Thread: Oh, how beautiful - the garden thread Board: Heaven / Ship of Fools.


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Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
"Gardens are not made by singing 'Oh, how beautiful,' and sitting in the shade." -- Rudyard Kipling

After years of languishing on the waiting list, I will be taking over a 10'x10' organic garden plot in March. I had no idea I'd get such a large plot; the ones at my church are 3'x6'. So I hadn't dreamed beyond tomatoes and basil. I will put plenty of tomatoes and herbs! But now I'm starting to daydream about whole salad bowls of my own produce.

Anyone else making spring garden plans?
 
Posted by Roseofsharon (# 9657) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
"Gardens are not made by singing 'Oh, how beautiful,' and sitting in the shade." -- Rudyard Kipling

Unfortunately!
I am currently suffering with aches and pains in shoulders, hands, back & hips after too much garden preparation (erecting raised beds, and starting to fill them with a mixture of last years potting compost, sieved soil and bagsof fresh compost) The joints & muscles were painful enough to keep me awake last night, but easier today. Luckily we have a few days of high winds and lower temperature to make me stay indoors recuperating.

I am enjoying seeing the spring flowers I brought here from my old garden coming into bloom. They sat in crowded pots, neglected, for a year before being planted last autumn, so I'm really pleased at how well they are doing - Unlike the bulbs I bough locally (and expensively) and planted at the same time, they are showing very little inclination to peep above the ground.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Ruth--

Congrats! [Smile]

FYI: Be mindful of group politics and dynamics in a community garden. I had a plot, long ago. Lots of "big frog in a small pond" stuff; a coup; people staying trying to stay under the radar of the big frogs; bullying several people who didn't quite fit, taking things (trees, plants, artwork) from their plots, and driving them out. Seriously. And I've heard of that elsewhere, too.

I don't want to spoil your mood and experience; but I figure if you know what might happen, you can watch out for it.

Best of luck!
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
quote:
Be mindful of group politics and dynamics in a community garden. I had a plot, long ago. Lots of "big frog in a small pond" stuff; a coup; people staying trying to stay under the radar of the big frogs; bullying several people who didn't quite fit, taking things (trees, plants, artwork) from their plots, and driving them out. Seriously. And I've heard of that elsewhere, too.
So "You're closer to God's heart in a garden than in any place on earth"? Sounds just like most churches! [Devil]
 
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
 
In Heidelberg, where my son lives - most people live in flats. So they buy gardens on the outskirts of the city, a pleasant cycle ride away. They own the plots which are various sizes, the average being about 30 metres by 60 meters. Some rent them too. They have electricity and water and can build sheds, greenhouses etc. They each have boar and rabbit-proof fencing as it's very near the forest. Some have bigger plots with polly tunnels and small market gardens, often growing veggies, sunflowers etc. It's great to see the bikes with food and wine in their baskets heading for their gardens. They get lovely weather in the summer too - I couldn't be more jealous!

People often have BBQs and parties in the summer in their gardens, they have all sorts of artwork on their gates to identify their gardens for visitors.

My MIL left all her money to my sons ( [Roll Eyes] ) and he has saved his to spend his a garden.

Beautiful and civilised!
 
Posted by betjemaniac (# 17618) on :
 
at this time of year I'm still just sticking my head out occasionally to make sure the garden's still there! Mind you I did hack back the last of the buddleia the other week, at the cost of near frostbite.

However, March is rolling round - I need to sort out the raised beds ready for the next round of potatoes, tomatoes, etc, I've got a green beans wigwam that needs a bit of TLC, and a patch of the lawn wants re-seeding. My lawn runs along the edge of a field, which is then clear of buildings for about 5 miles. There's no fence, just a 2.5 foot drop from the field down into my garden. Unfortunately during the growing season this requires constant vigilance to remove unwelcome blown-in interloper seeds. Particularly when the barley's full grown.

It ends up taking over my life!
 
Posted by Tree Bee (# 4033) on :
 
I've placed my regular order of yellow courgette plants and climbing French bean plants.
I know it's cheaper to buy the seeds but apart from windowsills I don't have the space to raise them.
Also ordered basil and parsley plants and nicotiana flowers.
So looking forward to the warmer weather!
 
Posted by Chamois (# 16204) on :
 
I've bought my seed potatoes. Unfortunately none of the garden centres near here is stocking Pentland Crown this year. In fact the selection of main crop potatoes is woeful.

Memo to self - order online next January.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
We have had a record-breaking mild winter, scarcely any snow at all. And so my hope is that this year my fig tree will not have died right down to the ground. And if this is so, then there is, at last, some hope that I may get a fig from it! Every year I have muttered the relevant text from the Gospels to it, and if this year it is fruitless it is going to go. Because I can't imagine that we could get better conditions.
 
Posted by cattyish (# 7829) on :
 
It's deeply muddy out there. I have gone out and done my daily digging. My wellies (actually Mr C's Christmas present from his Mum, but he wasn't home) are now dripping in the garage. I want my plastic tent style greenhouse up and securely pegged this month so I can plant beans.

Mr C has started threatening to do landscaping, but thankfully his actions are lagging behind his words. I don't want him to build permanent raised beds and pave bits until I've decided where I want them.

Last year I got pitifully little in the way of tomatoes. This year I'm more prepared with a heater to use if the temperature keep dropping at night into May as it did last year.

Cattyish, dreaming of broccoli.
 
Posted by Roseofsharon (# 9657) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by cattyish:

Mr C has started threatening to do landscaping, but thankfully his actions are lagging behind his words. I don't want him to build permanent raised beds and pave bits until I've decided where I want them..

Oh, they will do that, won't they!!
I had intended to get the house sorted last summer, and plan the garden during the winter, but Mr lil just couldn't leave it alone, so I've had to keep rushing out to the garden to save the things I expect to use and to keep ahead of his need to rid the garden of everything but grass.
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
Ruth--

Congrats! [Smile]

FYI: Be mindful of group politics and dynamics in a community garden. I had a plot, long ago. Lots of "big frog in a small pond" stuff; a coup; people staying trying to stay under the radar of the big frogs; bullying several people who didn't quite fit, taking things (trees, plants, artwork) from their plots, and driving them out. Seriously. And I've heard of that elsewhere, too.

Just like a church, then, huh? [Biased]

I had a small plot some years ago at my church, and I gave it up because the soil was chock full of nutgrass and because someone kept watering my tomatoes. I'd go over after work and find that someone had watered my plot since the last time I'd been there, but of course I couldn't tell when exactly or how much water had been run. The irregular watering did my tomatoes no good, and I spent the whole summer doing little but weeding. [Mad]
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Ruth--

Yup, re church. [Biased] I'd been thinking that, too, but I wasn't sure what *your* church was like.

Maybe try mulch or ground cover, this time?
 
Posted by Sandemaniac (# 12829) on :
 
It's been a busy weekend - somewhat enforced by upcoming family woe, sadly.

