Blooming into Flaming June

(996 Posts)

Keeping the potting shed party going from the previous Rhubarb Society thread and all threads before it.

Please feel free to join in all gardeners, whether novice, professional or aspiring. Plenty of blackberry gin for all.

<waltzes in to empty potting shed, frightens mice out of the seed box, drinks more gin>

MousyMouse Fri 10-May-13 21:42:55

<settles down with peppermint (from my garden) and some ginger nuts (not one ingredients from my garden)>

I have 5 Giant Phlox to plant tomorrow at the allotment - impulse QVC buy.

I don't even really know what a fecking Phlox is blush

LadyMud Fri 10-May-13 21:47:50

And what about cake? Is there any cake?

Any recommendations for cakes containing vegetables? We all know Carrot Cake, and I make a lovely Chocolate & Beetroot Cake, and also Lemon & Potato Cake. My local National Trust stately home sometimes has delicious Parsnip Cake.

Any other recipes, please?

Pictures of giant phlox plus a mysterious Klingon

MousyMouse Fri 10-May-13 21:52:07

I especially like the startreck phlox. but the colour is better on the herbal ones smile

I do carrot and apple muffins and my courgette cake always goes down well. Am off to google parsnip cake...

Must sow my parsnips actually. The allotted parsnip space is still occupied by the winter cabbage. I need to rearrange my plan.

Is Wynken around? When can I plant out my oca? Does it need to avoid all frost?

Thanks smile

I think I'd like to grow a Klingon hmm

LadyMud Fri 10-May-13 22:08:02

Oh, someone gave me a recipe for courgette cake, but I've been nervous about trying it. Do you peel your courgettes, BPB?

No peeling involved. Mine's the easiest recipe ever. All in a bowl, stir, cook. Kids love it and aren't even suspicious of the green bits. It's a popular one at courgette glut time.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Fri 10-May-13 22:14:04

::Wanders in, clutching a batch of fresh honey madeleines::

This is very nice, Bertha, thank you.

I did enjoy GW tonight. It's a long time since I went to the Malvern show and I agree that the violas were lovely.

And ::arf:: at rhihaf's lewd thoughts of being manhandled by Monty.

cantspel Fri 10-May-13 22:25:10

Brings a lemon drizzle cake to the new potting shed with the left over bottle of cider from christmas.

echt Fri 10-May-13 22:36:53

Offers half a cup of my brekkie tea as it's Saturday morning here, with 25 promised, so lots to do. Lovely photos on the last thread, so I'll see about putting some up

onefewernow Fri 10-May-13 23:35:09

My mind has wandered from violas to giant phlox. But where to get them, if not sown at home? Those white ones are gorgeous.

Horrid weather here, and ground cold as February.

Dawnywoo Sat 11-May-13 05:10:51

I know I'm a bit late for the party, but please do have some Home made Madeira Cake with Honey ice cream.

bertha thanks for starting the thread. I never made it on here last night or saw GW due to crazed toddler who will not sleep delightful, alert and playful DD

I'm off to catch up with Monty and the Violas (is it just me or does that sound like a 70's pop group?)

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sat 11-May-13 08:15:40

Just marking my place and have a chocolate fudge cake for the chocoholics amongst us as it's been that kind of week.

Bertha, Oca does need to be after the last frosts.

funnyperson Sat 11-May-13 08:28:12

<brings in yummy home made gluten free buns, more honey and some fresh rocket salad and coffee>
Good morning everyone! A new thread must mean that winter is finally over. smile
I dont have any vegetable cake recipes but small herby cheesy scones are nice: I use double the fresh chopped herbs in this recipe and cut the scones to 2cm across
INGREDIENTS

200g self-raising flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

50g butter

75g Cheddar cheese - grated

1 tablespoon fresh herbs e.g. basil, chive, thyme - torn

1 medium-sized egg - beaten

50ml – milk to mix

flour – for rolling out

HOW TO MAKE IT

1. Heat the oven to 2300C/Gas 8. Sieve the flour and baking powder into the mixing bowl. Add the butter, ‘cut’ and rub it in until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

2. Add the cheese and the herbs. Mix them in with the table knife. Make a well in the centre of the mixture. Crack the egg into a small bowl, beat it with a fork and pour it into the well.

3. Add 2 tablespoons of milk and mix with the knife to form a stiff, dryish dough. Add more milk if needed.

4. Lightly flour the work surface. Knead the dough very briefly and press it out to a 3cm thickness. Cut out the scones with the cutter and place them on the baking tray.

5. Bake for 8-12 minutes until well-risen and golden brown. Serve the scones warm, either on their own or with soup or cheese

If anyone is interested they have the Giant Phlox on the Qvc gardening show at 9am - one of them is white smile

I hope they grow. I've just noticed that I've also got strawberries, 3 bare root roses, 3 tree peonies, and something else out for delivery today. blush

I am completely seduced by qvc gardening shows. Their 'Flower Power' feed is amazing - I planted up some hanging baskets in November and they were starting to look really tired a month ago - since I started feeding them this they've gone mental, totally rejuvenated.

rhihaf Sat 11-May-13 08:50:15

Hello everyone!
Just watched GW on iplayer as DH stopped it 2mins into bloody recording last night. Rugby. Humph.

Funny I got RIDICULOUSLY excited at the gardens ok the French one was totally naff, especially the boat one! I suppose I'm a bit anti-establishment (must be the teenager in me making a reappearance) but it seemed to capture the essence of a childhood spent playing wild and stumbling across somebody's once-loved-and-much-used spot, abandoned and taken over by the wonders of nature. Sigh. good job I didn't write this after wine last night Magic grin

LaurieFairyCake my mum is a HUGE QVC addict - and I like the look of that phlox...

humph love the sound of that tin bath. A definite bargain.

Bertha I cut some hazel twigs from a tree that had fallen victim to the gales, and have made a sort of round, curly, short wigwam for the peas. They love it! Apparently Victorians used runner beans as a prettification plant over arches etc, your arch-over-gate sounds divine!

rhihaf Sat 11-May-13 08:52:54

Rakeabed grin at viola conv. I got very confused trying to find the right episode of GW on iplayer because of this - had convinced myself last night's episode must be the previous week's as it had clearly inspired our viola discussion! The GW researcher must lurk on here for ideas...

funnyperson Sat 11-May-13 09:29:28

Yes I loved the idea of the overgrown wild garden and boat: its just the reality of it wasn't what I was expecting- no bikes for one thing, and smaller. Sarfeasticated on the other thread put me in mind of wild green spaces near the docklands, and its that same excited feeling of adventure and place, and half-forgotton growing things. My garden isn't a very tidy garden for this reason. Its not just because I havent got the time but because something which is entirely too tamed and clipped has no mystery. Ever since the beginning of May I have been thinking about bicycles and sun and long grass......

HumphreyCobbler Sat 11-May-13 09:53:52

The Malvern garden with the nettles looked truly amazing in the flesh. I loved it, the planting was stunning. I could have transported it whole into my garden. The tv coverage did not do it justice at all. The boat house was a lovely, lovely object and the bike was nestled in the side of the building when I looked at it.

The best in show garden they were all sitting in at the start of GW was impressive but not really to my taste. There were some other gardens that were truly beautiful that they didn't show.

I had the most lovely day <sigh>

HumphreyCobbler Sat 11-May-13 11:45:53

I forgot to say how much I enjoyed looking at the gardens the local schools had made. They were all based on books and were SO imaginative. I would love it if my children were able to take part in making a garden like this.

cantspel Sat 11-May-13 12:02:16

Lauriefairycake I am another fan of the qvc Flower power. The stuff is amazing plus they do a root booster that is brill if you are moving or putting in new shrubs or bushes.

I have loads of qvc stuff both in the garden and house as my mum is a tv shopping addict. We got their tree peonies a couple of years ago and they are thriving even after we moved them last year when we moved house.

cantspel Sat 11-May-13 12:08:24

HumphreyCobbler i think all schools should do a garden. It teaches the children so much. My sons school has lovely gardens all done by the children. They grow veg and herbs for the kitchens, make seating areas in woodwork and garden sculptures in metalwork and their own forge

Rhubarbgarden Sat 11-May-13 12:46:12

I've never seen QVC, but many moons ago I used to get the train in to work past the QVC building, and you could see their little garden where they obviously film their gardening bits. I used to idly wonder if they employed actual gardeners and if I could get a job there. I think I shall have to start watching it if the bargains are as good as you say.

I am currently sitting gazing out of the hotel room window at the rain over Edinburgh's rooftops while waiting for my nails to dry, and feeling faintly anxious and frustrated about all the gardening I won't be doing over the next couple of weeks. Wedding this afternoon then straight off on hols. I am plotting a visit to the Rothschild villa garden while we are in France. And dh is uncharacteristically keen to revisit a beautiful coastal garden we once strolled around near Cannes, so will try to get that on the agenda too.

GAAAAHHHH. wrote long message and lost it. In short, not gardening today. Maybe tomorrow but also taking boy to a fair which may include plant stalls (genuinely don't know).

GW researcher ... unmask yourself! I was going to write to them last year and say we were a virtual gardening club of people who mostly hadn't met each other IRL and would they like to feature us somehow. But I bottled it.

funnyperson Sat 11-May-13 13:58:33

rakeabed lexi I love this thread and its predecessors and I love Gardener's World but I'm not sure if I want to be featured. I'm sure someone lurks because of all the changes over Monty's jumper earlier on in the year, and the way I see it, we are a bit like a 'focus' group so thats why they might respond to what is on here.
The thing is it would be so embarrassing if (work) people knew I was interested in gardening.

funnyperson Sat 11-May-13 14:51:03

Oh dear-that sounds awful- but you know, it is so nice to be able to discuss planting and compost and flowers and so forth in detail.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 11-May-13 16:21:45

Do you really think people from GW lurk on here? Eek!

onefewernow Sat 11-May-13 16:53:57

I have been to the market in town and come home with a viburnum juddii in flower. It couldnt be helped.

It smells heavenly.

apps.rhs.org.uk/plantselector/plant?plantid=5493

I take it qvc is a TV programme. I like GW too, but I keep missing the wretched thing. Give me anyone other than Alan T.

onefewernow Sat 11-May-13 16:56:05

Rhubarb, I hope your holiday goes well. I would be interested to hear about your Cannes garden, as I am near there in August.

cantspel Sat 11-May-13 16:59:47

Qvc is more than a tv program. It is a whole channel for 24 hour shopping. It is not all gardening either. They sell just about anything you can think of but my favorites are the gardening and bedding.

Shopping channels scare me!

I've uploaded some pictures of the bluebells at the end of my garden (and just over the garden fence). They are beautiful and make me smile even on a gloomy day like today. I was out pulling nettles from our bit of wood so they don't get swamped and the blueness made me happy.

Set up the bean arch and put it in front of the gate while DH was out so I've posted a pic of that too and will post another once it's fully grown. I do hope it works, the idea came from a garden centre I had to visit for work and the one they had growing was just amazing.

MousyMouse Sat 11-May-13 17:17:51

yes, there is something about the colour blue that makes me smile.
have also loads of bluebells. and also this blue tree (already forgotten the name blush ) which has just started to flower, some forget-me-nots, and other blue/purple flowers I don't know the name of.

have just been on a walk in between showers for the dc to let off steam. were given a bunch of purple lilac twigs when we stood there for ages admiring them. lovely scent!

onefewernow Sat 11-May-13 17:18:32

Great arch!

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 11-May-13 17:19:40

Lovely photos, Bertha.

Viburnum juddii is a new one on me (I have bodnantense, tinus and opulis). It looks lovely and viburnums always seem to smell gorgeous.

My Ebay agapanthus has just arrived. I am impressed - decent sized, healthy plant.

HumphreyCobbler Sat 11-May-13 20:04:11

The arch looks brilliant. The tree looks amazing too!

Just got an email for Peter Nyssan saying that about half of their spring green tulip deliveries are wrong due to a mix up by the growers shock Lots of disgruntled customers all over the country. They are offering a refund of the correct tulip bulbs. So now I have to decide if it is worth replanting, given that there are daffs in the pots as well.

funnyperson Sat 11-May-13 20:42:55

Thats interesting. I have spring green tulips but I have no idea if they are the wrong colour because I planted them late and they only just have buds on.
Are they offering you replacement bulbs or plants?

digerd Sat 11-May-13 21:28:33

I had a Viburnum Burkwoodi, which had large dense balls of perfumed flowed in April. It was semi-evergreen. I loved it, but had to move.

Then I bought a Viburnum Tinus - evergreen, small leaves, slight perfume in winter to spring, and put it in a pot, where it lasted 6 years and then died as not meant to be in a pot. Wouldn't have bloomed these last winters we've had, anyway sad

HumphreyCobbler Sat 11-May-13 21:34:40

replacement bulbs in the autumn. I feel quite sorry for them, it will cost them a fortune. I assumed we were an isolated case.

onefewernow Sat 11-May-13 22:06:36

viburnum judii is worth looking up. It only grows a metre or 4 ft and it smells really really lovely. If you visit a garden centre right now, look out for it- you will see it in flower. It puts daphne odora and even jasmine to shame!

MousyMouse Sun 12-May-13 09:39:07

just watched the gardening abc-letter r

now am worried about my poundland roses. they didn't (still don't) look as juicy as the ones planted by monty...

and the rhubarb part was all about commercial growers, not about my leafless snails bitten thing.

MousyMouse Sun 12-May-13 10:00:58

and no amount of staring helps them grow faster...

funnyperson Sun 12-May-13 13:43:59

The thing is, mouseymouse did you use mycorrhizal fungi when you planted your roses into a deepish hole backfilled with organic compost?
Following this, did you prune your roses in March and give them a top dressing of compost twice a year? If not, this could explain their failure to thrive. My roses were always struggling leggy things till I saw Monty plant one, and then I changed my rather minimalist practice, and am at the stage when I take successful rose cuttings, which is really very extraordinary and satisfying.

funnyperson Sun 12-May-13 13:49:40

I read today that strawberries are good companion plants for rhubarb, and dock weeds are bad ones. This is interesting. I may move my rhubarb to a bigger pot or raised receptacle, and plant the strawberries next to it.
www.rhubarb-central.com/companion-gardening.html

MousyMouse Sun 12-May-13 13:55:58

I only planted the roses a couple of weeks ago. no fungus, nice deep hole, some horsemanure (not fresh) and a mix of compost/earth.
hope their roots are growing nicely, the pack said 4-6 weeks until first leaves show so all is not lost.

onefewernow Sun 12-May-13 14:53:09

Mousy maybe snip an inch off the ends? Sometimes starts them into life.

Funnyperson, wow! Cuttings!

sandripples Sun 12-May-13 17:39:30

Hello, I don't usually come onto this thread, but maybe I should! (If you'll have me of course)

I enjoy gardening although find it frustrating as I work full time and when its wet at the week-end (like today, grr) its difficult to do much.

Anyway, I wanted to ask if your gardens are slow to get going this year? I live in the North-West and apart from last week-end which was a wonderful weather anomolay, its still so cold and I think everything's behind. I'm growing stuff in my (chilly) greenhouse, but don't think I'll be able to put the tomatoes into the grow-bags for a few weeks yet - they're so small!

LadyMud Sun 12-May-13 17:51:37

I'm also in the North West, sandripples. Yes, everything seems to be late this year . . . but since that includes my hayfever, I'm not complaining smile

MousyMouse Sun 12-May-13 18:22:14

hi sand
yep, everything is a few weeks behind in the se as well. I remember viewing our house a year ago and the bluebells were already gone and the strawberries had fruits...

MousyMouse Sun 12-May-13 18:32:57

fewer maybe I will try this next weekend if nothing is visible till then.

digerd Sun 12-May-13 18:45:30

In SE too and the ornamental flowering fruit trees are a month late.

My wallflowers are glorious and are going on in this cool weather forever.
Camelias a bit later than usual.
We have forget-me-nots, tulips but bluebells are grown though not yet in full bloom..
My May once blooming noisette rambler will be late and the climbers will probably be in June as they were last last year - noemally from May.

digerd Sun 12-May-13 18:46:19

normally (roses)

cantspel Sun 12-May-13 19:01:54

This morning whilst i waiting for number 2 son to do his footie training i had a wander around the garden centre. A nice young lad was further reducing the plants in the rejects corner so i managed to get 3 pots of viola for 50p each, a pot of english bluebells for 50p and 6 standard fuchsias for a £1 each.

sandripples i am on the south coast and the garden is about 3 to 4 weeks behind were it should be. I dont do veg only a few peppers which are still on my kitchen windowsill.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sun 12-May-13 19:10:05

I'm on the south coast and things are late. My Early Sensation Clematis is looking sensational but is definitely not early.

If anyone needs/wants a Magnolia there's one for under £4 if ordered before midnight. It's yellow though so not everyone's cup of tea. I'm not sure where it's going yet but it is ordered.

My strawberries are by the Rhubarb, I just lobbed them in. Can I pretend I knew they go well together ?! I'd like to have another go at rose cuttings this year. I managed a couple of years go to get 3 rooted from a climber which I was pleased about but I want to do more. I have been nice to my roses for the first year ever so hope to be rewarded with lots of them.

I got a free packet of Morning Glory seeds I'm going to put into modules tomorrow. I already have about 20 of the Black Knight variety which is a dark colour and this new lot are blue. If they come up I'm going to have loads. Haven't grown them before so need to decide where to put them, maybe to cover the bare expanse of wood on the side of the raised deck.

Sowed second attempt at cucumbers seeds today and spring onions, spinach, pumpkins, spaghetti squash, achillea, cornflower and rather optimistically chucked some French bean seeds in outside.I can't imagine quite imagine ever planting out my courgettes and sweet corn looking at the weather. Oh , I went mad and decimated a Cornus as the stems were brown not red and it had a lot of dead wood. DH and DC's are horrified.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sun 12-May-13 19:18:29

Here's a better offer - a Magnolia, Tree Peony and Hibiscus for £5.60. Not sure they will actually grow at that price but who knows.

cantspel Sun 12-May-13 19:23:12

Wynken I have thanks for the link. I have ordered one which will fill a gap in the woodland garden very nicely.

HumphreyCobbler Sun 12-May-13 19:32:29

My strawberries are by the rhubarb too! How fortunate, had no idea.

Things are late here, but mean that we are going to have apple blossom out at the same time as cherry blossom, which we have not had before.

You did lots of planting this morning Wynken. I got a few things in - some basil and coriander in pots, the tomatoes and cucumber went in. We scrounged a big old water tank to put the tomatoes in, hopefully that will work well as we added lots of manure. I sowed basil all round the edge of there as well. It was lovely in the greenhouse, I listened to the Archers Omnibus edition on my new clockwork radio as I was pottering around. Talk of mixing pleasure with pleasure!

cantspel Sun 12-May-13 19:33:34

For that price i have ordered both. Worth taking the chance for the tree peony alone.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sun 12-May-13 19:42:18

I ordered both. But I think it was T&M who sent my Tree Peony that doesn't flower - maybe second time lucky ?

Wynken - my French beans were planted outside a couple of weeks ago and I've yet to see one germinate. I'm giving them another week and then I'll try again.

Planted the first of my cucumbers into the grow bag holder things in the conservatory today. Also planted out some courgettes that were too big for their modules. The remainding courgettes (reserves) and some weird squashes for the DDs were potted on and are outside too but under cloches. I also did some mulching and weeding in the long bed, things are starting to get going finally.

I had three asiatic lilies in the corner bed which I moved when I put the arbour in. Unfortunately I only found two and they're coming on nicely in the long bed, however, today I found the last one. It is quite happily growing in the pile of earth I dumped beside the compost bins in the wood. Should I leave it or does anyone know if it will be ok if I move it now?

rhihaf Sun 12-May-13 21:41:00

My God Bertha, you're arch and arbour are glorious! grin and envy Bravo!

rhihaf Sun 12-May-13 21:42:47

sorry, YOUR, not you're. blush

mrspink27 Sun 12-May-13 21:49:28
onefewernow Mon 13-May-13 00:13:39

Thanks Wykken! Nearly fell down the stairs trying to order in time! I forgot to change the code as advised but the order confirmation came through at the right price.

I think I would move a plant at this time, but taking plenty of soil from underneath it do not to damage the roots.

onefewernow Mon 13-May-13 00:59:58

Mind you, I'm having doubts now. Apparently it is a fast grower, the magnolia, and every size from 20-30ft has been quoted online. I don't really have room for another tree!

