Summer is here, well on the calendar anyway. Looks like it will warm up a bit over the next few days, it will be nice to get the fleece and vest off again. Good gardening weather, bit damp and not too hot.
Too much to do again this week with one man down and only 4 days in the full week. Bank holidays are great in some ways, it’s nice to have the nursery to ourselves for an extra day but not matter how hard you try you don’t get as much done as when all 18 bodies are in! It’s all in the head. You think you will have a catch up in that extra time but in fact it pushes all the proper work up into a shorter time slot. Most bits went to plan, if there was one, we got everything out and we have a gang in tomorrow to get a bit more potting done. I got nearly all 15,000 labels printed over the weekend and Caroline caught up on the accounts as well as managing to get to see Judie Tzuke on Saturday night as her birthday treat. Judie was delightful and sang beautifully, the theatre (The Haymarket in Basingstoke) was great, a new venue for us, full of character but acoustically good too. Definitely an audience of a ‘certain age’ but who cares, it was class stuff. Need to sign off now, the third batch of nematodes are waiting to be released through the irrigation system and I have to set it all going as the sun descends rather than during the day (nematodes don’t like UV light). Should be all on by 10.30 if all goes to plan and then the following irrigation run will wash them in with luck..
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. 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. 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. For some reason Slap and Tickle is always very popular and Romance less so! Confirmation this week with S and T outselling Romance by 4:1. I still blame 50 Sheds of Grey. Both colours of the Armeria maritima (Sea Thrift) have masses of bud over neat green mounds of foliage.
We have a rampant Ajuga selection at the moment. Great ground cover in a range of foliage colours. Black Scallop and Sugar Plum are strong new varieties and looking particularly good. Erysimum Bowles Mauve, are still looking great. They will flower the whole summer long, a great garden favourite.
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. Available in blue or white. 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. The lovely red’s; Achillea Paprika and Red Velvet have produced their first flower stems and several of the dwarf Dessert Eve series are producing flower shoots. The orange Achillea Peggy Sue is also getting started with loads of bud. Primula beesiana (pale purple) are showing their mauve/purple 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 good show. The pretty little Foam Flower (Tiarella) are producing plenty of bud and flower now. They flower for an age. Geum Lady Stratheden are always popular and have their first buds are opening now. Fabulous crops of fresh Delphiniums, Digitalis and Lupins ready now. Chunky, fresh and full of vim and vigour. Lets us know if you would like colour showing and we will oblige where we can. (Tend to be taller). 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