Bank holiday weekend is upon us and the forecast doesn’t look too bad down here in the balmy south. Looking forward to taking off my fleece and hat soon. Summer must be close, we have two swallows back here this week and roosting in the donkey shed as usual. Bit anxious that their food might be in short supply with the cold weather holding back the flying insects but with rising temperatures over the next few days I’m sure they will cope. There are signs of more vigorous plant growth in the offing and that slight improvement in the weather should produce a real flush of growth, just hoping it doesn’t all come at once. Our second big batch of pest predators were released last week, another part of the plan likely to be hindered by the cold, just hoping we haven’t wasted all that expense and sentenced them to an icy demise. Best not think about it too much.
In Caroline’s wealth of spare time she does a bit of short term cat fostering for a charity and because we have a bit of space here we tend to get used for the area warehousing for supplies. We took in a huge pallet of reject/damaged cat food this week which sat neatly in the barn. The next morning Spare cat didn’t want any breakfast which was unusual but the reason became apparent later when I caught him perched on top of the pallet licking his lips. Several packets were well open and munched, including those addictive Dreamies. Talk about the cat getting the cream.
My turn last night, celebrated our wedding anniversary with a meeting of the Up Somborne Gentlemens Book Club (set up in response to the ladies version). Held this time at the Flacks Brewery in Romsey, while being given a very entertaining tour of the premises complete with associated sampling of the various products being produced. Delicious but not easy getting up the next morning!
If anyone from further afield is amassing a good collection of our wooden boxes (60+) and wants to shift them (we are not getting out as much with our own transport over the longer distances at the moment) you are quite welcome to wrap them on a pallet, drop us an email and we will organise a pallet company to collect them to clear them out of the way. Box stocks are getting lower this end, so any returns gratefully received from everyone. Thanks. Box cleaning, drying & mending at this end is going well, just about keeping on top of demand at the moment.
Dicentra spectabilis are looking great and probably at their best, shoots bushy and are nicely above the surface and buds with a bit of colour already showing on this fleshy exotic. Not many left. Dicentra Goldheart with its bright yellow leaves and beautifully contrasting pink and white flowers are ready to go this week. The flower spikes of Veronica gentanoides are extending up from luxuriant fresh green foliage, ready to display their delightful powder blue flowers. The ever popular Erysimum’s are still doing really well. Two of the most popular varieties, Red Jep and Bowles Mauve, are looking great, dark green foliage, bushy with buds swelling and a bit of colour showing. Fresh batches of Pastel Patchwork and Apricot Twist are now in bud again.
The Primula japonica varieties are just showing their strong flower heads. An impressive candelabra type, our best batch being the Millers Crimson which are monsters, full of vigour with the flower heads just appearing in the heart of the foliage. Still got some fantastic Pulsatilla’s which have come through very strongly now, really great plants, our best ever with plenty of bud and opening flower. The red and purple forms are particularly impressive. Why not make a show and get in a few trays while they are at their best? Campanula glomerata are beginning to produce their flower spikes with bud appearing and the odd flash of colour. The more scrambly Campanula posharskyana look rampant with lush foliage and bud showing. Pyrethrum’s in both red and pink forms have buds just appearing above their ferny foliage, best now before they get tall. The short, neat and bright orange Geum varieties of Koi and Queen of Orange have their first of many flowers. Caltha palustris are showing their early yellow buds among the healthy green shoots. The little bright pink flowers of Erodium Bishops Form are now peppering the cushions of foliage looking perky. Thalictrum flower shoots looking good above their aquilegia-like foliage. One of the earliest Geraniums, phaeum Samabor, is showing dainty dark flowers above it’s smart darkly marked foliage.The overwintered Lupin’s and Digitalis are all looking full of promise and vigour with flower spikes starting on many.
Have a good one, from all at Kirton Farm Nurseries