It will not always be summer; build barns. The potting shed goes on...

(751 Posts)
echt Fri 17-Jul-15 09:49:04

Please ignore my first, illiterate thread. I'll try again.

I hope this quotation from Hesiod captures the moment of movement from high summer to the splendours of harvest and the planing for the new year.

<Not where I am, obviously, but there you go> grin

PestoSwimissimos Fri 17-Jul-15 09:59:56

Morning! I harvested my first crop today - 2 green peppers <<proud>>

echt Fri 17-Jul-15 10:16:13

Bugger. Planing for the new year???

Ok, I'll go and spread my wings.

Good on you, Pesto for the peppers. I'm waiting on sugar snaps, peas and broad beans, though it's been a colder winter here in Melbourne.

On Sunday it goes down to 1 overnight, which will mean unaccustomed frost, causing all right-thinking Melburnians to turn into tea-pots. Me included, probably.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Fri 17-Jul-15 10:23:33

Hello! Well done on the peppers, Pesto.
Nice quote , Echt.

I am reading The Morville Year now.

PestoSwimissimos Fri 17-Jul-15 11:04:27

Thank you both! I haven't attempted much this year, my sweet peas are going great guns but sadly I can't say the same for my runner bean plants

Bramshott Fri 17-Jul-15 13:48:10

Just marking place for now. It's a lovely day here, but windy. Off to Wisley with MIL & FIL tomorrow - there are lots of arts activities happening there this weekend.

MyNightWithMaud Fri 17-Jul-15 17:03:25

Welcome, Pesto, and well done on the peppers!

The quote is fab and, when you think about it, planing is probably an essential skill for the construction of barns.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Sat 18-Jul-15 21:06:28

So, I am minding my own business weeding the side border when all of a sudden an apricot falls on my head. I look up and realise we have a whole tree of the things! How's that for a nice surprise? Previous residents did tell us they had grown apricots but I hadn't worked out which tree it was because there weren't any last year.
I had a Google and apparently it is an amazing year for apricots. Anyone else grow them and able to advise on best time to pick? Mine are all orange but we would love to know how long it is likely to take from now to the best moment for picking.

MyNightWithMaud Sat 18-Jul-15 22:32:44

My apricot tree died. ::sobs hysterically:: They are my favourite fruit. In its final year, the tree produced its best ever crop - I've heard that dying trees sometimes do fruit spectacularly - and I was advised to pick them when I got back from holiday in August. By the time I got back from holiday, the crop had disappeared, eaten by squirrels or dropped off the tree or both. So I suspect the time to pick them is about now. Do they feel ripe (ie slightly squidgy and not rock hard)?

echt Sun 19-Jul-15 06:58:13

Mmm.. apricots. On the mini-industrial estate where the echtcat is deposited in the cattery there is, bizarrely, a large apricot tree snuggled up to a garage wall. I always pinch some when the season's right, the ground is littered with them. I agree with Countess that they're a very unassuming tree.

Well, it was 1C this morning, and frosty. Typically for Melbourne it's now 13 and we've got the front door open to let the sun in.

I've picked the first snow peas, ten of them smile and feel absurdly proud.

The double-grafted tangerine tree I rescued as a sad plant had about twenty fruit and is big enough for its permanent half barrel home in the spring.

florentina1 Sun 19-Jul-15 07:47:07

Sometimes I wonder about the time and money I spend on my garden. Next door is a bit of a wreck, the garden is never pruned, watered or fed. Their Oleander flowers every year, currently they have Stunning Hibiscous and roses. There pear tree and fig tree is full of fruit.

MyNightWithMaud Sun 19-Jul-15 08:00:52

I wonder about those things too, florentina, but then I notice that although untended gardens do often have nice things in them, they are still, in many ways, a wreck. One is by no means perfect, but I enjoy working on it in a way that I don't enjoy working inside the house. And I don't buy expensive coffee etc so I feel better about frittering money on the garden.

I came home from our local festival yesterday with an oleander and some mina lobata to cover the wigwam where some sweet peas haven't taken off.

shovetheholly Sun 19-Jul-15 08:40:30

Advice needed, oh wise ones of the potting shed!

I have a border in my garden that's quite tricky. I'm on heavy clay, north-facing, and because of an odd range of factors, this border is very damp and dark in the winter but actually gets quite a lot of sun during the day in midsummer.

I'm trying to do a feature in it with lots of hummicky box balls, surrounded by Geranium 'rozanne' and silver lamium in front. Both are taking a while to establish - I wasn't able to afford big box balls so I've been growing them from small plants! The whole bed is filled with purple sensation alliums in May/June and drumstick alliums now. In the back, I have descampsia, verbena bonariensis, and some taller salvias. However, I have a gap between the rozanne geraniums and the descampsia this time of year. Can you recommend something mid height (45-60cm) that would look nice and that flowers about now?

MyNightWithMaud Sun 19-Jul-15 10:49:56

Lychnis coronaria? The magenta variety is looking fabulous in my garden at the moment. I'd worry, though, about whether it would get through the winter in damp clay - mine tends to be short-lived because of that.

