What a very busy week that was, a definite spring feel in the air. I see that the first flocks of sand martins are appearing over parts of Cornwall with the odd house martin and swallow, it just goes to show how close the summer is. Can’t wait to hear their chattering outside the bedroom window, it’s usually the first indication of their arrival back here.
The frogspawn in the nursery pond is developing well, not a huge quantity but we should get another good addition to the local population. I’m not sure if we are actually short of lady frogs but we had a pond full of males hanging about for a couple of weeks and the one lady we did spot was I suspect loved to death judging by the attention she received. The birds are all singing away especially a particularly vocal Song Thrush which must be exhausted by now. It’s all go.
Nursery life rushes from one priority to another. Most of this week seems to have revolved around non-plant issues which is frustrating. I’m not sure if everyone is running much closer to the edge on stock levels but we have had quite a few deliveries delayed through unavailability, restructuring or overwork, pots, compost, tubs for the micro-propagation, wooden boxes, even the new van seems elusive. Even when I’m organised enough to order well in advance it doesn’t seem to help but hey ho that’s how it is. To be honest these issues pale into insignificance when the day to day hiccups challenge you. This week it was our vans, which have always been so reliable, but a combination of missing drivers and mechanical issues nearly scuppered the weeks planning. With the big van off the road until next Tuesday we relied on a transport company that worked brilliantly other than they turned up 24 hrs early to pick up the trolleys (luckily we were nearly ready) and the ‘comedy van’ plus the farm transit. The comedy van started flashing up its engine management light followed by periodic loss of power gradually getting worse as the week went on. Trips and advice from the garage just about kept us on the road and it is now in the garage being assessed for mending. Hoping it’s not bad news, it’s done a few miles (270,000) but seems pretty sound overall, no smoke, sounds fine and doesn’t use any oil or water which always used to be good indicators of plenty of life to come. We’ll see. Meanwhile on the last trip home on Friday the transit stated to overheat, luckily quite close to home so limped in. Water all over the place but still some left and a split in a tiny little bit of hose the culprit. Naturally you can’t get the part off the shelf and it won’t be in until Tuesday. Ace. At least all the orders got done, but Monday is going to be an exciting day to see how things unfold!
It’s a lifestyle choice you know, trundling around with my trowel in hand enjoying the fresh air.
Growth is bursting forth, spring is in the air and the sap is rising.
Polemonium Heavenly Scent are looking great, attractive burnished foliage and with the first flower shoots and bud showing. Don’t hang about on this one, 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 and colour 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, 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.
The little orange Geum Cooky are flushing into growth nicely, and now have flower shoots and buds too. The spring flowering Euphorbia are coming into their own now, lovely plants just watch out for the irritating milky sap. The Pulmonaria are coming on well with bud and delightful pale blue flowers on the Opal, Mageste and EB Anderson all looking smart with bud and colour showing. The snakes head lily (Fritillaria) are produced their first few buds, looking good with plenty to come as spring rolls on. Vibrant green and lush foliage of Doronicum is bursting forth and the buds of the yellow flowers are now appearing.
Just a few Narcissus WP Milner left in bud with a few of their petit pale yellow flowers showing off nicely. A real spring beauty. Some of the Aquilegia varieties are thrusting up their flower buds, they won’t be around long!
Have a good week from all at Kirton Farm Nurseries.