Monday, 4 September 2017

Hairy Shows

Morning all,

Harvest is in at last after a good run at the end of last week and a couple of good days this. Relief all round I think, just the fields to cultivate and re-sow for next year and they can all relax again! From what I gather it was a mixed bag, some crops very poor and some better than expected so if prices pick up a bit it won’t be too bad.
It’s September already, the cooler nights, shorter days and morning damp are pushing all the autumnal buttons and making me restless to get the potting done asap so that we get enough growth on the crops before winter sets in. It’s always such a rush to get it all done, getting the tunnels clear and clean, plants prepared and enough bodies on the potting machine and then suddenly it’s the weekend again. It’ll all be fine, most crops burst through all we throw at them by the spring. Just about recovered from the bank holiday weekend which was pretty full. The local village festival was very local and generally I think a good time was had by all. I managed just over 8 hours before retiring for a lie down and unfortunately I suspect we missed the best band who we could hear still playing, booming over the fields, close to midnight. We were saving ourselves for an early morning start for the following days trip to the Isle of Wight. The ferry crossing adds the ambience and excitement of an exotic holiday even if perhaps the Red Funnel cuisine doesn’t. A stunning day on the beach turned a few of us fairly rosy cheeked although I only actually got as daring as getting the socks off under my sandals, the trousers, hat and shirt stayed put, nurseryman’s torso’s aren’t something to parade in public! A delicious BBQ finished the beach trip perfectly and a great sunset over the Solent on the cruise home was spectacular. Now we are all refreshed from our summer holidays ready to roll on with renewed vigour into the autumn.
Popped into the Alresford Show earlier today to check out all things agricultural. Great weather and a thronging crowd made for a grand day out with masses of local food and drink on show as well fantastic displays of vintage and new agricultural kit. They must have had record crowds as the car-park was close to bursting and several of the food stands ran out of stock part way through. I called into the NFU stand to meet our new local advisor who recently took on the Winchester area. He might have regretted the introduction as I did have a bit of a jovial dig at them over their apparent lack of sustainable thinking, dispensing complementary drinks in disposable plastic cups and giving away their virgin paper collections of leaflets in big plastic bags. They are supposed to be advising an industry dealing with nature and green stuff, what sort of image did they think they should be portraying? Anyway it gave them something else to think about for a moment of two. After a lot of striding about trying to find each other and lashings of retail therapy we eventually came home loaded with honey, cheese, pies and something to wash it all down with. Now I just need to get home to consume it. It’s a tough life.

Availability highlights
There is a fresh batch of Erigeron karvenskianus on line again with bud showing and first flowers now opening. We have never had this as a late summer line before but last year our trial plant in the garden flowered almost till Christmas and has flowered again nonstop since about April. We don’t have many, I just wanted to try it out. The compact and free flower Anthemis Charme are now in bud. They flower for ages.
Fresh batches of the ever popular Achillea coming on nicely with new flowers shoots appearing. There are a few nice short Nepeta Six Hills in bud at the moment. The dinky little Junior Walker has shoot back after a trim to make nice bushy plants with another flower flush showing.
The short Campanula carpatica is in bud again after an earlier trim. Lots of the Asters are busting a gut to get into bud, The mildew free Ashvi, Asmo, Asram, Starshine and Eleven Purple now have well developed bud and the odd open flower. Lady in Blue, Jenny and Starlight have loads of bud developing. We have a fantastic crop of Ajuga in range of leaf colours just bursting to get into the garden. Fresh batches of Euphorbia are looking nice in a range of foliage colours
Bright variegated leaves of the short tufted grass Carex Evergold are looking very neat and smart. Still a few of the compact Coreopsis Illico in bud, the odd bright yellow flower showing too.
Wooden box returns
We are having a scoot around collecting up any wooden boxes you may have ready for collection over the next few weeks so we can get them clean, dried and repaired ready for next spring. So please do drop us a line if you would like us to pop in and collect those up.
Thanks, have a good week from all at Kirton Farm Nurseries.

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