The first rule of garden club is...!?!

(1000 Posts)
Lexilicious Mon 16-Jul-12 18:25:19

<echoing silence>

hoping Humph's Happy Osteospermumsnet chums will find this... la la la... I'm uite used to being betty no mates though...

Come on in and have a seat/kneeler/foam pad and a virtual [gin], anyone who wants to idly chat about what they've been dreaming of planting, actually planting, buying without a care for having a place for it, propagating, harvesting, hacking and chopping...

HaitchJay Tue 17-Jul-12 12:22:09

Maud- our poppies failed too sad

Very random and unpredictable year for gardening I think.

HumphreyCobbler Tue 17-Jul-12 13:02:54

random and unpredictable it certainly is.

The rain has been bad for us, but the slugs have been worse. They have wiped out all my salad crops. I have no salad at all and have now given up trying.

MooncupGoddess Tue 17-Jul-12 13:27:45

I have a container with a few weedy rocket plants on my patio. Last night I noticed a large fungus growing in it. That rather summed up the summer's gardening for me.

HumphreyCobbler Tue 17-Jul-12 15:16:48

Now it is bloody windy as hell, and forecast to be so for the next two days sad

Garden is getting ripped to shreds, all that new sappy growth from too much rain is now being torn apart.

funnyperson Tue 17-Jul-12 15:18:26

It has been a brilliant year for roses though. Munstead Wood has flowered and the scent is to die for! Just before the petals drop I bring the flowers in to dry in the boiler/utility room and it is just wonderful! I think I might go for an indoor herbarium approach with upside down clumps of herbs drying on string, interspersed with bowls of rose petals.

Also...ahem... I have had success with cuttings this year: 2 types of rosemary, the cistus,and sage cuttings have all taken so far and I am thinking of doing some more - perhaps of roses as there is more rain forecast and so I think they will root well in time before the winter sets in. I am also going to layer some of the clematis today.

No salad though. No sweet peas, 2/6 dahlias, etc etc.

One butterfly today. Brown with large wings.

The tree lily is coming into bud- very intrigued! It is only its first year so it isnt 5 foot tall as advertised but it is 4 foot tall!

I cant stand 'Love your Garden' on one of the programmes they had fake grass- awful. I do so like the Gardener's World team and also the content of their programmes.

doublemocha Tue 17-Jul-12 15:53:44

Checking back in after missing the entire last thread!

DC's at the optician but will be back to post and read later. What an interesting year it seems I have chosen to begin my gardening career weather-wise... surely it can only get better!

HumphreyCobbler Tue 17-Jul-12 16:06:18

mmm, my herb cuttings have mostly taken. But the heuchera don't look like they are doing anything, and I will not mention the clematis....

Lexilicious Tue 17-Jul-12 16:21:15

My basal cuttings of the bought dahlia look ok, and the blackberry cuttings are still transpiring lustily underneath their poly bags. Won't uncover them for a while. I divided heucheras last weekend, have some earmarked for Maud in fact <hello!> and they seem to be staying upright so I'm hoping they are taking root.

Today I found a damselfly which had sat down on a sweet pea leaf (perhaps only just hatched so was sitting there to fluff up its wings from its nymph stage) but it had sat long enough that it had been "captured" by a curling tendril!! I thought it was dead but when I cut away the tendril to keep it as a specimen take a photo, it wriggled feebly so then I cut the coils of the tendril as carefully as I could (with big fat kitchen scissors) and did successfully free it! It was fairly woozy/wobbly so I tried to put it on a flower to get some food, but then it suddenly took flight, and was off, straight away over the house!

doublemocha Tue 17-Jul-12 20:17:38

Oh, I am filled with reassurance after reading your comments about salad crops this year. Every book or website I read advises that this is an easy starting point, but really only the Little Gem lettuce have worked for me, rocket, radish, other varieties of lettuce have been dismal.

So here, in no particular order, is the list of things that I have discovered so far in my limited experience of gardening......