Any suggestions? Still. not regretting the hibiscus.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Mon 13-May-13 07:05:15

I'd do what Onefewer said with the Lily. Have the hole sorted and well watered, then move with as much earth as possible.

My plan for the Magnolia is a very large pot - think someone on the last thread said they have one in a half oak barrel? And to keep it pruned once established. That variety is supposed to be a smaller one than some some so hoping with roots contained it won't go mad. If it does I'll donate it to one of the DC's schools, they've plenty of room in the grounds to cope.

digerd Mon 13-May-13 07:31:18

My favourite magnolia is the evergreen " Grandiflora", which has saucer sized perfumed flowers, but is spreading and often used to climb up a house wall.

LadyMud Mon 13-May-13 09:37:40

Oh WOW!!! Thank you, MrsP . . . recipes for Carrot & Spinach Brownies and Banana & Cauliflower Bread . . . I'm soooo excited!

Some old friends are coming round for Afternoon Tea on Wednesday, so I'll be busy baking tomorrow. Courgette cake is already made (thanks, BPB) and funnyperson's Herby Cheesy Scones are on my list.

I really like it here!

rhihaf Mon 13-May-13 12:42:14

My T&M courgette seeds (Black Forrest) and sugarsnap peas (Sugar Flash) have failed spectacularly to germinate, while other seeds are tearing along now.
0 courgettes out of 5, and about 10 peas out of 150 have germinated.

Has anyone ever gone back to T&M with this problem? If so, how do I go about it?
It's not so much the cost (a grand total of about £4) as the principle - I spent ages trawling through different varieties to choose the ones I wanted.

Thoughts please?

HumphreyCobbler Mon 13-May-13 15:57:11

the council have cut down all the cow parsley along the verges. It was JUST coming into flower. sad and angry.

Why do they do this? All the wild flowers GONE. Visibility is fine along our lane, it is wide. I have the rage.

HumphreyCobbler Mon 13-May-13 16:01:16

rhihaf, I have struggled with courgette seeds in the past. I don't know if mine were not warm enough?

MooncupGoddess Mon 13-May-13 16:06:42

Hateful council... a v common problem, I fear.

My T&M Black Forest courgettes have germinated, but my second lot of beans have shown no signs of life at all. I find seed sowing rather a dark art.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Mon 13-May-13 16:11:18

That's very sad about the cow parsley sad

I've had problems with courgettes in the past too and my second lot of beans in the greenhouse are yet to appear - though a furtle did show signs of life. Might be worth firing off a complaint email to T&M and see what they say.

HumphreyCobbler Mon 13-May-13 16:24:56

I have just done some research and our verge is not on the protected list. I suppose I should be glad that some of the verges in Monmouthshire are protected and are not cut until August.

I love cow parsley, it is my favourite flower.

Poo Bums to Monmouthshire council and their overenthusiastic ride-on mowers. thththtppppp (sound of juvenile but cathartic raspberry-blow)
Hurrah for veg recipes!
Welcome to new recruits!
And I too have achieved an accidental rhubarb/strawberry companion planting fluke!

Didn't get anything done this weekend - too much going on. nearly bought tomato seedlings from a scout stall at a fair on Sunday but held myself back. Enjoyed a lovely walk down a blossoming, positively quivering with spring growth, Kent country lane on the way to a baby shower at a naice country hotel.

When I said about getting GW to do a feature, my god I didn't mean actually put us on the telly!! just maybe, some pictures of gardens, or... oh... I don't know, it was never a very well formed idea at all!

Must check my seedlings on the shed windowsill (herbs, various collected seed) and the growhouse (Sweet peas, cosmos, salad) this afternoon. I know I have a couple of broad bean/pea shoots in a maxi canvas planter, and a few dwarf beans in a patio trough. Did I label any of them? Did I heck. I have a lot of turnip seedlings in a very small trough planter which I need to thin out (going to eat them as baby veg so the size of the trough is ok).

My rockery allium flower heads have split and are about to unfurl completely... so excited! In the mid zone I planted Schubertii (pink, about 10 inches tall and very wide blooms) amongst some rather taller and dark purple iris, which was a bit silly. It is going to be too dense there and the heights are all wrong. On the top part of the rockery are the tall purple globe alliums and red crocosmia - bit of a riot - and a couple of random lupins (no idea what colour) and at the back a red pillar berberis which is not really going to be seen till the iris/alliums/crocs die down. Near the front I have a bald patch where some other alliums haven't come up this year. Think I will put cosmos and stocks there.

HumphreyCobbler Mon 13-May-13 16:54:01

I love Schubertii - there were some lovely examples at the Malvern Show. Our alliums are nowhere near actually unfurling, although they have flower heads now. Turnips seedlings sound delicious. I am about to eat some purple sprouting from a friend's garden, the pigeons had all of ours when it snowed. I will net next year.

Thanks for the cathartic raspberry.

onefewernow Mon 13-May-13 17:25:08

Digerd, I used to have the m grandiflora (exmouth?).

It flowered the following year and each thereafter. It had a lovely lemony petfume too. But it had to go, as I had put it against a tall garden wall separating my garden from next door, on the patio. It raised all the slabs eventually, and we had to replace the patio. I'm not sure if we planted it badly, or whether the problem was that we had just planted it in one single slab place, which we had left for planting purposes.

My allium flower heads are just starting to split; they are at the point where they look a bit like thistle flowers. The anticipation is wonderful though.

I will attempt to move the lily tomorrow. Bought some more mint today, I am determined to keep some alive this time. Why can I not grow mint? Having some for tea tonight in a frittata with homegrown asparagus and eggs from the chickens. The potatoes were donated from a farmer client and will team it with some baby salad leaves from conservatory thinnings so it sort of feels like a fully self-sufficient meal if I ignore the feta cheese smile

Bumbez Mon 13-May-13 20:54:02

Good evening every one. I've just skimmed all the posts. Interesting about Rhubarb and strawberries I've uncovered lots of them under a rampant euphorbia, already in flower. I'll move a few to help the Rhubarb which despite planting at the wrong time is doing really well.

It's funny about courgettes failing to germinate I had the same problem the ones I sewed in seed compost still haven't come up but some seed left in the packet got wet and did germinate so I planted them. I now have 13 small plants. Maybe it's worth soaking them first ?

There's a picture of half my garden on my profile, I tried to put more photos on but couldn't (not sure why)

Any way it is very overgrown, lots of out of control hawthorn and various other shrubs and hedge. We've basically just been slashing and burning, the plan is eventually to have a circular patio in the bottom right corner under the pine tree. The garden is north facing and clay, and has been very wet for most of the winter.

What does everyone do about dandelions? There must be about 400 plants in my lawnsad . Dd says I can't use pesticide because of the bees, I paid the dds to pick all the flowers 500 converts to one beanie boo- they now have two beanie boos!

MousyMouse Mon 13-May-13 22:12:01

bumbez
looks lovely! and like a lot of work.

dandelions: lovely flowers and very bee friendly. a lawn obsessed neighbour used to cut them out with a tool that looks a lot like an apple corer. I just leave them in tbh.
did you know that during/after the war people made a coffee substitue from the roots? and the leaves are apparently very healthy (but very bitter)

I don't mind dandelions either. But then my lawn has more moss, clover, dandelions, and daisies and holes the dog has dug than grass. I draw the lines at spiky thistley things though as they hurt your feet!

HumphreyCobbler Mon 13-May-13 22:35:59

Bumbez, it looks lovely.

I am slightly stressed about the dandelions in our lawn, they get on my nerves. I want to target them with a weedkiller but am pregnant so am avoiding weedkillers atm. We deliberately grow lots of bee friendly flowers, I don't want the dandelions too. There are millions in the field next door and in the orchard. I never get all of them out with a daisy grubber. The Daisies and clover can stay.

DH put in the remaining box cuttings around the round veg patch, so we will have a hedge in a few years. Tbh we find the roundness of this patch a real challenge, I don't think we have yet succeeded in making it look right. Box hedging will help. We now have an asparagus bed in the middle of one of the beds, so that is always going to be there. There are globe artichokes planted on each corner that are just getting going after a very patchy start last year. I want it to be a real potager, but it is tricky!

WynkenBlynkenandNod Mon 13-May-13 23:00:59

That looks lovely Bumbez.

Having mowed the green stuff in the front garden today I have concluded I don't actually have a lawn there, just moss and weeds. I am pretending dandelions aren't happening.

With the round veg bed Humph I think you're right, box hedging will help. Could you make another circle in the middle and stick in something like a dwarf fruit tree or a bean wigwam or herbs, then put more box in to make 4 sections which would help with crop rotation ? Then you can plant each section with a mix of veg and flowers. Or pebbled paths to break it up a bit.

I've split the allotment into quarters with a diamond in the middle using the stones from the plot as paths. Bigger bits of stone and brick edge the paths. It does look a lot more ornamental then the ones not divided or edged in wood. Then things like crimson flowered broad beans, rainbow chard, purple flowered/podded beans mixed in with some that produced yellow pots, golden sweet mange tout, purple flowered peas, red cabbage and lettuces, yellow courgettes, lemon crystal cucs and calendula all looked lovely when I did them the first year.

HumphreyCobbler Mon 13-May-13 23:05:52

It has paths through it with a millstone in the middle - but three sections of beds. You are so right, doing it in quarters would have been so much easier with the rotations. Your allotment sounds lovely Wynken, that is just the kind of thing we need to go for. I think our mistake the last two years is to under plant - this is because I so seriously overplanted the first year! We need to cover the ground more. And yes, more flowers. We did sweet pea arches the first year, which were lovely but got so rampant we couldn't get through the arches.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Mon 13-May-13 23:25:35

It's not looking so good at the moment, very empty - everything is waiting in the greenhouse. That sounds lovely with the millstone in the middle. I always have done rows as easy to chuck a hoe round but am thinking blocks might be good for a change and could be effective in your circle . It is hard to get the balance right though, I think it takes a few years, I'm not there yet.

My allotment neighbour planted flax as a barrier round their carrots last year, looked really pretty when it flowered. Her Mum has a section for cutting flowers and they really do look lovely. I've been been very boring and stuck to calendula but am going to put some cosmos in this year as have a fair few and want some cornflowers .

Bumbez Tue 14-May-13 17:54:05

Thanks everyone smile

I desperately need to cut the grass but it won't stop raining.

Your round veg bed sounds lovely humphrey

We will eventually have some raised beds due to the clay soil and poor drainage. For now I've used some reusable grow bags with our own compost. I'm going to compare results with bought grow bags.

Bumbez Tue 14-May-13 17:57:32

I guess I'm going to have to put up with the dandelions, as long as I keep decapitating they can't spread any more.
< off to google dandelion coffee>

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 14-May-13 20:13:53

I have dandelions in flower too and it's too wet at the moment to go out to decapitate them.

My cerinthe seedlings are very leggy. I saw once on the telly that you can deal with this by planting seedlings much deeper when you pot them on. Has anyone tried this? Does it work or does it just encourage them to rot?

funnyperson Tue 14-May-13 20:26:34

I like your veg plot wynken it sounds colourful and edible.
Hm yes my cerinthe seedlings are leggy too. I thought that was because they are still at the windowsill stage in the on call room. However deep planting sounds like a useful technique. Are your seedlings outside?
The echinacea seeds have finally germinated!

I am very excited because I have managed to get tickets for the Chelsea flower show on Saturday through the RHS website. I have never been and will be taking my mother! We are planning to get there at the crack of dawn. I'm not sure what is best to do for food there, or whether to stay for the infamous sell-off has anyone any experience?

HumphreyCobbler Tue 14-May-13 20:54:21

I wish I was going to Chelsea. Have a lovely time funnyperson.

DH and I were planning the holidays we will have when the dc find us too embarrassing to accompany on holiday anymore. We are going to drive around Europe, going from famous garden to famous garden.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Tue 14-May-13 20:58:44

FP I feel your excitement, I am the same ! It's a week tomorrow I'm going and coming round rapidly and I am pathetically excited about it. We won't be able to get there till about midday though so have booked there turn coach for 8.30pm to make the most of it.

Finally cracked and ordered some Cerinthe seeds.

That sounds lovely Humphrey. Wish my DH showed a bit of interest in gardens.

I've been thinking of late about the garden and why it's so appealing to do. I absolutely understand why I find the veg plot so fabulous as it is incredibly satisfying to grow your own food. It makes me feel earthy and wholesomesmile. But, I think the only reason I enjoy the long bed is because it's pretty. And because it's pretty it makes me smile. I don't think I do anything else just because it looks nice. It feels sort of self indulgent in some way. In a good way.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 14-May-13 21:38:36

Yes, it's (nearly) all about the prettiness for me. It's like painting in 3d, however imperfectly I do it.

T&M emailed me today, offering 6 cerinthe plants for 1p plus postage. Probably better value than my leggy seedlings!

I hope all if you who are going - and especially funnyperson's mum - enjoy Chelsea. I'm looking forward to the tv coverage.

HumphreyCobbler Wed 15-May-13 08:37:03

I cannot paint or draw, or play music to a high standard. I can't write. I CAN make a garden, which can aspire to be beautiful. It unlocks the creativity in all of us, I think. A flower is more beautiful than any thing I could ever make, and I cause those flowers to be. No wonder we all like gardening so much.

Humph that was proper poetic there!! This is such a brilliant time of year for seeing the fruits of our labours isn't it... it's all wet and lush and green where it's planted, and if you can't get to the lawn to cut it it just gets longer and greener and somehow more deep and vivid.

I feel I am really wasting space where I still haven't sown my veg. I need to go through the seed box again and try to find all the perennial things I meant to put in. Cardoon was one, definitely. Wondering about making a quite significantly raised bed within the border at its narrowest point and putting ericaceous compost in it for blueberries and cranberries. They are nearly outgrowing their trough planter.

cantspel Wed 15-May-13 11:52:29

I am a happy bunny today as finally my bid up order has arrived.

I have 2 glam rock hydrangea( bit on the small side but time and some loving care will take care of that)
20 Oriental Lily Bulbs (didn't need and dont really have space for but reduced at £7.99 so couldn't resist and the ones i cant cram into the lily garden will go in pots)
3 pineapple lily bulbs (again will go in pots) and
12 Begonia Picotee (to go in troughs along the wall of the patio)

I also bought a strawberry planter complete with strawberry plants for £8 for the ms centre plant sale. So need to make a cloche for it or the seagulls will be enjoying my strawberries rather than me.

My new mop also arrived but that is less exciting

HumphreyCobbler Wed 15-May-13 12:07:21

I love the sound of a lily garden cantspel.

I just spent a very happy hour in the greenhouse, planting some broccoli, red nasturtiums, red opium poppies and more broad beans. I wish we had got the new water butts in place, the rain we had last night! Three inches in the bottom of the trough. I used it to water my scented geraniums that I rescued from my morning sickness neglect, they are doing really well after a bit of loving care.

cantspel Wed 15-May-13 16:07:48

Humphrey It is new for this year and i am hoping for great things from it.
It started life as a large fish pond. 3 large raised interconnecting squares in the centre of the patio. The fish are long gone and i have planted all 3 squares with a selection of different lilies. I have everything from arum lilies to even a couple of tree lilies in there. I have also added some allium and will under plant with bedding plants (or anything else i see a little gap for)

I general idea is just to have a riot of colour at all different heights. It will either be stunning or a bit of a mess but you dont know until you try but if nothing else the bees should love it.

I was chatting to my dad yesterday and he seems to have taken up a bit of guerilla gardening and has been busy with wild flower seeds in public areas around his house. He is over 80 and has found a new mission in life to brighten up public footpaths.grin

HumphreyCobbler Wed 15-May-13 18:16:27

You have to show us what it looks like cantspel, it sounds amazing. What a lovely idea.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Wed 15-May-13 21:42:08

I have just bought more lily bulbs online. I blame cantspel.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Wed 15-May-13 21:55:36

I was looking for something else entirely and found some lovely ideas for containers.

iheartdusty Wed 15-May-13 22:02:55

<<staggers up to potting shed, dishevelled, wearing work clothes plus wellie boots, and offers round early jugs of Pimms>>

The lily garden sounds divine. Please post photos later, cantspel.

Do you think strong wind can inhibit growth? I have various young plants which have been suffering under raging gales for a few days here on the south coast, plus the chilly and damp weather before, and they just aren't doing anything. My sweet peas (to replace the ones guzzled by snails) and ipomoeas are the same size as when they went in a few weeks ago.

but the tomatoes on the kitchen window sill are galloping away. I love the smell of tomato plants.

iheartdusty Wed 15-May-13 22:03:47

thanks for posting that pinterest link, those containers are fab

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Wed 15-May-13 22:21:43

They are, aren't they? I joined Pinterest but haven't done anything with it - that came up when I was trying to work out what varieties of heuchera I got from T&M last year. Browsing Pinterest for planting ideas might be the way to go.

I think strong wind can stunt plant growth - think of the stubby little trees one sees on cliff tops. That said, a little bit of wind rock is meant to be good, isn't it?

cantspel Thu 16-May-13 09:50:11

Hopefully mn will sort out the posting of photos so i can put some decent ones up that everyone can see without having to squint at the screen on our profile pages.

Love those pinterest containers. Yet another site for me to feed in gardening addiction.

Maud you can never have to many lilies smile

Bumbez Thu 16-May-13 13:16:06

Lovely pics cantspell

I hope you saved me some pimms? grin

I was wondering if anyone knew what the plants are at the bottom of my garden ? I suspect they're weeds. I've put a picture on my profile .

It's lovely here here on the Isle of Wight, I've managed to run round with the lawn mower and pot out a few recently bought plants - lavender and flaming something or other.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Thu 16-May-13 16:31:24

Sorry Bumbez, not sure what they are. Cantspel I love your garden. Would you mind posting another picture when the lillies ar flowering ?

Decent weather here today as well so made a very overdue trip to the allotment and dealt with as man of the weeds as I could. Built a wigwam and stuck in some Borlotti seeds. Someone gave me 6 cabbages so stuck thm in. I'd decided I'm not going to do courgettes or French beans up at the allotment as I always end up with marrows. Then the guy who gave me the cabbages came back and asked if I would like courgettes and I found the word 'yes' coming out of my mouth. So now there are 4 in. Hopefully the frost will kill them.

A bit of Oca I missed last year has sprouted so I might put some more tubers in directly. I clearly missed lots of potatoes as well, they are coming up amongst my rather pathetic leeks from last year. The Rhubarb is in its second year and has gone nuts, will definitely pull some. Was delighted to find some tiny gooseberries on the bare rooted plants that went in earlier this year. Raspberries and strawberries also growing very well and I regret introducing alpine strawberries to the herb bed. The chives will flower soon so might split them and bring some for colour in the garden. I've left all the calendula seedlings and forget me nots in down one end and a clump of nettles.

The piglets were all out playing and I could hear them as I was digging, it was lovely.

Love the lily garden pics. Great idea.

The frost last night caught me by surprise and has knocked two of the squashes back. I'm hoping they will recover, they are the only ones I don't have spares for sad

Piglets [sigh]

Nice here too today, DH has cut and strimmed the lawn. I'm pleased to report that some of the bluebells that I planted two years ago and DH mowed last year angry are up and flowering.

MousyMouse Thu 16-May-13 21:03:07

the pound roses have not taken. not one of them.
I cut off a bit of the tips but it was bone dry.
now trying to find nice other roses. maybe stem ones for the front that also act a little bit as hedge? where is a good place to get them? a large diy place is near, but their plants often look a bit sad...

HumphreyCobbler Thu 16-May-13 22:32:14

what a shame Mousy

we ordered a lot of our roses from Peter Beale, they are very reliable.

piglets [double sigh] Our pet pigs are enjoying having the run of the field, we have not bothered to use the electric fence as they are such placid, non digging/escaping kind of pigs.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Thu 16-May-13 23:16:09

Bumbez - I can't see very well, but those look a little like celandine leaves to me. Are there any flowers?

My 99p store rose is doing nothing. V poor investment.

cantspel Fri 17-May-13 09:38:32

Agrees with maud it is pilewort and a weed. Get it out now as it is pretty invasive. You need to dig out the little tubers or they will regrow.

I managed to bring some with me in the soil of plants which i bought with me when i moved last year and the tubers have settled themselves around the plant root. Going to try that new round up gel on the leaves to try to get rid of it without damaging the plant.

cantspel Fri 17-May-13 09:40:18

I will add more lily pictures as they come into flower. I am still awaing my pineapple and ginger lilies to break the surface but everything else is thriving.

onefewernow Fri 17-May-13 11:49:37

Ginger lilies! I am envious.

