Monday, 23 May 2016

Hairy and Dalmationed

Morning all,
Nice bit of rain to keep the soil moist and not too much heat to send everyone to the beach, just the gardening ticket. Chelsea and a bank holiday to come let’s rock and roll. Little room or time for waffle today with spring well and truly under way at last. Nursery is bowling along, plant whizzing out and potting in full swing again after the successful repairs of last week. Our first pair of blackcaps appear to be nesting somewhere in the garden. We have seen them on the feeders and heard their song a lot (identified from our reliable cd of british bird song). Not quite as exotic as the Dalmation Pelican in West Cornwall, a possible first for the UK in the modern era, although I had heard they were about in the Middle Ages (Caroline’s Dad remembers them well!). Quite tempted to go and see it, but the potting beckons.
Availability highlights
New for us this season is Salvia Hot Lips, a summer stunner. They flower for ages with plenty of striking red and white blooms (although for short periods they can flower all red or all white). They are fairly hardy in the south and in sheltered positions further north. Incarvillea are suddenly producing flower buds, an exotic but hardy splash for the front of the border, get them quick before they are all gone.
The strong purple foliage of Oxalis triangularis contrasts fantastically with the delicate pale pink flowers that are just beginning to appear. Fresh crops of Ajuga are coming into flower. Great ground cover in a range of foliage colours. Black Scallop and Sugar Plum are strong new varieties and looking particularly good.
The ever popular Erysimum’s are still doing really well. Bowles Mauve, are still looking great. Fresh bushy batches of Pastel Patchwork and Apricot Twist are now in bud/flower again.
Most of the Leucanthemum varieties are threatening there first buds, we have a tasteful range with pale yellow through to white’s, some with simple single flowers and some more fancy doubles. We have a mini version of Alchemilla mollis for the first time this season. Alchemilla erith. Alma is a pretty but understated,
compact form and has just started putting out its first spring flower stems. The strong deep blue flowers of Aquilegia alpina are the last aquilegia of our season and in colour now.
There are some lovely fresh strong Campanula persicifolia in bud again, but be quick there aren’t many. The shorter Campanula glomerata forms are also looking good with colour just showing or very close.
Bright gold foliage contrasts nicely with the deep blue flowers of Tradescantia Blue and Gold making it a popular choice. The strong yellow flat flower heads of Achillea Moonshine contrast so well with its grey green foliage, always a favourite. The buds are there and the colour won’t be far behind. The lovely red’s Achillea Paprika and Red Velvet have also produced its first flower stems and several of the dwarf Dessert Eve series are producing flower shoots.
Primula beesiana (pale purple) and Primula x bullesiana (mixed colours) are just showing their flower heads among their strong rosettes of leaves. We have a lovely crop of Coreopsis Sunfire ready with buds just appearing. A bright two tone flower makes a very jolly summer display. The pretty little Foam Flower (Tiarella) are producing plenty of bud and flower now. They flower for an age.
The Verbascum Phoenician Hybrids have now showing their flower stems. A mix of colours they come quickly into bud producing pretty spikes of flower. Geum Lady Stratheden are always popular and have their first flower stems appearing. Dramatic Thalictrum flower shoots looking good above their aquilegia-like foliage. Geranium sangineum are showing a few buds now as temperatures rise.
Fabulous crops of fresh Delphiniums and Lupins ready now. Chunky, fresh and full of vim and vigour.
The first Astilbes are showing strong fresh growth and their flower buds are already there. Top tip; Take care to water regularly avoiding full sun and drying winds to prevent the buds drying out.
Have a good one, from all at Kirton Farm Nurseries

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