This weekend I have:

Laid a cotoneaster hedge - not well, but given, my lack of experience and the dodgy starting material, it will have to do.

Bought and planted a medlar tree (a tree! Our first tree! I've wanted a medlar for years and never had a garden to put it in!

Repotted a bunch of stuff (technical term, that)

and just generally got stuff done in the garden. I now have even more concrete and rubble to shift that was piled under the hedge but hey, it'll get done.

Now I just need to sleep and ache...

AG
 
Posted by cattyish (# 7829) on :
 
The plastic tent greenhouse is up, solidly tethered to the wooden fence. Mr C hasn't been out there, so I'm safe from unwelcome interference for now.

The perennial things and bulbs are doing their thing and the grass/ moss/ odd reed clump which passes for a lawn is looking pleasantly green. I've paused- muddy and breathless- to drink tea out there. It helps me think about where I'd like seating, paths and those pesky raised beds which are to be foisted on me.

While I dig all sorts of feathered carnivores are flitting around, hopping in to my freshly-dug patches for worms. There seem to be plenty of worms; I can't put a spade in without a casualty. How to Budhists manage to dig?

When Mr C and I are in the house together next (might be Thursday) I have drawings to show him and oath ideas from Monty Don's book to bed his ear with.

Cattyish, working (sort of) until 10.
 
Posted by Pigwidgeon (# 10192) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by cattyish:

While I dig all sorts of feathered carnivores are flitting around, hopping in to my freshly-dug patches for worms. There seem to be plenty of worms; I can't put a spade in without a casualty. How to Budhists manage to dig?

I was always taught that when you cut an earthworm in half it forms two earthworms, rather than killing it. If a bird comes along to eat it, of course, that's the end of it -- but hardly your fault.

quote:
When Mr C and I are in the house together next (might be Thursday) I have drawings to show him and oath ideas from Monty Don's book to bed his ear with.


I really don't think I want to know how you "bed his ear." Sounds a bit kinky to me.

[Biased]
 
Posted by Graven Image (# 8755) on :
 
I started gardening in one square foot plots in my long rectangular garden last year. It worked pretty well as I have some medical problems which make it hard for me to bend over and get up and down. The result was pleasing. I can handle one or two square feet at a time with a fair amount of ease. Weed a foot square plot to day, mulch a square foot tomorrow, and on and on. I know it is early but have been pulling weeds while the ground is wet. Happy to discover parsley, one onion plant and artichoke squares have wintered over. I planted two squares of spring peas. Taking a chance I am as we had light snow yesterday but I think they should make it.

[ 06. March 2017, 20:33: Message edited by: Graven Image ]
 
Posted by Roseofsharon (# 9657) on :
 
We've been in our new home for a year now so I decided I ought to take some photos of how the garden is looking in our first spring.

We were too busy with the house last spring (and the garden was covered with gardening 'stuff' we brought with us that wouldn't fit into the garage or shed).
Then once the summer started Mr meg was so keen to get working on clearing the garden that I never had the chance to take "before" photos.
Now I have it on record in it's current state, which is a mixture of what was already here (mostly Spanish bluebell and three-cornered leek, and a weedy lawn dotted with sweet violets), things I planted in the autumn, and the part-prepared beds and planters for veggies - which I need to get on with as I have seedlings coming up to planting size.

So I then put more compost & sieved soil into one of the raised beds. It's a slow process as I have a bad back and can only do a little at a time, but I'm hoping that the summer photographs will show at least one of them full of beans and leeks..
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
I have managed to get out into the garden today and prepared one of the raised beds, which last year was host to a tangle of grasses with underground stems and ground elder. The ground elder had somehow got there from next door despite there being several metres of uncompromising clay with no sign of the stuff between the fence and the bed. I very much doubt if I have got all the threads out. I topped it with compost from one of last years potato bags, treated it with growmore and lime, and planted out some brassicas. It was supposed to be peas last year, but I only got a couple of pods. Then I topped it with plastic netting as I have a posse of woodpigeons who like pecking anything to death (I hope the tulip poisoned them) and absolutely delight in brassicas. I was pleased to see a nice fat worm.

I forgot to put the daggy sheep pellets round them to keep the slugs at bay.

[ 19. March 2017, 19:10: Message edited by: Penny S ]
 
Posted by Sandemaniac (# 12829) on :
 
Given the time constraints on me now, I have a nasty feeling that I may well have to put at least part of a plot on the allotments under black plastic for the year. Alhough the secretary knows me and knows why, and is quite happy to arrange for it to be done, it still goes against the grain.

In other news, I think I have finally stopped stuffing stuff into the newly laid hedge to make it more interesting - thus far in addition to cotoneaster it has a red hazel, a spindle, a dog rose and two currant plants. All in about eight yards of hedge.

AG
 
Posted by Roseofsharon (# 9657) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
"Gardens are not made by singing 'Oh, how beautiful,' and sitting in the shade." -- Rudyard Kipling

Adam was a gardener and God, who made him, sees that half a proper gardener's work is done upon his knees (also from "The Glory of The Garden" by Rudyard Kipling)
Again, unfortunately, as my back is not at all happy with the amount of time I've spent on my knees weeding the garden this past week. Sadly, years of neglect following the death of the previous gardener here has resulted in well established perennial weeds, so it's going to be a long job.
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
We read that poem at my mother's funeral (her choice). I am letting her down in my garden.
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
I may have committed a crime against wisteria in a friend's garden.
The place is seriously overgrown, and what really needed doing was removing the ivy which was growing over into the neighbour's garden. We set about it with vigour, and I waas aiming to cut back lowish down to isolate the top growth so it would die back. But I think that two of the stems I cut may have been the wisteria (also overgrowing the boundary, but needing different pruning). Not right down to ground level, or below any graft, but I wasn't looking for buds. About a couple of feet above ground level, and they looked quite young. I suspect other stems, but didn't check properly.
Can I have killed it? I can't find anything about hard pruning killing it on the RHS site, but they assume people aren't going to be stupid.
 
Posted by Lothlorien (# 4927) on :
 
Down here with sun and warmth, wisteria is next to impossible to kill. I hacked at roots coming under fence from next door for years till they gave up. Beautiful flowers and perfume but best grown down here on a substantial trellis in the middle of an enormous paddock.
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
Summer ending (finally) and I got a loan of a trailer to cart away all the trees that fell down after their roots rotted following minor spring flooding. Apparently, what you're supposed to do when there is standing water is go around with a pitchfork and stab the ground to aerate the soil. Not sure I would have bothered if I knew at the time. My garden fantasy is bouncy concrete everywhere.

My skin is very fair and our ozone layer still quite thin, so I'm kind of like Richmond in the IT Crowd over summer.
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lothlorien:
Down here with sun and warmth, wisteria is next to impossible to kill. I hacked at roots coming under fence from next door for years till they gave up. Beautiful flowers and perfume but best grown down here on a substantial trellis in the middle of an enormous paddock.

