Monday, 11 April 2016

Lovely Hairy Pulsatillas

Morning all,

Spring is trying hard to get going, We’ve had the odd glorious day but it’s only in snatches, still need the fleece most days. Not quite perfect selling weather but not too bad for the plants. Orders picked up a bit this week after a very pleasant weekend outside, a taste of the spring madness to come. Already clearing a few tunnels ready for the next crop, potting well underway for all those follow on crops.
The finger is now almost fully recovered although I did give myself a bit of a scare last weekend. I was just using a spare hour or two to re-lay the slab path around the new wooden staff room, taking out the steps and wobbles to make a safer surface for all. Somehow I managed to drop a 2 x 2 slab on the finger, I had tried to pull it out of the way but it caught and got trapped underneath, the sharp pain made my heart sink but luckily it was just the elastic strap of the finger cover breaking and twanging against the inner wrist. The splint held firm and I escaped with just my pride hurt.
Looking forward to the bank balance dropping back from the limit, we are getting closer as some of the cash starts rolling in from all those earlier plant sales. We can’t quite relax yet, still a few weeks to go before things even up and we pay off back log of bills to one or two very understanding suppliers, maybe this year we will have some left for the winter, there is always hope and the coming year is always full of promise! What would help a bit is everyone buying enormous numbers of those lovely flowering Pulsatilla’s, they look fabulous in those hairy pots. A treat not to be missed.
If anyone needs any extra or a few spare label skewers or wooden price labels do let us know and we can send a few along with your next order. I know they can occasionally break under the strain of plant area life and it might be nice to get everything ship shape again. We are just ordering our next batch of the bamboo skewers from China so that will keep us going for another year or so. We have to buy a lot to get them made to our spec, at a sensible price. They might not look it but they are bespoke, the right end shape and length for the label and specially blunted tips make them just right for a very specific job. Is it slightly sad to be proud of a bamboo skewer?

Availability highlights
Lots of plants beginning to show a nice spring flush of growth now as the season progresses, even with the temperatures still not doing a lot. Excellent Pulsatilla’s have come through very strongly now, really great plants, our best ever with plenty of bud and the odd opening flower. The red and purple forms are particularly impressive, the white a little smaller and not quite as advanced on the flowering front. Get them while they are hot. Why not make a show and get in a few trays while they are at their best.
Brunnera are showing their early buds and flowers now, Delightful forget-me-not blue flowers heralding the spring. We have two forms, the green leaved and the variegated both equally dashing. Be quick they don’t hang about long. The ever popular Erysimum’s are doing really well. Two of the most popular varieties, Red Jep and Bowles Mauve, are looking great, dark green foliage, bushy with buds swelling. The Bowles Mauve are showing a little colour as the first buds open, this variety just goes on and on flowering until the frosts. Fresh batches of Pastel Patchwork and Apricot Twist are now in bud again. Signs of activity from some of the Primula’s now as spring approaches. The denticulata varieties are showing strong flower heads with plenty of bud and good colour in white, purple and violet red. Dicentra spectabilis shoots are appearing above the surface now, buds already showing on this fleshy exotic. Two forms at the moment, the pink/white and the pure white. We hope to have the dramatic yellow leaved variety Goldheart a little later, assuming it does as it should. White splashed leaves and lovely pale blue flowers still coming out on the charming Pulmonaria Opal. Just a few Symphytum Wisley Blue left, nicely in bud/flower. Subtle pale blue flowers appear early every year.
The overwintered Lupin’s, Digitalis and Delph’s are all looking full of promise and vigour. Monster Lupins, particularly pleased with these. Aquilegia are showing signs of the occasional flower stem, a little way off colour yet but raring to go.Did I mention how good the red and purple Pulsatilla are at the moment, I wouldn’t want you to miss out! There are a few new lines this week showing signs of flowering, so watch out for those.

Have a good one, from all at Kirton Farm Nurseries

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