Posts Tagged ‘flowers’

Bursting out all over

Cripes, where did the time go?  Over a month since my last garden update and everything has gone bananas!  And these are almost the size of bananas……….

…….and growing at a rate of knots!!  These are the broad beans that I direct sowed last October.  They survived the winter and are about 4ft tall.  The larger pods are almost ready to pick, I tried one a week ago but the beans inside were still quite small.

This morning I have finally got around to planting my tomatoes into their growing bag.  It is a two sided patio bag and I have filled it with part homemade compost and part New Horizon organic peat-free.

In each half I have put 3 plants, one each of Gardener’s Delight, Moneymaker and a cherry plum called San Marzano 2.  All grown from seed, I’m happy with them at the moment, we’ll see how they produce!  The Tumbling Tom Yellow, I have also grown from seed and have put two plants in each of two large pots.  One of them already has a couple of flowers on it…

A couple of weeks ago  gave my step-dad one of each of the above 4 varieties and he is growing his in conventional grow bags so we shall see how his compare to mine as the weeks go by.

A few days ago i caught sparrows eating the leaves of my peas so we had to rig up a Heath Robinson style net using some canes, “BuildaBalls” and netting. There was much frustration from me as it kept falling over but in the end a bit of parcel tape and some clothes pegs were employed and at the moment it is still standing – just!

Thise are Meteor peas but I also sowed some Feltham First in a pot just outside the patio doors.  They aren’t growing as fast but there is already a flower.

The square foot patio bag is going great guns, and I’ve been cutting salad leaves from the front left square for over a week now.  The rainbow chard has really taken off too and everything else is catching up.  I have two types of kale, leeks, carrots, kai-lan, chard, asparagus peas and salad in there

I think there were some tomato seeds in the homemade compost I added as there are two rogue tomato plants coming up in the back right square amongst the kale!

The potatoes are doing well and were earthed up on Saturday, and the onions and garlic are swelling nicely.  One of the onions produced a tall flower spike but on advice from UK Veg Gardeners I cut it off as apparently onions that flower don’t store as well.

I am really pleased with the amount of blueberries on my two plants, but will need to net them soon to keep the birds (and dog!) off them

And finally the two non-veg beds.  In this one I just scattered some wildflower, cosmos, echinacea, and poppy seeds back in March.  I don’t know if anything is a flower or a weed at this point!!

And this one I call the Purple Patch because by pure coincidence I realise I have planted (mostly apart from the snowdrops and a white-ish lavender) all purple flowering plants – lavender, allium (which I seem to have cut out of the photo!) and a Japanese anenome.

Last but not least I bought a strawberry pot from Morrisons a couple of months back and a pack of 6 very tiny herb plants.  Since I planted them in the pot they are starting to get going

So that’s my garden round up for the beginning of June.  Hopefully the next post will be of my broad bean harvest!!

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Kitchen table nursery

This is the state of my kitchen table, covered with all my little seedlings growing away.

I have patio doors there so it is the place with the most light.  On there I have 4 types of tomato, 4 types of bean, rainbow chard, sweet peppers, 2 types of leek, 2 types of lettuce, butternut squash, peas, sweet peas, sunflowers, basil and cress.  The beans are way too early and will probably get chucked except the dwarf ones which are actually starting to flower!  The tomatoes got a little bit scorched when I put them out in the sun but have made a stirling recovery and I think they are going to be ok.  I’m a bit scared to put them out into the mini plastic greenhouse as they might all die and I’d be left with nothing.

I bought the packet of cress seeds in Morrisons, but it doesn’t look like the cress I’m used to…..these are like little umbrellas

I tasted some and it was quite peppery.

A lovely member of my local knititng group very kindly gave me some terracotta pots last week as she is moving away and can’t take everything with her.  I got quite a haul and am very grateful….thanks Sarah!

I ordered a few more seeds yesterday from MoreVeg who sell small quantities for 50p, cos I don’t need many.  I’ve got a couple of different squashes coming, some alpine strawberries and asparagus peas (and a few others, ahem!).  My veg patch is going to be absolutely heaving in the height of the growing season!!

In the next few days I shall be sowing some nasturtiums and pot marigold seeds which Flighty kindly sent me to use as companion plants and attract insects, and hopefully getting the rest of my seed potatoes into the ground as their chits are getting rather long now.  Looks like it is going to be warming up a bit again at the weekend although it could be a bit damp.

I shall also be going to The Chester Food & Drink Festival this weekend.  We go every year and my favourite bit is the lunchtime hog roast,  yum!  On Sunday, Eaton Hall is open to the public for the day so depending on the weather we may go along to that.  We went at the end of the summer last year so it will be interesting to see the difference at this time of year.

Quick catchup

Wow, what amazing weather we are having.  I’ve taken advantage by having a good tidy up of the veg patch and got rid of as many weeds as I can.  Unfortunately there is bindweed popping up around the edge and the tulips have firmly established amongst the onions!