- I love gardening.
- I LOVE my greenhouse!!
- Eating something that you have grown from seed is so amazingly satisfying and tasty.
- I thought I would just love GYO but I find that I want to do it all!
- That DH loves all the jobs that I hate (grass, pruning, tidying, edging etc). Perfect combination.
- That I care so much more about things that I have grown from seed than I have bought or even been given.
- That trying to grow a little bit of lots of things to 'see what works' might cause more work than I envisaged....
- Plan more, be organised, write it all down.
- Soil can be too rich (compost added to raised beds).
- Rabbits love carefully 'nurtured from seed' cauliflower plants....
- A packet of asparagus seeds bought for 99p from Amazon goes a long long way...
- Mint does indeed grow very quickly.
- I can grow lavender from seed, I have tons.
- I have herbs now that I am not really sure what to do with in the kitchen!.
- That putting something in a pot until I know exactly where I want it in the garden long term will only work for so long.
- Things that are 'easy to grow' have not worked so well sometimes as things which are supposed to be tricky.
- That I would look forward to Gardeners World on a Friday evening!

I have lots of questions too that I think I will save for another post given how long this one has turned out to be!

Grockle Tue 17-Jul-12 20:21:22

I am going to learn how to take cuttings this year. I've spent a lot of time and money stocking the garden with perennials & shrubs so it would be lovely if they could help fill the rest of the spaces in coming years. I also need to create a small wildlife pond - in a washing up bowl or something. I need to google.

<wanders off to look for local knobgobblers in the yellow pages>

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Wed 18-Jul-12 00:00:10

Right. As the resident duffer I clearly need to enrol for Cuttings for Beginners.

funnyperson Wed 18-Jul-12 04:27:39
WynkenBlynkenandNod Wed 18-Jul-12 06:53:31

I have mixed success with cuttings. Some roses have successfully rooted whereas others failed. Rosemary has been worked rooting in water. Have tried clematis this year but that's not looking very hopeful.

Last week I've stuck some passion flower, cornus and weigela into water to see if I can get them to root. DS helped me take some from a 4 year old climbing petunia which has survived minus 10 and they mostly worked. I'd like to have a go at root and leaf cuttings but haven't got round to it yet.

I've just woken up to sunshine, second day in a row. Must try to get out to allotment or garden today. Having a difficult couple of days, Mum possibly has cellulitis and might not be able to fly at end of month to visit my brother. We haven't seen him for over three years and he very kindly is paying for us all to go out and it's now looking very dodgy. I warned her this would happen if she didn't make an effort and it's affecting my DC as I can't take DD to some of her leaving stuff as have to take her to docs and specialist. I really really feel I need to fit some gardening in today, it's the only thing that chills me out when stressed.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Wed 18-Jul-12 08:16:55

Oh Wynken, that sounds very tough. I had cellulitis last year and it was grim. I also have elderly parents and now how relentless it can be, dealing with all the health and hospital issues. I hope you manage some relaxing gardening time today.

That's helpful, funnyperson, but what I was really hoping for was hanging out with lovely Carol at Glebe Cottage, propagating plants and being best friends forever. ::wink::

Lexilicious Wed 18-Jul-12 09:28:26

Did a search, Maud, but the last masterclass/course she seems to have run was in 2007. Perhaps we should start a campaign... I did not realise she was as old as Wikipedia says she is though! I would easily have accepted 10 years less. <suck-up, suck-up>

No sunshine here today. Drizzle again. I even foolishly left the not-quite-dry third load of washing out on the line overnight when I took the rest in at 10.30.

Yesterday's lunch was a yummy potato omelette (Cara from my disappointing weekend harvest), and last night's dinner involved the last of the broad beans, a load of finger-sized carrots (Autumn King and Cosmic Purple), done in a leftover-roast-pork risotto with some Cavolo Nero sort of steamed on top at the end. I have another portion with me for lunch today - yum!)

Get well soon Wynken's mum. smile

Phacelia Wed 18-Jul-12 11:36:19

Oh my goodness, Lexi, I'm absolutely drooling the sound of those meals. I should have a home grown courgette, some peas and broad beans for my supper tonight, yum. I'm eating the few broad beans I have when they're quite small and I can't believe how delicious they are. Much sweeter than the tough big ones you get in the shops.

I have tons of strawberries at the moment; some of them are huge, so I'm just waiting for more sunshine to ripen them as they're all green right now. Really looking forward to scoffing the lot. Quite tempted to make this incredible recipe

I have some dahlia cuttings and some lavender cuttings which are doing really well. It's really nice when you try something new in gardening and it works. Will definitely take lots of cuttings next year.

HumphreyCobbler Wed 18-Jul-12 14:04:26

hello doublemocha - glad to meet you smile

I ask a lot of questions too, this lot are very helpful although they tempt you with plant sales

doublemocha Wed 18-Jul-12 17:46:37

Hi Humphrey, nice to meet you too!