HumphreyCobbler Fri 17-May-13 14:18:33

the scent must be amazing - lovely pictures.

The apple blossom is just coming out and the cherry blossom is in full swing. The orchard looks lovely as the nettles haven't really got going yet. My friend is looking after some sheep that apparently don't eat trees. If they really don't, we will have a couple as pets to keep the grass down in the orchard. The farmer next door used to put some of his in for us, but we have planted too many new trees to do this now, plus the buggers were always getting in the garden and we are not prepared to risk it anymore!

I have lots of buds on the oriental poppies and the alliums are starting to open. The aquilegias have colonised the entire garden, to my immense satisfaction. DH is very happy as the box balls we bought from a car boot sale a couple of years ago are now of a size to plant in the £4.50 pots from Aldi, he has bought ten more which brings the total to 22 grin.

I planted some pots up with night scented stock, sowed the rest of the opium poppies near the playhouse, sowed some spinach, planted out geum peardrop on the edge of the arch into the cottage borders, replaced one of the ferns in the verandah that had died.

It is a cold but still day, a non windy day is always appreciated in this garden smile

cantspel Fri 17-May-13 15:53:33

Love the idea of sheep in the orchard or maybe even a goat?

I love goats and would love one but i think the local foxes would love it more than me.

We have had a bright if somewhat windy day today. I have potted up some begonia bulbs, swept the patio of oak leaves and started the battle with the ground elder.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Fri 17-May-13 16:57:29

I'd like a sheep, imagine no grass cutting. Might get hungry though as don't have a lot of grass.

I took a trip to my favourite garden centre in a walled garden and row upon row of roses. Looked at the climber section one bought this. It didn't have info on as the rest did so I wasn't aware of quite how big it gets. It's going against the bare expanse of raised deck. Also bought a clematis called Ben's Beauty to go next to it.

Cerinthe seeds popped through my letter box so they are in. Found new homes for the spare courgette plants and am getting some kale plants in return (feel a bit guilty as they weren't my plants to start with). The bud on one of my (two) Alliums is cracking and I'm very excited as never had any in the garden before.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Fri 17-May-13 17:54:34

Found label on my rose and it does indeed say 7 meters for height. Think what I'll do is train it so there's a single main stem up the 5foot of the sides of the deck and then it can cover the railings in time. It's evergreen and thornless so will provide a green back drop to the pots I will eventually plant and we'll get the benefit of flowers in May. That will teach me to read the label properly.....

Bumbez Fri 17-May-13 18:30:53

There are no flowers although there may have been some in February. Thanks maud they do look like celandine. I think I'll leave them for this year, they don't look too bad .

Beautiful start to the day here but clouded over by 9am. Potted on my Turks turban squash and bush marrows and they're out under a cloche. Dug up some of the self-seeded borage for my mother. Sowed dwarf French beans in modules for germinating in the conservatory as the ones that went straight in the bed have done nothing. Also potted on the chocolate mint even though they are still teeny tiny.

I have lit the fire in the potting shed for this evening's GW. Anyone popping in for a pimms? I have borage.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Fri 17-May-13 19:55:00

One solitary French bean seed has finally germinated in the greenhouse. I'll have a Pimms please, recovering from the knowledge I have bought a monster plant.

I think your monster plant looks lovely smile. <Pours pimms>

happyreindeer Fri 17-May-13 20:31:29

Hi there, my garden is totally overrun with weeds at the moment especially dandelions. Buttercups are just springing into life. Oh! and a massive crop of nettles. How do I get rid of them?We live next to a field and a lane etc so feel I am fighting a losing battle

HumphreyCobbler Fri 17-May-13 20:36:10

hello all. GW on pause as DH isn't here yet.

happyreindeer - our garden was a mass of weeds when we moved in and we spent a year spraying weedkiller. It was sad to have to do it, but necessary. Is this an option? Otherwise you could cover areas to kill off weeds. Apart from that I can only suggest a daisy grubber for the dandelions, but I never manage to get the whole lot out when I try that way.

MousyMouse Fri 17-May-13 20:43:12

nettles are great for liquid fertiliser and apparently great to eat.

HumphreyCobbler Fri 17-May-13 20:47:14

if you get to nettles when they are first coming up you can pull out great swathes of root from the ground. It is extremely satisfying and I have cleared large areas of the garden by doing this.

happyreindeer Fri 17-May-13 20:47:40

We have been here for 13 years and their are quite a lot of establishes plants ,so I do not want to go mad with the weedkiller. Is that new weedkiller that you just touch the plants with any good?I will pass on eating the nettles thanks.I hate them so much.My ds has asd and he seems to know they are stingy.He tries to kung fu kick them.

happyreindeer Fri 17-May-13 20:48:02

*there

I pull the nettles (wearing Welles, thick jeans, waterproof coat and marigolds). Pulling up the spreading roots works better than weed killer but you do have to keep at it to weaken them. Never let them flower and never put flowering nettles on your compost heap.

Keukenhof looked stunning on GW.

funnyperson Fri 17-May-13 21:28:21

<pushes door open and comes in with lemon drizzle cake and coffee, looks appreciatively at fire and borage and Pimms and berta and wynken> whoaa..what a week! I'm not even sure if its been windy or what!
Gardeners World is one of the things which makes my weekend! That, and reading your mystic musings on gardening creativity and the relevance of dandelions!

funnyperson Fri 17-May-13 21:32:01

On the subject of nettles I have a perennial patch at the base of one of the climbing roses where nothing else will grow because the rose in question forms a dense canopy. Every year in May, before they flower I harvest the nettles (yes, tis true!) and make nettle soup
www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2137636/
I read somewhere that nettles are good for caterpillars so thats why I keep a little patch there.

funnyperson Fri 17-May-13 21:38:03

I've been wondering about succession planting and tulips so it was nice to see Monty raking a bed of fine tilth and sowing annuals. His writing garden will be astonishing when it flowers.
Love the pinterest pots.
Agree re pretty being the reason: also scent, also watching it grow and change: like fireworks, explosion after explosion of colour and foliage.

funnyperson Fri 17-May-13 21:39:30

hello happyreindeer and ds.smile

HumphreyCobbler Fri 17-May-13 21:44:13

A friend of ours made nettle pasta once. I laughed when he asked me if we had any nettles he could use, he was standing in front of the hugest nettle patch. The pasta was delicious.

We allow a large nettle patch over the fence to do what it will for the butterflies. I'm tempted by that recipe, just what does 400g of nettle leaves look like? About a shopping bag full or less?

<Nice lemon cake, too late for coffee so I'll stick with the pimms thank you>

MousyMouse Fri 17-May-13 21:55:23

mowed the lawn today.
dug out the roses <sob>
dug out a couple of thistles from the lawn.
and tested my fil's tip for grubby hands. works a treat btw!

funnyperson Fri 17-May-13 21:59:52

No idea what 400g of nettles looks like, I just chop a whole load up after washing: it shrinks down a lot when cooked, like spinach.

funnyperson Fri 17-May-13 22:01:24

I add cream in for a garnish and dont put in any carrot

funnyperson Fri 17-May-13 22:04:09

When harvesting nettles, whilst wearing gardening gloves, I think of the Hans Anderson tale about Wild Swans and grasp them firmly near the base.

I have the 'weaving nettle shirts for the swan brothers' story going through my head whilst pulling nettles. Is that the same one?

funnyperson Fri 17-May-13 22:09:15

Yes, the same!

Glad I'm not the only one then...

<more pimms?>

funnyperson Fri 17-May-13 22:16:51

<oh all right then, seeing as its virtual!> Did you notice Monty's old jumper turned up?

steppemum Fri 17-May-13 22:18:02

oww can I come in, we had rhubarb crumble for dinner - first ever rhubarb from our garden (proud emoticon)

Hi steppemum' looks like you may need some pimms for celebratory purposes grin. I believe pimms goes nicely with rhubarb.

Yep, spotted the old jumper. No scarf though - must be officially Spring.

funnyperson Fri 17-May-13 22:27:34

Welcome steppemum smile this thread isn't just about rhubarb of course. That said, I am wondering how to increase my rhubarb stock.

My 'wild' rhubarb has done nothing this year. I was eyeing up the rhubarb in the garden centre today wondering where I could put it.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Fri 17-May-13 22:36:27

Thanks for the Pimms. Not watched GW, that's my Sat morning treat along with breakfast.

Hi Steppemum. Another thing I loewe is how gardening connects you to the seasons, it makes me feel grounded.

echt Fri 17-May-13 22:47:11

Pulls up chair and settles in with morning cuppa. Hello, steppemum.

I've seen nettles occasionally here in Melbourne, but they don't seem very prevalent. Only in rural hedges and near farms. I wish I could say the same about flaming oxalis, which thrives in winter, and is about to flower all over my lawn. sad It's very rainy and cold this morning; DH took the dog down to the sea for a swim, but they were back pretty sharpish.

The sweet peas are racing away, thunbergia still flowering. Day lilies are winter-flowering here too. Annoying as the rain means I'm not in the garden to see them. I'll potter about a bit and do some weeding after DH has made the brekkie and we've listened to the News Quiz. I'll catch up on GW this arvo. It's the season for seed catalogues and I'm eyeing the exotic stuff in the Diggers' Club catalogue. I quite fancy the Miracle Tree moringa^oleifera^.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Fri 17-May-13 22:47:47

I thought GW was particularly lovely tonight. And even Monty seems to have Gatsby Jazz Age fever, with the Scott Joplin soundtrack to what to do this week.

steppemum Fri 17-May-13 22:52:45

(passes glass for a pimms)

(doesn't let on that glass in pint sized grin)

did some hoeing today, never hoed before! Spent the winter digging rubble out of my (potential) veg bed and all the digging has disturb about 5 million weed seeds, which are blooming angry

want to go out and plant things, but we are busy all weekend

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Fri 17-May-13 23:02:42

Sorry. Forgot to say hello and welcome to steppemum and happyreindeer.

::drinks dregs of the Pimms::

funnyperson Fri 17-May-13 23:09:15

Yes, I thought the Scott Joplin soundtrack very nice, didn't realise it is a Gatsby reference, I have R Redford and co in my mind when I hear that.
Maud I've left the Cerinthe to make plugs with good root systems before planting out, they havent grown any more leggy this week and are branching out.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Fri 17-May-13 23:18:52

Well, I'm just assuming it's a Gatsby reference or, at least, if not a deliberate reference, picking up the current mood. Robert Redford as Gatsby was my first crush.

My cerinthe seedlings have just got their first proper leaves.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sat 18-May-13 08:01:02

I hope my newly sown Cerinthe seed make it into seedlings. It was this thread that made me order them.

Just had first cuppa of the morning accompanied by GW and agree it was lovel, my foot was tapping to the music. Rachel visiting Keukenhof with her Mum bought a tear to my eye, and I'm gutted we didn't make it there last year. Must sort my timings out one year, I think even my not interested in gardening DC's would like it.

Felt guilty about my poor new clematis who doesn't have a massive hole with lots of compost, first job of the day will be to chuck water on it. Feel inspired to go chucking more white poppy seed around as not many of the White Linen seeds have germinated.

The primroses have died back in the front and usually the rhoderdendron and choisya take over for colour but someone hacked them back so badly they have no flowers. I bought a tray of yellow viola and put a few in but they didn't look good. Moved them to under the tress in the back where I recently put the Hosta Undulata from plant sale and they blended in really well.

Anyone else getting excited about their roses ? My two David Austens have lots of buds forming and I can't wait for them to get started. Mme Alfred Carriere has lots of new growth and I'm hopeful for flowers this year. Plus there's a random climbing rose in the front tag has never done much, just a couple of flowers each year as it was never trained properly. I've taken it in hand and bent the long side branch over and am getting some laterals or whatever they are called off it so hopeful it will do better this year.

funnyperson Sat 18-May-13 08:53:20

Yes, I thought the picture of the 9 year old Rachel at Keukenhopf was inspirational, encouraging to take one's own young along, and loved that her mother was in the programme! I've never been to Keukenhopf as I've thought it too contrived, but as all gardens are contrived, I now see that is a silly thought and agree, I will try and go next year too!!(or even last minute late May Bank holiday if I have the energy)

MousyMouse Sat 18-May-13 10:58:45

oh, yes. my one mature rose has made a massive groth spurt in the last couple of weeks and many new buds are showing.

HumphreyCobbler Sat 18-May-13 11:02:50

Everything is on the verge of flowering. It is a lovely morning.

sandripples Sat 18-May-13 14:38:00

Thank-you for the comments about things being late to start growing in other parts of the country everyone. Its cold here in NW again today - drat!

However I am hedging my bets (!). Have got some tomato plants indorrs for the time being, some out in the cold greenhouse.

Have got courgette plants doing pretty well in the greenhouse, also cucumbers and beans though all look in need of some warmth to get them boosted up . This is my last w/e before I go away for a week so will have to leave them for a while now - don#t feel they're really ready to go into the grow-bags as I like them to be robust before I put them there. So will wait 2 weeks. Ho hum.

happyreindeer Sat 18-May-13 17:33:33

Thank you for the nice replies. Had a secret smile when someone said they dug up nettles wearing marigolds.For a mad moment I though they meant the flower!

onefewernow Sat 18-May-13 20:14:48

I have planted a rhubarb (champagne) in new small new shady border, as well as a pyracantha, a quince, ferns, bergenia, astrantia, a viburnum juddii and some blue geraniums.

The smaller things all came from my last garden, and gave been miserable in pots for a year now.

It's lovely to have a new border which I have made myself, finally.

The back part of the garden is on a hill, only 50 x 15/ 10 , ie narrowing from 15 wise at the front to 10 at the back. It has a bloody red acer smack in the middle of it, but I don't want to get rid of it, as it is the only plant there was originally, so it is at least mature at 10-12 ft.

On the other hand, I would never have chosen such a red- purple tree in such a small space, and in the middle of it. It is just SO dominant.

If any of you have an artists eye, I would be really grateful for suggestions to detract from it.

onefewernow Sat 18-May-13 20:16:00

Ps I think it is acer trompenberg. I would link if I knew how on a phone.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 18-May-13 22:22:49

This one?

Hmm. Much depends on the setting/context of course, but I think I might try to break up the mass of colour by growing something through it. Over the last couple of years I have planted a clematis through just about every shrub in the garden, but with 10-12ft you could use a rose too.

onefewernow Sat 18-May-13 23:27:14

Oh hi Maud. Thanks.

It isn't quite like that. If toy look at google images it is more red than black. It looks exactly the same as one in our local garden centre with that name.

Growing something through it might be nice. It is talk but it still looks delicate- maybe it's the leaves.

In thinking if growing something offset from it but which detracts from it, if you see what I mean. Eg large round leaves or a large round shape. But what colour? Green or grey or what?

onefewernow Sat 18-May-13 23:28:19

Jeez spelling! On iPhone

echt Sun 19-May-13 08:18:25

A most productive day. DH and I drove to a farmers' market in a tiny goldfields town. The drive was wonderful; clear cold blue skies and dazzling sunshine. The goldtowns often have deciduous trees, planted by the first European settlers, so the autumn display was lovely.

I bought 6 divisions of agapanthus for $2 each, and have planted these round the tree (some kind of native pine) on our nature strip. They are virtually indestructible, being drought proof and loving poor soil - lots of that I can tell you. grin

The other good buy was 5 clivia divisions at $3. They won't flower this year, but will fill up a shady bed.

DH bought runner bean seedlings which will be ready for harvest in spring. These are new for us here and have gone straight into the veggie patch.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sun 19-May-13 09:30:41

What about something like a Fatsia Japonica Onefewernow ? We went to an Acer nursery yesterday and fought a couple of little ones. They had a tray of hostas out which made a nice contrast to the Acer foliage a well and I think the darker red trees looked best when contrasted with a fresh green one.

I love that Echt has Autumn leaves whilst we have spring blossom. That market sounds like a bargain. It was pressure wash the deck and reflect on how I wish we could have afforded a raised patio day here yesterday.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 19-May-13 13:31:35

Or choisya Aztec Pearl not Sundance, I hate Sundance?

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sun 19-May-13 14:10:16

That's lovely Maud, never seen that before. Much prefer that to the foliage on my Choisya. I think that would look look lovely next to a red acer.

cantspel Sun 19-May-13 14:43:54

The battle against the ground elder is underway. The stuff in the front bed is browning around the edges and looking a bit sorry for its self.
The nasty stuff in the garden that is trying to use my agapanthus as a shield is being had weeded out (hopefully) but i will probably be picking bits of it out for the next 10 years.
I have another large patch of it at the back of the garden under the cherry tree that will be sprayed when the weather is better.

Been pottering doing odd bits and pieces in the veg plot and around the garden generally this weekend. I have taken an old tin bath off my mother's hands ( it was in her shed) and planted the mint in it. It looks fabulous, I'm going to try very hard to keep the mint alive this time. Bath is about the size you'd need to dunk a toddler in so it's fairly roomy but not vast. Currently placed at the shady end of the veg plot as I think my previous mint location on the patio was too sunny.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 19-May-13 16:46:05

Yes, Wynken, it's got lovely foliage and (compared to fatsia, which has many good qualities) the bonus of scent too.

Just heading out to pot on some dill/fennel/ammi majus seedlings. I may start the chemical warfare against the ground elder and (horror) a newly-discovered patch of bindweed tomorrow.

rhihaf Sun 19-May-13 18:58:36

Hello everyone, sounds like Spring has really sprung!

Spent the morning pretending I was in 'The Secret Garden', as our next family project is the abandoned garden of the house next door... we unearthed so many gems, it was a joy!

From the back door (kitchen) a path runs down a short but steep slope, with a raised red brick bed to the left, full of ground elder and grape hyacinths; there is a gorgeous white lilac at the back, against a brick wall that runs down the left hand side of the garden, and a clematis has grown up through it.
After the raised bed (about 4 x 2m) is a greenhouse against aforementioned wall, with a nectarine tree, previously choked with brambles, but valiantly still growing lots of little fruits! It's been abandoned for the last 20 yrs, so very impressive!
In front of the greenhouse, next to the path, is another 1 x 3m raised bed with mainly weeds in it, and a glorious old rose that is still putting out fresh shoots grin.
To the right of the path is a low brick wall that edges a small lawn (about 6 x 4m) that backs onto the house.

We also felled a lime tree that was waaay taller than the house and was blocking out all the light and views.

Sorry for such a long post but it was so exciting, it was like finding buried treasure!

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 19-May-13 20:27:27

That does sound very exciting, rhihaf!

I have just had a fun time, potting on seedlings and dividing up hostas to sell at the school fair. I also noticed that a rose I planted last year in the belief it was white - Glory of Edzell - is going to be pink. And I'm afraid I had neglected poor old Nelly Moser, who was growing in a tangled heap, and when sorting her out I snapped off some of the buds. Boo.

That sounds amazing Rhihaf. Who does the garden belong to? The land around our house is a bit like that, it used to be the original garden for the house when it was one big house. Every time I go over the fence I find something else that I hadn't seen before, mostly overgrown and choked with stuff but battling on.

I was very happily listening to the cuckoo in the garden on Saturday morning; it's such a lovely sound. However...we have been discovering the downside of having cuckoos in the garden as the dog has been out catching baby birds on the ground in the wood. sad

Posted a picture of the mint bath on my profile smile

HumphreyCobbler Sun 19-May-13 20:43:49

Wow Rhihaf - it sounds so romantic. I have just re-read the Secret Garden, this sounds just the same.

I have a mint bath too Bertha, just like yours. It works really well outside my back door. It has been going for a few years now but as long as I feed it early on it keeps coming back.

Bought some of that calcium spray to keep the pigeons off the brassicas. Has anyone else used this? Does it work?

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 19-May-13 20:44:46

Oh dear about the cuckoos and the baby birds, Bertha. Nature red in tooth and claw. The mint bath looks lovely - it's just like the bath I have catching the rainwater off the 'shed' (aka former outside privy) roof. I think I have 7 varieties of mint now - the herb bed is in semi-shade, which seems to suit it.

Do you live in a large house that's been carved up into smaller houses?

MousyMouse Sun 19-May-13 20:49:56

the mint bath is lovely.
my parents have it the other way round, mint in the garden (about 6 different varieties) and the herbs in an old lion clawed bathtub. the mint just took over.
I removed most of the mint today as some had a rusty fungus and were looking rather sad. I never realised they had such enormous roots.
the washing hands with body lotion to get rid of gardeners nails works really well, have now filed a bit of lotion into an old pump soap dispenser to keep by the sink.

