 February 2015

Hairy Blues.

Morning all,

Fabulous day with clear skies and light winds, a great day to be out and about. Great views this morning from the top of the hill when I walked up to check the turbines. They were still there. Hopefully you will be seeing a build up of interest in the gardens on a day like this, the plants are certainly looking like they are beginning to wake up and look springy. Having had my fresh air I’m now locked away to get ahead on my etching and label printing, nearly there. I’m having to make up a bit of time having taken the afternoon and evening off yesterday. Thrashed 8-1 on the hockey pitch but compensated for that with a brilliant concert in the village hall by Marcus Bonfanti. We were a little tense in the build up as we had talked the organisers into booking him and were a bit anxious that no-one would turn up. We had no need to panic it was a virtual sell out, and he seemed to go down really well. Nothing like quality live music. Make the effort, you never know what you’ll discover. Having done the local scene we are going big time next week with a visit to see Macy Gray which will be exciting.
The cold weather has finished off a couple of old tunnel sheets where they got so tight in the low temperatures they finally split as their elasticity disappears with age (know the feeling). Not a disaster really just a bit inconvenient. We were more lucky with another, which rather than splitting started to pull out the screws that hold the fixing strip to the frame. Luckily there were a couple of people working in there and they noticed it starting to unzip. A quick readjustment to the height of the tunnel side with a couple of spanners and the addition of some longer and extra screws and it all went back together without too much hassle. Had a quick check round and added a few more screws here and there just to be safe.
Cat flap in the office door sadly lost its operator this week. What was initially diagnosed as a possible throat infection turned out to be an inoperable growth which was all a bit sudden and sad. However he did slip away warm, happy and overfed and you can’t ask for much more really. With no second thought Spare cat has moved in, using the flap and bed by the desk as if they were there just for him. Ok I have to admit defeat, the cold wind finally forced on the central heating for a couple of days last week, off again now so feeling green again. Mind you it was cosy with it on, nearly got sucked into those soft irresponsible ways!

There are signs of early growth on quite a few perennial lines and the odd bud or two showing so spring isn’t too far away. All the stock is kept cold and well ventilated so should be pretty tough. As the days lengthen the first strong flush of growth comes along pretty quickly, so do keep an eye on our emails to see things develop and the spring buds appear, it won’t be long. With the new look labelling and a bit of half decent weather we are ready to put together an attractive display to kick off 2015 sales.
The Erysimums are budding up well and looking chunky, Bowles Mauve in particular is always such a favourite and a great long lasting garden performer. Apricot Twist has a few buds showing colour with loads of promise, with Red Jep close behind. The Amemone blanda blue shades are very close to making their big spring show, the odd flower is already showing as the plants thicken up. The white form is yet to show its face but I’ve had a poke and they are not far away. Winter interest is still there with the last of the Helleborus lividus Green/White which is in bud now although not too many left. Pulmonaria varieties are gradually coming into bud too, we extended the range this year and I wish I had been bolder and ordered more, they are looking great, lots of promise of chunky strong plants. I have more coming for 2016 as a bit of confidence begins to return into our plant production.
The Lupins are putting on their first flush of fresh, bushy, early growth, they will make monster plants sold from this overwintered stock. We always have to sell this batch fairly smartly as they will outgrow the pot too quickly if left until the warmer weather.
The first few herbs are available this week as spring growth begins. It is still early days for mega growth, we want to keep them tough and not too soft to put up with the last of the winter cold, but they are looking smart with their new bar-coded wooden labels. I’ve been etching printing plates all week and will be doing more into the night to try and get ahead.
Have a good one, from all at Kirton Farm Nurseries

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