Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Not organic but free range and hairy

Morning all,

Hope you all had a good Easter. Seems an age away already as we recover from another hectic week and prep ourselves for another pre-bank holiday week. Looks like we could be in for a chilly few days, but the following weekend doesn’t look too bad as temperatures recover. I know sales can suffer but we are getting fairly desperate for some rain, even some of the hedgerow plants are beginning to wilt. Our avenue of cow parsley that borders our path to the back door is definitely flagging after shooting up over the last couple of weeks. It’s part of our back to nature garden design!
Looking forward to an exciting week coming up. On top of the usual peak season challenges the comedy van is back in the garage on Monday for a final big part replacement which should cure its ongoing ills (touch rust, I mean wood), the forklift gets a new set of brakes, a full container of pots arrives (only 6 weeks late), a new storage tank is being installed and we have a judges visit from the Winchester Business Awards to check out our Green Business of the Year finalist credentials. Nothing like adding a few more straws to the camel’s back!
The full on nature of this time of year and the brain fatigue that creeps in always leads to a few extra senior moments. This week’s was at an evening Yoga session which was a little more ‘free-range’ than usual after I forgot the normal support wear. Control over my positions was not quite as Yin as it should have been but I think I got away with it. This was also the only session we’ve had where there was a photographer taking snaps for the web site, although see had assured us there would be no embarrassing personal shots involved. Let’s hope they are well edited.
Must go and have a bit of a tidy up for the judges and put together a list of green highlights that might float their boat. It’ll be good practice for our Green Impact assessment which must be due pretty soon too. Good job there is little else to do.

Availability highlights
Growth is bursting forth and spring is in the air. Stock is flying out in the nice run of weather, so just hoping we don’t run out! Plenty of bud on show on the Ajuga Burgundy Glow and Sugar Plum. A fresh batch of Achillea Paprika is now in bud and looking good, a hot plant. We have a nice range of Campanula rushing into bud but selling fast.  There are some blue Geraniums coming into bud, there are a few G. Gravetye left and a nice batch of G magnificum.
All the Primula Miller’s Crimson are sold but there are still a few Apple Blossom and Alba coming into flower if you are quick. The next candelabra type into flower will be Primula x bullesiana which are showing their early bud stage at the moment. Subtle white flowers with a blue flush are opening on the Symphytum Wisley Blue, lovely strong plants. A mass of foliage and buds all appear in a rush with many of the Astilbes, early tight bud is visible now.
Camassia Maybelle are showing strong buds. A lovely blue variety, strong and upright often with multiple flower stems. Salvia’s are coming into bud now, short and chunky, no colour yet but full of promise.
Lupins and Digitalis are looking great, full of vigour and promise, both starting to produce their flower bud/shoots. Thalictrum flower stems really do thrust up, eventually getting quite tall, producing delightful delicate flowers. In bud now. The ever popular Erysimum Bowles Mauve are already showing bud and colour. A real long term performer with flowers all summer long. Fresh young stock of the other varieties looking good too (in bud). The ever popular Geum Lady Stratheden and Mrs Bradshaw are flushing into growth nicely, and have flower buds too.
Spring must be here, most of the Hostas have all suddenly shot out of the compost. A lovely range and all beginning to show off their wide variety of leaf designs. We have a few Erigeron Azure Beauty coming into bud and the very compact but big flowered Sea Breeze Mauve are there too. The big selling karvenskianus will be ready in a couple of weeks.
Verbascum Phoeniceum Hybrids have thrust out their flower stems, with a mix of colours to follow, just few left. Although not in flower yet the Iris sibirica are proving popular, but don’t miss out on the variety Butter aand Sugar which are a delightful pale yellow and white rather than the usual blue and purples. Masses of delicate pale blue flowers of Veronica gentanoides are on the way. Just a few left. The dwarf Veronica Inspire varieties are budding up well now, available in blue and pink. Many of the Leucanthemum are either in bud already or close to it. Lovely strong plants and very popular.
Have a good week from all at Kirton Farm Nurseries.

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