MousyMouse Sun 19-May-13 20:55:42

have tried to upload more pictures, but for some reason they all change into the same picture. anyway, my blue tree is up.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 19-May-13 21:02:36

The resolution on MN pictures is so poor as is my eyesight that I can't be sure about your blue tree, Mousy, but the shade of blue does look like ceanothus.

HumphreyCobbler Sun 19-May-13 21:08:40

DH planted the russian kale and the chard in the round veg patch today. It looks lovely. All the teeny box plants are edging each bed now, we figured they might as well grow into maturity in their final position rather than in a nursery bed. Yesterday I planted some rocket in a triangle to go on the edge of the bed with the asparagus in the middle. The other side can have lettuce. My back has gone today, unfortunately, and I can only hobble slowly about. I tell myself I will be entirely cured by the morning <hopeful>

tree looks v pretty Mousy

MousyMouse Sun 19-May-13 21:19:45

the tree is even bluer in real life (and smells lovely).
will have to prune it when it stopped flowering, it's a bit leaning away from the wall in the back and it's fighting the russian vine that grows on the back wall. I will need something with long handles as it's tall and in a slighly raised bed, so difficult to place a ladder.
what would a tree suregon cost?

Maud - this house has been in several different formats. Originally one big house, then seven flats, now two semi-detached houses.

Would one of those long-handled pruners reach Mousy? Would be cheaper than a tree surgeon.

MousyMouse Sun 19-May-13 21:44:53

would be difficult to precarious.
the tree is 5 meters high. can't get close because of the raised bed and the soil is too soft for placing a ladder safely.
and it's full of spiders

Hello everyone, glad to hear you've all been slaving away in the garden rather than sitting around enjoying the good weather. I thought I was the only one <glares at DH accusingly>!

I am very excited and full of gardening mojo as in one week's time my war with my neighbour's brambles will hopefully be over and I'll be looking at my brand new six foot high barricade fence.

In preparation I have been digging out the previous gardener's collection of mighty shrubs and planning my cottage garden borders. I'm aching but it's bliss to look at the window in the evening and see how much it's coming on.

funnyperson Mon 20-May-13 06:47:36

That tree is a lilac ceanothus I think
Maud you are telepathic:I have been admiring a hedge of the relevant choisya and have taken cuttings with permission: not only are the leaves lovely but the scent of the flowers is nicer than sundance.
I dont have nearly enough clematis. I never have nearly enough clematis, but this year I am going to wait and see if the ones I do have actually flower before planting any more. Last year there was a wilt just before the flowering, due to pesky squirrels digging at the roots. This year I am optimistic as the clematis viticella Abundance and Polish Spirit are really thriving. I am also mulching with more well rotted compost. I am aso looking forward to a Clematis Marie Boisselot hopefully flowering with the digitalis alba under the oak tree (dreams!) What types do you have in your garden and which are your favourite and what do you plant them with?

Engelsemama Mon 20-May-13 09:01:53

Fell of the last thread blush

rhihaf Mon 20-May-13 09:09:34

Bertha - love the mint in bath smile
The garden belongs to the house behind my parents', which my dad owns and rented out for the last 20 yrs to the same guy. He has now moved on so we are rennovating the house not the garden for holiday lets.
I then got a bit carried away discovering all the wonderful long-forgotten gems under the brambles, like the clematis in an old belfast sink that's grown up through the lilac. I used to play there are a child and now everyone's been seduced by the garden! Plan was to clear everything with a JCB and put a big, low maintenance deck out back, but then we discovered a water-well grin which Dad is going to build a wall around with a roof on...the walled garden and beds are just so pretty, it seduces everyone who sees it. We will still put a deck there, just smaller grin

Mousey your blue tree is beautiful! I love lilacs.

Maud I love the idea of various mints, I have a shady bed at the back of the house which my mint loves (bog-standard, pretty robust with quite tough leaves); my Welsh onions less so...

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Mon 20-May-13 09:50:03

funnyperson - My roll call of clematis is

Purpurea plena elegans growing up an obelisk with summer (white) jasmine (both plants are really too vigorous for the obelisk - novice gardener error - but too well-established to shift now)

Polish Spirit on the fence with cirrhosa Freckles and a blue alpina. Polish Spirit may be dead but it's hard to see in the tangle

Nelly Moser growing through rosa rubifolia

Mad Gran with rosa New Dawn on the fence

Jackmanii with rosa New Dawn through the apple tree (this is probably the best combination I've achieved)

Niobe with rosa Breath of Life on an obelisk

Wada's Primrose through the fig tree

Montana Elizabeth (I think) on the fence and, until hacked by neighbour, reaching into the apple tree

Mystery clematis (probably Ernest Markham) on the fence with montana Elizabeth

Florida sieboldii through the callicarpa (planted yesterday so fingers crossed)

New dark purple clematis (name temporarily forgotten) with rosa Spring Bride on a fence

Arabella through an apple tree

Florida sieboldii (again planted yesterday so fingers crossed) on an obelisk with summer (yellow) jasmine

Waiting to be planted are So Many Blue Flowers, which will go with rosa Zephrine Drouhin in an area that's awaiting planting and some old man's beard types (labels lost) which will go with the honeysuckle on the back fence

Star of India, which was growing through sambucus nigra Black Lace, which was a fantastic combination while it lasted, seems to have perished over winter or been trampled to death by the foxes and there have been numerous other fatalities over the years.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Mon 20-May-13 13:34:40

I feel very behind in the clematis stakes ! There's Early Sensation, Ben's Beauty which went in the other day, Ville de Lyon or something like that which is new in plus the end eaten, another new one which is totally eaten, a blue one in with a Galway Bay Rose and a double white one in with the black currant . Clearly I need to write things down.

Just been watching a bit of Chelsea with lunch.

MousyMouse Mon 20-May-13 19:30:47

I don't have any clematis, but make full use of the neighbour's one that climbs over the fence.
got 3 roses at a diy store today, this time in a pot (was literally a pain getting those home in the bus, spikey buggers), not quite a pound each but they look very healthy and had very nice roots.
so hopefully this time we are lucky.
a pink, almost purple for the back (thundersorm coloured dc said) and an orange and flaming orange/red for the front.

My roll call of clematis:

A blue one
A light purple one
A new one which I think is dark purple

blush Joins Wynken in the need to write things down...I'm off to see if I kept any labels.

funnyperson Mon 20-May-13 19:58:45

maud I think you just went into the virtuoso category unless you made all that up, I'm awed.
I bought 3 for a tenner today. mm cholmondely, c montana warwickshire rose and a honeysuckle but I then read a website on clematis which says not to buy plants with no buds on. Maybe thats why they are a tenner for 3!
Already in are clematis montana elizabeth growing through the ceanothus, polish spirit growing next to rosa dr du jamain and mm boisselot behind digitalis alba. viticella abundance behind venetian collection dahlias and cerinthe and echinacea: delphiniums lurking hopefully.

My dark purple one is a Dark Eyes

<Looks smug>

Have no idea about the other two and at the moment no idea which is which.

<Looks less smug and withers slightly in awe of Maud>

WynkenBlynkenandNod Mon 20-May-13 20:50:32

grin Bertha. Total bargain on the rose front Mousey, I do love a bargain. So why on earth have I been eyeing up the new David Austin ones ? A couple are gorgeous but I'm having slight problems with the one called Lady Gardener.

I want Maud's clematis collection, it sounds fabulous . Has anyone had any success with clematis cuttings ? I'm on attempt number 3. Looks easy when Carol Klein does it.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Mon 20-May-13 21:04:35

Think I might have Artic Queen.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Mon 20-May-13 21:07:44

Oh heck. I didn't mean to make anybody (clematis) wilt, but funny person did ask and, as I said, planting clenatis through shrubs and trees gas been one of my long-running projects. It's a way of squeezing more plants into a tiny garden.

funnyperson Mon 20-May-13 21:13:37

Well it is awesome. I do like asking: replies can be so surprising and inspiring. Thank you!

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Mon 20-May-13 21:22:32

And you asked about my favourite clematis. In a sense, it's always the one I'm about to buy :grinptimist:: but I do particularly like Niobe and Wada's Primrose.

onefewernow Mon 20-May-13 21:36:56

Maud, thank you. I was wondering about a large hummocky shrub like a choisya.

The last 24 hrs I have been dreaming about a great big fat bounder, but really I know it is tactical (and I now know, expensive!). And possibly a bit indulgent..

I only have one clematis here so far, but it is wrong, wrong, wrong. It is a montana planed in a crowded raised ribbon border, and I had to cut all the flowering growths off it last autumn, as it was 'walking', in fact galloping, across the communal driveway and over the car which H isnt currently driving. So no flowers this year. I think the last people wanted it tumbling down the wall, but the wall is 3ft high, so it was a very poor choice.

There are heaps of other expensive and lovely shrubs in this border, which wraps around the house, for about 50-60 ft by a metre. They are mostly doing very well, but they were planted very very close together and next year or the year after, if not this, that will be a problem for them . For example, in one square metre, there is a two foot rhododendron, an acer dissectum palmatum (6 ft), and a five ft tree like exochorda, in flower. At the edge of that same metre, or very near, is a robinia, which is growing feet per year.

I know I have to move some, but I cant until I have a bed to put them in. Also, I think the soil in that south and west border is imported and sandy, but the rear garden is East facing and hilly clay.

onefewernow Mon 20-May-13 21:40:49

I used to have a few clematis. Favourites are viticella etoile violette and marie boisselet (both great in fairly deep shade, I found).

And the best ever, which I once had and died, was viticella elvan, which I havnt seen since.

And what is that perfumed one with the tiny flowers? (Just looked it up- it as Triternata Rubromarginata, very vigorous and lovely almondy smell)

HumphreyCobbler Mon 20-May-13 21:49:23

I know we have Polish Spirit, Nelly Moser and etoile violette. We have a fair few others but I have no idea what they are blush They are planted in with the roses, but last year they did not do much <understatement>. Only one has been eaten by slugs this year.

Maud, it sounds so lovely. My resolution is to plant more clematis through shrubs, we have just put in three black lace so I may well copy you with the Star of India when they grow a bit bigger.

I had a massive surge of excitement and expectation about the roses this year. This will be the first year the rose walk is mature and I can't wait. DH has worked really hard and all have been pruned and treated appropriately so fingers crossed for a good display. June is my favourite month in the garden.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Mon 20-May-13 22:43:44

I love reading about people's plants. I've been googling all the clematis for inspiration , feel I want more smile

rhihaf Tue 21-May-13 09:20:27

Wowzers Maud! Your garden sounds like a clematis oasis! Will a clematis (or other climber) grow up/over/through a conifer/leylandi hedge? We have recently butchered pruned it back to a managable height, but it's still pretty ugly, although necessary...

Watched Chelsea on TV last night and I find Alan T most annoying blush. Anyone else?

onefewernow Tue 21-May-13 09:38:06

Oh he is. But not much more annoying than the "celebrities "!

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 21-May-13 13:11:46

Just watching my first bit of Chelsea - I've got a lot of catching-up to do!

HumphreyCobbler Tue 21-May-13 14:09:08

I forgot it was on shock

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 21-May-13 15:15:38

So did I - I was starting from episode 1 on iPlayer.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Tue 21-May-13 16:32:21

I've stuck tea in the slow cooker so I can catch up on iPlayer. I might possibly be a tiny bit excited about tomorrow

<Sits on hands and tries hard not to resemble a bouncy Winnie the Pooh character >

funnyperson Tue 21-May-13 20:39:07

I find Alan T annoying in the same way I find Alan Bennet plays annoying. I can't really put my finger on why- not edgy enough probably. However Alan T gardening programmes are less annoying than listening to his terrible music taste on classic fm.

funnyperson Tue 21-May-13 20:39:53

Have a lovely time tomorrow!

I've been watching. Alan annoys me too but I can put up with him for a bit. Enjoy tomorrow Wynken - report back please smile

Rhihaf - there is a garden down the road which has a Montana growing over and through an enormous conifer. It looks marvellous. I have a feeling it doesn't start immediately at the bottom of it though as it also sprawls across a nearby fence.

HumphreyCobbler Tue 21-May-13 21:39:37

I found the coverage a bit annoying full stop. We gave up and went round the garden, pointing things out to each other.

"What IS that? Did you plant it?"

"I really like that stone head there, it is in just the right place now"
"I was just thinking we should move it over there"

"You planted that too close to the path."
"Actually you planted those"

etc etc

What garden conversations do you have?

Have a lovely time tomorrow Wynken envy

My garden conversations with DH:

"I'm going to do some work in the garden"
"OK"

"Look, the aquilegia are flowering"
"The what?"

Although he was the one who suggested we watch Chelsea tonight so there is hope.

steppemum Tue 21-May-13 22:54:14

ooh I am jealous, have had a very busy weekend and week, so keep looking longingly out of the kitchen window at my garden, desperate to do all the jobs I have planned.

dh will be away wed to sat and so I have to paint our bed while he is away, so still no gardening!

I have a question for you.
It is my parents Golden Wedding and they have a party on 23rd June. Mum is a keen gardener and for a gift we are getting them a pair of planters with a golden wedding rose in each one (rose is david austin's Golden 50th anniversary) I am underplanting the roses with gold coloured bedding plants, so they are 'showy' on the day. So I bought the bedding plants today, to plant them on and feed them miracle grow grow them on a bit.

To get the bedding plants to flower on the day, should I cut off all the flower buds until the week before? To encourage it to grow? How long do I give it to grow its flowers?

I don't have the big planters yet, so I will be planting them on into bigger pots and then into the big planter about 2 weeks before the party.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Tue 21-May-13 22:54:49

Thank you, I'll report back Thursday. I've just been catching up on iPlayer and agree Alan is annoying. When I listen to Monty present he's soothing and I feel myself relax whereas Alan has the opposite effect and I end up feeling on edge .

DH does best on garden talk when it's veg related, especially super hot chillis.

steppemum Tue 21-May-13 23:24:13

conversations with dh:

dh - is it ok if I trim the bush in the front garden

me - yes, but it only sprouts from the new wood, don't cut back past the last leaf on the branch, or it won't regrow

dh - hmmm, might be too late

funnyperson Wed 22-May-13 03:11:16

Conversation with DD: 'those plants are amazing mum do you mind if I take that one to college?' (clematis bijou in nice pot)....'what happened to that nice plant I gave you dear?'.......'oh I gave it to the college head gardener and he said he'd plant it..you don't mind do you?' 'do you think you could get one of those swing seats so I can sit in it with my boyfriends?'
Conversation with DS 'you've got a lot of plants mum. can I grow a chilli plant on my windowsill?'.......chilli plant comes back for the long vac thriving and laden with chillis!
Conversation with dad: 'can you see these flowers?' 'yes, put them here where I can see them: the colours are beautiful' smile

echt Wed 22-May-13 10:52:20

At this point. Ahem. Gavel.

Congtratters to the Australian garden designers who won at Chelsea this year. The bit I liked was reported in the Age (shamefully buried on page 9) where they said: "What next? Let's get drunk!"

I wonder if their sponsor, Trailfinders, who are about to bail out, will do so now.

echt Wed 22-May-13 10:57:27

I am slightly less impressed to discover that they only sell wholesale, so the aspiring Victorian gardener can whistle.

redadmiralsinthegarden Wed 22-May-13 21:44:15

i planted a clematis (first time ever) a couple of weeks ago. it has been happily growing in its spot - but suddenly in the last couple of days it has started to die!! i can't see why. any ideas?

also, in another part of the garden i want to plant a couple of grasses next to ferns/ hydrangea. what would be a good species? i have heard that grasses can be really invasive.

Rhubarbgarden Wed 22-May-13 22:06:58

Hello! Home from France after ten days with DH's extended family and five children under three. I need a holiday to recover... Someone asked me to report back on the garden near Cannes that I mentioned; well it turns out my memory is rather unreliable as it is not actually near Cannes at all, but definitely worth a visit. It's the Domaine du Rayol Mediterranean garden, in a spectacular setting on the edge of the sea. It is a botanical collection of plants from Mediterranean climates around the world, so includes South African, American, Canary Island sections and so on. It was absolutely stunning, all the spring flowers were out in full force because there's been a lot of rain there. Wonderful cafe too, selling home made lavender, violet and rose ice creams. It was the most magical day trip. I made lots of notes on my phone of some of the most interesting/pretty plants, but the list has vanished much to my annoyance so I can't pass them on.

Arrived home to an exploded garden. Cow parsley and nettles rampaging through my borders. Goose grass three feet high on my compost heap. Lawn like a jungle. The orchard, however, is an absolute picture with all the apple blossom.

HumphreyCobbler Wed 22-May-13 22:22:03

Rhubarb, that looks amazing. Definitely going on my list. Coming back to the garden after being away is always interesting. I wouldn't mind a bit of cow parsley though! The apple blossom is stunning here too, it all seems to be out at once. Normally we have much more staggered blossoming time. Am rather worried at the lack of bees. I would expect it to be positively humming but I have only spotted two bumble bees in the whole orchard.

redadmiral, this seems to happen with some of our clematis too. Are there brown spots on the leaves?

funnyperson Thu 23-May-13 06:04:26

Congrats to australian gardener too. I am really looking forward to Saturday: will get there at the crack of dawn!
Garden is a lush jungle at the moment. Sprinkled with flowers. The apple blossom looks lovely near the geranium phaeum and a pale hosta is coming up near there too. Magic. Its about this time of year I'm not sure what are weeds and what aren't blush

Humph I have lots of bumble bees on my comfrey/sweet rocket patch in the problem child front garden. Honey beesnt so much, I would normally expect to see quite a few by now so I am worried about them. I planned my plant selection to have something providing nectar/pollen through as many months as possible, not forgetting nesting sites for pollinators like ivy, and berries for birds like pyracantha. The great thing about gardening for wildlife is that they don't much care about design, front/back of border etc, and they love it when you are too lazy busy to mow the lawn (18 days and counting...)

I want a great big rambling rose across the front of my house (having seen the bit on the Chelsea show about the David Austin stand!). How long would a Paul's Himalayan Musk take to grow across a four-metre wide roof above the front door/living room window? If I bought a reasonably mature specimen that was already door height (can you get those?) would it get going across the roofb the end of this summer?

WynkenBlynkenandNod Thu 23-May-13 10:03:15

What a fabulous day that was, two country bumpkins at Chelsea. Had to get used to seeing the presenters around the place at first and concentrate on the plants. First thing we did was look at the Artisan Gardens and were surprised at how much smaller they are in RL compared to how they look on TV. The NSPCC childhood one was both our favourites for that.

I'd been really looking forward to the David Austin stand but we took ages finding it and saw the Peter Beale one first which was lovely. We didn't get quite as long as we wanted there as Alan T was interviewing some Actress. Shortly after we finally found David Austin and were really disappointed. The roses were looking decidedly the worse for wear in comparison and I think my next purchase might well be the Peter Beale Pippin.

The Raymond Evison stand was absolutely lovely and an order will be going in there, possibly for Samaritan Jo. There will definitely be more Aliums in my garden next year and I'm having an alpine thing at the moment after seeing a couple of the stands. The South African Kirstenbosch one was excellent, really enjoyed that. I loved the Pavillion as have never seen anything like it.

We took an age to find the Sentable garden which we both wanted to see and must have walked past it. Unfortunately there were loads of people standing around on it so slightly ruined the effect. I liked Chris Beardshaw's Arthritis garden and the one which depicted 100 years of Chelsea, can't remember what it was called. We were rudely interrupted by Alan filming at that one as well. I think we probably didn't get as much out of some of the larger gardens as we could have with hindsight as were a bit knackered. Just looking through my leaflets, I did like the SeeAbility Garden and the one with the embroidered flowers was good. The Perrier one wasn't my cup of tea but liked the more modern Pergola structure.

Things I have taken away is to use more of the same plant, I think we did talk about that earlier up the thread and it brought it home to me. Lots of Acers, Heuchura, Cat Mint, Aqualegia, that shrub with pom poms flowers, it it a vibernum ? Spurge, Mecanoposis, Sedum seen in a lot of the gardens. A fair few of them are dotted around my garden and I am going to use them to better effect from now on. I've also come to terms with my raised deck and have seen with the right furniture and planters etc it can look lovely, so that's another project to be getting on with.

