Monday, 7 September 2015

Uplifting and Hairy

Morning all
Great result on Sunday for Saints got us off to a good start, followed by a relaxing Bank Holiday Monday. Started well with the cat letting go a lively young rat in the bedroom at 6.00am! Managed to catch it by 10.30 and eject it well away from the house so it hopefully won’t come back. It was all a bit much but it did get us to move all the furniture and have a bit of a clean up afterwards so not all bad. Popped down to Ikea with the rest of the population of Southampton for a few picture frames and I did a rehanging in the ‘dining room/dump’. Our collection of gig posters previously littered around the floor now make a patchwork on the biggest wall and it all looks pretty good even if I say so myself. The inherited cocktail cabinet looks majestic if underused on the other side, now just need to sort out the rest of the room to make it presentable, maybe a party room, I think that will have to wait for another year. One thing at a time.
Nursery staffing dwindled this week with some of the young seasonal staff disappearing back to school/college but still got lots to do. It will be flat out getting the tunnels cleared, autumn potting completed and ripped tunnel covers replaced before it gets too cold. We’ll get there, despite an annual panic we always get to the other side, then the quieter winter period allows us a breather to gather our thoughts.
The microprop lab’s future is looking slightly more promising after a big meeting with one of our biggest customers last week. It appears we are loved and needed by someone on the propagation front and there may be a way forward through the impeding big pay hikes of the next 5 years, it might mean a redirection of production to higher value lines and eliminate the waste and low value stuff where the foreign competition is too strong or the market won’t pay any extra. A shame for some of those markets where quality and virus free stock don’t stack up against saving a few pennies for each plant. Mind you the donning of my rose tinted specs after the meeting might have been down to all the right buttons being well pressed, we all want to be loved!
After a run of recent funerals including a special one last week, we are looking forward to a couple of nice celebrations next week, not only has Queeny reached her longest reign but Elaine on the nursery has reached 30 years service, she obviously started as child labour all those years ago and we can’t believe it has been so long since she pitched up in white jeans and heels! Also got a young person’s wedding to go to next weekend so looking forward to embarrassing all with some serious dad dancing. Hopefully my back will have recovered from yesterdays first hockey game, might be time to retire.
Availability highlights
Aster frikartii Flora’s Delight, mildew resistant and slightly more purple than the ever popular blue Aster Monch and looking good. More traditional Asters now coming back on stream too, the ever popular dwarf violet/red Jenny looks very neat now with the odd bud showing colour. Starlight is slightly more purple in tone but a really strong bright colour and neat habit. A few more Anemones coming back on the list again as we catch up again after a very busy summer.
There is a new flush of Oxalis triangularis growth and flower, looking neat and cheerful but only a few left now. The very popular straight form of Verbena bonariensis is just unmanageable when it gets towards flowering in our smaller pots so we keep them short and bushy, losing out on the colour in the pot but producing wonderfully strong plants ready to plant out. Helleborus are coming back on stream now as they gather their strength for their great winter display. Absolutely stonking Ajugas in different foliage colours and forms. Fantastic ground cover and bursting with vigour. Lovely fresh growth on the Lamium Beacon Silver, more really attractive and effective ground cover.The short neat Geum Koi is still going strong with bud and colour.
Have a good one, from all at Kirton Farm Nurseries

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