Potting shed summer party

(1000 Posts)

Following on from the Blooming into Flaming June thread and all others before it.

The potting shed is open for summer. Elderflower wine aplenty and room for all. Monty will be along later...

oh and there's a springwatch special on iplayer all about butterflies and moths. Fascinating! Am saving Monty for later. Anyone notice at the bottom of a recent email from RHS (or maybe GW) that he is casting for people to be in a new series about making an 'extraordinary' garden from a small space?

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 27-Jul-13 13:13:13

I saw the Springwatch programme last night. It was lovely. I may have a crush on Martin but Monty is still my number one.

funnyperson Sat 27-Jul-13 18:04:55

It is really too hot and muggy to do much.
I found it really interesting on the Springwatch programme about some plants being sterile therefore not providing nectar for butterflies, as I really hadn't thought of that. The tip about seeing whether they land on the flowers was useful.
In my garden, we have pairs at the moment who gambol in the air high up in the canopy and then low down among the flowers.
They don't like the nicotiniana, but they love the stachys, even though the flowers of the stachys are very understated.

funnyperson Sat 27-Jul-13 18:09:14

I have the same issue with my pumpkins, mousy, lots of flowers but they are all dropping off sad Asked my MIL today and she just said to trust them and leave them be blush

Funny - that kit looks amazing, I'd love to do that with my kidssmile Wonder if they will be old enough next year hmm

cantspel Sat 27-Jul-13 19:25:39

The heavens have opened and at last the garden is getting a good watering. I have not done much gardening in the last week or so as it has been too hot to do more than water the tubs and do a bit of deadheading. I now have the decorators in doing the lounge so i will hide in the garden next week and catch up on the weeding.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 27-Jul-13 19:26:08

My PC won't let me access funnyperson's link. Is it one of those butterfly house kits? We have had one for ages but have only used it a couple of years because finding the ideal moment to get the caterpillars - warm temperature, not about to go on holiday etc - is tricky. It is lovely watching them hatch and then releasing them, though.

I have just done a bit of tidying-up and glyphosate-squirting in the garden. I need to go and deal with the lily beetle larvae which have pooed themselves to the leaves. Oh joy.

Lovely rain smile, it even held off until we'd finished the BBQ and the last of the guests left. Perfect. Now for some sun again in the morning and I'll be very happy.

Fed guests with lots of stuff from the garden today. I do enjoy that. Peas eaten straight from the pods as pre-meal nibbles are the best thing ever. Used the kohl rabi cut up into sticks with dips as someone suggested (Rhubarb?), that was lovely too.

Butterflies everywhere here. Fabulous.

funnyperson Sat 27-Jul-13 21:16:19

Yes it is a butterfly kit from amazon, with 'painted lady' caterpillars to order with a voucher when you get the kit. Maud did you get caterpillars the following year naturally in your garden as a result?
Thank goodness it is raining.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 27-Jul-13 21:36:03

That sounds idyllic, Bertha.

Sadly not, funnyperson. The butterflies scarpered as soon as released so someone else must have benefitted the next year!

HumphreyCobbler Sat 27-Jul-13 22:04:19

Hello everyone smile

Fed lots of pots in the garden and we cut back everything that had not already been cut down. Garden is looking tidy, but rather bare. It will hopefully soon grow at bit thanks to all the lovely rain.

Echinacea, perovskia, monarda, sweet peas, sea holly and Japanese anemones are all just coming into flower in the cottage borders. The front garden is looking extremely bare as all the geraniums and alchemilla mollis have been cut hard back and there is nothing planted to come on now, except for a few cosmos purity. I must try to have some annuals coming on to put there next year - any ideas anyone? There are a few wild flowers in the patch, enough to make it look pretty smile.

Today we have eaten potatoes, peas, cucumber, tomatoes, basil and Tulameen raspberries from the garden. These last are massive and really tasty.

