Sunday, 18 March 2018

Cool and Hairy

Morning all,

The snow is settling as I write this but with a bit of luck it should clear by very early in the week, just a quickie this time and hopefully not quite as cold. The fleece trousers have stayed locked away for the moment which is just as well because after a post ‘beast’ wash I can see the static potential had increased even higher and nothing would be safe from my touch.
It’s a shame the cold has returned quite so soon as the plants are showing signs of lovely growth with buds popping up all over the place. I suspect it will all happen with a bang this spring as we approach Easter in a couple of weeks and hopefully some more springy weather.
Our new wooden POS boards have been making the rounds over the last couple of weeks. Silk screen printed by a very skilled nursery person, yes okay, by me, we hope they will help tell the hairy pot story a bit more clearly. We are sending out two similar sets, one larger sized set that can be mounted in our wooden trays (acting as a frame) or separately, and another smaller set for fitting where ever is good for you. Not everyone will have the room to use them all and some may what more than one set, so feel free to return any unused ones for reuse, or ask for another set if you need more. There are also a couple of small wooden latex allergy notices with each set which should be displayed to let your customers know of the latex content of the pots in case they are allergic.
Nice for us to see the widespread use of plastics still under pressure in the press, we have seen a real increase in interest in what we are up to and the trade as a whole seem to be looking to respond. I suppose we should be a bit anxious that everyone could be jumping on the plastic-free bandwagon and we could lose out to more competition, but let’s see how it develops. I suspect the resurgence of recycling pots and trays will be a relatively easy option to try and do something about the situation, and the promotion of the idea that many pots are made of recycled plastic anyway will help alleviate some responsibility but it is going to take a major change in approach to remove noticeable volumes of plastic waste. A big part of the problem is that plastic is such a cheap and amazingly versatile product, making life so easy and convenient for the producer and the consumer. For such a long time the cheap and easy option has always won out. Only now are we recognizing the price of that choice. I’m sure there will be plenty more revelations about how far the environment has been impacted by wide scale plastic use, probably in ways we haven’t even thought about because we don’t realise how a lot of stuff is made or where it goes at its end of life. Plastic in tea bags, fleece fibres in the washing machine water, these things just sneak up unnoticed. Time to start thinking outside the box a bit more. Loose tea leaves in a reusable mesh holder or in the pot, it’s a bit messier but can do the job better as you learn to judge the right amount of tea for your taste (also easier to compost). Better filters in washing machines/water systems, the list will grow but we can all do stuff to help, we can’t blame it all on takeaway coffee cups or pots.

Ordering header boards for your trays of plants.
We are very happy to send out our little header boards that slip into the front of each tray, whenever you want them, but in the interest of reducing waste, resources and sustainability we try not to over produce them. So if you do want them, please don’t forget to tick, or mark, the right hand column on the availability list . Thanks.

Availability highlights
Despite the wintery weather the Erysimum are looking great with plenty of bud in all the varieties now. Primula denticulata looking strong with the leaves and chunky buds bursting up through the compost. Really attractive finely cut bronzed foliage of Polemonium Heaven Scent looking fab. Buds are showing well now. Erythronium Pagoda have appeared above ground with yellow bud already on show. Tulips are well up with Madame Lefeber already showing her red buds.
Pulsatillas have burst forth in a range of colours with their early buds in evidence. The Pinwheel series are supposed to be a little earlier than the straight species although this year there seems little in it. They do hold their heads a bit more upright too which can make them more showy. Over the years they both make a spectacular spring flowering clump.
Pulmonaria are showing bud now, with little splash of colour in the Blue Ensign, a stunning dark blue, the others aren’t far behind with their nice tight variegated/silvered foliage and buds showing nicely. Plenty of bud appearing on the Fritillaria now, get them while they’re hot. Muscari Blue Magic looking chunky with bud visible, it will be a little while before colour shows but the promise is there. Spring is bursting despite the cool temperatures and our Lupins have all made delicious vigorous shoot growth from around the plant base. They seem to do so well as an overwintered crop, producing plenty of new chunky basal shoots with the potential for so much flower later in the season. The Digitalis are looking strong and chunky too. Vinca minor are coming into flower doing their spring thing.

Have a good week from all at Kirton Farm Nurseries.

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