Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Hairy Parking

Morning all,
The nice stretch of autumn weather has pushed along the nursery makeover nicely. The new roof over the lab is up and covered with just a few fiddly bits to finish off, enough is in place to stop the leaks which is quite a relief. We also stripped off five split tunnel sheets and got three recovered in good enough conditions to get some stretch into the covers ensuring minimum winter movement. The weather looks like holding long enough to get at least one more finished on Monday, maybe both. The trouble with the recovering job is that having tunnels from 20 to 30 years old you are never quite sure of the state of the timber side rails until the old sheet comes off and we have had to do quite a lot of wood replacement as we have gone along turning a two or three hour job into a 2 or three day job. Frustrating, but at least we can sleep soundly at night in the knowledge that it should all still be there in the morning so not a bad thing really.
I got the first batch of LEDs in the growth room going last weekend so now waiting for the next batch to arrive. I am meanwhile pressing on with some of the shelf alterations and coming up with more and more cunning plans to overcome my lack of arm length so getting quicker with less stress too. I’m glad I took this one on myself, getting someone in would have been a nightmare with the combination of plant relocation on the shelves, shelf reconstruction, light hanging and wiring, all done in small batches when potentially access is needed all the working week by others. My evenings are now booked up pretty solidly with this one but the job satisfaction is a good one. Electric use in there has only dipped a tiny bit so far but it won’t be until the job is complete that we can measure the true impact, can’t wait.
After a fantastic weekend on Tresco a couple of weeks ago we went to the opposite end of the scale yesterday with a visit to central London for a friend’s birthday lunch. We were picked up early by another couple to share the trip in, giving ourselves plenty of time to get there, or so we thought. From somewhere all these people pitched up, driving about and cluttering up the roads making us in the end, late. I was convinced that the car park we had picked would be full but luckily I was wrong and we found a space easily, just a 15 min walk from the venue. After a pleasant meal in great company and a bit of a walk about, we returned to the car park to find out why it wasn’t full, £26 fed into the machine to get out! Obliviously a lot of folk find this environment very exciting, all those people, all that concrete and glass but I’m afraid I just don’t get it, give me some green space please. It was a one day adventure I suppose, but you can stick the Shard in the London Eye for all I care, the main thing a day like that does for me is make me appreciate what we have out here in the sticks!

Availability highlights
We have a few winter performers still on offer and if anyone would like to make up a smaller order we will do our best to get it to you asap. Ideally a 15 tray minimum is best but we could stretch to 12 trays if you are fairly local or we are passing by. 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 are 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, in fact we have already spotted the occasional bud, so hopeful of some good sales there, They are certainly looking strong at the moment.
We have a very few Schizostylus (Hesperatha) Fenland Daybreak in bud and flower this week and fresh batches of coccinea Red and Oregano Sunset both looking nice. Not quite sure if they will flower this autumn but strong bushy plants full of promise.
The very late flowering Kniphofia Limelight is in flower now, we don’t have many, but they are big bold flowers which are almost luminous in their intensity. Still a few flowers on the Erodium Bishops Form which has been in flower virtually non-stop since April. We have a very pretty crop of Tiarella in flower at the moment, should look good for a little bit longer yet. Lamium and Ajuga are have attractive fairly evergreen foliage and can look good through the cooler months.
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.
Have a good week from all at Kirton Farm Nurseries.

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