Thank you. I shall be extremely careful next time I'm there.

I did have some sort of climbing thing in my current garden when I moved in. I waited through the winter to see what it was - wisteria or clematis - to decide what to do with it. Bit it did nothing. Investigation behind the plants below it revealed that it had been sawn through just above ground level! An odd thing to do when selling, I would have thought. On recalling the stem features, I suspect it was clematis rather than wisteria. The plant I have just attacked had very smooth bark.

[ 03. April 2017, 07:21: Message edited by: Penny S ]
 
Posted by mark_in_manchester (# 15978) on :
 
Our Clematis has a kind of papery bark. Or should I say that climbing thing that I call 'the Clematis'.

My Jasmine is coming back from the huge collection of 7' high stalks me and my builder mate chopped it off at, when we replaced my mouldy-green 'patio awning' with a twin-wall plastic roof on a frame last month. It'll take some getting on top of once it gets going again.

I've planted a lot of very, very old nasturtium seed. I wonder if any will germinate.

Mrs MiM nearly bought the idea I had created a 'potting table' from a brick BBQ we no longer used, by fitting a thick bench top to it. Until I bolted one of these to it.

Note the auction includes the words 'garden feature'. You know you want one.
 
Posted by Sarah G (# 11669) on :
 
I'm making plans to prevent slugs from eating the veg. Has anyone got any tips?

My best (?!?) plan so far is to put the container on stilts, and stick sandpaper and/or vaseline to the stilts.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
It is said that they dislike creeping over diatomaceous earth, which is actually very fine seashells and sharp bits from plankton=like creatures. That said, I have always had good results with commercial slug bait.
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
I had very good results from daggy sheep's fleece, which breaks down and releases nitrogen.

Slug gone

It comes in pellets, with a distinctive smell which tells you whereabouts on the sheep it comes from.

[ 04. April 2017, 08:14: Message edited by: Penny S ]
 
Posted by Sandemaniac (# 12829) on :
 
Just be aware that it can burn the stems of tender plants - I killed my cayennes last year like that - so best not touching the plant.

AG
 
Posted by Sarah G (# 11669) on :
 
Thanks for the advice. I'll give them a go.

I've just started the annual Easter dig, and the number of snails I removed was scary.

Has anyone tried copper strips? Beer traps?
 
Posted by Roseofsharon (# 9657) on :
 
I have found self-adhesive copper tape to be very effective around planters, but to deter snails as well you need to use the ones with a serrated edge. They can be left in position for several seasons without losing their effectiveness.
I also plant sacrificial french marigolds, as slugs & snails love them, and it distracts them from my more precious plants.
They work even better if doused in a liquid slug/snail killer [Devil]
 
Posted by cattyish (# 7829) on :
 
The radish seeds are sprouting and I've planted 'Catriona' potatoes, much to my Dad's amusement; he always knew I was a tattie.

The corkscrew hazel is displaying magnificent catkins and the daffodils are lovely.

Cattyish, really need to mow the lawn... is 8am too early?
 
Posted by mark_in_manchester (# 15978) on :
 
quote:
Has anyone tried copper strips?
When my kids wanted to try sunflowers and they all got munched, the next time I slipped the seedlings through offcuts of copper water pipe. It seemed to work, but it's a bit labour-intensive for general use and you'd need to know a plumber to make it cost effective.
 
Posted by ArachnidinElmet (# 17346) on :
 
We use beer traps, which seem to provide a happy death to a portion of the slug population. Unfortunately it doesn't entirely stop your plants being nibbled, but every little helps.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
I have only rarely raised sunflowers successfully from seed. The critters get them all. This year I am trying again, in pots on the front porch.
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
I managed some weeding this morning, and removed a number of the samples of every kind of wild geranium that grow hereabouts. (Taking inspiration from this, and the previous owners' display of large numbers of one kind of garden ditto, I have planted a variety myself. This was probably a mistake. They do extremely well in my soil. I could probably host the national geranium collection, wild and cultivated.)
I also removed the broken cover of my plastic growhouse, which I suspect was broken by the Grey Phantom cat jumping on it after it was weakened by sunlight, and all the seeds that the birds have turned down from the feeders. Expensive, good quality seeds, too.
 
Posted by Roseofsharon (# 9657) on :
 
Continuing to clear and plant the garden of our new home.
Today I took pity on a hebe "Lilac Hint" that I had put in a pot prior 18months ago prior to moving house. It was making good progress, and producing flower buds, but started to look unhappy a week or two ago.
Don't know if it was lack of water, as it has been quite dry here, or wind damage from storm Doris of a few weeks back, but it was definitely in need if some TLC.
I dug a nice big hole the front border, close to the wall to get what little shelter from the channel breezes is available there, and planted it with added compost and mycorrhizal granules. then pruned off the damaged bits. There are still some healthy flower buds, so i'm hoping it will produce some flowers this year, and thrive in its new home.
There are some other plants in pots that need attention, and the rhubarb I planted in the autumn is bolting so i need to find out what to do about that.
 
Posted by Sandemaniac (# 12829) on :
 
Three and a half hours this arvo digging on the allotment and all I can say is ARRGH MY BACK! MY HIPS! EVERYTHING! ARGH!

I ache like a bastard, and am increasingly thinking that I will have to cover part of the plot in black plastic this year as I don't think I can keep it all in shape with the limited time I have at the moment. Ho hum.

AG
 
Posted by Sandemaniac (# 12829) on :
 
Forgot to say in brighter news, we now have our first clematis, dear old Nellie Moser, which I hope ill run riot in our hedge, and the perennial sweet pea is now sprouting anew.

AG
 
Posted by Graven Image (# 8755) on :
 
Whoo Whoo the governor of California has declared the drought is officially ended. So it is back to real gardening, but first I must weed and wait for the soil to dry out from all the rain before digging.
 
Posted by Roseofsharon (# 9657) on :
 
Each spring I have to start the season by untying all of last years bits of twine from the beanpoles, as I haven't the time to do it before winter rapidly overtakes the autumn tidy-up.
I do a double row, each opposing pair tied at the top, and a horizontal pole going through the crossing points, joining several pairs together. This year i decided to make the undoing quicker & easier by tying the pairs together using a bow rather than my usual double knot, as they are well secured to the cross-pole.
Yesterday morning, and today, there has been a row of dunnocks sitting along the cross pole, pecking at the filis twine to pull out fibres for nesting material - they have managed to undo most of the bows!
 
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sandemaniac:
Three and a half hours this arvo digging on the allotment and all I can say is ARRGH MY BACK! MY HIPS! EVERYTHING! ARGH!

I ache like a bastard, and am increasingly thinking that I will have to cover part of the plot in black plastic this year as I don't think I can keep it all in shape with the limited time I have at the moment. Ho hum.