I could probably ramble on for ages. It was a lovely day which will definitely be repeated next year with a couple of people who weren't able to come with us this year, though I really want to go to Hampton Court as well. And the question DH dared not ask, how much did I spend? Neither of us spent a penny other than on food, not even a pack of seeds. We were just so busy looking we kind of forgot. But I will be sitting down in the not too distant future and placing a few orders. I'm very tired today as we didn't get back till late, but loved every minute of it.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Thu 23-May-13 10:06:28

Was sniffing the Paul's Himalayan Musk yesterday, it's gorgeous Humph and I'd love it here but not sure I have room. No idea how long it would take to grow I'm afraid.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Thu 23-May-13 10:31:17

Knew there would be something I missed. There was one that was Sutton Seeds I think with two sides. One was an old style veg patch with old greenhouse, the traditional style of veg planting. Thenon the other side there was a geodesic dome with Hydro salad crops but the same back drop of a lovely old wall and cottage style planting. Really like that.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Thu 23-May-13 11:37:29

Geums, geraniums and cow parsley.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Thu 23-May-13 12:37:46

Oh cr@p. I've only just found out what happened in Woolwich and don't feel enthusing about a flower show as I did feels right . DH mentioned very quickly something happened but totally underplayed it last night, I didn't get in till 11. I went to the Eden Project on 9/11, think I'd better stay away from everything horticultural from now on.

echt Thu 23-May-13 12:55:56

Don't beat yourself up on this wynken. Life goes (and grows) on. There are other threads for the sad business in Woolwich sad, and this thread for the gardeningy-type stuff. smile

Yep, and the gardeningy-type stuff provides a very much needed happy distraction from all of life's not so happy stuff.

Sounds like a fabulous day Wynken, thank you for sharing.

I wish my alliums would flower properly, I need some colour in the front bed. The slow start has made me realise that I need more plants with different coloured foliage. I have two heuchuras offering a small splash of purple so may put more of those in.

I have very few bumble bees but plenty of a range of the smaller varieties (going by the numbers in the house anyhow). I'm hoping they're happy in the orchard as there's not much else for them yet. My chives aren't far off flowering now, they normally like those. We need sunshine though to warm them up (the bees that is, although I'd like to be warmed up too).

HumphreyCobbler Thu 23-May-13 13:30:13

Oh Wynken, it sounds like you had a great day. I wish I had been there too.

Glad to hear other people have some bees...I was wondering if the rape fields are distracting the honey bees. I do hope we persuade someone to put a hive in our orchard.

It is pouring rain and hail here today. yuk.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Thu 23-May-13 16:41:20

Yes, you're right. I'm waiting for my grand total of two alliums to flower. I happened to be in the garden center today and got one of the Japanese Quinces that I'd been admiring for half price - think they are Japanese Quince, it starts with 'C'

WynkenBlynkenandNod Thu 23-May-13 18:27:07

Bertha, cut bits with root off your Heuchura, chuck into ground with a bit of water and watch new plants appear. One of mine that went in last year has created 4 or 5 new plants the last month or so.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Thu 23-May-13 18:46:34

I have always had mixed feeling about variegated or coloured foliage, but agree that the purple or lime green heucheras are fantastic for giving the borders a bit of bling.

I too have come to the conclusion that the garden looks better when planted with more of the same (which is fortunate, because it is becoming something of a heuchera, aquilegia and geranium-fest).

Japanese quince is chaenomeles, I think.

funnyperson Thu 23-May-13 20:27:08

Thanks wynken!
I think its nice to have the same palette of colour rather than lots of the same plant in a smallish garden. For example lots of different kinds of white plants (main colour) interspersed with pale pink, dark purple and splashes of blue. Green foliage plants are important . I have a Carex pendula with variegated leaves and lovely nodding nut brown flowers atm. (my shady garden) I think if you have lots of the same plant that very much restricts the flowering season of that area.
We will start with the pavilion on Sat. Still not sure how this 'sell-off' works.
As a matter of interest wynken did those prize winning alliums have wires down the middle like the hyacinths at Keukenhopf?

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Thu 23-May-13 20:33:39

You're quite right, funnyperson, but I fear my garden used to look very 'bitty' because I had so many different things dotted about - and I don't generally plant in threes because that eats up the space - and I think it looks a bit more coherent now that I have lots of different (say) heucheras.

Am liking Sandi Toksvig's seaside garden on the Chelsea programme.

funnyperson Thu 23-May-13 20:46:10

Is some of it about giving a plant room to grow?

WynkenBlynkenandNod Thu 23-May-13 20:49:15

I didn't notice them but was a bit distracted by the fact the Purple Sensation flowers were smaller than some of the other ones. I wouldn't be surprised as they were bolt upright.

That's a good point about the flowering season. I guess when you look at a Chelsea Garden you're looking at a scheme designed to give maximum impact at one specific moment in time. And it's easy to become so blown away that you don't look at the bigger picture over time as you never get to see the garden evolve.. I guess it's getting a balance . Think I might have to for once in my life sit down with a piece of paper and properly think about things, rather then randomly bunging things in.

I did smile a bit to find Heuchurahlics stand, having never been very keen on them I've become really quite taken with them of late and see they coukd become addictive. I hope you and your Mum enjoy yourselves as much as we did FP.

Chaenomoles is the one Maud, thanks.

funnyperson Thu 23-May-13 21:13:30

In reality though one does tend to plant not just what is planned, but what one finds on the spur of the moment. Vita SackvilleWest mentioned in one of her garden books that she was quite ruthless about moving plants. I've been wondering about that lately.
I prefer Hosta to Heuchera.

Have been out in the cold and damp to water on my slug nematodes. They've reached their use by date so ran out of time to wait for the perfect weather conditions. Death to slugs.

Popped to the garden centre today to get more slug pellets (there's a theme here I think) and came out with two more large heucheras, three asters for more late season colour, and an agapanthus and some pick & mix. I may split a small chunk off each heuchera before I plant them out - thanks Wynken.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Thu 23-May-13 21:16:47

Can I just whisper that I was a bit star struck seeing the various presenters around the place. The rest of you are all very cool and I'm sure wouldn't think twice but I've never actually seen anyone famous and when confronted with the sight of old Alan, forgot I'd been slagging him off on here just the previous might and became obsessed with getting a photo. It got sadder still when I text it to both mine and friend's DHs. They naturally ignored me but DD did text me to tell me to stop stalking Alan and make sure we saw some flowers.

And then we were looking at something and I said oh look there's Andy Sturgeon (not loudly I hope) and then realised what I'd said, possibly fractionally gawped and totally lost track of what I was saying about primroses and Heuchura, much to the amusement of friend. After that Carol Klein was sitting on the floor getting a bit stroppy about flash photography. Then Toby Buckland was filming on the Australian garden as we were trying to look at it.

<reflects on fact I need to get out more>

HumphreyCobbler Thu 23-May-13 21:38:03

I would not be cool in the face of celebrity - I would be really pleased I had seen them all! I would LOVE to meet Carol Klein, I really like her.

I love heuchera. I think that a heuchera was the first thing I planted in the front garden after we moved here. But I think I may become addicted to geums, I love the bed outside the back door so much.

Rhubarbgarden Thu 23-May-13 22:12:29

I'm not cool in the face of celebrity. I once met Kate Adie through my work (nothing to do with gardening; previous life) and failed utterly to come across as intelligent and professional as I had intended. No, I couldn't string a sentence together. blush

I think I'd be exactly the same if I met Carol Klein. Or Chris 'Lovely Eyes' Beardshaw.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Thu 23-May-13 22:22:24

I was on the look out for Chris Beardshaw but couldn't find him unfortunately . Most of them there was advance warning they'd be there as the film crew roped off the area before they arrived but Andy Sturgeon was just suddenly there, no cameras, chatting to someone and I found myself strangely silent.

We walked round a corner to find Carol on the floor. Think they were about to start filming and people were ignoring the no flash photography signs so she shouted loudly not to use flash. I think it was tongue in cheek but she sounded a bit grumpy.

I've been looking at pictures of the alliums and if they used wires they aren't visible in the photo at all.

MousyMouse Fri 24-May-13 09:20:46

I'm just back from the gardening show that is disneyland.
seriously! they must put so much effort and money into keeping it looking that, erm, well, disney

but in those three days my garden has exploded. the fig tree went from tentative buds to full foliage and the hortensia (?) has doubled in size and has some nice flower buds.

the new 'better than poundland' roses have obviously taken, a few new shoots came up, plus no dead ends.

I have a rose question: if a newly planted roses gets many new side shoots, should I take them away? or leave them be!

MousyMouse Fri 24-May-13 09:39:06

oh, and a wine question. have a wine plant on one garden wall.

can I find out from the leaves what kind it is?

last year it flowered only in august so was much too late to get fruits.
but I gave the base a good covering with horse manure last autumn and cut it back to the older stems and gave it some plant food a couple of weeks ago. now it's nearly in full foliage and looks nice and healthy.

HumphreyCobbler Fri 24-May-13 21:40:36

That bloody goose just attacked me! It wouldn't go in the house as it was sitting on an egg on the pile of rubble. We normally move the eggs in the daytime but must have missed this one. I went over the rubble from the back to usher it into the house and it went for me and I fell over backwards with a flapping goose on me. On to a pile of rubble.

That goose is LUNCH, I tell you.. Well, it isn't. But I feel I should have let the fox get it. I can't touch birds, they are yuk. If they play up DH he just holds their neck at arms length and they can't reach him. I am not cut out for hobby farming <pathetic>

HumphreyCobbler Fri 24-May-13 21:42:48

sorry Mousy, I am not sure of rose etiquette - I am sure others will be along soon.

MousyMouse Fri 24-May-13 23:16:07

humphrey how scary.
when growing up our neighbours had geese to fatten up for christmas. I got attacked quite a few times, as it was a nice shortcut from the school bus home. blue shins and bottoms and feeling deaf for a while from the wings.
but so tasty!

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Fri 24-May-13 23:21:42

Eek, Humph.

I have a grapevine but am pretty clueless about vine maintenance. It's quite new but I'm hoping for fruit this year.

Rhubarbgarden Sat 25-May-13 20:36:36

Mousy re your roses I would take out inward pointing side shoots and leave outward ones. The aim with roses is to create a 'goblet' shaped plant. Don't worry too much about it though, you could just leave it to do its thing and then bear this in mind when deadheading and autumn pruning.

I had a lovely day at Chelsea today. I found the Telegraph garden very contemplative and it really grew on me, and Roger Platts centenary garden was impossible not to love. I thought the Australian garden was fabulous (made me think of Echt, and now I know what a Kangaroo Paw looks like). But my favourite was the Stoke on Trent council garden. Not for the design, particularly, but the planting was just so exquisite and refreshing with its burnt oranges and burgundies.

I think I'm having something of an orange moment actually; I kept being drawn to orange plants in the Great Paviliion. Think I may have to do an orange/burgundy/lime/cream border. Hmm.

Rhubarbgarden Sat 25-May-13 20:41:36

I also found myself nosing round the Alitex stand and asking for ballpark costs for the sort of three quarter span lean-to I have in mind. Reported back to dh, and he made a humphing noise and asked if that included VAT. So he didn't laugh hysterically and say 'No, just no' as I'd feared. I think this is positive. <glass half full>

funnyperson Sat 25-May-13 21:03:40

The hoi polloi went to chelsea today from this neck of the woods. I was so excited I couldnt sleep and got asthma and diarrhoea and had to be medicated upto the eyeballs. Mum convinced herself it woud a be too crowded and too much and said she wouldn't go. Dad got excited that we were going so then he got ill(ish) so I ended up going alone at the crack of dawn and got there at 7.30 am thinking I woud get back home by lunchtime and see dad and then go and watch summer eights final day and cheer on DD. rofl.

Rhubarbgarden Sat 25-May-13 21:07:03

Did you stay all day FunnyP? The crowds got the better of me by 1ish so I didn't hang around for the sell off. Which gardens did you like?

funnyperson Sat 25-May-13 21:14:08

The weather was gorgeous and it is fair to say that my mouth was probably open (when it wasn't smiling) and my eyes popping for the first hour at least. Dear Readers I tell you now that any gardener who has not been to the Chelsea flower show at the crack of dawn and stayed till the incredible sell off on the last day has not lived. The gardens are stunning. But stunning. The tv doesn't do them justice. Not even remotely. The flowers are incredible. The people who design the gardens, and the garden companies who come are so pleasant and informative to talk to. The sculpture stalls are wonderful. There is every kind of wacky garden fountain on display. There are artisan retreats. There are arias from la Boheme being sung live. There is Purbeck ice cream. There are birds, butterflies, trees, and it all smells of outdoors and green and garden and flowers and the whole thing is a sight for sore eyes.
The Australian garden was beautiful and I too thought of echt. The physicians artisan garden was very very pretty. The Laurence Perrier garden poncy in a very very good way and very relaxing to watch.
Will talk plant detail tomorrow.
Main themes were purples, whites, greens with splashes of orange. Lots of purple aquilegia, white anemone blanda and purple irises. But those gardeners are genuises. Their planting is subtle and varied and never looks OTT.

funnyperson Sat 25-May-13 21:19:13

I stayed till 5.30 and had lots of breaks (well, coffee and cake at 11, veg miso soup at 2, choc ice cream and another rest at 3.........you know, hobbit fashion)
The place was quiet until 11 when I think it is fair to say it heaved and having breaks was the sensible option. It then got quiet again at about 3.30.
My favourite gardens were the Physicians artisan garden by the Welsh botanic gardens team, the Australian garden, the Laurence Perrier garden and the Bradford garden
The trees in the Japanese garden were stunning the homebase garden was also stunning. Which did you like best?

funnyperson Sat 25-May-13 21:21:47

Clematis COuntess of Wessex looked very pretty indeed on the clemaic stands. Lemon dream looked good too, I thought of Maud. The roses were interesting because as they were all in flower, one could smell them and immediately one pink rose could be seen to be better than another.

funnyperson Sat 25-May-13 21:23:25

In short, Gentle Hermione smells rather odd whereas Queen of Sweden is rather nice.

funnyperson Sat 25-May-13 21:25:56

The sell off is amazing (prices very very reasonable for fantastic plants and all reasonably sedate not the scramble the newspapers make out) and fine because it means the plants are going to good homes, and watching the plants being taken home at the taxi stand is very amusing indeed. As is getting ones own plants home. Those who fared best had fold up plastic IKEA type trolleys.

funnyperson Sat 25-May-13 21:27:21

The only thing is the outing is an expensive one. Therefore not an everyday treat. I will stop posting now. Sorry.

HumphreyCobbler Sat 25-May-13 21:29:20

It sounds WONDERFUL. rofl at hobbit fashion, I do that. You sound thoroughly happy.

I was surprised at how television does not do justice to the gardens after my day at Malvern. I must go to Chelsea next year.

It has been wonderfully sunny and warm here today. A lovely day.

funnyperson Sat 25-May-13 21:32:12

This is the sensible sort of thing to take
www.esedirect.co.uk/p-3300-folding-box-cart.aspx
as it keeps the plants you buy safe from being squashed.
Did I have one of those??DId I heck.

funnyperson Sat 25-May-13 21:46:59

I do by the way wish to explode a common myth about Chelsea which is that the only people who go apart from royalty and tv commentators are 60 something females.
This is not the case. There were loads of very hunky men there, 16-60 average age 40 something. The younger the male the more technically sophisticated the camera inevitably hanging round the neck with the macro lens. Most men, however, appeared to be with partners.

Rhubarbgarden Sat 25-May-13 21:55:57

I have one of those for the Hampton Court jamboree. The trouble is, one isn't enough...

Queen of Sweden is my favourite rose. I need to put some in here. I have also decided I need Lady Emma Hamilton and one I saw today called something like hot chocolate although the scent was a bit odd.

You are quite right about telly not doing the gardens justice. I saw the Stoke on Trent one on telly and thought meh, but in real life the planting was an absolute joy.

I have ended the day feeling very upbeat. Yesterday I went to bed fretting that my garden is too big for me and out of control; tonight I see it as bursting with opportunity and it doesn't matter that the weeds have gone feral and I haven't had time to do this, that and everything else because I have years and years to shape and mould and nurture this quarter acre.

Chelsea is very inspiring.

Rhubarbgarden Sat 25-May-13 21:57:56

Eek comedy x post. Not a hunky man, a folding trolley thing that is. Although I do think one man is indeed not enough grin

funnyperson Sat 25-May-13 22:14:33

haha at man/trolley thing
Yes Chelsea is inspiring, even for the commoner gardener, which surprised me.

funnyperson Sat 25-May-13 22:17:27

I think it is interesting that the gardening camera work doesnt do it justice. Its not like the Attenborough programmes which are as much about the camera as about Attenborough. Gardening programmes are primarily about the presenters and gardeners and only therefore tell half the story.

cantspel Sat 25-May-13 22:26:37

I am green with jealousy at anyone who has been to chelsea whilst i had to make to with odd snip its on the tv.

On the brighter side the battle against the ground elder is going well but i am not sure what to do with the roots and soil i have dug out. I cant take it to the dump as they will make me put it in garden waste so bits of it will turn up in compost for the next 50 years and I cant burn it as i have also removed lots of soil which is infected with bits of root.

Looks like i could be putting small bags of it in the wheely bin each week for the next year or so.

I think the municipal compost heaps get hot enough to kill most things (except Japanese knotweed) don't they?

New plants were planted today and the errant lily was finally moved. I also dug up some self seeded stuff from the drive and popped it into the bed. Have left some though as an experiment to see how long DH will ignore things growing in the gravel as it's always me who weeds it so I have left some cosmos, catmint, lavender, dianthus, alliums and something I can't remember the name of. My gravel is obviously quite a good growing medium for seedlings.

Your day sounds fabulous Funny smile

Rhubarbgarden Sat 25-May-13 22:57:19

Cantspel well done on your progress against the ground elder. You'll be fine to put it in garden waste. Everything is hot composted and it can't survive that.

I've been doing battle against the hateful snow berries the last two evenings. Horrid invasive stuff. I cut out a whole raft of it along the side of the drive and revealed four rhododendrons hiding underneath, all flowering merrily to themselves. Didn't have a clue they were there.

MousyMouse Sat 25-May-13 23:42:51

ground elder should be fine in the compost bin.
you can eat the fresh leaves as well, tastes a lot like spinach, maybe a bit more iron-y. doesn't shrink as much in volume.

you can cover the area (if not too arkward or big) with tarp after weeding as much as possible. leaves also make good green liquid fertiliser. You can also use a flame weeder to burn the roots in the ground.

cantspel Sun 26-May-13 01:23:11

I did ask if anyone wanted some with their sunday roast tomorrow but no takers so it looks like a trip to the local dump for me next week.

I will be back to my digging tomorrow and hope to finish clearing 2 beds. The patch at the back of the garden under the cherry tree is dieing back nicely after being sprayed with resolva 24 but i will still dig out the root to be on the safe side.
The ground elder in the front garden is being harder to deal with at it has grown its roots through the roots of other plants. The mallow is being sacrificed for the greater good but i want to save the roses and camellia. Once it is cleared i will be putting in a new magnolia.

funnyperson Sun 26-May-13 06:13:11

It is going to be another lovely day here.
Apparently yesterday was a good day for the Chelsea gardens because it had rained the day before so the gardens looked fresh.
It was very interesting to see how gardens with not much lawn worked very well. The gardens had been designed with 2 areas of focus: the viewers (which in life would be the house) and the seating areas. The most tranquil gardens all had a water feature:a raised circular pond with slate walls and a seat round half the circumference in the case of the artisan physicians garden and a lovely lovely rectangular travertine stone shallow pond fed with a sheet of flowing water cascading from a fountain, again with a sitting lower edge so one could dangle one's feet and paddle in the Laurence Perrier garden.
Gardens were either seriously curvy or composed of straight edged square and rectangular blocks of fabulous planting schemes using plants which are generally easily available but used in a genius way to just such beautiful effect one wanted to spend days just looking, which is the whole idea of a garden. Where the families and friends of designers were around, there were lots of children sitting and running around in the gardens having a ball, laughing, and it was nice to see how the seating and paths between the beds worked.

funnyperson Sun 26-May-13 06:28:10

Beds all had a vertical component. In the Laurence Perrier garden, 4 fastigate trees, and a yellow verbascum.
Actually the companies have all put it on the internet
www.homebase.co.uk/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/HomebaseStaticPageSecondLevel?langId=110&storeId=10151&includeName=HBCreateTheLook/chelsea.htm
www.crocus.co.uk/chelsea2013/ulf-nordfjell-stockholm/

funnyperson Sun 26-May-13 06:35:25

www.gardenofwales.org.uk/news/garden-scoops-silver-on-chelsea-debut/
www.gardenofwales.org.uk/news/garden-scoops-silver-on-chelsea-debut/

Have a lovely gardening day today! I will be planting my seedlings and my Chelsea take aways. ( a fiver for well grown good quality exhibition plants in 1 and 2 litre pots: extraordinary). Please dont feel envious (though I feel very guilty about 5 mins in just to be there at all). I think Chelsea is too expensive to be anything but a special treat for most people if you include the cost of getting there, food, plants, but I do reccommend going at least once in a life. And there are cheap ways such as being a helper or usher when you get in free!

