Monday, 16 March 2015

Hairy Hunter

Morning all,

Spring has definitely sprung, madly busy preparing orders and potting again. I noticed this week that the sand martins have started appearing in Cornwall and yesterday a swallow was reported so summer is not far away! I still get a buzz from the chattering of the first swallows when they arrive here. They always pick the same bit of overhead wire just above the lab door to announce their arrival and it is usually that calling that gives away their presence rather than seeing them in flight.
Cake this week with birthday celebrations in full swing. Got a lovely present from Caroline’s Mum and Dad, perfect for a vegetarian's other half. Two packs of a mixed grill selection from John Robinson’s our local mega butcher. More meat than I usually see in a year, mouth watering stuff. Had the delicious lump of bloody rump steak last night with a pint and tonight was due to be sausages and black pudding although I’ve now had a better offer of a meal out. Not been this excited for a long time, perfect for building me up for the season to come. Mothering Sunday this weekend so roast on Sunday too, will this heaven ever end?
Things are ramping up now and we have started a couple of extra staff over the last week, one returnee and one chap from a recently shut down nursery, so both had a nice bit of experience under their belts to hit the floor running. It’s always a bit of a shock for everyone seeing new faces on the nursery and it can be a bit of an anxious time seeing how they settle in, on the other hand when we can all see things getting much busier it’s a relief to feel we are not getting swamped and still retain some feeling of control. So far anyway!
Definate spring flush visible now and it’s not just the change. All stock is kept cold and well ventilated so is pretty tough. The ace-conker new look labelling and a bit of half decent weather creates a great display to kick off 2015. As a few of the earlier lines fall away they are being quickly replaced by the later emergers.
The Erysimums are budding up well, looking chunky and even showing the odd flash of colour, Bowles Mauve is showing well and is always such a favourite and a great long lasting garden performer. The range has shortened a bit but there are more to come back on line in one or two weeks. Polemonium Heaven Scent is looking great and the first flower shoots are emerging from the lovely verdant bronzed foliage, be quick they won’t hang around long.
Those spring markers Primula denticulata and Pulsatlla vulgaris are beginning to come to life. Both are showing early signs of bud appearance but not quite extended vertically yet to show much colour at this stage, but it won’t be long. Our overwintered Delphiniums are shooting strongly through now. I am always a bit anxious about how they will come through the winter as they can be a bit sensitive to being cut back at the wrong time or being attacked by a range of foes (botrytis, mice, rabbits etc) but they are looking strong and I’m hopeful for a nice early crop before the spring potted crops become available.
The Lupins are putting on their first flush of fresh, bushy, early growth, they will make monster plants. We always have to sell this batch fairly smartly as they will outgrow the pot too quickly if left until the warmer weather. My Castle (brick red) looking particularly strong and chunky, although they are all pretty stunning.
The overwintered Phlox varieties are beginning to show their first strong shoots as spring draws close, more varieties are appearing as they emerge from winter slumber. The Digitalis range is looking great, strong pot full’s of monster plants.
We seem to have an ever expanding range of Aquilegia as the sales of stock in bud have been very strong over the last couple of seasons. At the moment they are bulking up nicely as they prepare for their early summer show, don’t miss out on this perennial classic.
Dicentra spectabilis has just burst through and it won’t be long before those early buds show.
The first few herbs are now available 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.
Have a good one, from all at Kirton Farm Nurseries

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