AG

Gardener's World last night was all about no-dig gardening. It was very interesting [Smile]
 
Posted by cattyish (# 7829) on :
 
We have installed a massive eyesore in the back garden. Thankfully it cannot be seen from the road and can barely be seen from next door or directly behind, but the neighbours diagonally behind have a view. It's one of these monsters, painted green.

I've spoken to the diagonally behind neighbours and they're fine about it, but we did talk about maybe putting a honeysuckle up the adjoining fence for visual screening. What's the best way to do this? I could uproot mine and give it to them, or I could buy them one.

Cattyish, feeling guilty.
 
Posted by Roseofsharon (# 9657) on :
 
You could screen it, although it's not your problem, by growing honeysuckle or something similar on your side of the fence. Or they could screen it, if they have a problem with it, by growing something on their side of the fence.
You have a right to use your garden as you see fit and have done your best to site the eyesore discreetly, so as long as it is contained within your property I don't see that you have any need to supply the neighbours with screening plants.
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
I think you can root honeysuckle from cuttings. Give it a try, maybe?
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
Vining honeysuckle can go rampant. If it's happy in its situation you might need a machete in later years, to find your garden structure.
 
Posted by Graven Image (# 8755) on :
 
Gone, gone, totally gone. Woke up today to find four parsley plants and one squash plant eaten down to a few sticks. [Eek!]
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
I planted out a dozen seedlings yesterday. Fingers crossed that they're not eaten like yours.
 
Posted by Roseofsharon (# 9657) on :
 
We've just been away for a week, and the day before we left I sowed various seeds and left them to germinate on the kitchen windowsill, making a note of the date, and the date by which they should germinate - according to the seed packet.
Most of them were quick germinators and were due to show themselves at about the time we returned - except for the Romanesco cauliflower, which was supposed to take from 14-28 days. That was just fine, as the bit of garden they are due to occupy is nowhere near ready.
So, how come that on our return in just 7 days had the Romanesco germinated, and already grown into spindly seedings [Frown] . I have had to re-sow, and will be keeping a very close eye on them so they can be moved somewhere cooler the minute they show themselves.

What is the point of the sowing guide on the packet if it can be out by so much?!
 
Posted by Sandemaniac (# 12829) on :
 
It is now May, and still eff-all rain. I have one water butt, ot four, with water in still. And nothing in the forecast either.

WTF?

AG
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
We'll send you some. We're having major flooding with evacuations.
 
Posted by Sandemaniac (# 12829) on :
 
I'll pass on your evacuations if you don't mind, but am quite happy to be sent water - do you think you can PM it? [Two face]

AG
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
Incoming (watch for the splash)
 
Posted by Sandemaniac (# 12829) on :
 
It must have worked - we had some rain yesterday evening! Not much, enough to lay the dust, but oh it smelt so good!

AG
 
Posted by Sarasa (# 12271) on :
 
I think we're not that far east of you Sandimaniac and we've had steady showers of rain over the last few days after an almost entirely dry April, so I hope you egt more rain soon.
We only have a small back yard but I've been trying to fill it with pots and planters. My latest editions are a rose bush and a dwarf plum tree both in rather nice pots courtesy of the garden voucher I recieved when I retired a few months ago. I'll probably get the space looking great just at the time we decide to sell it - that's what happened at our last two houses.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
Some sharp frosts last week have been shredding potatoes and vines on our allotment site. Spuds in particular look wasted - and people have been planting them earlier and earlier, I noticed them going in in February this year.

But the frosts have also hit vineyards in England and France - -6 last week I think.
 
Posted by Og, King of Bashan (# 9562) on :
 
We had our first major hail of the spring last night. I was actually flying home from California when it hit, and was warned by my wife that the front yard garden got hit pretty badly. When we got home, it looked to me like everything was fine. So that was a relief.

Other people weren't so lucky. It was warm all weekend, so people pressed their luck on getting a head start on more tender vegetables, and from the looks of it, a lot of it got shredded.

Although if your garden got the brunt of it, that was lucky. I saw pictures of people with holes in their siding, and one friend had her car destroyed by the hail- windows shattered, roof and hood dented to hell, decorative decals and rear-view windows hanging on by a few wires.

And it's expected to hit again this afternoon. [Frown]
 
Posted by Sandemaniac (# 12829) on :
 
Despite the lack of rain, it's not all bad news - realised last night that the Salvia, which has been a dead brown twig all winter, is shooting from the roots. It's alive!

And the Met Office, having been forecasting rain as less and less likely all day, are now forecasting thunderstorms this evening. I'd rather they didn't arrive while I'm at ringing practice - standing in a tower holding a rope seems like a good way to end up toast - but beyond that bring it on!

Oh, and the sore hip turns out to be posture rather than arthritis. Phew! If only all life's woes were as easily solved...

AG
 
Posted by Roseofsharon (# 9657) on :
 
We've had rain!
Not enough, but there may be more overnight [Smile]
 
Posted by Sandemaniac (# 12829) on :
 
Hardly enough to lay the dust here. I'm getting worryingly obsessive about the stuff.

AG
 
Posted by Celtic Knotweed (# 13008) on :
 
He's not kidding about obsessive - I had a text when I got home asking me how damp the soil had got. [Roll Eyes]

On the other hand, I was the one who'd let him know we had at least 3 downpours over the afternoon [Razz] (my w*rk is only a mile away, so usually gets the same weather). With any luck things might now start to grow...
 
Posted by Sandemaniac (# 12829) on :
 
I left a bucket out - it had a good half inch in it (this is why CK prefers snow - she says it feels so much better waking up to discover you've had six inches in the night) - and stuff has quite literally doubled in size in 24 hours since.

AG
 
Posted by Twilight (# 2832) on :
 
It's become our Mother's Day tradition for my son to take me shopping for flowers and then come home and be my gardener for the day.

This year we spent twice as much as usual; I have a tendency to be a bit stingy. Now the front porch looks great with several pots of flowers and a Boston fern, plus there are impatiens and petunias all across the front shrubbery beds. We even added a new rhododendron shrub.

No one would ever guess that inside the house is a rather severe, minimalist décor. I love it!

I'm enjoying it now, because tonight may well be the night of the lepus.
 
Posted by Trudy Scrumptious (# 5647) on :
 
Transplanting the existing conversation from the "Allotment" thread to this new soil:

Posted by Mr. Cheesy:

quote:
Having decided to fully immerse myself in the local culture here in the Welsh valleys, I signed the waiting list at the local allotment - imagining it would be filed in the bin like my last attempt to get one. After only 6 months of waiting, I heard back from the allotment committee and was rewarded with a half plot. Oh the joy. A little bit of darkened soil, a shed, a greenhouse and a whole load of junk.

OK, I know you don't really care. So cutting to good stuff: I've planted some potatoes and onions (I wasn't going to bother, but they were donated by a neighbour so it was rude not to) and have been germinating beans and pumpkins in the greenhouse. It has been really warm so they've shot up and I've been transplanting them out.