Rhubarbgarden Sun 26-May-13 06:58:55

This is very true. I volunteered for the RHS for several years, dishing out membership leaflets in order to get in free. They have seriously cut back on the number of volunteers now though. A friend of mine who has done it for years didn't get a place this year.

I'm planning a full day of gardening today. Dh was very excited yesterday to discover we have a (very overgrown and weedy) herb garden. He wants me to sort it out in return for him doing the kids again. Fine by me!

I have decided I need some cranesbill to scramble around the bare ground around the newly revealed rhododendrons in the drive. What are everyone's favourite varieties for part shade?

Cantspel which Magnolia are you going to put in? I can't decide. Burncoose nursery has a very good selection.

Rhubarbgarden Sun 26-May-13 07:01:47
funnyperson Sun 26-May-13 07:08:27

This garden planter/designer is seriously talented, it was very very beautiful
www.rhs.org.uk/Shows-Events/RHS-Chelsea-Flower-Show/2013/Gardens/Garden-directory/BrandAlley-Garden

funnyperson Sun 26-May-13 07:11:37

rhubarb is the flower show always so impressive?
are you going to only put in one magnolia? you could have stellata in a pot and caerhayes belle/surprise with a longer flowering season.

funnyperson Sun 26-May-13 07:36:25

Regarding ethnicity and Chelsea: as with all the best of British (Oxford, the ballet, Henley etc) security guards and caterers apart, hardly any brown or black people to be seen (numbers on one hand) all day.
I liked that a young black security guard went upto a pavilion stall older and bought 2 white agapanthus. She charged him the same as me. I think she should have charged less.
I think there should be local London primary school outings to the show like they do in France for Monet's garden in Giverney.

Rhubarbgarden Sun 26-May-13 08:09:24

Yes it's always impressive, sometimes even more so. I loved the planting in that Brand Alley garden. Oranges and limes again.

I intend to plant one large Magnolia; I was initially seduced by the dark pink ones but they don't seem to have such a good form as the paler ones. I want one with good crisp gobletty flower shape. I may have space for a stellata too, but I need to plan the border properly first. At the moment I know I want a Magnolia and a Cornus kousa but that's as far as I've got beyond a massive wish list.

There is indeed an issue with lack of diversity in the audience at Chelsea. I have noticed over the years that there is always a small but reliable contingent of south east Asian heritage visitors though.

The RHS is trying hard on the schools front. It was nice to see the kids presenting the Miracle Gro gardening through the ages feature, that schools had grown the plants for. Are you going to Hampton Court? There is always a good schools presence there. You'd love Hampton Court. It's the real gardeners' flower show.

Rhubarbgarden Sun 26-May-13 08:13:01

I loved the Sparsholt College tea garden. Stunning quality, well done those students. The student presenting said that they could have got a silver gilt but their plot was enlarged at short notice and while they were frantically rearranging the planting, they forgot to enlarge their graphics and got marked down for that. I think that was a little unfair.

funnyperson Sun 26-May-13 08:57:10

M. Soulangeana is lovely, no doubt about it.
Next door the house is rented out. The wife of the Japanese ambassador used to plant in ones and use bright reds to accentuate the tree above which she would prune to frame the flower.
Currently the family is from South Africa and the young men, currently looking after their garden with a keen interest, have planted pale yellow broom next to pale pink petunias and it looks very cheerful!

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sun 26-May-13 09:12:50

Glad you both had a lovely day. It is fabulous isn't ? And so true the cameras don't do it justice. We were walking round in a kind of stunned silence for the first hour.

My favourite garden was Roger Petty's, Chris Beardshaw's , the Australian one (I too thought of Echt whilst there) and the NSPCC childhood one). Next time I go (and I'm determined there will be a next time) I'll do it differently as I don't think we fully did some of the larger gardens justice as we were quite knackered by then. More refreshment stops were in order. I feel very lucky to have been able to go. And found getting the coach up to London from here is very easy and well priced, a bonus for future London trips.

My Chelsea trip has brought on a bit of a plant buying splurge . Our local garden center had a 50% off table so I now have a Magnolia Stellata to go into a pot (then my bargain bare root magnolia turned up yesterday, might donate that to DS's school) a dwarf lilac 'Josee' after my Dad saying how lovely it is and the Red Pixie version catching my eye at Chelsea, a free replacement Zephirine Drouhin, an Achillia, thyme and sweet peas, all for £23 so was very pleased with that.

However things got then more expensive when at another place I saw the Raymond Evison new introductions at Chelsea and Giselle and Samariton Jo found their way into my trolley. I then found myself in a nursery I had forgotten about and came out with a further clematis, a rose, lavender, Aquilega, 2 Heuchura, osteopermum and primula for less than the two clematis.

I have spent a lot on plants this year but am planting up the back garden which hasn't had any plants in it really in the 10 years we've been here as was first a children's playground then the dog trashed it. Most things have been good value though and I could have spent lots more. Just added it up I'm at just under £200. But that's 2 David Austin Roses, two very decent sized camellias, decent sized standard olive tree, two acers, 2 hostas, a magnolia tree, another rose, 5 clematis, hydrangea, lavender, Fatsia, standard blueberry, aquilegia, alchemia mollis, thyme, sweet peass, Lady Banks Rose, dwarf lilac, couple of alliums, lots of geraniums, pot of grass that's been split plus the Zephirine Drouhin. Oh dear, that is a lot of money still it doesn't seem too bad as you produce your card each time but soon adds up. But put in context of doing a new garden maybe it's not too bad <hopeful look>

It's been my dealing with Mum's dementia diagnosis diversion activity and it has helped a lot thinking about it. However my allotment is sadly neglected so I'm going to go up there now and get a couple of hours in before hoarded of tourists arrive and try to speak it me whilst I've digging.

I have a friend who is a presenter, she gets to go to Chelsea every year for free and gets to interview the garden designers envy.

The sun is shining. DH and I are having a cup of tea in the greenhouse conservatory prior to heading out to mow the lawn. I'm desperate to plant more stuff out but I've heard rumour of more frosts this week.

Contemplating what to put in the zinc planters on the back of the pew that sort of act like window boxes for the conservatory. The tulips have keeled over now so need some summer interest. I was going to use them as extra salad tubs but now I'm erring towards more flowers for colour. Don't know what though.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 26-May-13 11:59:44

I am enjoying hearing about your Chelsea experiences and plant-buying splurges which make me feel better about my own.

funnyperson - You are quite right about the skewed demographic of Chelsea and, by extension, the RHS. I think the ethnicity issue overlaps, to some extent, with issues of age and income where again (I suspect very strongly) the demographic is also skewed. I am picturing a Venn diagram.

Bearleigh Sun 26-May-13 15:20:30

Very interesting hearing about everyone's Chelsea experiences. I've been twice, and particularly enjoyed the marquees. I travel in and out of Victoria, and love sell off day, and seeing people bearing away their purchases. One year I shared the carriage with two enormous deep blue delphiniums and their new owner.

Cantspel, forgive me if you've already mentioned it but are you going to try Roundup on your ground elder? Obviously you can't use it where the GÉ is in amongst the perennials but it'll be OK around roses. I have at last got rid of the GE in our 'rockery' by squirting with Roundup spray or pulling it out when it was too close to other plants to squirt.

Now I just have to get rid of the couch grass...

Very envious that I didn't go to Chelsea. I couldn't have anyway, quite a busy week at work, but you are all talking in such an inspired way about it... I may look into Hampton Court though, I did love that the last time I went.

news item for Humph

I am down in Devon at my parents' farm. They have done so much work since we were here at Christmas! My dad has been landscaping with the digger and now has a little hollow between the house and the 'arboretum' field which will be the evening sun trap terrace. He has cut down almost all the leylandii at the eastern end of the orchard (well, a couple fell down in the February storms too) so there is lots of light flooding it, and the apple trees are covered in blossom. They are still gnarly and old, and might not do too well in fruiting, but they do look very pretty. The plums and bullace have finished flowering and are developing tiny little fruits. I am sitting looking out of the kitchen window and watching a blue tit coming back and forth to a hole in the cob wall of the old pigshed across their track. There are swifts/swallows/housemartens (must learn difference) overhead all the time, a chaffinch on the telephone wire this morning and the urgent cheeping of blackbirds worrying about their partially-fledged young in the hedge last night.

And the second of the pregnant Devon Rubies is due to give birth any day now - she has had a full udder and a very ripe vulval area (or, loose fanny, as my dad puts it) since Wednesday. So my small boy will hopefully get to see new baby Hector/Hermione while we're here.

cantspel Sun 26-May-13 20:17:36

Rhubarb i have a MAGNOLIA denudata 'Yellow River' on order from when Wynken posted up the VM offer.

Bearleigh i have been spraying with resolva 24 for the larger patches away from perennials and the bits that are shooting up between the day lilies i have been zapping with roundup gel. i dont expect i will completly cure the problem in one year but hopefully i will have it under control this year and just be picking smaller bits out the beds next.

On a more depressing note i managed to kill not one but 2 lawn mowers today. The petrol one just refuses to start even after i stripped it down, cleaned everything and put it back together again and the electric one was just too small for the size of the garden and i burnt the engine out.
Think i might treat myself to a new boshe lawn mower tomorrow and when my brother next visits i will see if he can fix the petrol one as it is no good letting my husband try as he is clueless with anything pratical.

funnyperson Sun 26-May-13 20:29:05

Oh dear, was too tired to do any gardening today. Just sat in my tranquil little garden and then visited mum and dad. Blasted carers refused to put dad in the wheelchair (health and safety: or just bloody minded) so we couldn't sit in their lovely garden but sat indoors and chatted.
Lots of v v well off people round here, maud none of whom go to Chelsea flower show, and have not heard of the RHS though they have extensive gardens. Programmes such as 'goodness gracious me' and 'eastenders' are a bit misleading but I know what you mean about the Venn diagram though I think its not about economics.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sun 26-May-13 20:35:27

Cantspel my Yellow River arrived on Friday. I noticed this Bosch Mower earlier.

cantspel Sun 26-May-13 21:18:52

Thats the one i fancy and the best price i could find. Going to take a drive down to b&q tomorrow as i have reserved one online.
I have had my dispatch notice for the yellow river but no delivery yet. Hopefully it will turn up after the bank holiday as i also ordered a few Petunia Tumbelina due for delivery at the same time.

MousyMouse Sun 26-May-13 21:20:49

lovely weather today and spent most of the day outside in the garden.
we cleared away the old sandpit and re-instated the raised bed it once was.
some very impressive fungi specimen and spiders were revealed underneath the chipboard that was the base of the pit. also weeded between the tiles in the front garden, put the netting over the strawberries and over the part of the garden the neighbouring cats claim as their loo. not even the mint growing there keeps them away.

have to work tomorrow but dh is on orders to go to a garden centre to buy loads of compost to enrich the topsoil that was buried under the pit for ages and to have a nice cream tea with the dc

rhihaf Mon 27-May-13 10:12:14

Just back from a totally bonkers weekend of catering for a friend's wedding - so missed most of Chelsea (started preparing food last Weds), so thankyou everyone for the updates! Am undecided where I stand re demographic of Chelsea...

Morissons were selling quite large, healthy perennials 2 for 3 quid. I got two massive delphiniums and two hollyhocks for the raised bed in front of the greenhouse (in the secret garden), also have some lavendar and other cottage garden plants planned for there.

Are there different types of thyme (as in growing habit)? I fancy a few fragrant herbs tumbling over the brick wall of the bed, and it's very sunny and dry - I'm thinking a trailing thyme. Is there such a thing?

funnyperson Mon 27-May-13 11:34:52

'Caraway' or 'Doone valley'???
pantrygardenherbs.com/?page_id=1094

funnyperson Mon 27-May-13 11:56:58

Further thoughts on demographics: The wheelchair access at Chelsea could be much improved. The ground inside the pavilion is grassy and tough to push a wheelchair along and there are quite a few hilly spots outside. The happiest person on wheels I saw had one of those small electric buggy things which was absolutely ideal for outside, but still wouldn't have got round the pavilion with ease. I was glad mum hadn't come: most of the wheelchair pushers I saw looked very tired.
The ladies loos were inadequate for those with and without wheelchairs.
Message: if possible everyone go there while still very mobile!

I've been to Knightshayes with my mum and DS today. Got there just about exactly opening time, only spent two hours there but will go again I'm sure. The kitchen garden was fabulous - they have a stall in the town market so produce a lot of seasonal veg, year round I think. It is a walled garden on a south facing slope, with carefully planted woodland around. When we went through the gate it was instantly about three degrees warmer, just the effect of the walls and shelter I think! The house was very nice but I think quite standard NT. On a less windy (i.e. warmer!) day I would walk all round the formal gardens but today, the plant centre was more tempting. Got a delicate little light blue phlox for my rockery and a black viola for no reason than it being pure black. And a load of other bargain alpines for my mum's rather more extensive rockery (six times the size of mine!)

What an amazing weekend for gardening! DH and i have been frantically swinging between getting everything done and making the most of the good weather to relax. My train comes into Victoria too and on more than one occasion last week I had to stop myself from snatching the golden ticket to Chelsea off a 40+ softly spoken white female heading for the show. I've never seen the appeal before but now I've got my own garden I'm desperate to go, how do you get tickets? I expect the demographic reflects the generation lucky enough to have their own gardens and time on their hands to enjoy them?

I'm so excited as our heirloom fence is being installed tomorrow. This should finally mean an end to our fox and bramble problem and mean I can get to grips with creating a gorgeous south facing border. There is already a lilac, quince and a hebe, plus I've got 6 peony trees and some sweet peas ready to go in. Happy days!

funnyperson Mon 27-May-13 22:37:25

Yes, it has been a very good gardening day.
I planted some more rocket and mange tout in the vegetable trough.
I planted a big pot with the Wimbledon rose, phlox candy stripe, a deep dianthus deltoides and dill and chamomile for the front south facing patio.
Then I weeded a whole load of weeds out the back.
Then I planted out a lovely astrantia, some lilium martagon album, the cosmos purity grown from seed and a little white dodecathon near the Alfred Carriere rose.
Then I planted some salvia in front of the clematis abundance which is growing up rapidly.
I potted up the bare root tree peony rockii which had arrived on a two for one offer, remembering to put rhizomatous fungi on the roots.
I tied in the clematis montana which is growing up the ceanothus and is in bloom, and tied in the mangetout and sweet peas and watered everything in and then went round to my parents with some spare plants including the other tree peony, a clematis Dr Ruppel and a few dozen peacock orchid bulbs which are not actually orchids but a type of gladiolus. Mum and I had a happy hour weeding and planning what to tell the gardeners. We cut some flowers for dad in a vase: purple aquiliegia, yellow and rust wallflowers, bluebells and cornflowers.
Then I came back and broadcast some Flanders poppy seeds in the front garden to take the place of the bluebells when they fade. This seemed apt.
The garden is looking stunning out the front and back. I feel so lucky to have it and to be fit enough to see it and garden in it and sit in it. Hope you all had a good gardening day too! Have a lovely week. smile

cantspel Mon 27-May-13 23:16:02

Didn't get much gardening done today as i had to go buy the new mower. Ended up buying the Bosch Rotak 43 Ergo Handles Elec Rotary one in the end. Hope to get to try it out tomorrow.

Counldn't resist a quick look at the reduced plants in b&q and picked up a tray of pink margarita for 30p and a tray of white petunia for a £1

WynkenBlynkenandNod Tue 28-May-13 08:19:26

What's an heirloom fence Notanothernappy ? Glad you sorted your mower Cantspel. It always amazes me how much difference a good grass cut makes.

FP that sounds like a lovely gardening day. I was out in mine and no longer have a blue and purple shed. I actually thought it was green with a purple stripe but DD tells me it was blue and seeing as I have difficulty with blues and green I shall believe her. It was part of converting it to a playhouse for DS when he was little. It!/ now full of junk but a more pleasant cream colour, just needs another coat. All the plants are in except the magnolia and one trough that needs planting. Well I say that, there's lots in the greenhouse which need hardening off. Large conifer hopefully going next week.

Has anyone's Alfred Carriere got buds ? Mine went in last year, lots of growth but no sign of flowers yet.

Bearleigh Tue 28-May-13 08:25:53

Notanother to get Chelsea tickets, join the RHS and look out for the flyer in The Garden, the excellent monthly magazine that you get. You also get free entry to places like Wisley and lots of other benefits.

rhihaf Tue 28-May-13 09:57:00

Thankyou Funnyperson! smile

nightshade1 Tue 28-May-13 10:24:22

please can I join in your thread, ive just spent the morning with a large pot of coffee reading about all your Chelsea adventures willing the rain here to go away!

I love Chelsea and would like to go back - perhaps next year, last time I went as an exhibitor '05 and came home with a silver medal (it was my first proper show garden! and very stressful)

having said that my garden isn't much to write home about, I moved here last year and it needs lots of work its very boring (narrow pointless bed around rectangular lawn) but hoping for some better weather so I can get to work on it.

HumphreyCobbler Tue 28-May-13 10:30:19

Wow nightshade - a silver! At Chelsea!! Do tell us more.

Everyone has been very busy. The weather was fantastic here on Saturday and Sunday. All the cottage borders are coming into bloom. The alliums are amazing. I have started to cut flowers for the house, always something I enjoy doing.

Rhubarbgarden Tue 28-May-13 13:19:39

Yes I'll second that wow for a silver at Chelsea! Please tell us about the experience and what your garden was like.

I had a full gardening bank holiday, it was great. I got the final quarter of dd's flower bed dug and prepared, and she scattered Godetia, Calendula and Morning Glory seeds on it. The other seed packets turned out to be empty; I'm not sure if that was a miscalculation on my part or toddler interference, never mind. What an epic of digging that was though. I'm buying/hiring a rotavator when I do the main borders.

Then it was into weeding overdrive mode. I filled a tonne bag. Still got four borders to go, but it's a start.

Rhubarbgarden Tue 28-May-13 13:22:53

I've also decided that I need a Cornus controversa variegata (wedding cake tree). Not sure where I'm going to put it though.

Nightshade - do you have a vision in mind for your new garden? Will it be anything like what did at Chelsea?

Wynken - an "heirloom fence" is how I will always refer to the the plain old six ft high closed board panels now adorning my garden, as when I posted on here asking if the quote I'd got was reasonable, walkacrossthesand replied that depended on whether I wanted a fence or an heirloom! 6 of the 12 panels to go in the left hand side went in today before the rain turned the garden into a mud bath and the builders gave up. The right hand side is already done. DH painted the 4ft fence at the back with cuprinol Seagrass and tomorrow the builders are gong to top this with 2ft of trellis n the same material as the new fence, hopefully tying it all together.

I am slightly mortified as I/the builders have pissed off my neighbours so much they've taken the key to their side return back off us (we're terraced, they're on the end). I was here all day but unbeknownst to me my builders decided to ask their teenage daughters to supply them with a hose pipe and electricity instead. They also cut down their young cherry tree and trampled mud all over their decking blush. Plus they hacked down and spirited away several tons of brambles (hurrah!!), but nobody mentioned that...

Bearleigh - Join the RHS???! Wow, the very thought!

Hello all, welcome Nightshade - I'm joining the plea for more info on your Chelsea experience please!

Lovely, but busy, weekend here but I fitted in some pottering doing odd bits and pieces that needed doing in the garden. Some more stuff got planted out including the oca but that has gone under fleece to keep it cosy for a couple more weeks. Still can't believe the temperatures, it's mad!

I've discovered the reason why we have so many bees around - it would appear they are living under the house. Happy with that though as they're not bothering us and I much prefer bees to the usual wasps and hornets we get!

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 28-May-13 21:41:43

Welcome, Nightshade.

