Monday, 19 June 2017

Hot and Hairy

Morning all,

Too hot for me. Brain sliding into mush as the temperature rises I’m hopeless in the heat. That’s why I chose to make a career out of growing crops in polytunnels, it’s so cosy. You have to pick the right jobs in this weather and this morning’s was good one, checking the irrigation nozzles for partial blockages that push them off centre creating dry spots. A very pleasantly damp job rather than a soaking wet one, although the walking distance adds up. 72 spray-lines each an average of 40m long to walk up and down often more than once. Too many flowers to mention this week so no time to dwell, too easy to get down if we don’t keep busy. Mega visitor this week, a Red Breasted Goose dropped in for the evening, probably thought the tunnels were water.

Availability highlights
Star of this week I suspect will be Monarda. We don’t have a huge number, but the Balmy Pink and Barmy Purple have loads of bursting buds sat on strong, short, bushy plants. I can see the odd flash of colour appearing and more will quickly follow. Buds are appearing on many of the very popular Sage Hot Lips. 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. The flower spikes of Liatris are looking great with the odd flash of purple beginning to show. The short Campanula varieties (carpatica White and Blue and posharskyana are all showing bud.
Rhodanthemum is deservedly proving very popular. Low growing silver foliage with pretty flowers all summer long. The gold leaved Tradescantia Blue and Gold is in bud and flower. A standout plant if ever I saw one. The ever popular Dianthus in bud or holding up their first flower or two. The scented compact range (Scent First (SF)) are really coming into their own. I have plenty of Passion but you probably don’t want to know that. If you do, it is a new one to us this year, a fabulous rich deep passionate red, very aptly named and beautifully scented too.
Fresh batches of Salvia nemerosa in a range of colours are now back on stream with plenty of bud showing. Most Echinacea are now in bud and selling really well, We still have good stocks of strong plants of this increasingly popular border plant. Strong and bushy the hardy Fuchsia range is doing its thing. We have some lovely batches of increasingly popular Erigeron karvinskianus Stallone in bud with the odd flower opening. Fresh batches of the Digitalis Dalmation range are ready to roll. Now showing their flower shoots. 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. Nice fresh batches of Veronica are now bushy and in bud. There are fresh batches of Achillea Paprika and the Desert Eve series now in bud again. Loads of Leucanthemum in bud now. The Shasta daisy has always been a garden favourite. The three Nepeta (catmint) varieties we have in stock are all now in bud. The Polemoniums are coming into colour now, the compact upright Bambino Blue looking particularly neat, but only a few left.
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. Sunray and Sunfire are back on the list too. We have a fantastic 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. A couple of colours sold out already.
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. Astilbe Fanal (red) are still looking good, flowers beginning to colour nicely. 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, quite dramatic. Dinky Erodium varieties are back again, low growing and flowering for ages. Fresh young stock of Erysimum Red Jep are looking good (in bud). The Rudbeckia Goldsturm is looking great, very strong bushy plants with the first buds forming now, always a popular plant. We have two Strawberry varieties which have coloured flowers now showing bud, Roman are pretty pink producing delicious fruit and Toscana is a strong red.
Have a good week from all at Kirton Farm Nurseries.

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