Monday, 12 March 2018

Warm and Hairy

Morning all,
What a difference a week makes. The snow has just about disappeared from down here in the balmy south, although it looks like winter has hung about a bit longer further north. Hopefully you have all got away without too much disruption in the aftermath of the freeze. We had thought we had got off lightly with just a few days work lost but together with the thaw came a little trio of occasionally dramatic issues, one tunnel cover torn asunder in the wind, the tool shed electrics tripped after snow blew in under the roof and thawed over the buggy chargers and the irrigation tank feed supply fractured. The tunnel cover is in and ready to replace on a quiet day, the chargers are getting a new mini roof to live under and the pipe fitting that split was replaced and operational within hours, so not too bad. That cold blast certainly put the brakes on plant sales but with warm air moving in over the weekend I suspect spring will leap on us pretty quickly, if we could just avoid getting too wet please. The plants have certainly recovered very quickly with buds and fresh shoots popping up all over the place.
With a little extra time available this week and one warmer still day, we did manage a surprise tunnel cover replacement on an empty tunnel that had been ready for weeks, a nice bonus. Meanwhile the screen printing of the replacement POS wooden info boards and little latex allergy notices has been bowling along and we have sent out a few sets over the last week. I am just about to produce an extra set of three identical but smaller info boards to go along with them that some of you might find useful and easier to pop up around the plant area. As soon as I’ve finished them all I will take a picture or two and put them on the website to show them off. We will send out a set with each first order from now on, if you have your own POS and so don’t
need them all please do return them to our driver at some point so we can redistribute to others. If anyone needs any extras just let me know. They should last ages, so after an initial blast of preparation and printing we are hoping to be able to relax and get back to all the other spring tasks building up.
Big day today, presents over breakfast and pizza tonight. Thanks for all of you who remembered, both cards were greatly appreciated. Not looking forward to the next one much, it’s a biggie, that can’t be me surely. Still, a year to go before then, let’s see how much we can squeeze into this one.

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 winter weather the Erysimum are still looking great. All the green leaved varieties are in tight bud already, leaving the two variegated forms slightly behind on the budding front but looking flashy in their fancy foliage. Really attractive finely cut bronzed foliage of Polemonium Heaven Scent looking fab. Buds are showing well now.
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.
More of the 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 showing nicely.
Euphorbias are looking good, retaining attractive foliage through the winter months before bursting into flower in early spring. There are two Lamium varieties flushing into a bright early show with their fresh silvery foliage. Some of the spring bulbs are making a break for it, the Alliums are well up (3/pot). Others putting on a spurt are Scilla, Camassia, Tulip and Ipheion. 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. We do need to sell these fairly early in the spring so that they don’t get too big for our pots, although the early cool weather should help to stop them running away on us. The Digitalis are looking strong and chunky too.
Vinca minor are coming into flower doing their spring thing.Still have a few Primula looking nice with the denticulata types just about to make their colourful appearance.
Have a good week from all at Kirton Farm Nurseries.

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