In all this, I've been expecting the slugs to pop up and munch through all my seedlings, but as yet no sign of the little blighters. I'm thinking it might be due to a very large number of birds at the allotment, who for some reason think it is funny to uproot my onion sets.

I have also a little patch of fruit bushes and have been trying to restablish some strawberries with some runaway plants I've recaptured from the path. So far these haven't taken and are looking a bit sad for themselves in the fruit patch.

I'm trying to germinate tomatoes and peppers too, but so far no sign of any. Not sure why.

Anyhoo, how is your veg patch?

Posted by Brenda Clough:

quote:
Tomatoes and peppers need warmth to do well.
Posted by Graven Image:

quote:
Tomatoes looking well, 4 different kinds, something ate the squash, and part of the parsley, peas are just starting to blossom, 6 leeks and one onion and I have one artichoke up for its second year. I do square foot gardening, meaning I divide plot into square foot spaces. Much easier to tend to in my older age. I just planted a foot of sunflower seeds. I had good luck with a pot of potatoes last year. Finally I let a head of lettuce to to seed last year so now I have lettuce all over here and there.
Posted by quetzalcoatl:

quote:
Our patch is booming away, but we tend to buy young plants from nurseries rather than sow seeds. It's kind of instant gardening. So far, all looking well, except of course, it's been very dry. I got some new Jerusalem artichokes, and they are growing by the day, Jack and the beanstalk.
Posted by Martha

quote:
My patch consists of 4 large square boxes, plus a few pots. This year I have two boxes with peas in - something new for me - one box with tomatoes and rocket, and one with carrots and spring onions.

Two pots have strawberries in; the strawberry plants in the other two pots died, and when I tipped them out I found the pots were full of woodlice. Half a dozen courgette plants came up unexpectedly in my boxes, so I have stuck them in the vacant pots and will see how they do.

Every year when I'm planting I think it would be nice to have more space - my ambition is to have a glut of something - but realistically, this is probably about the right amount of stuff.

Posted by no prophet’s flag is set so …

quote:
This upcoming weekend is "May Long" which means May long weekend of which Monday is Victoria Day and a holiday. This is the traditional start of summer, well sort of. The leaves have just come out on the trees last week. Everything was bare 5 days ago, now we see green!

We dug last evening, spread compost, and laid out the rows. I turned the outside water on (we have to drain and blow-out the outdoor waterlines for winter). The ground is still quite cool, and our overnight temps at +3°C last night. Our beds are raised to help with warming. We are going to have beans (green and wax), carrots, beets, kale, swiss chard, and potatoes. The tomatoes here have to be started inside and transplanted. These will come later because it is just too cool yet.

We have both a garden in back of the house, and what you call an allotment, which is called a "community garden plot". Community gardens give a plot and then also as a collective typically grow potatoes in a shared area. The community garden gets going 03 June. We typically have about 100 days to grow things before frost.

There's something really life-giving about planning, preparing, planting, tending and harvesting. On an AS thread, I discussed an funeral last week. Last evening felt healing in the back garden from that.

Posted by quetzalcoatl:

quote:
We have just put tomatoes out, as we had frosts until last week. Grow them on the window-sill, where they become giants, then transplant. Trying black, green striped, as well as normal red.
Posted by Huia:

quote:
I have a solitary silver beet in my raised garden.

Well, it is autumn here and we have had our first frost.

Posted by Rosefosharon:

quote:
No allotment, but most of our back garden is given over to veg.

Being so close to the South Coast has its disadvantages (mostly wind and sand), but the temperature is just that degree or so higher than further inland, and we have had very little frost - so my outdoor tomatoes (bought in at two-leaf stage) are doing very well, two trusses of flower buds already, when I would previously have not put anything out until the very end of May.

I find I have to net things until they are established, otherwise the starlings or gulls pull them out. The leeks I planted at the weekend are currently under nets. Some things have to stay netted, I took the netting off the swiss chard (aka silver beet) for a couple of days last year, and the sparrows shredded them, so now I keep it permanently under net.

I need to clear last year's chard as it is beginning to bolt, and because I have little plants desperate to be in the ground, but they still have massive, succulent leaves, so we have been eating more chard recently than is good for our digestive systems
We had a very sunny day today, and I was delighted to see a bee busy working among my broad beans

Very heavy rain is forecast for tomorrow evening, so everything that is outside 'hardening off' prior to planting might be flattened by Thursday morning if I can't protect them somehow.


 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
I spoke to soon, the slugs have woken up and are attacking my baby pumpkins, the little bastards.
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
How dare you call your pumpkins "bastards"!
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
Checked out the herb garden and despite neglect we have a healthy bay tree, plenty of rosemary, thyme, sage and mint, some sad looking marjoram and not enough parsley (we cook quite a lot of Greek dishes which demand handfuls of the stuff). No sign of the basil so we will have to try harder.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
The heavens opened all right, so we dashed over on slug patrol, but only found one, executed by the tricoteuse (wife).

But pigeons are obviously feasting on assorted brassica, and also our sodding English mace, our treasure. Netting alert!
 
Posted by Ian Climacus (# 944) on :
 
I read this and thought of you talented people...

'Lady Cynthia' rhododendron bush puts Canada town on the map - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-39966325
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
I managed some gardening today. Heavy weeding, harvesting charlotte potatoes (heavily delayed) and using the compost for the allium bed. Covering the brassicas with a netting tent - also sprinkling slug stuff as I can't work out whether it's pigeons, molluscs or both that have nibbled. Heavily. Then I was so hot I had to have a bath.
 
Posted by Roseofsharon (# 9657) on :
 
We had a few days of lovely rain, but are now back to hot and windy weather, which dries out the containers very quickly, and forms a hard crust on the surface of the ver plot.
It makes me very grumpy, as there is next to no shade in my garden after about 9am, and I can't bear the heat. [Mad]
 
Posted by Moo (# 107) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Roseofsharon:
We had a few days of lovely rain, but are now back to hot and windy weather, which dries out the containers very quickly, and forms a hard crust on the surface of the ver plot.

Have you tried mulching?

Moo
 
Posted by Roseofsharon (# 9657) on :
 
Not yet.
Still filling raised beds & containers with a mixture of sandy soil, used multipurpose compost from last year's containers, a very little home-made compost & now bought in 'new' multipurpose.

Once everything is topped up with some sort of growing medium I will think of buying in mulch.
We had more home-made compost than I could use in our last, huge, garden. Plenty of grass clippings, shredded tree & shrub prunings and masses of weeds. There is very little here to make compost with - especially 'brown' material. Two small lawns, 1 forsythia, and not really a substantial amount of useable weeds, mainly bindweed and Spanish bluebell.
I am not keen on buying stable manure, the last lot I got gave me 20years worth of perennial weeds.
 
Posted by North East Quine (# 13049) on :
 
Last year I removed an evergreen bush which had become straggly, and replaced it with three small hebes. All three hebes flowered beautifully last year. Two of the hebes looked as they they were withering over winter, and neither rallied come spring. The third hebe is well and flowering. There are two flourishing, well established azaleas in the same bed.