In my beginner’s eagerness I thought the tomato and bean seedlings on my kitchen table would like a bit of sunshine and put them outside during the day on Saturday & Sunday.  But they have gone all pale and some of the leaves have wilted.  I’m thinking that although it was supposedly something like 20 degrees out there, that there was a cool breeze that they didn’t like.  I’m hoping they will recover otherwise it’s back to square one!  Lesson learned: don’t be too keen!!!

I have a small flowerbed next to the shed……

….into which I put my free* lavenders, a Japanese Anemone, and some bulbs in the autumn.  I had a grand total of 2 snowdrops come up but in the last couple of days I have 2 yellow fritillaries and this lovely one…..

A few weeks ago I received my 3 free* asparagus crowns, and am growing them in a patio bag which came with them.  I keep having to top it up because this stubborn fellow keeps making a bid for freedom…..

Although it is very tempting to cut it and eat it, I’m not allowed to have any for at least a couple of years!  I’m am really going to have to learn some patience in this ‘grow your own’ game.

(* = free if you pay P&P in various magazine offers)

Someone didn’t double dig……….

My veg patch was created last September after the garden was wrecked during house renovations.  Where the patch is, it used to be just a garden border with a scraggy old Forsythia and basically encroaching grass.  In my eagerness to get growing edibles, I planted away after adding a bit of compost and chicken pellets.

I planted onions, garlic, broad beans, peas, cabbages and a couple of raspberry canes.  I did NOT plant these………

By “these” I mean the clump of things on the right.  It would appear that the very dormant tulip bulbs that haven’t shown their faces for years have decided that they will make an appearance right in the middle of my onion patch.  There are a couple coming up among the peas too!  There are quite a few little bunches popping up as you can see here……

I pulled one out from among the peas (the peas are coming out this week anyway as they are not doing well and I’m going to re-sow) and it is quite a healthy looking bulb…….

So what do I do?  If I dig them out will it disturb my developing onions?  If I leave them in will they take all the goodness away from the onions?  I think this is a question for the UK Veg gardeners forum!!

How quickly do daffodils grow?  Yesterday in the park with the dog I spotted a couple in flower, today there were dozens of them, seemingly popping up overnight.  They are the little mini ones and were very bright and cheery.

First frost

Woke up this morning to the first frost of the year.  And it was quite a heavy one.

All my fledgling veggies seem to have survived but the broad beans were drooping a bit

They should pick up later though because the sun is out and melting the frost quite rapidly.  My acer is a beautiful colour in the sunlight

and the last of the Gaillardia flowers are putting up a fight

Quick round-up and a yummy dinner

I’ve not done a lot in the garden since the last post.  Tomorrow I will be planting the peas and cabbage that are in the jiffys and coir pots into the ground as they are doing well.

Pea Meteor (front), Cabbage Advantage F1 (back)

None of the ones in the ground are showing through yet but I did buy a cheap plastic cloche on ebay.  1.2m long with three wire hoops – £3.49. It probably won’t hold up for years and years but at that price it was worth a punt. Although now I think about it, it probably wasn’t a good decision eco-friendly-wise!

Next to the peas in the growhouse above are the sweet peas with 3 to a pot, all of which are starting to show

I think I’ll sow some more sweet peas as I had another free packet on Grow Your Own magazine this month, Tall Mixed, and I could put them along the boundary fence in the veg patch to encourage the bees.

Remember I repotted the blueberry?  It has decided to produce flower buds!! (apologies for blurry photo!!)

A friend of ours is complaining that her spring bulbs are coming up and she only planted them two weeks ago.  A couple of my onions have started to make an appearance

And finally I have been reading Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s new book River Cottage Veg Every Day, and during the week I made Chachouka.  Here is my effort and very tasty it was too served with warmed crusty French stick!!

More planting

Yesterday was another planting day. I got 40 onion sets planted.  I have gone with Radar and Electric (a red onion) and have planted them in 2 blocks of 20 each.  However I have 30 of each left and have been advised by members of the UKVegGardeners Forum that they cannot be kept and planted in spring.  As I don’t want to plant any more of these, some of them are up for grabs if anyone would like them.  I’ll offer some to my neighbour too.

Also to go in were peas.  I have the 7 that I put into the pots and Jiffys but as they are starting to grow now I thought I would just get on and put some straight into the ground.  I dug over a patch and then made 4cm deep holes with a pencil and dropped one pea into each hole.  I have no idea of the spacing but I put in a total of 46 seeds in a large block.  They are Pea Meteor.

The turnips I sowed in the patio grow bag are doing well, however the roots were starting to swell above the surface.

Once more I took advice from UKVegGardeners and Flighty said they should be covered.  So a combination of thinning out, pushing down and earthing up now has them covered and on their way.  There are only about 5 or 6 in there but I don’t think I have ever eaten a turnip so I’m not sure if I will like them.  It is all experimenting at this stage!

And look…….the anemone must have been listening yesterday and has opened one of its flowers…….