Monday, 10 October 2016

Hairy Impact

Morning all

Definitely a bit cooler now with summer seeming a long way off already, although we did spot a couple of quite big flocks of swallows seemingly heading north earlier this week, although they were feeding rather than making haste. Sales have taken their usual autumnal slide so the cash-flow is due to follow suit very soon which is always a bit scary. However the bank manager was on the phone earlier in the week and making positive noises so hopefully the planned expenditure on the new LED lighting in the growth room and other winter projects will get some support.
I’ve just frightened myself by checking out the new Winchester Green Impact online toolkit (run by the NUS). I had got quite excited at the launch a few weeks ago and raved about how much more valuable it could be as a means of further improving our environmental performance when compared with some other schemes we have joined in with over the years. Sure enough there is far more depth to this accreditation and plenty of help available, but the realisation that I have just added a whole extra layer to my workload is now hitting home. The main tricky bit is that the underlying drive of the project is to change the culture of organisations to a more sustainable outlook and so it doesn’t always sit easily with organisations that already have sustainability as a core ingredient of all they do. There are definitely some improvements that will be prompted by the scheme but it will take a while to get me to toe the line with filling in all the necessary evidence and written stuff needed for completion of the award levels. There looks like a minimum of two or three years to get to the top level and maybe longer if things don’t go smoothly, but then if there is a constant nudge to improve that will keep us interested and engaged. Apparently one of the benefits of the process is that we may get to meet some people in the organisation we may not have seen before, I’m hoping that isn’t the case here, although I do sometimes wonder where all the wages go each week.
Cold enough to light the wood-burner yesterday, a nice warm glow in the house but rather unsettling because of my lack of winter preparation. There are a few logs ready to use but it looks like being a hand to mouth winter as far as fuel is concerned unless I give in to buying in some timber. Not enough hours in the day to fit it all in, especially as it is now dark by the time I’m homeward bound.
Hockey match in a couple of hours, likely to be another thrashing against one of the best teams in the old farts league we are in. Still at least they are very nice about it, and it’s not raining or too cold and we won the quiz last night.

Availability highlights
Still a few Asters looking great with bud and colour showing. We have several new varieties, many mildew free/resistant (ageratoides and frikartii types). Starshine and Stardust are two of the new ones looking great. The large intensely purple flowered but compact Purple Dome and the taller strong growing deep pink Andenken an Alma Pötschke are both carrying masses of bud just beginning to burst open, both mildew resistant stunners.
The little hardy Cyclamen coum are just getting started now, with a few flowers open and loads of bud to come. This range flowers from now until April, a real winter star.
The Hellebores coming on well and a few are ready to roll. We have a great new range of orientalis with several colours and forms (singles, doubles and spotted). They should be flowering from their first winter so hopeful of some good sales there, They are certainly looking strong at the moment.
We still have a few Erigeron karvinskianus  in bud and flower. Prettily scrambling away and still in flower. We have a late flush of bud on many of the Anemone japonica varieties.
There is a very pretty fresh crop of Tiarella in flower at the moment, should look good for a few weeks yet. We have a few pink Erodiums in flower which are looking nice and should keep going until the frosts. Some of the summer potted Achillea are showing bud as they bulk up before their winter rest.

Wooden box collections
We have been collected up lots of wooden trays in recent weeks before things get too damp and cold, so if you have any needing collection just drop us an email and we will add you to the list of destinations. Lots collected and cleaned up already but always room for more.

Have a good week from all at Kirton Farm Nurseries.

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