Monday, 8 June 2015

Hairy Luck

Morning all,
Plenty of great looking stock so don’t hold back! 
Another very busy week with a few extra challenges thrown in. My computer has been going on a steady decline so I updated it with a newer version earlier in the week, same model just a bit quicker and bigger storage. Usual easy change-over of course, no issues with any of the old programmes we use! Sod all works at the moment. After a long week I gave up in a huff last night only to step outside the office and get deposited on by a passing bird. Caroline seemed to think this was lucky, I’m not so sure, I had already washed my hair this month and it was back to square one. Luckily I bounced back later after a couple of glasses of Bath Ales Dark Side (like barbequed Guinness) and the loud output from the new Virgil and the Accelerators CD (went to see them last Sunday).
We had our quarterly NBIS (Nursery business improvement scheme) meeting last week with a trip to the excellent David Millais rhododendron nursery. A lovely site with a fantastically efficient small nursery unit on it, quite a few new ideas to bring home, spend money on and develop our own enterprise to the next level. It never ends all this improvement stuff and it always seems to be that thing of investing more now to save later! One encouraging aspect was that everyone in the group was feeling a bit more positive than in recent years after a good spring, but margins are still so tight and there is already a feeling of ‘what if’ for next year so I don’t think there will be too much expansion going on. Caution seemed to be the general feeling, with doubts about the directions plant sales are going in, as the markets continue to change. An exciting and challenging time for all.
Availability highlights
We have several more Veronica’s this season which are looking fab, Buds are appearing on nice compact plants although not sure yet how long before the colour appears. The best varieties are Inspire Blue (very blue), Red Fox (deep pink/red) and Baby Doll (lovely flouncy pink and short!).
The Phlox Flame varieties are showing fantastic bushy growth and lots of bud now beginning to show.
Delightful Catananche looking lush with flower stems appearing on the white form and stirrings of activity in the blue. We lots of Achillea varieties this year, with flower shoots and buds most. The lovely Desert Eve range are very compact and showing a bit of colour, the others are fairly compact but not quite as ground hugging. All monster plants,
A new crop for this spring is Digitalis Silver Fox. Lovely silver/grey foliage which is showing strong multiple flower shoots (white/cream flowered). It doesn’t get too tall and looks perfect just now but not a huge number left.
The Garden Pinks (Dianthus) are beginning to bud up nicely with the odd open flower. Most of the varieties we grow have a delicious scent, classic garden flowers. Incarvillea has suddenly leapt out of the compost and started producing flower shoots and colour. Exotic in appearance.
Just coming into bud are our great range of Leucanthemums. Several varieties this year running alongside the ever popular dwarf classics of Snow Lady and Silver Princess. All stonkingly bushy plants, Lacrosse has pretty white petals with a little spoon shape on the end of each, Sante is a stunningly frilly double and Real Dream and Banana Creme all carry very attractive large dasy flowers of varying shades of cream/pale yellow.
Our nice short Tiarella (Foam Flower) are showing plenty of bud and flower now, a very pretty cream show. Salvia’s Sensation Blue and Sensation Rose are producing strong bud and good colour.
The dwarf upright Polemonium Bambino Blue is now in bud, the odd bold blue flower showing.
Fabulous crops of Gallery Lupins, Delpiniums and Digitalis Dalmation will be on stream for just a few more weeks. Astilbes all have masses of bud showing with some just beginning to open. Dark red (Fanal), white (Deutschland), dark pink (Rhienland) and delightful pale pink of Peach Blossom.
Geum’s are in bud and flower, Lady Stratheden and Mrs Bradshaw have buds and flowers opening on strong stems looking fantastic. The dwarf orange Koi is in colour and a fresh chunky batch of Queen of Orange is just budding up. Still plenty of fresh Erigeron karvinskianus. Other Erigerons are approaching flowering too.
Delightful little flowers of Erodium’s are showing well with months of colour to follow.
Herbs coming along nicely as the range begins to grow. The Basils are starting now as the temperature begins to rise. Lavenders are coming into bud, and some of the pretty and tasty thymes too.
Have a good one, from all at Kirton Farm Nurseries

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