How have I managed to kill hebes?? I'd like to replace them with more hebes, but don't want to kill off another two.
 
Posted by Roseofsharon (# 9657) on :
 
My broad beans plants have some tiny broad beans on them, and my climbing beans have started climbing - only half a turn so far, but promising. Courgettes, butternut-type squash and outdoor cucumber all planted out today.
[Smile]
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
I have actually managed some garden time today - totally the wrong sort of day, but needs must. I have put some more runner beans in to replace the slugged ones. I have erected a sort of leaning device with plastic netting stapled to two laths to make a slope up which the ridge cucumbers may climb, and put them in. And I have planted out the courgettes.
I have cut a huge amount of lysimachia which has enjoyed the local soil so much it was overwhelming all around it, and pruned a philadelphus I am gradually getting rid of. Its scent isn't quite right, pervasive and cloying, not the uplifting usual one, and as the one I grew from a cutting from my parents is now up and doing its stuff, I don't need it any more. It is very pretty, with more flowers than the usual variety, but I can't stand the scent. Also cut flowering heads off the various umbelliferae I have about the place.
Next I need to attack the Virginia creeper, which is working its way back from the heavy prune I gave it earlier, right down to the soil.

[ 20. June 2017, 12:02: Message edited by: Penny S ]
 
Posted by M. (# 3291) on :
 
Is it just us? All our fruit seems to be coming at the wrong time. The whitecurrants are usually the first currants, in early July, but this year, they are behind the redcurrants, which we are already eating. The blackcurrants are nearly ripe, way too early. The gooseberries are beginning to fall off and will have to be picked at the weekend.

Oh, and we are eating the autumn raspberries, as well as the summer ones.

Very odd.

M.
 
Posted by Roseofsharon (# 9657) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by M.:
Is it just us? All our fruit seems to be coming at the wrong time

The hot weather is discomforting the plants as well as us. They are probably producing fruit as quickly as they can, before they die from thirst and heat exhaustion. Who can blame them?

I am only venturing into the garden between the hours of 9pm and 6am at the moment - and that only for necessary watering.
Everything is now covered in blackfly, and are more than I can deal with by squishing or blasting with the garden hose. I have lost heart a bit, but still hope that I will be able to salvage something once the weather cools down.

At least the broken nights and pre-dawn garden watch has revealed what is responsible for the holes in the beds & borders, and the scratched up areas of the lawn - foxes!
I'm enjoying seeing them at the moment, but the novelty may soon wear off if they start to actually disturb the plants.
 
Posted by Sandemaniac (# 12829) on :
 
Away for a week... A non-gardening friend is watering while we are away, so I just hope everything survives the experience (him included).

AG

[ 21. June 2017, 08:09: Message edited by: Sandemaniac ]
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
A report from a non-gardener: a lot of bush trimming, plus the result of lawnmowing has filled our "green bin" which will be collected today so that provided it is not too hot, cold nor wet, we will be able to do some more.

Some parts of the Thing Outside© still need professional help though.
 
Posted by Graven Image (# 8755) on :
 
Goodby veggie garden. Between gopher ( I put wire down but now 3 years later they are back) heat it has been over 100 F all this week,the cost of water, and shade cloth I surrender. I have pulled up everything that was left and am mulching over it all. [Waterworks] Next year it is pots only. I can buy from the local farmers market for about the same as water bill and cost of plants that have been eaten.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
Help, no rain. We are valiantly watering all the time, but still, things are drooping. I can tell from the Jerusalem artichokes, which are shrunken effigies of what they should be. The odd thing is that lettuce don't seem to mind, ditto roses. Still, when I go on hols in August, it will piss down.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
I painfully nurtured some sunflower plants from seed; they were never particularly happy but at least they were alive. Yesterday found the best one neatly bitten off by deer.
 
Posted by Graven Image (# 8755) on :
 
Feeling much better about doing away with vegetable garden today. I had a young man come and help me put down weed barrier, and mulch area over. We were able to get a truck load of mulch free from re-cycle dump. I have found 4 large pots so far at local thrift store and decided I could use an old barbecue as a plant stand as well. It is big and already has a drain hole. Spring bulbs, and mint I am thinking and something that will grow downward around the outside edge. Garden juices are flowing again. Saved enough money on this to pay for a helper for a few hours. [Smile] Life feels good in the garden again.
 
Posted by Roseofsharon (# 9657) on :
 
Foxy still digging the occasional hole around the plants in big pots, but most of my plot is growing veg, which I keep netted until the plants cover most of the soil & foxy can't easily reach it.
Younger Son, in east London is also having fox problems, He has had his tiny lawn re-turfed, after builders trampled it to death, and the fox is digging a hole right in the middle - as well as pulling up the corners where the grass hasn't rooted firmly yet. At the w/e end he discovered that there is now a big hole under the fence between them and their neighbour. He has blocked it with a big chunk of tree trunk, but I fear that Foxy will just dig another a bit further along.
The London foxes are much bolder than our coastal ones, so they are afraid to leave their new bi-fold doors open if they leave the room, as they are scared for the safety of the baby.

Blackfly all over my beans and clematis are my main headache at the moment - that and the dry, sunny & windy weather, which dries out the sany soil at a phenomenal rate.
I moved here believing that I was giving up gardening, but it seems to be some form of masochistic addiction [Frown]
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
Does anyone know if peonies can be transplanted? The garden came with one, deep red, but planted under the forsythia. It hasn't been getting much light, and two years now has been flowerless. I'd like to move it where it will be happier, if possible.
 
Posted by ThunderBunk (# 15579) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:
Does anyone know if peonies can be transplanted? The garden came with one, deep red, but planted under the forsythia. It hasn't been getting much light, and two years now has been flowerless. I'd like to move it where it will be happier, if possible.

behold the wisdom of the RHS (towards the bottom)
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
Thanks - I should have gone there, of course. My sister bought me a year's membership for Christmas, but I have done precious little with it. Or with the garden. Three mini cauliflowers and two tomatoes (cheating - they were on the plant when I bought it). There should be runner beans and blackberries.

I will, I hope, be able to do things in the Autumn, such as clearing a route to crawl along to the peony root system, which is quite wide.
Today I have heavily pruned the forsythia, which puts on enormous spurts at this time of year, apart from one group of branches which were in line with the sun this morning, and which I will do later. It is now dappled shade underneath.

I will also have to prune the plum, which is unaware that it was labelled as a plant for container growing. It has got through the base of the tub and found something beneath the patio edge that it likes, and is halfway up the second storey, tapping on the living room window. I had plenty of blossom, but no fruit set. I can't even tell where the flowers were.

