Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Hairy Things

Morning all,
Nice bit of weather to kick things off. Luckily the temperatures are not going too mad yet so here’s hoping for a sustained emptying of the gardeners wallet. We’ve certainly been pretty hectic getting all the plants out there and trying to keep some sort of production going at this end. With some relief we got the potting machine back up and running earlier today so only a few days missed really and we did do a bit of hand potting just to get a few desperate things into compost. We are going to try and catch up a bit over the weekend and with the better growing weather they should soon catch up.
Still managed to fit in a bit of R and R among all the nursery activity, variety is the spice and all that. The weekly yoga lesson is proving a great relaxer, we come out feeling like it’s Friday night before a long weekend, so get home and tuck straight into the crisps and beer. I was asleep in the chair by 8.30, missing out on rhubarb and ice cream and then in bed spark out by 9.30. Isn’t that how Friday night is supposed to be? Meanwhile my real Friday night is here and now, getting the potting set up for tomorrow, and all this stuff sorted. Best not think too much about what we’ll get up to on our weekend, mostly potting, printing labels and packing tubs and lids for sterilisation for the microprop lab, still, it is the weekend, hurrah.
Late night on Thursday, went to Basingstoke to see Eric Bibb who we’ve not seen before but was just sensational. He has released over 40 albums, of which we had one which we love, now we have another couple! A distinctive individual style, very easy to listen to but challenging at the same time. He had it all, style, talent, modesty, and made you think. He’s on tour at the moment and well worth a visit so don’t miss out, get out there. Now I’m over-tired and in danger of losing it. Just had to correct a little typo in the opening line where somehow things had become thongs, which read a little differently.

Availability highlights
We have a small number of the Anemone coronaria varieties grown this spring. Masses of growth and now coming into flower. Very colourful blooms, there aren’t many to go round so don’t hold back. 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 again.
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. 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 Achillea Paprika has also produced its first flower stems and several of the dwarf Dessert Eve series are producing flower shoots.
The Primula japonica Millers Crimson are monsters, full of vigour with the brightly coloured flower heads appearing above the heart of the lush foliage. Primula beesiana (pale purple) and Primula x bullesiana (mixed colours) are just showing their flower heads among their strong rosettes of leaves. 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. 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 variety Koi have their first of many flowers. Mrs Bradshaw and Lady Stratheden are close behind with 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 ready now. Chunky, fresh and full of vim and vigour.
The first Astilbes are showing strong fresh growth and their 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

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