Monday, 23 November 2015

Home and Hairy

Morning all,

It’s been a while since my last splurge of news simply because Caroline and I have been on our annual break to sunny St Ives. The world seems to have been in turmoil in the past few weeks which casts a menacing shadow over a lot of stuff, but we press on, what else can we do?
The unseasonably warm weather has kept plants growing longer than usual, we have a few spring crops trying to flower already which is a bit of a worry but a good cold snap over the weekend should slow that up a bit and also knock back those pests that are still active. The recent winds have taken off a couple of tunnel covers which was to be expected at some point really. We still have 9 covers to replace so in reality we could have lost more but we are still waiting for a quiet spell to get them done. We have a few empty tunnels so we can shuffle any over exposed crops around to keep them happy, a good job to keep us warm and it gives us a chance to tidy them up ready for the spring. Every cloud and all that. St Ives in November lived up to expectations yet again, we’ve been going there a bonkers number of years and already looking forward to next year! Nothing sad about us! Found yet more great places to maintain nutrient levels and extended the lunch stops to very relaxed levels. There was a time when we walked well over ten miles a day with just a warm pasty and sip of water to keep us going but as the years slip by and we carefully select older walking partners the midday recovery break has stretched to 2-3 hours with a little more than a pasty snack to keep up the strength. That’s more like a holiday! Now I know the expectation from a holiday these days is somewhat higher than the old times but how about this for a big day; Short drive to Marazion for a beach and cliff top walk to Perranuthnoe and a fantastic very long lunch at The Victoria pub (reported in The Times a few weeks ago as possibly the best pub food in the UK), walking back we spot a Hudsonian Whimbrel (only the 12th seen in the UK since 1950), it had been in the area for a week or so but we spotted it on a remote bit of beach with no pointers other than the larger Curlew that was chasing it. It landed a little away from us then moved twice getting closer each time showing off all its identifying features, a great spot and six of us to witness it. Then Brian picks up a flint tool from a ploughed field next to the path and identifies it as a likely Paeliolithic (early) stone age by the way in which flint has been prepared and struck. It turns out when we got back that this could be only the 31st Paeliolithic tool found in Cornwall (book was a bit old) so it’s location was accurately recorded and it’s on its way to the Truro Museum. A fabulous murmuration of starlings over Marazion Marsh topped off the day, one to remember.
Minimum delivery reduction for the winter. As the winter approaches our range falls away with the many deciduous varieties withdrawing into the relative warmth of the compost, but we still have a few evergreen hardy sorts doing their thing. I know it can be tricky putting together a minimum order of a full trolley (21 trays) at this time of year so if you fancy a few trays but can’t get to 21 we are happy to reduce the minimum to 12 trays for local drops and 15 trays for a bit further afield. Drop us a line and we will try and put together a few orders to make it work for everyone.

Availability highlights
Dainty flowered but hardy Cyclamen coum are showing bud now in all three separate colours and now the silvered leaved form too, They should flower from now until April. You don’t get the face full of flower of the pot plant types but a continuous classy steady show of hardy blooms.
The slightly showier hardy Cyclamen hederifolium types are also now in bloom. Bolder colours and more floriferous and classic display of cyclamen.
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 some buds and very occasional 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.

Have a good one, from all at Kirton Farm Nurseries

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