As for the flower borders - I have several wild geraniums I never knew existed and the tame ones are rampant, as are two varieties of lysimachia, which I remember from my childhood as being quite well behaved. The soil here is lush, though. Clay, plus mushroom compost to boost the humus. And I should never have given the rambling roses blood fish and bone meal. They are going vegan in future.
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
Cleared a load of the geranium yesterday, and also slipped over, fortunately without harm.

Also found I have totally failed to prevent the magpie from ruining my washing line cover. I don't know why it took to settling there and pecking it it. I fixed prunings from a rambling rose but it fought through them. I added a strip of wood. But when I went to put it on the line yesterday, I found it was quite pecked through.

Drat.

Duct tape called for, I think.
 
Posted by Roseofsharon (# 9657) on :
 
Up to my eyeballs in courgettes/marrowettes already. Doesn't bode well for my meal planning, as it looks as though there will be no bean glut to alternate with them. I think the blackfly have found the swiss chard, too, making the menu choices even more restricted.
Never had aphid trouble with chard before, and having managed to protect it from sun, wind, slugs and snails I am most put out!
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
I brown the courgettes in butter and then freeze them. I would have eaten last year's by now, but they aren't my guest's thing. Though maybe cooked up in slatherings of tomato ketchup...
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
If you have a barbecue grill, a simple and easy courgette recipe is to top and tail them, cut them in half longways, and brush them with oil. Grill them until brown and eat. Everyone loves them, and the leftovers can be frozen and put onto pizzas, etc.
 
Posted by Moo (# 107) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Roseofsharon:
Up to my eyeballs in courgettes/marrowettes already. Doesn't bode well for my meal planning, as it looks as though there will be no bean glut to alternate with them.

Have you thought of using the surplus to make pickles?

Moo
 
Posted by Roseofsharon (# 9657) on :
 
I have no shortage of courgette recipes, just more courgettes than we could possibly eat, even having them for every meal. I do like to alternate them with other veg, but the problem is that it doesn't look like there will be any other veg.
I used to make & freeze great vats of a courgette, onion & .tomato stew to use as a base for various dishes, but no longer have room for a freezer.

Yes, I have pickle recipes. In a previous glut I made Bread & Butter pickle with courgettes instead of cucumbers, and it was almost indistinguishable. Trouble is, we don't eat that much pickle, Mr RoS regards it as something to disguise a dish that doesn't taste good - even though he encourages me to make the stuff. It actually took us five years to finish the courgette B&B pickle, and I have several jars of chutney dating back to 2013.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
I don't know why these smart computer people have not figured out a way for us to email stuff to each other. If you could pop open your computer screen like a door, pile six courgettes in there, and the key in my email address...
 
Posted by Pomona (# 17175) on :
 
Courgette cake is very good - peel them first if you feel like the green would be offputting. You can't taste the courgette at all. It's also good in savoury scones and bread, adds moisture and means you don't need any egg. Cake freezes well - could you give some to whoever does the refreshments after church? Maybe sell some courgette chutney, scones etc at church - just have a price list and honesty box. Swapping with other gardeners may not help as everyone will be knees-deep in courgettes at the moment, but might be worth giving to non-gardeners in exchange for something?
 
Posted by Roseofsharon (# 9657) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pomona:
Courgette cake is very good

I am currently trying not to use the oven, as the weather has been far too hot for me. I haven't been baking much at all since May, but I do make the occasional courgette cake and have any number of main-course courgette recipes. I'm really just having a moan about a diet of all courgettes and no beans!

I will probably put a boxful at the end of the drive for people to help them selves, that worked pretty well last year and they all went, including the oversized ones. I even got a Christmas card from one satisfied "customer".
 
Posted by cattyish (# 7829) on :
 
It was filthy weather and I couldn't face my own garden, so instead I went to pick horse poop out of my pal's field and was paid in eggs. I now have 12 gluten-free, dairy free cupcakes to ice. I had enough raspberries to make them nicely marbled.

The pumpkins are awfully slow. Belatedly I caught someone on the Beechgrove Garden advising that at this latitude they don't usually get enough heat to fruit well. My potatoes (Catriona) on the other hand are fabulous and if they do what it says on the packet I'll have supplies to share until October.

Cattyish, about to test the raspberry cakes.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
Yes, it's always easier not to fight your local conditions. I once planted potatoes and they all fell prey to disease in perhaps ten minutes. OTOH pumpkins around here grow like monsters -- mine were volunteers (how was I to know the seeds had not composted from last fall?) and the plants surged over the planting bed, completely inundated the sidewalk, and were proposing to completely block off the garage. People would stop on the street and goggle at the ocean of vegetation swamping my yard, and I got 5 or 6 pumpkins.
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
Hee hee. How true--though I hope not, really, because I've planted potatoes this year, and we got FIFTY pumpkins off the vines two years ago. They were rare for this country, some kind of Vietnamese weird pumpkin, expensive and highly prized. There were crows of delight when Mr. Lamb loaded up the back end of the car with them and handed out the lot at church and work.
 
Posted by Sandemaniac (# 12829) on :
 
After all the recent upheavals, I'm trying to catch up with stuff. Slowly getting the allotment back under control, though not being about to water has meant that a lot of stuff has struggled - we will be buying onions all winter for starters. I've also sown various stuff right at the end of its sowing time (and later... optimist!), and hopefully it's just had enough rain to get it all germinating.

Not all is rosy - not a female flower on the squashes yet, for example, but it's improving.

On the home front, we are finding out how shite some of the soil is in the back garden - holes filled with used potting compost are all very well, but they dry out faster than a celebrity at Betty Ford - and how much effing bindweed there is still buried in the soil.

On the other hand I am slowly getting an idea of what can go where, and will be moving stuff around in the winter. For starters a small suburban garden doesn't need two rhubarb plants, luckily the Knotweed's brother has moved to a rhubarbless house, so one will go. The hanging basket at the front door looks lovely, and we picked the year's first tomatoes today.

Now if I can just get he time and money to shift the ten-feet-tall Lleylandii hedge, the concrete, and replace the somewhat rotten shed, I'll be laughing....

AG
 
Posted by Roseofsharon (# 9657) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Yes, it's always easier not to fight your local conditions.

It's going to take me a while to adjust to local conditions. Have had 30+ years gardening on heavy clay - difficult, but when it rained the ground stayed wet for several days - and at least it was fertile.
Am now on some sandy stuff that dries out in no time, especially as it is also windy (salty wind) and this garden has no shade from the hot sun we've had this year. All the veg are struggling - and it's not just the soil conditions, but we have a new range of pests & weeds to deal with.
The clematis that I love, and brought with me, don't like the wind, and some are looking very sad. It will take me some time to give up on them - am wondering if it's worth trying to give them a "Chelses Chop" next year, to keep there heads below the wind. Probably not.
May have to resort to growing a garden full of erigeron (fleabane), that seems to do very well here.
[Roll Eyes]
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
My clematis caught a disease and died, all at once. I cut it off at ground level. Either it'll come back, or not.
 