Not done any gardening today, but have done some garden visiting. For those who like zingy colour in their pots, I bring you ::fanfare:: aeonium Schwarzkopf, osteospermum Tresco Purple and orange wallflower, variety unknown.

MousyMouse Tue 28-May-13 21:50:33

all seedlings are out now, have a nice raised bed with tomatoes (beef-steak and santorini) sweetcorn, chilli, pumpkins.
but the snails have already found the sunflowers.
the roses are really doing well, have teeny weeny flowerbuds and I am really excited about them.
welcome nightshade

Rhubarbgarden Wed 29-May-13 20:33:47

That sounds like a fabulous pot combo Maud. I love Aeonium Schwarzkopf.

Got the Forsythia cut back today in a slash and grab manoeuvre between childcare onslaughts. Is half term over yet? Please?

cantspel Thu 30-May-13 12:34:27

Does a little happy dance as i am getting a greenhouse for my birthday grin
My birthday is not until november but i can have it early. I cant buy anything too expensive as it is my mum who is paying but i am sure i will find something for the amount she is willing to spend. I will put it up myself so i dont want anything to complicated or hard to erect and i have to have polycarp as it will have to go near the oak trees .

HumphreyCobbler Thu 30-May-13 13:42:33

I don't have a glass one catspel and it is fine. Works well and is very robust. I was paranoid about the dc crashing into a glass one on their bikes.

I love my greenhouse so much I may have already mentioned this a few times Everything is growing so well smile I have basil, coriander, poppies, crimson nasturtiums, rocket and mixed salad leaves, eight tomato plants, a cucumber, lots of pelargoniums ready to go in the tulip pots outside, tobacco seedlings, calendula, cornflowers, night scented stock and seedling lupins. Plus a few trays of cosmos purity.

The garden is looking lovely after the rain. I am pleased that all the geraniums and alchemilla mollis are now hiding the dying tulip foliage as per my plan. The rose walk is looking extremely healthy and full of buds. All the alliums are coming out properly and I have my first oriental poppy flower.

cantspel Thu 30-May-13 13:55:20

Sounds lovely Humphrey.

I cant wait to have a greenhouse again. last time i had one was 2 house moves back and i so miss it.
I want to take out one section of lawn and place it there with a couple of raised planters to the side of it. Then i will do all my bedding plants from seed and grow things like peppers, cucumber and a few salad leaves.
The raised planters will be for onions and radishes.

The lily garden has really taken off with loads of growth on the lily stems and the alliums i put in are flowering and the purple looks lush against the green of the lily stems.

nightshade1 Thu 30-May-13 15:33:52

thanks for the welcomes smile what would you like to know? I will share what I can without outing myself completely!

my new garden is (hopefully) going to have a true cottage garden feel to it - all breezy and billowy, it is the front garden and has just been left to lawn and dandelions until now - there is a young box hedge across the front which will be staying and a small plum tree and a clump of rhubarb id like to keep - the rest is going so ive effectively got a blank canvas. next door tried (badly and failed to put a hedge down the right hand side so im going to replace that with a beech to get a decent barrier going down that side. there is room for a bed in front of this along side the path - im thinking I might put some standard roses in along there.

in other news ive joined the allotment waiting list. im hopeing that the predicted 2year wait is massively over, as ideally I want to grow a lot of cut flowers for my wedding next year!!

HumphreyCobbler Thu 30-May-13 16:05:24

Growing cut flowers for your wedding sounds fantastic nightshade, how exciting.

How nice that you have a box hedge already there.

cantspel Thu 30-May-13 17:21:03

What sort of flowers are you going to do for your wedding nightshade?

Sounds very exciting. Will you use them for table decorations?

nightshade1 Thu 30-May-13 17:41:27

I haven't made a comprehensive list yet, but cornflowers will feature heavily, ox-eye daisys, corn marigolds that sort of thing its a very informal church then church hall for hog roast and dancing so I don't want anything to uniform and formal. im hoping to do most of the flowers myself with the addition of dried barley ears to pad the flowers out.

HumphreyCobbler Thu 30-May-13 20:20:13

I have just gone round the garden and taken note of all the wrong kind of aquilegia so that I can dig them up tomorrow. Anything pointing up or more than one colour is for the chop. The iris are looking very patchy, but the red lupins are out. They are next to a red leaved cherry tree, it is a particularly nice colour combination. One herb bed is looking much better than the other one, they have been treated exactly the same!

Heard a cuckoo going for it from the trees next door.

Just went down to put the chickens to bed and got distracted by a spot of weeding in the veg plot. Had to stop when I couldn't see the weeds any more!

Are we safe from frosts yet?

Rhubarbgarden Thu 30-May-13 22:44:59

Oh Cantspel that's fab that you're getting a greenhouse! My greenhouse dream galloped a little further over the horizon this week as we have been wrong footed by a couple of unexpected and substantial financial hits. To make me feel even more cheerful, I had to turn down a free trip to New York today because of childcare reasons.

I'm going to buy a large cake tomorrow and eat it all myself.

Rhubarbgarden Thu 30-May-13 22:48:17

I think it depends where you are with frosts really. I think I read somewhere that at Wisley they've recorded frosts every month of the year?

nightshade1 Fri 31-May-13 08:53:29

Todays task is to dug up the strawberries and dig over the bed - as im recovering from a broken wrist I am employing DD(7) to do it not sure how successful this will be, but shes keen to do it to earn a £5 spending money.

HumphreyCobbler Fri 31-May-13 09:53:26

Ah Rhubarb. How disappointing. Hope the cake is chocolate and very squidgy.

echt Fri 31-May-13 11:18:40

Little to report here as VERY busy at work. Cold mornings, lots of rain and afternoons/evenings mild enough to have the cicadas clicking.

I suspect the result will be beaucoup weeds.grin

They will have to wait, as this weekend is the DD's 18th birthday thrash, so we'll be prepping the house for a teen onslaught, and the garden will have to go hang.

rhihaf Fri 31-May-13 16:44:22

Poor Rhubarb, enjoy your cake.

Bertha I've planted bulbs etc that specified planting after all risk of frost has passed... I'm in west Wales which is way behind most gardening programmes... I have just realised, is it Friday today? GW? grin

DH has disappeared on a stag do (oh the joy) so am left with DS (11 months) and the cat.
On the plus side, DS has slept magnificently this morning and this afternoon so I've managed to plant out my radicchio, bulb fennel and rainbow chard - anyone planted this in their borders as an edible ornamental?

rhihaf Fri 31-May-13 16:46:48

Forgot to say, I also have a mixture of delphiniums, aqualeiga, cosmos, scabious, lavendar, poppies and some other cottage perennials big enough to plant out (I hope)

What sort of size do they need to be to survive? (are currently in 1" modules)

Am about to feed the dog and collect the eggs then its' wine o'clock!

teta Fri 31-May-13 19:10:00

Humph you would hate my garden.The bluebells are going over and we literally have a sea of purple[in every shade possible],pink-ditto and white Aquilegia[all caused by distributing compost from an ancient muck heap last year].They are disguising the gaps before the later perennials show their faces.Surprisingly some Gladioli seem to have survived the winter cold but not the dahlias.The Camellias we planted last year have barely flowered,some not at all.My garden is becoming increasingly naturalistic.I am waiting for the cowslips to seed before i mow the lawn[will have to hand chop i think because the grass is so long].

MousyMouse Fri 31-May-13 19:30:16

my garden is a sea of blue and purple.
the bluebells are mostly dried out now but now there are forget-me-nots and other blue/purple flowers (am am clueless when it comes to names). and my blue tree and the neighboursblue trees that border my garden.

veg seem to have made the transition to the large bed, hopefully they will get a nice boost with the warmer weather now.

one of the sunflowers however has become the victim of snails, despite plenty of coffee grinds.

I have been a bad mummy to the cosmos I raised from seed - let them dry out while hardening off and now lots of them are likely beyond redemption. I have planted three of the healthier ones in the large pot which had salvia and dahlia in it last year. That's Dahlia 'honka red' which did not survive being left in the pot over winter (it was laziness rather than an experiment), and 2x salvia 'black and blue' which are coming up very healthily and could even be candidates for a bit of root cutting propagation if anyone would like one? I also put in this pot the black viola (Molly Sanderson) I got from the NT plant centre at the weekend.

DS then finished his ice lolly and demanded we do more gardening so we did a bit of weeding on the rockery and then planted phlox subulata emerald something something. I would go out and check the label but I am too big and pregnant and just want to flop in front of GW... it is on, isn't it?

Just checked, GW is on at 8.30. The only wine we have in the house is pink and bubbly so DH has put it in the fridge to chill grin

Planted out my tomatillos, anise hyssop, and chard today plus in-filled the gaps in the beds where things haven't germinated. Carrots very patchy again this year. Going to put the sweet corn out tomorrow as well as they are way too big for modules now.

Getting some good colour in the long bed now thankfully, starting to look nice. Sodding rabbits have totally destroyed one of the new heucheras. Going to get the air rifle out!

nightshade1 Fri 31-May-13 21:09:39

no wine to accompany GW so a cup of tea and bowl of rhubarb crumble had to do!
I love watching it but it does make me slightly nostalgic - I grew up in Ivington and went to school and was friends with Monty's children, I have fond memories of scoffing hot mince pies in the kitchen after carol singing at Christmas. Hes a lovely man who always had time to show you something -and was proberbly my inspiration to study horticulture.

Nightshade - you've met Monty and done Chelsea!! We're easily impressed on this thread you know and slightly in love with Monty smile

Anyone else think those people with the flower covered cottage were ever so slightly batty? In a nice way...but definitely batty.

nightshade1 Fri 31-May-13 21:24:53

lol I know I know, I had gathered you are all Monty lovers- I think those are my only two impressive things to tell you mind smile

seen as im now a sahm and don't do anything remotely exciting anymore

more that slightly batty!!

funnyperson Fri 31-May-13 21:46:43

nightshade1 silver at Chelsea and has spent time in Monty's kitchen! It would be lovely to hear minute detail of both those experiences! I'm reading the Ivington diaries at the moment. Very interesting and very very different to Vita Sackville-West's gardening book.

-not the only 2 things btw nightshade I love your idea of growing flowers for posies for the wedding.

Oh yes those begonia growers were seriously batty. They made me feel so grounded. The truth is I have recently been thinking that every gardener is a bit batty. Flowers are so transient and impractical and veg, lets face it, can be bought in the shops so why do we do it? Ans: Because we are a bit batty. All that sowing and watering and potting and weeding. I love it to bits. I love messing about in the garden.

Did anyone else notice Monty's wheelbarrow was painted a tasteful blue to match the jumper?

Japanese cherry blossom must be amazing. I must go to Australia and Japan.

I was still too in awe of Monty's greenhouse to notice the colour of his wheelbarrow. <must pay more attention>

funnyperson Fri 31-May-13 21:57:10

Yes that greenhouse is very beautiful: Gabriel Ash: Saw them at Chelsea. May get one if a) I win the lottery and b) decide not to give the money to the poor and needy.
Love Monty's dog.

Cherry blossom viewing: other ways to spend non existent lottery money
www.jnto.go.jp/eng/indepth/exotic/JapanesQue/1202/sakura.html#

I swear I saw a slug in he pot Monty was putting the Canna in...

Another productive day here... We had two old wooden M shaped frames here when we moved in, which I had already tarted up with cuprinol Seagrass. Today I cut he shape of the bed against the grass, dug some compost & plant food into the clay soil, covered it with bark and planted the sweet peas an mange tout I grew from seed.

I faffed around for ages trying to encourage the tendrils to cling to the first rung of the zig zag of string. Am I the only one who does this? Do you let yours get on with it themselves? I can't understand how they'd ever find it.

The other M is now in shade but I am trying sweet peas & runner beans on it.

rhihaf Fri 31-May-13 22:02:23

Funnyperson Yes, I was thinking that earlier - why do we grow veg and potter about desperately trying to harness nature when it does whatever the hell it wants anyway?

Nightshade oooh, Monty's house at Christmas, I bet it was super cosy and country-chic no?

Bertha You are making me feel desperately inadequate in the seedling stakes! I need to sow stuff, quickly! I did plant 40 runner beans earlier, into small pots so I can put them into a long raised (4" max) bed. Begonia couple were properly batty! made me chuckle.

I accidentally dug up some gladioli bulbs earlier, next to my (ancient) hosta, which is doing incredibly well after hell last summer. They'd all sprouted encouragingly strong roots and some had shoots on too. I've never grown flowers before and it's quite exciting!

Notanother I am constantly trying to get my beans and peas to grip where they're supposed to. One of my favourite pastimes! The runner bean arch is just in front of where I park my car; that gets lots of my attention...

40 runner beans rhihaf! That's a lot of runners. smile

funnyperson Fri 31-May-13 22:50:37

Yes I was noticing the zig zag string: so do you wind zig zag string round your tripod and tease tendrils onto it, or do you tie twine gently round climbing plant stalk and tripod stick? I have to do this tomorrow with the sweet peas and mange tout so am interested in the answer: I have the correct poncetastic soft twine though: this which I bought at .....(yes, poncey flower show)
www.twool.co.uk/index.html

I have put photo of the pea frame on my profile, it s more m than M shaped so the string goes from side to side. I don't think you'll be able to see the actual string as the pic is so small, even though it is bright green and from poundland blush

Last year I just flopped the taller peas over the first rung of string and sort of teased their tendrils around it. The shorter ones then climbed up the the plants next to them. This means they scramble all over each other rather thn going up in straight lines,which makes me twitchy... But I had a great show of flowers last year so am trying not to fuss too much with them. This is the first time I've tried mange tout.

cantspel Sat 01-Jun-13 00:51:12

nightshade your wedding flowers sound lovely.

Rhubarb sorry your dream greenhouse is on the back burner but i am sure you will get it one day and in the meantime cake will make you feel better.

funnyperson my son tells everyone i am a mad plant lady and wonders how i can spend 2 hours every sunday morning wandering around the same garden centre.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sat 01-Jun-13 09:12:16

Saturday morning, first cup of tea of the day and GW, perfect ! I noted the music whilst the things for the week was on, the casual way Monty threw his coat over the wheelbarrow handles and the shots of Nigel and Monty strolling through the garden and did grin a bit, but enjoyed it. I do feel Plog could take lessons from Nigel in how to be the perfect garden dog.

Pretty much all my seedlings are in now, except the Cerinthe which has only just germinated. Plus I need to get calendula from the allotment to try again and establish on a raised bank next to the coreopsis that has just gone in. My bluebells are going over and the front garden is struggling a bit with the absence of choisya and rhoderdendron flowers due to someone attacking them with a hedge trimmer last year. However Artic white clematis. My new Harlow Carr and Tranquility roses plus an established Queen Elizabeth climber in with honeysuckle are all waiting to step into the breach.

Pleased with how the newly planted back garden is going and very much looking forward to the Tree man coming this week. Jobs today ar planting up my newly painted trough and the magnolia plus wondering along to an alpine plant sale.

I put sticks in for my peas to scramble over. The first batch went in yesterday, it works well but does look a bit like a dead hedge in the veg plot until the peas are tall enough to cover it. My purple beans go up poles and seem to do so without too much help but the arches (runners and sweet pea) get additional zig zag string and that's where I focus my meddling assistance.

I want to know why Nigel doesn't chase Monty's chickens.

A very frustrating day's gardening here...

I wanted to make ready a 4 metre bed, next to the new fence, for the new tree peony border. I had to dig over and take out some of the the clay soil as well as any remaining brambles, mark the edges then dig in compost, fertiliser and then cover with bark. I did most of the heavy work then got really fucked off with it so DH ended up doing all the fun bits hmm

I couldn't even put the peonies in as I'm still waiting for the mycorrhizal fungi to arrive. I am presuming this it's a good idea to use this with peonies??!

I am also having a wobble about my planting scheme.... I have a baby magnolia which I was planning on planting jutting out of he border, half way down the garden, with some ground cover roses. But now I am scared this is going to shoot up into a massive tree and am thinking it might be more sensible to grow it in a container on the patio at the end instead? But then it would never last the winter and I do want it to live. I wish I'd never bought it now, bloody lidl and their bargain plants"

In my experience magnolias don't 'shoot up' at any great speed. Very slow growing. I'd plant it out, it could take 20 years to get to 2m tall! I kill all ours anyway sad

HumphreyCobbler Sat 01-Jun-13 21:16:48

magnolias in my garden tend to stagnate rather than shoot up. I agree with Bertha, you should go for it.

Put in lots of plant supports today. Also moved all my scented geraniums onto the verandah (these have been nursed back to life after morning sickness neglect and are looking extremely healthy, planted crimson nasturtiums in the round tin bath we bought at Malvern and fed lots of pots that needed it. DH did the mowing and edging and drilled holes in various pots. We now have an awful lot of pots in this garden. They take a lot of looking after, we must be mad.

We are about to watch GW. Am deeply impressed that we have someone who KNOWS MONTY on this thread grin.

Humph, once you've watched it compare yourself to the batty cottage couple then decide whether you have too many pots grin

Bearleigh Sat 01-Jun-13 21:46:01

I have to watch GW on the quiet. MiniPSB (13 ) has this idea I am in lurve with Monty, so he hangs around going "Mont-eeee, Mont-eeeeeeee", in an initially sweet, but ultimately annoying, way.

I cleared some beds in the front of dead bulb foliage and lolling Euphorbia Wulfenii branches, creating lots of room and planted out some plants, and sowed some seeds (in desperation, to fill likely gaps) (should have left some of those Euphorbia branches!) I did discover the perennial peas that I grew from seed last year have survived winter. They have only just come though, so it's a good thing I haven't been weeding much before, or I might have dug them up.

funnyperson Sat 01-Jun-13 22:10:26

Yes I think plant out the Magnolia- always remembering the Monty technique of digging a big hole and filling with good compost to give it a good start. I've kept my M. Stellata in a pot, the M. Soulanganea we planted out in dad's garden last year didn't survive but it was a small plant and next time we try I am going to either nurture a small plant or buy a big one.
I used the rhizomatous fungi to plant the tree peony. It seemed like a good idea as it arrived 'bare root' like bare root roses do. I expect it will take years to flower.
I planted in lots of plants today which have been hanging about in pots: Astrantia (Venice and Shaggy....again: but big healthy plants from Chelsea), Martagon Lilies, Nectaroscordum, Clematis Mrs Cholmondely. I still dont have enough clematis. The bees like the geraniums in flower at the moment.
My garden colours are woodland shady garden colours: purples, blues, clarets, greens, pinks and ivory.
At mum's house we are beginning to plant in bolder blocks of colour so that dad can see, and today we planted a variegated leaved red Azalea which is a lovely plant and will have colour in the Autumn.

funnyperson Sat 01-Jun-13 22:13:05

We had nettle quiche today, and rocket and salad from the garden: very satisfying.
But my rhubarb has gone all floppy sad.

Nettle quiche recipe please funny smile

funnyperson Sat 01-Jun-13 23:18:37

Here you go, bertha
www.hedgerowharvest.org.uk/hedge-recipes/item/116-nettle-quiche

I never bake my quiche pastry blind, but I make shortcrust pastry (its quite nice to add finely chopped fresh garden sage and some salt to the pastry mix), put it in the fridge while doing the filling and then roll it out and put the uncooked quiche filling on top and bake it all at once. I also add in some cheddar cheese to this particular filling recipe as otherwise it can taste soggy and custardy rather than like a quiche if you see what I mean.

HumphreyCobbler Sun 02-Jun-13 10:42:17

I may not be QUITE as batty as the couple on GW but I have just counted the pots in the garden. There are 78 shock. That is ridiculous.

MousyMouse Sun 02-Jun-13 11:27:14

I was thinking of their water bill. they are probably not on a meter.
a water butt cannot get enough water for all these plants!

funnyperson Sun 02-Jun-13 11:54:15

Lol at 78 pots that makes me feel better. The thing is I planted out half the delphinium seedlings 2 weeks ago and they are all gone (slugs or birds or whatever) whereas the ones I didn't plant out are in their pots still growing nice healthy root systems, so I think it is still possible with this relatively cold year to plant out too early, so that's why the number of pots is higher than usual in my garden this year anyway.
Hostas have survived the winter and are coming up: yay! Acanthus didn't survive though, neither did the tree lilies. I can't understand it as Jasmine is thriving happily in the very same space.
There are loads of buds on the roses. This is going to be a fabulous year for roses. That mulch in the spring did a lot of good.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sun 02-Jun-13 17:29:44

78 pots is on the very impressive side of things! I've just been dealing with nettles at the allotment as my nettle patch was getting our of hand and I was worried a tourist would get stung. Still can't quite get my head about having tourists wondering randomly. I knew there would be some but originally it was going to be certain times only and now it seems as if it is most of the day. I think I managed to look unapproachable today so was left in peace.