I am easily tempted by sales (of any variety if truth be known) so that's good to know!

Are you new to gardening too?

Best wishes to your mother Wynken.

Lots of yummy sounding home grown items described above. My fennel seems to maturing nicely, tomatoes have been a success (so far!), courgette and cucumber, peas and beans all good. Squash and broccolli growing well at the moment. As I mentioned previously, salads not a great success and neither the beetroot, spring onions taking an age. I have also sown further salads and some spinach just at the weekend.

Does anyone have any experience of green manure? I have sown some in a bed (approx 3m x 3.5m) that I wasn't intending to plant in this year as an experiment. I bought it from GW live for £5 and it has germinated well so far. Does it benefit the soil significantly?

Grockle Wed 18-Jul-12 20:44:38

Oh wynken, that sounds very sad. Thinking of you.

No gardening news from me but today was my last day at work for six weeks, hurrah. Well, except for the 2 weeks I'll go in & work but somehow that doesn't count as I can do it when it rains & play in the garden when it's sunny!

HumphreyCobbler Wed 18-Jul-12 20:46:39

Oh Wynken, sorry I missed this first time around. Do hope your mother is better, my mother had cellulitis last year.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Wed 18-Jul-12 21:21:16

Thank you all. Good news, it's looking more hopeful for her to fly according to doctor today, though not out of the woods yet. We're seeing a specialist tomorrow.

I've done zero gardening today but came home to a big hole in the hedge between us and the neighbours. They did kindly email to say one of the shrubs had died and they will replace it.

Green manure, my friend did a section on her allotment last year. This year she's planted her fruit bushes in that bit, they look like they are doing pretty well if that helps.

I don't think we're really much of a bad influence with plant sales, well maybe a tiny bit .....!

NorkyButNice Wed 18-Jul-12 23:18:37

Did somebody say plant sale? Ears prick up...

Sorry to hear you mum is unwell Wynken, I hope she is able to travel in time for the trip.

I love hearing about all the veg and fruit that's appearing in your gardens ! That will be a project down the line for me.

I went plant shopping today and bought some Gaura (?), more Salvia, another Phlox, some Bergamot and something else I can't remember!

I need ideas for low Creeping plants to fill in gaps in borders along the front too if you have ideas?

chixinthestix Wed 18-Jul-12 23:36:21

Hello everyone, just found the new thread. Can I offer round elderflower cordial and slightly soggy jam buns?

It sounds like you are all doing far more gardening than I have, but the rain finally stopped and I did manage a quck stroll and flower pick this evening to make posies for teachers' presents and...hooray, I picked the first three flowers off my sweet peas! smile And also harvested our first decent crop of peas for tea. No ripe tomatoes yet though but the promise of a bit of sun might help.

Norky, low creeping thing I have are London Pride and bugle which are great for May/June but I've got some gaps at the front of borders now too. I've got a bit of creeping Jenny some gave me which is pretty and hoping my dianthus will flower soon. I've got 3 or 4 fairly low growing ones that are very pretty and smell lovely.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Wed 18-Jul-12 23:38:36

Norky - My favourite low ground cover plant of the moment is alpine strawberry. I never get any fruit on mine bloody wildlife but the leaves are lovely. Ajuga is another good one, especially one of the varieties with bronze leaves.

doublemocha Thu 19-Jul-12 09:40:40

Wynken - I hope your visit to the specialist is good news and that your mother is able to travel. Thanks for the information re green manure.

Norky - I struggle to remember the names of plants sometimes too, plus the varieties of the veg/fruit that I have planted. I must get more organised at this!

Elderflower cordial - yum! My peas are still flowering and so are the tomatoes, you are further on than me Chix! I find gardening hard earlier in the week when I am working but more opportunities later on.

Plans for my gardening over the next few days (in addition to general tidying etc) Order raspberry canes for planting in the autumn, order seeds for autumn sowing (a few ideas but need to make decisions), plan the winter veg. Figure out (and possibly start) how to make an asparagus bed (Monty says preparation is key for asparagus). Consider (and possibly order) climbers appropriate for semi shade that will grow along a fence and under establised trees. Water plants in greenhouse and check my tomato plants do not need more support, they are getting heavy. Plan autumn/winter plants for tubs.

Bring on this nice weather we are promised, it rained again here during the night!

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