Posted by cattyish (# 7829) on :
 
My garden can kill mint. I've now got some local mint which is growing itself satisfactorily in the soil but bought mint dies. I've no idea why, and neither do more experienced gardeners.
Cattyish, off to find wild food.
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
My garden, Clay-with-Flints, loves mint, and the two plants (my grandad's) which had struggled so badly in the last place (chalky hill-creep) went mad. They are now in pots. That might work with bought mint, too.
 
Posted by Roseofsharon (# 9657) on :
 
I was wary of mint in our old location. as it has a reputation for spreading everywhere. Tried it in a pot, but it died - apparently it doesn't like being confined.. I have some in a pot here, and just divided & repotted a bit last autumn. took some time to show it's face this year, though. I did stick a few bits in the waste ground over our wall, and it seemed to be doing OK - but I think someone else has found it, as it seems to have been harvested. If growing in a pot in an an area it likes, don't stand it on the soil, otherwise it escapes through the drainage holes.
I thought French Tarragon was difficult to grow, but it behaves like mint here, and I daren't let it out into the garden.
 
Posted by wild haggis (# 15555) on :
 
Mint: try a bigger pot. You need to keep taking out the tips. If it flowers and seeds it will die. In one garden I had mint in a big pot sunk into the soil. Worked well.
In this garden I have it in a medium pot. Mind you the slugs got it and horror of horrors I had to put down some pellets. Since then it has been fine. Tastes good. Not enough for mint tea mind you!
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
Gloomily contemplated the front yard today, which has been neglected the entire summer. I prudently plant perennials which can, mostly, hold their own, but there are areas which are solidly weeds. The most painfully evident spot is right by the road, in full sun. Clearly something must be done. What should I plant in this spot, that would be sturdy and pretty but not too tall? (The last major addition to my garden, a fig tree, is now taller than I am but nary a fig do I get. I am going to go out and read Mark 11:12 to it.)
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
I surveyed my garden and spotted that the weed of the location was geranium - mostly Herb Robert, but other wild relatives. So I planted proper geraniums.

Do not follow this plan when identifying your weeds. I am now eradicating proper geraniums.
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
And I have just eaten the first blackberry of the year, from a plant that hasn't read the the books about primocanes and bearing on side growths in the second year. I had to cut right down this year because of my neighbour having his fence replaced, and to move the cable TV duct from running through the middle of the plant, and did not expect fruit, but it has borne, and melt in the mouth berries. I offered one to my guest, but she fears the pips.
 
Posted by Roseofsharon (# 9657) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:
I surveyed my garden and spotted that the weed of the location was geranium - mostly Herb Robert, but other wild relatives. So I planted proper geraniums.

Do not follow this plan when identifying your weeds. I am now eradicating proper geraniums.

I was once flabbergasted by the sight of Herb Robert for sale in a garden centre, it was a pretty rampant weed in my old garden. I like species geraniums so, on the basis that they would be at home in my garden, planted several varieties. Oh boy, were they at home! I spent hours each spring/ summer thereafter pulling up the invading runners & seedlings.
There were ash trees in neighbouring gardens, so we also had hundreds of ash seedlings coming up each year, and if you missed one in some dark corner it would be head hight by the end of the summer, and a small tree by the next spring. And people go out and buy them from garden centres!

I have a raspberry that is as confused as your blackberry. I planted a dozen autumn fruiting raspberry canes this spring .One of them, just the one, insisted on flowering, even though I tried to dissuade it, and has been fruiting for a couple of weeks.
 
Posted by Sandemaniac (# 12829) on :
 
First bloom on our Nellie Moser this evening! Only a little one - well, it's only been in three months - but it's a bloom!

AG
 
Posted by wild haggis (# 15555) on :
 
I'm keeping an eye on the brambles (blackberries to all Sassanchs)at the top of our road beside the roundabout. They should be ready for picking next week.

Yummy apple and bramble pie.
And the brambles will cost nothing - free food!
 
Posted by cattyish (# 7829) on :
 
The potato plants got blight. Booo! I lifted them all and the potatoes themselves are fine, yay! I had the ones which were about 1/2" in diameter for lunch.

There are now flowers on the pumpkin plants so you never know.

Mr C has had a crisis of confidence about building the greenhouse base so I'm tempted to crack on and do it myself to save his angst.

My carrots are lovely and much less humorous than I had anticipated in our stony soil. The onions are coming on.

Cattyish, warm.
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
My second picking of blackberries have let me down. The plant has clearly got hold of Dorothy Hartley's "Food in England", in which she explains that only the first fruit to ripen, at the tip, as sweet, and the later fruits are tart. This has never been true before. I have praised this plant to the hills for being able to be eaten with cream and no sugar, and my teeth were set on edge. Bah.

And Rose, my village has the dreaded ash word in its name, and the seedlings have a dreadful habit of popping up in disguise until they are too far gone for total eradication. My neighbour has allowed two in her garden, and though she decapitates the regularly, using my long arm pruner, I fear for the foundations.

[ 30. July 2017, 20:34: Message edited by: Penny S ]
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
Went for courgettes, found a marrow!

Saw a woodmouse while working on stain removal on D's clothes.

[ 06. August 2017, 13:10: Message edited by: Penny S ]
 
Posted by Roseofsharon (# 9657) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:
Went for courgettes, found a marrow!

That's happened to me a few times this year - shouldn't have packed so many plants in one bed - there are so many leaves I can't see the courgettes that are hiding underneath.

My garden is a bit of a disaster Partly this is because of the weather here, which, at least this year, has been blazing sun for days on end, then a day of torrential rain followed by three days of strong, blustery, salty wind. Not helped by me forgetting how soon after rain I need to water this very free draining sandy soil.

In my last, clayey, garden a day of rain like we had here recently would have got me out of watering for over a week - but not watering for three days here has almost killed my outdoor cucumbers. The container-grown beans and raspberries look pretty sad, a tub of love-in-a-mist has scorched in the salty wind, as have the leaves on the topmost branches of the forsythia.
I'm feeling a bit despondent .
 
Posted by M. (# 3291) on :
 
I think I posted earlier in the year that we were getting our raspberries and autumn raspberries at the same time. Well, we are now getting a second crop of autumn raspberries, and they are huge - between an inch and an inch and a half long.

'.....never seen one as big as that before!'*

Anyway, it feels like a real unexpected treat.

M.

*yes, I know that's about a marrow....which the courgettes seem to be turning into.
 
Posted by Roseofsharon (# 9657) on :
 
My garden had an horrendous infestation of aphid earlier in the year, starting with a few on the clematis, then really smothering the broad beans, pretty well ruining the crop - from which it moved on to devastate the nearby runner beans, and to a lesser extent my other climbing beans.
Once the broad beans were cleared from the bed the aphids around the rest of the garden gradually disappeared - and now, in late August, my runner beans have put on loads of new growth, are flowering and producing beans [Yipee]

I am hoping for a long mild autumn to keep them producing, as I have really missed having runner beans to eat this summer.
 


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