Monday, 13 June 2016

Damp and Hairy

Morning all,
Temperatures have slipped back this weekend which is nice for us. I hope you’re not getting too wet out there, I know there have been some monster showers in the last few days although so far we have missed them all.
I did get caught in a small deluge of my own making earlier in the week but luckily it was warm enough to dry off without a complete change of clothing. It was the classic situation of lots of water demand so a good time for the irrigation to throw a wobbly. One of the solenoids was refusing to shut off the water supply, usually a sign of a bit of muck in the system. I had just distributed millions of nematodes through the lines so it can happen that an undissolved lump of them gets stuck in a critical spot. Sure enough having dismantled the valve there it was, a tiny bit of debris, which I hoped would sort out the issue. Just to check I thought I’ll just turn the water on a smidge to clean it through. The valve wouldn’t budge and then it did. A 2 inch wide column of water shot vertically out of the pipe above my head as I was trying to turn the valve off again. Just as the valve went off, gravity finished its job depositing the column of water right on the top of my head. Surprised and suddenly very wet I suspect I may have vocalised my distress, but luckily it was the weekend and Caroline was working well out of earshot.
Therapy session last week with our NBIS meeting. After scaring ourselves a bit looking at the first quarters figures, seeing the effect of the long cold spring (seems so long ago now), we moved on to the main topic of the day ‘Managing Change’. We had pre-prepared notes on our main business changes of the last two years, the current and anticipated challenges and how we were going to manage our way through them all. Believe me there were a lot of them. At the end of the session we all felt a lot better, there is nothing like getting into the open all your worries and woes although it was a bit of a downer when it was suggested that the topic for the next meeting should be the formulation of exit strategies! Good job we all have a healthy sense of humour if not a healthy bank balance.

Availability highlights
Liatris spicata producing it’s flower spikes now, it will be a week or two before any colour shows but raring to go. Veronica Inspire Blue has suddenly produced a flush of flower bud, Red Fox is just getting started.
We have a fresh crop of very short and bushy Coreopsis Moonshine and Zagreb this week, no bud just yet but a lovely thick show of their feathery foliage to get you started.
Many of the Echinacea varieties are starting to produce their upright flower stem, no colour yet but it won’t be long. Strong purple foliage of Oxalis triangularis contrasts fantastically with delicate pale pink flowers which are just beginning to appear. Iron Cross with its dramatic darkly marked green leaves are now showing their first of many deep pink blooms. Our range of Dianthus are now all in bud and looking neat, with a great range to pick from. The very short Delpinium Delfix Blue is now in bud and about to show colour. The other taller varieties are strong and budding up too. The Gaillardia varieties are producing masses of bud now, a blaze of colour to come. It must be summer, the Hemerocallis varieties are now producing their first flower shoots, no colour yet but with each flower so short lived best get them early.
Both colours of the Armeria maritima (Sea Thrift) have masses of bud over neat green mounds of foliage.
The first tiny buds of the short Campanula carpatica are there. It always surprises me how big the flowers get on such a neat little plant. Only the white form is left now and selling fast. We have a couple of very strong Anemone japonica varieties already producing flower shoots, they must think it’s summer. Seranade and Hadspen Abundance, both pink in colour. Bright gold foliage contrasts nicely with the deep blue flowers of Tradescantia Blue and Gold making it a popular choice. Plenty of bud and flower on the Achillea both the short Dessert Eve series and the taller ones too. We have a lovely crop of Coreopsis Sunfire ready with buds just appearing. A bright two tone flower makes a good show. The pretty little Foam Flower (Tiarella) are producing plenty of bud and flower now. They flower for an age. The 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. In bud are the three colours of Fanal (deep red), Deutschland (white) and Europa (strong pink).
Have a good one, from all at Kirton Farm Nurseries

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