Sunday, 14 May 2017

Hairy Hat Fitz

Morning all,

At last some damp weather, still need more but quite a relief after what seems like weeks of dry. Hopefully the wetter weather is boosting sales rather than the opposite which seems a strange thing to say as we are usually wishing for dry at this time of year.
I’m sending this slightly later than planned as the computers were busy being backed up again. I can’t think what prompted that, but feeling virtuous none the less. It’s getting that multi layer robustness that is such a challenge. The auto back up goes to a remote computer so if we burn down we should be ok, but it is attached to the network so could be vulnerable to attack, so an extra backup onto rotating sets of memory sticks is our backup back-up. I suppose the cloud is another option but being a bit behind the times I just don’t like the idea of putting stuff up there.
Nursery life flies by, potting is back on schedule after the late pot delivery and the next batch of predators have been released to do there pest control work. This weekend I will be unleashing another 1,000 million nematodes onto the nursery. It’s an evening-nighttime job as they are very sensitive to UV light but luckily it is a fairly automated operation so I don’t have to stand over them too long. I make up a stock solution in a big plastic drum, washing them through a fine sieve to get them well spread out and mixed up, then I keep them aerated and stirred up using a special compressed air bubbling device of my own making. The stock solution is them irrigated onto the crops using a specific irrigation programme that puts on two short applications (to spread the risk of dosing irregularities) and then another two clear runs to wash the nematodes off the foliage into the compost. Once set up it is fairly simple to do and we are finding that half dose applications of a mix of nematode species, put on monthly through the growing season, is really knocking back the vine weevil and hopefully a few of the other pests too.
Don’t forget to get out there and support live music, there is nothing quite like it. We saw Hat Fitz and Cara last weekend and they were brilliant, very funny, very talented and just the right side of ‘on the edge’, real life affirming stuff. We have the odd occasion when an evening out doesn’t work for us but it is so worth it when an evening like last Saturday happens.

Availability highlights
The next candelabra primula types into flower are Primula x bullesiana and Primula bessiana which are both showing their buds and the occasion flash of colour. Many of the Leucanthemum are either in bud already or very close to it. Lovely strong plants and very popular. The classic Alchemilla mollis looks great at the moment, fresh green foliage with the first flower shoots just starting. Erigeron Sea Breeze Mauve and Sea Breeze Pink are bursting with fresh growth and early buds. We also have a variety called E. karvensianus Wayne Roderick on trial this spring it is bigger leaved and flowered than the more traditionally flowering varieties so we will see how that one goes. It looks promising as there is plenty of bud on strong chunky plants. A fantastic range of foliage sizes and colours in our Hosta range all showing off well. To see the colours check out the hosta pages in our flip book catalogue.
We have a small range of five different colours with our Anemone coronaria plants. Growth is rapid and buds are appearing quickly. We don’t do many of these so don’t hang about if you want some.
The ever popular Geum Lady Stratheden and Mrs Bradshaw are flushing into growth nicely, and have flower buds too. We have a nice range of Campanula rushing into bud but selling fast. Both the C. glomerata types are showing colour (superba and alba).  There is plenty of bud coming on the Achillea range. Desert Eve Red and Rose are both showing good colour and bud. A mass of fresh foliage and buds all appear in a rush with many of the Astilbes, early tight bud is visible now. The blue Geranium coming into bud at the moment is a nice batch of Geranium magnificum. A fresh batch of Achillea Paprika is now in bud and looking good, a hot plant but only a few left.
The ever popular Erysimum Bowles Mauve are showing bud and colour. A real long term performer with flowers all summer long. Fresh young stock of other varieties looking good too (in bud). The Rudbeckia Goldsturm is looking great, very strong bushy plants, always a really popular plant. We gambled on a bigger range and quantity of Echinacea this year and they look great and are luckily selling well, We have good stocks of strong plants of this increasingly popular border plant. The newer more compact varieties are proving a great seller, although for me the taller varieties still have the edge on flower size and dramatic effect.
Have a good week from all at Kirton Farm Nurseries.

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