Considering how quiet it usually is at this time of year I can’t believe how little time there seems to be. Had a frenetic day on Tuesday with Caroline off on a two day refresher first aid course I was left to warm the chair in the office and catch up on some of my office back log. We had few orders to sort out despatching by a combination parcel carrier, trolley carrier and our own van which added a bit of nice momentum to the day but it was all the little additions that made for the extra challenge. The laminar air flow cabinet servicing engineer was due, never quite sure of the timing but he was here fairly early which meant finding some nursery tasks for a few hours for all the lab staff, and it was a new engineer so had to get him sorted on where to go and what to do. At about the same time the engineers to carry out the annual service on the turbines pitched up, apologizing for the lack of notice of their arrival but had managed to squeeze in our scheduled work between a couple of other projects. Luckily it was the same crew as last time so they knew where everything was and got on with things without too much help from us. A nice big collection of plants for a landscape job had been put to one side and you can guess what day they decided to collect that at an hour’s notice. Managed that nicely, loaded onto trolleys after a few quantity readjustments for some order alterations and a quick tidy up. Have to be careful here not to admit missing Caroline’s steadying hand at the helm.
Just to add a bit of spice to the day I was also called up by the MET police about our attempted internet banking heist last week. I went through all the events as I remembered them and it seems they know the culprit or at least know of him/them. We had enough detail for them to recognize his specific ‘M.O.’ which was encouraging although I doubt we really had much in the way of tangible evidence that could be used in a conviction. Still at least it looks like they are on his trail. The bank have also been following up ours and other attacks, by sending round a general reminder of what to look out for in these types of call. The main messages were that there are some bits of bank info they would never ask you to change to specific words or letters given to you by a caller to your business and also that if a caller id appears on your phone display appearing to be from the bank don’t believe it (you can get an app to do that!). Take care.
Good luck to nephew Tom today, he is running his first marathon today (Bristol to Bath), should about half way round at the moment and hopefully his disrupted training will not slow him up too much, he does have plenty of youth on his side. My sporting efforts continue unrewarded, yet another hockey thrashing yesterday 6-3, might be nearly time to retire. Luckily it’s the taking part that counts, just ask Tom's sister Emily, playing Lacrosse in Newcastle her team have never won a game (that’s about two seasons now) but the tea’s are great apparently. Then with Mum still playing hockey too it might be a bit of a letdown to retire at such a young age at just 21 years older than the youngest in the veterans team, that’s me not Mum.
Main woodstore now nearly full after another foraging trip last weekend, well seasoned but slightly damp I’m hoping we got it under cover in time to burn well through the winter. It’s all cut, split and stacked, just the nursery store to fill now with the rather quicker burning scrap wood we accumulate here, but it all adds up.
The dainty but hardy Cyclamen coum are showing bud now in all three colours, they should flower from now until April. Aster Purple Dome are just opening on the new crop of summer potted plants.
Helleborus are coming back on stream now as they gather their strength for their great winter display. H. Niger, the classic Christmas Rose and its slightly earlier flowering cousin H niger Praecox are already producing buds and the odd open flower.Absolutely stonking Ajugas in different foliage colours and forms. Fantastic ground cover and bursting with vigour.We have some nice looking Heuchera too in a range of foliage colours.Now available are the late flowering Hesperantha (Schizostylus) in a range of 4 varieties, although there is not much sign of flower bud just yet.
Have a good week from all at Kirton Farm