Monday, 5 June 2017

Hairy Head

Morning all,

Yet another perfect gardening weekend, although it looks like we might pay the price on Monday with a bit of a storm brewing. Meanwhile here, the sunglasses are on this morning and not just because it’s pretty bright out there. Last night we ran off with the Winchester Green Business of the Year award, we didn’t win it, but thought we should have and now we are having to lie low! I jest. We won it fair and square and partied until well past bed-time, consequently there are a couple of fuzzy heads out there on the potting team this morning and dark glasses definitely help, as well as keeping the autograph hunters at bay. Emergency haircut and shave on Thursday night to smarten me up a bit went slightly awry when I pointed out the bit that got missed by Caroline’s clippers. Clippers straight out of the box, bend forwards and swish, a rather bigger pile of hair on the floor than expected. Oops wrong setting. Had to do the rest to match, so now I’m just a small step away from a full Duncan Goodhew.
Sales are still bowling along here, keeping us on our toes. We are looking forward to a few more settled 5 day weeks for a while, hoping to catch up on all those jobs that keep getting put off because of the lack of time. I desperately need to get to the shops and replenish the trouser department. All my favourites are a tad worn and holed and Caroline has started grading them out from the wash basket. I’m now down to one pair of zip off’s that only defy gravity thanks to a sturdy belt making up for the lack of effort being made by the ‘hidden’ elasticated waist band which perished some time ago. Why don’t they ever make clothes as comfy as the old ones?

Availability highlights
Buds are appearing on many of the very popular Sage Hot Lips which is back on the list for the summer, while stocks last. Don’t forget that this variety does produce pure red and pure white flowers on occasions but the ‘proper’ red and white lippy ones will prevail throughout most of the summer.
Apparently Chelsea was full of Geums this year. Sadly we only have one in stock at the moment, but it does look good. Most Echinacea are now in bud and selling really well, We still have good stocks of strong plants of this increasingly popular border plant. Exotic Oxalis are both in bud now. The purple foliaged triangularis has delightful contrasting pale pink flowers, while the Iron Cross looks quite different with its greener dark spotted leaves and deep pink/red flowers. Summer has arrived, in case you hadn’t noticed, with bud rushing up in the Hemerocallis varieties.
Loads of Leucanthemum in bud now. Lacrosse looks great, the odd opening flower with loads more to follow on bushy plants. The Polemoniums are coming into colour now, the compact upright Bambino Blue looks particularly neat. Rhodanthemum is deservedly proving very popular. Low growing silver foliage with pretty flowers all summer long. Coreopsis Illico, a really compact form with masses of sunshine yellow blooms over a long period. Loads of bud already and the odd flash of colour. The gold leaved Tradescantia Blue and Gold is in bud and flower. A standout plant if ever I saw one.
We have a fresh batch of Phlox available with some monster bushy plants in the new Sweet Summer range of colours. Don’t hang about with these we don’t have huge numbers available this year. Classic Alchemilla mollis looking great at the moment, fresh green foliage with the first flower showing.
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. The compact Eryngium Blue Hobbit is just about to do its thing with flower shoots erupting from the centre of the leaf rosettes. The variegated Eryngium varifolium is showing signs of flowering too. A pretty spiky flower stem but quite dramatic. Dinky Erodium varieties are back again, low growing and flowering for ages.
The ever popular Dianthus Doris showing their first buds. The scented compact range (Scent First (SF)) are also coming into their own. We have also extended the range this summer to broaden the colour palette.
A mass of fresh foliage and buds all appear in a rush on the Astilbes, just two varieties left including the deep red Fanal. Fresh young stock of Erysimum Red Jep are looking good (in bud). The Rudbeckia Goldsturm is looking great, very strong bushy plants, always a really popular plant. Also a fresh batch of the more usual Green Wizard is back on the list.
We have two Strawberry varieties which have coloured flowers now showing bud, Roman are pretty pink preceding delicious fruit and Toscana is a strong red. Vibrant are now carrying fruit, very tasty.
Have a good week from all at Kirton Farm Nurseries.

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