MyNightWithMaud Sun 19-Jul-15 10:51:44

Oh and my remedies for everything after hardy geraniums - heucheras (mine are still flowering), tellima or Alchemilla mollis.

Callmegeoff Sun 19-Jul-15 15:13:12

flowers for funny wishing you a speedy recovery

Annuals that self seed holly ? I have Nigella still flowering and the seed heads look lovely when it's over? Aldi had Perenials in last week I managed to get a blue scabious, would that work?

envy of apricot tree how lovely.

I finally pruned the Victoria plum, first year of fruiting about 20 plums I think.

funnyperson Sun 19-Jul-15 16:35:49

Hooray I'm back home! They didn't do a full op in the end, just a series of invasive tests which confirmed an op would prolong life. The 'condition of patient' on the discharge summary was 'alive' which made me laugh and shudder at the same time. Oh well, I have defied the inevitable vultures who circulate at such times, yet again. I expect they'll do me properly in the Autumn. If they get funding approval. The NHS wheels grind very very slowly.Thanks for all your flowers.

Hesiod commanded his slaves to build barns, he wasn't really the type to get his hands dirty was he? I've found a gardener who can help me plant up and prune though I'm half inclined to wait till September and do it myself. In the meantime I've been happily potting on the princess Kate and Diana clematis and taking cuttings and deadheading the roses and cutting back the geraniums and stachys lanata.

In the 3 days I was away, the clematis viticella Abundance has flowered:hundreds of little deep red blooms over the ceanothus which finished its flowering a month ago. Polish Spirit still hasnt flowered though and Countess of Wessex has given up the ghost <sob>. Poppy Patty's plum hasnt flowered in the flower bed or in the pot.

The roses, penstemons and fuschias continue to repeat flower, which is nice, and the Anabelle hydrangea has flowered, as has the ceratostigma.

shove what about penstemons?

Does anyone deadhead astrantia or do you let them seed?

Baked a cake to celebrate summer in the garden, and made some nice iced lemonade: here's some to go round cakecakecakewinewinewine

Blackpuddingbertha Sun 19-Jul-15 21:52:08

Found you! Back from holiday & trying to catch up. Have spent most of today in the garden picking, tidying and wondering how things can grow quite so much in 8 days, neighbour did a great watering job this year. Picture of some of the cucumbers in the conservatory. DD2 thought she'd gone to heaven when she walked in there this morning and demanded the biggest one (not pictured) for her breakfast.

I'll happily accept cake Funny (I made two huge courgette cakes today today but always room for more cake); I missed the worrying moment and have come back to the encouraging news which is nice, but have some flowers anyway for a speedy recovery.

SugarPlumTree Mon 20-Jul-15 07:36:36

I need to catch up ! FP not sure what has been going in with you (will read the other thread) but most definitely glad you're alive flowers

Like the title Echt and that is one impressive cucumber plant Bertha.

echt Mon 20-Jul-15 08:46:17

Glad to hear you're back on the scene/in the garden, funnyperson. and hope all goes well.

CallmeGeoff's Victoria plums got me thinking. They're first plums I had as a child. Now I live in Victoria, and can you get them? No fear. sad

MyNightWithMaud Mon 20-Jul-15 08:51:55

Good to hear from you, funnyperson.

I've never tried to grow cucumbers. Those look fab, Bertha!

shovetheholly Mon 20-Jul-15 10:27:04

Thank you all for the recommendations! I think I might see if I can squeeze all of those into the garden! I've never grown penstemons, but I know that they do very well here (there are some lovely examples in the Botanic Gardens). I managed to pick up some lovely dark foliage pink dahlias that were on offer at the garden centre, with some pink salvias that pick up the dusky colour. With the drumstick alliums, they look really good.

I went to this garden at the weekend: www.landfarmgardens.co.uk/ It was absolutely lovely. Very close, informal, dense, repeat planting that worked magically. And some wonderful pink dragonheart geraniums that I just fell in love with. The photographs on their website don't do it justice. Well worth a visit if you're ever near Hebden Bridge!

parsnipthecat Mon 20-Jul-15 13:41:54

Ooh, might visit next time I go to my parents'.

funnyperson Mon 20-Jul-15 14:50:17

Oh Hebden Bridge is one of my favourite places in the world! Though its a goodly decade since I was last there. I wonder if they've modernised all the pubs to a gastronomic clone. It had pretty little chapels and lots of poets and brilliant moorland and there was a nice country walk to Haworth where one could go round the Bronte house.

Shove those dahlias and salvias sound just the thing!

LostInMusic Mon 20-Jul-15 16:37:50

Oh, I love the Bronte house at Haworth!
I'm deciding which Silver Birch to choose, currently. I've found some 'Silver Shadow' or 'Grayswood Ghost's at a nursery near to me, but they're only about 60cm tall. I think they'll do well and catch up within a couple of years and DH thinks they'll look pathetically small. We're planning a group of 5 small birches...any thoughts?

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