Saturday, 2 June 2018

Hairy Stones

Morning all,

Another quick report in. An extremely busy week has past with a challenging one to come. We are a driver and van down for the week but at least we have five days again. This might mean a few of our longer distance customers may have a delivery via a trolley carrier rather than ourselves, so please bear with us while we juggle as necessary. 'Normal' service should resume the following week if all goes to plan.
On top of just being very busy, the case of the missing trolleys has caused some anxiety back at base. Our carrier has been under pressure with the slow return of the trolley stock (not from our customers I hasten to add) and our pool of equipment on site has been dwindling over the last few hectic weeks. We are now missing over half our equipment at our busiest time with hopeful promises of its imminent return never seeming to materialise. We have been dismantling all sorts of storage areas where we have utilised the trolleys over the years and it was just enough to see us by. I think we got down to our last 5 or 6 shelves at one point (out of nearly 500) but just scraped through. We had a few returned on Friday which should alleviate the pressure although Caroline wants 60 just for one microprop module order over the weekend. It all adds to the fun and I know we are not the only casualties in this case.
Added to the 4 day manic mix this week was an evening trip out on Tuesday to see a band. We had asked if the date could be moved to later in the week but apparently the Rolling Stones were just too busy themselves to accommodate us. We made it anyway thanks to a big effort to make Tuesday very efficient by getting a gang in on Monday and getting all the labels etc sorted on Monday night. Well worth it from all angles, we couldn't get over how good it was, a fantastic atmosphere, stunning visuals and great music. It's only Rock and Roll but I like it. It's the first time I have ever woken up in the middle of the night after and still been too excited to get back to sleep. The only slight cock up was the catering, I queued for over half an hour in a line of only a few people for a drink and missed the opening two numbers. To cap it all I then forgot where we were sat and spent several minutes scanning the vast crowd looking for Caroline. She was waving along with most of the row by now, but it was still a while before I picked them out. Great hilarity for all but me, still it's nice to bring some extra jollity into the world.

Availability highlights
Many of the Echinacea are beginning to bud up now, a week or two from flower but on the way. The purple spikes of Liatris spicata won't be long, buds are there on stonking plants. Oxalis Iron Cross is showing a smattering of red flowers and bud among it's striking two tone foliage and now the purple foliaged triangularis has made an appearance too with tight bud already on show. On the theme of striking foliage, Tradescantia Blue and Gold is doing its thing. Blue flowers are opening among the bright yellow strappy leaves. Very sunny.
The dinky little flowers of Dianthus deltoidies Flashing Light are bursting open, don't miss out, masses of bud and the odd flash of cerise flower. Gaillardia showing plenty of bud and colour now, very summery. The garden pinks Dianthus are nearly all in bud and starting to smell delicious. We have a few of the taller old favourites, Doris, Gran's Favourite and Haytor White as well as the more compact Scent First range.
The massively popular Erigeron karvinskianus Stallone is sprouting flower buds, probably a couple of weeks away from colour but full of promise. Both little tidy Erodiums are in bud and showing a few open flowers, neat and floriferous. Summery yellows are coming out now with several Coreopsis in bud, including the more upright and feathery foliaged Zagreb. Summer arrives with bud appearing on the Rhodanthemums and Salvia Hotlips showing bud and the odd flower. Hearalding a summer of flower, our hardy Fuchsia range is in bud now. One or two already sold out but more on the way. Campanula carpatica Alba bud has also made it's summer debut. Difficult to miss once they open, bright large white flowers on compact plants. Subtle cream flowers of the pretty Foam Flower (Tiarella) are showing nicely with plenty of bud to come. Astilbe's are suddenly all there and coming into bud. Looking great. All the knockout dwarf Leucanthemum are holding swelling buds, not long before they start to open. Two pale yellows Broadway Lights and Banana Creme, the white frilly Lacrosse and the bright white of Snow Lady and Silver Princess. Big bold blue flowers are about to appear on the Stokesia. It always surprises me how big they are, not may left now. Hostas are showing well now, a fab range from our own home propagated stock. We are trying out a small range of Helianthemum this year and the first few are now showing bud, we picked a pink a yellow and a deep cerise to give a good colour spread.
Have a good week from all at Kirton Farm Nurseries.

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