Monday, 13 March 2017

Old and Hairy

Morning all,

Just a quick note this weekend as I have a monster list of tasks to tackle this weekend, Spring is upon us and suddenly everything needs doing at once. We have our first overtime Saturday today and what a lovely day for it, just one slight complication is that the compost delivery got delayed until Monday so no happy potters. Instead we are getting stuck into spacing plants to give them a bit more elbow room. The trouble with growing such chunky stock is that it gets greedy for space so quickly, but it looks fantastic so I can’t really complain.
Added another annual ring this week, I think that’s why I’m struggling to get my belt done up. I can’t believe where the time goes. Had a very nice night out at another birthday party, meeting lots of old friends all of us looking disbelievingly at all the grown up kids and their own offspring. One day I will feel grown up I’m sure, I still can’t really get my head round handing over a piece of plastic and taking away goodies, how do I get away with that? Don’t knock it if it works.
Great meeting with the local Sustainable Business Network last week, held at the local council offices, learning lots about sustainable building stuff. It was a bit out of our league in sophistication but lots of bits still apply. It was shocking to hear that award winning big green buildings often end up performing no better than a normal building after a year or so, because no one explains to the users how the building works. There is a scheme/process call Soft Landings that has been put together to try and sort this out and appears to be pretty successful, although a lot of it is just good sustainable housekeeping, read the meters and try to understand your patterns of energy use. Small pat on the back for us after mentioning our LED installation and the Good Impact workshop afterwards recognised that we had already filled in all our Bronze criteria so good to see we are getting noticed. Still a few days to go before we actually officially submit our data so might slip in a few more updates to make sure we sail through the audit which follows.
Sending me out into the real world is never a good idea. At the SBN meeting I arrived in time to grab a tea from the usual array of kit presented on these occasions. Got my mug and tea bag and fill it from the container marked ‘hot liquid’ which naturally contained ready brewed coffee. Why me? I should have been looking for one saying ‘hot water’, what’s wrong with labelling it coffee. Now I’ve got half a cup of coffee, a floating tea bag and nowhere to dispose of it without making it obvious that I don’t get out much. By this time there is a queue behind and I abandon ship. Later I did overhear Caroline saying what an idiot I was and I felt compelled to bring this up when we got home. To be fair she did apologies but she hadn’t realised it was supposed to be a secret!

Availability highlights
Growth is bursting forth, spring is in the air and the sap is rising. Polemonium Heavenly Scent are looking great, really chunky and bushy, attractive burnished foliage and with the first flower shoots and bud showing.
They aren’t available for very long, but we have our spring crop of Lathyrus verus in bud and showing some colour. A really charming little plant that deserves a wider audience for its spring flush of blooms.
Dicentra spectabalis in both forms have burst through, their flower buds already showing well.
Really chunky Lupins and Delphiniums are looking great, full of vigour and promise. The ever popular Erysimum Bowles Mauve are already showing bud and the odd splash of colour. Bud also present on
Apricot Twist, Variegated Peach, Pastel Patchwork and the lovely Red Jep. Pulsatilla have shot up in the last couple of weeks with masses of bud now showing, and colour showing.
Brunnera are fattening up quickly and looking cracking, the delightful forget-me-not blue flowers are appearing now. Helleborus Crown Purple are now throwing up their flowers, we have limited stock so don’t miss out. The other colours are in shorter supply and selling through quickly, there are a few buds appearing now on some of these too, but not enough for us to guarantee a full tray.
We have a few more bulbs coming into bud as you will see from the list, but we are short on numbers for many as this was another trial run, more next year if all goes well. Anemone blanda White are really good but won’t hang about long. The Pulmonaria are coming on well with bud and stunningly blue flowers on the Blue Ensign which is the most forward and the variegated Opal, Mageste and EB Anderson all looking smart with bud and colour showing. The snakes head lily (Fritillaria) are produced their first few buds, plenty to come as spring rolls on.
Both colour forms of Campanula persicifolia Takion are already throwing up flowering stems. Vibrant green and lush foliage of Doronicum is bursting forth and the buds of the yellow flowers are just appearing.

Have a good week from all at Kirton Farm Nurseries.

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