Coat and hat are off, at least for a few days anyway. Quick heat wave this weekend, in the south east at least which comes just in time to kick start the bedding season in a big way. In many plant areas, for the first few weeks of May, this often comes at the expense of space for other stock like ours, which is quite understandable, just a bit frustrating having waited so long for some nice weather to appear and then we might miss out. Heh ho, we can’t do much about the weather so not too worried really, just glad that people will get out in the gardens again and catch that spring bug.
Not just the sun to make us smile this week, two House Martins have come back this week with hopefully more to follow and Leicester City won the League which is just brilliant for the city and for football. It even gives us hope here that Southampton could do this one day, a lovely moment for sport and the underdog. The overdraft slipped back off its limit last week, not by a lot but still a pleasant relief and the chance to pay off a few outstanding bills. Had an inspiring email posting earlier from one of our suppliers which I have to pass on. It went along the lines of; ‘Take a look at our fantastic irrigation systems, you will wet your plants’. Well it appealed to me.
All this love and joy even curbed the disappointment of the potting machine giving up over the holiday weekend, luckily just as we had finished for the day. Stretched chains and worn sprockets are not good news but then I can take a pill for that, but for the machine it’s a bit more serious. The mending chaps are in next week to sort it out providing I throw a large wad their way, but hoping to be back on it by the end of the week. Great timing, not busy at all!
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. These are flying out at the moment so won’t be around for long. The ever popular Erysimum’s are still doing really well. Bowles Mauve, are looking great, dark green foliage, bushy with lots of bud and a bit of colour showing. Fresh bushy batches of Pastel Patchwork and Apricot Twist are now in bud again. 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 long. The lovely red Achillea Paprika has also produced its first flower stems. The Primula japonica varieties are an impressive candelabra type, our best batch form being Millers Crimson which are monsters, full of vigour with the brightly coloured flower heads just appearing in the heart of the foliage.
We have just a few blue Camassia left, looking strong and fresh. The flower buds are just appearing but this will be the last week as stocks are low. The pretty little Foam Flower (Tiarella) are producing plenty of bud and flower now. They flower for an age. The Verbascum Phoenician Hybrids have just started showing their flower stems. A mix of colours they come quickly into bud producing pretty spikes of flower. Still got some fantastic Pulsatilla’s which are producing bud and flower. Lovely bushy plants.
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 & bright orange Geum varieties of Koi and Queen of Orange have their first of many flowers. Mrs Bradshaw and Lady Stratheden are close behind with flower stems appearing.
The little bright pink flowers of Erodium Bishops Form are now peppering the cushions of foliage looking perky. Dramatic 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. Geranium sangineum are showing a few buds now as temperatures rise.
Fabulous crops of fresh Delphiniums ready now. Short and chunky, fresh and full of vim and vigour.
The first Astilbes are showing strong fresh growth and flower buds. Top tip; Take care to water regularly avoiding full sun and drying winds to prevent the buds drying out. The overwintered Lupin’s and Digitalis are all looking full of promise and vigour with flower spikes starting on many. Get them quick before they get too tall to send.
Have a good one, from all at Kirton Farm Nurseries