MousyMouse Sat 27-Jul-13 22:08:52

have cut more off the blue tree today, have decided to take the top meter or so off to make it easier to handle. hope it will reward me with lushious flowers next year.
should I feed it now or before winter?

MousyMouse Sat 27-Jul-13 22:11:14

have not yet eaten anything from the garden except strawberries and herbs. but the tomatoes are full of fruit. the chillies are also looking good, I guess I need to find a way to preserve them.

bunchoffives Sat 27-Jul-13 23:29:17

for pumpkins try pollinating the flowers yourself to give them a nudge in the right direction. I just put a finger on the male stamen, give it a wiggle, then try to brush the pollen on to a female flower.

If it works the bulb of a little pumpkin underneath the flower will start to swell and to grow. If it hasn't worked the bulby bit will fall off. But don't despair, it will produce more. I think it helps if you've got a few plants because it's more likely that they will flower at the same time so you can pollinate. HTH and you get some pumpkins for halloween smile

Thanks bunchofives, I had heard that but have not yet had two flowers of opposite gender open at the same time!! hmm Very frustrating, think I just need to be more patient blush

echt Sun 28-Jul-13 06:05:07

A beautiful afternoon here in Melbourne, and the balmy 18 has brought out all the power-assisted tools, but who cares?
I've done a tidy up of the front garden. On another thread I'd identified a phlomis and now see I'm sprawled on the bench looking at another version of it; leonotis leonutus, in the raised bed. It's a bit of a bully, as well as a legal alternative to cannabis, apparently, so it will get a big prune later. Feeding it is a problem as it likes phosphorus which is bad for many native plants, that will cop the run-off when it rains. It will have to starve, and I'll move it if needed.

The hyacinth bulbs have sprouted, daffodils on the way and hardenbergia flowering vigorously, so all go.

funnyperson Sun 28-Jul-13 07:39:26

I don't think you need to feed the blue tree (a ceanothus I presume) mouseymouse as it is very resilient.
echt it is lovely hearing about spring. Phlomis was mentioned by Joe Swift in one of his planting schemes: there seem to be different sorts and I've never been sure what it will look like in a border or what to plant it with, but the name is so pleasant it seems worth a try!

So interesting to hear about a garden over the other side of the world and in a different season, echt smile

funnyperson Sun 28-Jul-13 09:06:10

Can I ask what tools you have all found useful to prune/deadhead/shape trees/roses/bushes at height? I am short and dumpy so daren't climb up a ladder (which would most surely buckle under the weight!).

I have had fun digging up a peony- massive corms (surprising since only about 3 flowers this year) which I have divided. I have also dug and divided the irises.

MousyMouse Sun 28-Jul-13 10:13:42

funny I have a telescopic thing a bit like this
with it I have quite a good reach.
I hate stools/ladders, but have a workers bench which feels much more stable than a ladder.

cantspel Sun 28-Jul-13 13:20:13

I use long handled loppers too and also have a rechargeable bush trimmer which also has a extendable handle. I can reach most things with them and use an old fashioned wooden ladder if i have to.

funnyperson Sun 28-Jul-13 16:25:15
funnyperson Sun 28-Jul-13 16:25:41
ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 28-Jul-13 16:53:54

How odd. None of those links will open for me either, but I agree that a bench would feel far safer than a ladder.

We have just been to a lovely open garden, where I admired rosa mutabilis.

Bumbez Sun 28-Jul-13 18:58:11

Hi everyone

Hello to whispers

Etch agree its lovely to hear gardening stories from the other side. I lived and worked in Melbourne many years ago its a lovely city.

Funny I didn't know you could divide peonies I have one I need to move. It only had 2 flowers and came up in the lawn remnants of a grassed over border I think. I also need to move 2 camelias which didn't flower at all - must be due to the soil, and all the strawberries which had a meagre yield.

Thank goodness it's rained I shall need to cut the grass once more.

To be truthful, I haven't gardened much but enjoyed pulling out the over mallow.

Interesting about fertilising pumpkins I must grow them next year. smile

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