My plot is transformed in a day from very weedy to not too bad at all. In went sweetcorn, a pumpkin, courgettes, spaghetti squash, lettuce and tomatillo plus I moved some Oca to the Oca spot. Not doing them in pots again, they work fine chucked into the ground. The strawberry crop looks like it will be excellent as long as the animals don't have them. The raspberries are making a bid for plot domination and the 2 rhubarb plants are massive. Not so good is that birds have eaten my cabbage and kale and rabbits have been munching the tops or the shallots. Seems when the allotments were done the rabbits got fenced into the site instead of out hmm

nightshade1 Sun 02-Jun-13 17:43:17

rhihaf it certainly was, lots of candles in cosy warm flagged kitchen. mince pies waiting in the stove and I recall very potent potato vodka on one occasion!!

I spent quite a bit of time there being friends with his children (and every school trip seemed to entail walking there to see something or other!)

well yesterday I asked OH to help me mark out the new borders in the front garden, went inside to cook the childrens dinner and came back out to all the turf stripped off the and piled in the corner so the are all ready to dig! grin there is a reason im marrying him.
Today we went to a wildlife rescue place handily attached to a garden centre I had a nosey but only came back with 1 (reduced) fig tree - its only about 18" tall but I need to find a big pot suitable for it to go on the patio I think.

funnyperson Sun 02-Jun-13 20:48:45

I have been doing a lot of sitting about in the tranquil garden today and remain eternally thankful that I am not famous. I dont think I would want school trips to my garden. This is bad. My sense of ambition and desire to is definitely decreasing with age.

That said, Monty's step-over apples were v impressive! Mine have failed miserably to be step-overs and are growing in a sort of anyhow shape. I must get my head round the technique at some point. Did you get a 'brown turkey' fig : thats all there seem to be in the shop.

So, how did you plan your Chelsea garden? What were the highs and the lows?

Rhubarbgarden Sun 02-Jun-13 20:58:20

78 pots! <faints at the idea of the watering>. I thought my collection at the old house was out of control but now I feel like an amateur.

Not much gardening this weekend as we had guests. Bit of weeding, bit of edging, bit of strimming, bit of ripping out more snow berry bushes which are growing out of the orchard walls.

Then I made a stranger very happy by Freecycling the old death trap greenhouse at the bottom of the garden. As my new Alitex lean-to greenhouse is not now imminent I toyed with the idea of sorting out the existing one, but it wasn't safety glass so would have had to be re-glazed, the base was all weird and pot-holey and the position was a problem being too far from the house and underneath mature trees. But mainly I am always wary of temporary measures in case they become permanent features. I'm more likely to get my lean-to if I have no greenhouse at all.

Anyway, like I say it made one local gardener very happy indeed. He had it dismantled and removed within 24 hours of me posting the ad. smile

HumphreyCobbler Sun 02-Jun-13 21:40:10

It was a heavenly day. I have just cut some flowers for the house - mainly sweet rocket and aquilegia with catmint and one huge, pink oriental poppy.

DH is still out there, watering the pots grin.

I have sat about in the garden a fair bit too. It was lovely and is starting to smell gorgeous. I also pricked out the lime green nicotiana. Tomorrow I am going to pot on a lot of fox gloves, sow some wallflowers and holly hocks and water lots of pots

MousyMouse Sun 02-Jun-13 21:47:36

yes lovely today.
not too warm not too cold.
the dc went on a snail hunt at silly o'clock early in the morning. 1p per snail. I am poor now smile the dc got enough money to buy themselves and ice cream from the corner shop.
we went to the queen's orchard in greenwich park which is now open for the public on some days.
beautiful.
I was able to show the dc some nice veg and fruit trees. it is still very new and a bit bare but can be lovely in coming seasons.

rhihaf Mon 03-Jun-13 14:01:58

I love hearing about everyone's gardens, 'tis a joy!

Secret Garden update: cut down a huge scraggly conifer of some kind from the hedge that runs along the bottom of what used to be a rose garden (they were all dead or past it, tangled into brambles, so a JCB just cleared the whole patch) and unearthed two beautiful apple tress! They have exploded into bloom - you can almost hear them breathing again (trumpet fanfare)

Planted up the walled/raised bed in front of the old greenhouse with thyme, mint, sage, chives and Welsh onion and cut off the dead bits of the peach tree in said greenhouse. Also washed the glass - what a difference!

The Clematis that has scrambled up the lilac is beginning to flower and looks incredible.

We have decided to leave the other walled bed (where the lilac is, at the back) full of bluebells and ground elder blush, OR ruthlessly dig it up and plant something like cotoneaster (can't spell it)...it has to be low maintenace as it'll be a holiday let.

How does GW go so quickly?! Whenever I watch it, I just start settling into it adn it ends!!!

rhihaf Mon 03-Jun-13 14:05:45

Sorry for the long post thought by splitting it into two it wouldn't bore everyone so much

In our own garden:
Planted out nasturtiums, delphiniums, hollyhocks, poppies and some other perennials that form a blanket with tiny yellow flowers, and one with bright red star-shaped flowers... My Poundland anenomes are glorious! Bright pink flowers bobbing about in the breeze grin, they are just so cheerful.

Also sowed some spring onions, garlic chives, radish and rocket. Feeling at one with nature, been walking around barefoot with the hosepipe and squirty thing on the end, admiring the apple blossom and listening to the blackbirds.

The avenue of Rowan down to the orchard is also in bloom and the perfume is FANTASTIC! Enjoy your gardens! flowers

HumphreyCobbler Mon 03-Jun-13 15:48:00

How romantic rhihaf - discovering apple trees like that. It sounds wonderful.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Mon 03-Jun-13 16:12:12

Just back from a few days away and haven't quite managed to keep up with the thread but I gather we have someone here who has met Monty.

::curtseys::

In my absence, several of the plants in the garden seem to have doubled in size and two roses - Gloriana in the front garden and Darcey Bussell in the back - have come into bloom. Clematis Wada's Primrose is doing her lovely thing in the fig tree and the foxes have done their hideous pooping thing all over the lawn.

I must count my pots but it'll be nowhere near 78, especially after my recent cull.

I love to hear everyone's gardening news too, keep it coming!

teta Mon 03-Jun-13 16:34:04

Sorry to ask these rather pedantic questions:How do i stop my dog weeing against the big pots on my patio?.Secondly how can i clean the dog wee off the sandstone without damaging all my clematis and roses?I will be ever grateful to anyone who's knowledgeable about these things[every time i google this i get a Trojan worm on my computer].

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Mon 03-Jun-13 18:11:21

I don't have a dog, but I've read about "dog rocks" that you put in the dog's water bowl to make their wee less toxic. Otherwise, I use Ecover washing up liquid for fox poo-related cleaning. I used to use Jeyes fluid but am worried too about damaging/staining my lovely new patio.

MousyMouse Mon 03-Jun-13 18:21:27

I use bio washing powder for fox-related cleaning.
apparently the enzymes 'eat' the proteins.
do you have a jet washer? maybe scrub the worst areas with washing solution and then hose it down. (and don't let the dog near the pots again?)

WynkenBlynkenandNod Mon 03-Jun-13 18:54:10

Don't know about on pots but in the house Simple Solution is great for dealing with animal stains. We were told at puppy classes <eyes Plog who is 4 today in a wistful manner > that tomato ketchup is good for fox poo.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Mon 03-Jun-13 19:58:55

Ooh, that's a very handy tip about bio washing liquid. I don't use it on our clothes and bedding but keep some because it is handy for burned-on marks on saucepans.

Don't you just wonder how someone discovered that tomato ketchup is good for fox poo? ::mind boggling::

teta Mon 03-Jun-13 21:56:28

Thank you all.Dd has found a bottle of simple solution.I will try that tomorrow before the bio powder.He pees on top of the bird poos along the edge of out patio though as well[3 inches from the clematis roots] so am very worried about hurting my plants,not to mention the pale stone patio[which is unsealed].He seems to mainly do this in the morning even though i send him into another part of the garden.

HumphreyCobbler Mon 03-Jun-13 22:27:44

Right, so DH has bought himself another a big copper pot for his birthday. It is going to go on a corner that is quite shady. I want something to go in it, does anyone have any ideas? I think something with red/purple foliage would look nice with the copper.

this pot thing is only going to get worse...

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Mon 03-Jun-13 22:36:46

Red/purple foliage may get lost in a gloomy corner, but I am very fond of this (although I'm now wondering whether mine really is Red Dragon because it gets much taller than 50 cm).

HumphreyCobbler Mon 03-Jun-13 22:41:54

That looks really good. I love the different colours. It isn't too dark in that spot, just shaded for about half of the day.

The thalictrum aquilegiafolium is doing well here Maud, how about yours? I do love that plant.

I wrote a really boring long post but it's gone pfft!

I will plant out the magnolia, thank you for restoring my faith in my original dream garden.

I made up my new peony border on Sunday, which was v satisfying after all the hard ok it's taken to get to this stage. I have six bargain lidl tree peonies (cerise, pink & white) but held back one in quarantine as I'm worried it's suffering from peony wilt (or more likely too much googling). I dug in lots of horse manure nod used rootgrow, o am hoping for great things.

I also put in a couple of a plants which were on deaths door failing to thrive elsewhere in he garden: an azalea (at the shady end in a big hole full of erracious compost) and a clematis baron villwhotsit (on a homemade wigwam). I made a few mistakes, with putting things in the wrong place and choosing plants which were destined to fail in my soil, last year. Hopefully being part of this thread will make this summer more successful!

HumphreyCobbler Mon 03-Jun-13 22:45:46

Just been googling different images of it. It is a really lovely plant. DH thinks it is fab too. I think I will order it

HumphreyCobbler Mon 03-Jun-13 22:47:24

You have been busy NotAnother - I love the sound of the peony border.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Mon 03-Jun-13 22:58:07

The foliage is gorgeous - the eventual flowers are a non-event, though. I have it growing behind euphorbia Chameleon. When the geum Mrs Bradshaw nearby comes into flower it will be eye-popping!

I think only 2 of the 3 thalictrum delavayi that I bought from Parkers have appeared this year. I am just coming to terms with the fact that, as my huge lovage plant has not surfaced by now, it is dead rather than just delayed.

Oh, and what do we all think of this? Just before we went away, my NDN (not the clematis hacker, the other one) said he would like to come in to do some fox -proofing. I - assuming he meant to do something to strengthen the fence - said he would be welcome to do so, as soon as we got home. I have just found some bricks laid along the bottom of the fence, on our side. They have been placed on top of some of the plants. In any event, they will be totally ineffectual because the foxes will just shove them aside (I know because they have managed to shift bigger barriers than that). AIBU to be a bit miffed?

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Mon 03-Jun-13 23:00:51

Oh yes, NotAnother, that sounds fabulous. What did you use to make your wigwam? I am always very jealous of people who have a ready supply of hazel poles as bamboo just doesn't look the same.

What do we think of sowing more seed now? I have just found some forgotten seed in the kitchen.

Thank you Humphrey - we still have a way to go so posting on here is keeping my motivation levels up!

I love the sound of 78 pots too, it certainly makes me feel less guilty about my pot habit! If I had a copper one I'd grow something slugs & snails loved do that I could taunt them (ornamental lettuce?). For years I only had windowsills and doorsteps to garden so pots & hanging baskets are my specialty. Mine are currently blooming with violas, pansies, lily and lobelia.

I am going to try another lot of cosmos from seed tomorrow, as I have only one remaining plant from my first attempt. I lost a few at each stage, it was like watching the cosmos X factor grin

I would be fricking livid Maud. If your NDN wanted to lay bricks, why couldn't he do it his side? It doesn't sound like they're cemented in? If not, you're right the fixes will have them out of the way in no time.

The wigwam is just bamboo & string. I want a posh willow trellis, but I have to prove to myself the plant is worth investing in first. I seriously thought i had killed it by planting it in shade but found an inch of new growth before our new fence went in. It's grown to about 8 inches in a pot but now looks much happier in its new home. I am ridiculously excited to see it rising from the dead smile

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Mon 03-Jun-13 23:31:14

Thank you, NotAnother. Frankly, I'm inclined to give him back his bricks and - smiling sweetly all the while - explain that as the foxes have been able to tunnel under upended paving slabs and shove my other fox-defences aside, they are not going to be deterred by bricks laid uncemented on top of the jasmine soil.

There is nothing better than seeing an ailing plant return to health and vigour.

HumphreyCobbler Tue 04-Jun-13 08:28:35

shock Maud. How annoying. I would certainly have a word with him.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 04-Jun-13 09:23:30

I've just been out to move the offending bricks and found another crushed plant underneath. I am fond of my NDN and do not want to get into a row but I am so cross now.

HumphreyCobbler Tue 04-Jun-13 10:03:12

I am not surprised. I mean. REALLY. Has he no sense?

Evening all, lovely gardening day for those of us lucky enough to be at home. I have the celebratorywine on the go already as, while the DC were in the paddling pool, I managed make up my magnolia bed. it was really tough clay soil so I have dug in some manure, multi purpose and erracious compost just where the magnolia went in. It's a half moon shape, jutting out if the border before the peonies, and I've covered it with bark and flanked the magnolia with a ground cover rose and the remaining ailing peony. The idea is the rose will eventually ramble to fill the half moon and the magnolia will rise up out of it.

Directly in front of it is a huge mud patch which I now need to work out how to flatten and sow lawn. I did what I could today by stomping around on it in my wellies. Unfortunately DD2 (2yr) kept trying to help me, without the wellies!!

I probably needed more grit/compost/digging to sort the clay - but I'm so chuffed I did what I could. I've ordered some compost bins from the council, so hopefully next year I should have some more to dig in.

This leaves just the last third of the border yet to tame. There's already a mature hebe, lilac & quince, but also rock hard patch of clay approx 1m x 3 m in between. Any ideas what I can do with it? Will a hydrangea grow in clay?

I have sewn another packet of cosmos seeds in trays. Shall I bring them in and put them on the windowsill or shall I leave them outside under a cloche? I'm tempted to bring them in as I think the slugs got my last lot but I want them to be hardy.

I'm so glad I can post on here, I'm turning into such a gardening nerd..,blush

Can anyone tell me why I've got a baby lupin growing in my veg plot? How did that happen?

Out of interest I counted my pots whilst watering earlier. 70! And there i was marvelling at Humphrey's pot count! That does include 10 pots at the front of the house nurturing last year's self-seeded lavender. As they're going to be there for a while yet as i can't decide where they're going I thought it would be cheating if I didn't count them.

CuttedUpPear Tue 04-Jun-13 21:38:27

I thought I'd pop in and say hi. After a long (and sad) winter I am loving being in my garden. Everything has comeup at once.

I've got saxifrage flowering endlessly in the cracks in the paving and my new Rosa 'Gertrude Jekyl' is looking happier this year, although it still doesn't seem to realise that it is supposed to be a climber and so is engaged in mortal combat at ground level with a day lily.

Aquilegias everywhere, and it seems to be all the dusky pink ones are in the back (sunny) borders while the navy ones have set up shop in the front (shady).

I've potted up my gingko that I grew from seed and that really wants to grow in the ground - but not yet, I may move house again.

Meanwhile all the greenhouse seedlings are looking v small still because I started them too late due to work stuff.

HumphreyCobbler Tue 04-Jun-13 21:44:04

Hello CuttedUpPear. So sorry to hear that your winter has been sad. I am glad your garden is giving you solace smile.

hehe Bertha. Those damn pots just creep up on you..

MousyMouse Tue 04-Jun-13 22:08:39

after the blue, now yellow is coming.
lots and lots of buttercups and my mature rose (bright yellow flowers) is about to bloom.
haven't seen many honey bees in the garden, but lots of bumblebees in all sorts of different sizes are bumbling along.
I only have 4 pots in action atm but am looking for a pretty one for the front garden.

MousyMouse Tue 04-Jun-13 22:09:32

oh, and hello cuttedup

CuttedUpPear Wed 05-Jun-13 06:58:15

Hello Humphrey and Mouse.
The garden is good - all this sunshine is helping me and every morning I open the window around 6am so the birdsong can disturb me smile

One of my sadnesses is that DP and I live apart and he won't come to live with me. Which means that if I want us to have a life together I would have to leave my garden. It's been ten years in the making and I'm sure that you lot will understand my distress at the thought of leaving it behind!

Of course I can take things with me but there's a limit, not least due to the fact that an old back injury is getting worse and limiting my potential to dig up, lift and move large plants.

Because of this I am also having to seriously consider giving up professional gardening now, which worries me (financially and emotionally).

I hope nobody minds me posting this kind of personal stuff on this thread.

echt Wed 05-Jun-13 08:22:20

Of course not, CuttedUpPear, post away. Sorry to hear about the DP/garden impasse, and more so to hear about your back.

<was contemplating saying LTB in a Mumsnet-stylee, then realised the whole point was that DP isn't resident. I'll get me coat>grin

CUP all the best in this, and hope for the happiest result for you.

I love to hear about the spring/summer English plants, though seasons here are swift, moving from winter to heat in an instant, so the temperate plants do less well.

On the upside, I can grow lettuce, all herbs and pak choi all year round outside; they're just a bit slower in winter.

HumphreyCobbler Wed 05-Jun-13 09:55:42

Oh CUP, no wonder you feel sad. I certainly do understand your attachment to your garden. You just cannot replace that time. I do hope it works out. It must also be so hard with back problems when you are a professional gardener.

cantspel Wed 05-Jun-13 10:59:04

The garden is looking lovely after 4 days of decent sun, but my water butts are depleting fast so a little over night rain would be good.

Not done much in the garden the last few days as our new cat has arrived. It was my nans cat but she is not well and so cant look after it anymore. My brother transported it from london to us down on the south coast on saturday and since then it is busy finding places to hide. My other cat is very friendly and wants to make friends but she hisses and spits at him. Then where the bath panel is off in the bathroom (we had a leak that has just been repaired and i need to get a new floor laid before putting the panel back on) she got under the floorboards and from there found her way through to the eves of the house. Took me all day to get her out again. She is a beautiful British blue but is not used to other cats or living in a home with a lot going on. I think it could take a while to settle her and it is eating into my gardening time.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Wed 05-Jun-13 10:59:17

Hello CUP. Was it you who added cutted-up pear to the MN lexicon?

I did laugh at echt's reply but, truthfully, I do sympathise with how you feel about the prospect of leaving your garden. I could fairly happily leave this house, but the garden I made from scratch over many years and it would be an awful wrench to leave it. I am sorry too that your back problems are putting your professional work in jeopardy.

Do feel free to post about such things here - although most of our gossip is about plants and gardens we do roam a little wider on occasions.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Wed 05-Jun-13 11:02:53

CUP, that is tough. If you do move can you enlist help to move what you want ? If DP won't move then he can at least help you move the bits you want. We've been here for ten years and I definitely get the attachment.

My gardenis still very much work in progress. It's actually got three chain saw wielding men in it at this very moment. Well they are on another tea break actually, a long tea break. But they are here. The huge conifer is on its way out finally and will make a big difference. As will the other tall trees beng topped. My Harlow Carr rose looks like it might flower today in honour of the occasion.

Notanother, I'm not sure bout hydrangea and clay I'm afraid. But me being me I'd have a go, just dig a big hole and chuck lots of compost in. With the cosmos I'd try to leave them out but if you think they got slugged then it probably is better to do them inside until they get bigger.

envy at Echt's all year round veg crops !

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Wed 05-Jun-13 11:08:47

::Arf:: at Well they are on another tea break actually, a long tea break. But they are here.

CuttedUpPear Wed 05-Jun-13 12:33:24

Hi Maud. It wasn't me who wrote the Cutted Up Pear thread but it made me laugh so much that I stole the term for my nickname smile

Yes it's a nightmare with my back at the moment. I used to be able do so much (which probably put me where I am now). The future is a scary place - but I think it will push me more into garden design, which I'm qualified to do but have been neglecting over the past few years.

However I've seen people on here saying they don't think there's a living to be made in it - not for all of us designers anyway.

What do people here think?

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Wed 05-Jun-13 13:08:48

Hmm, that's tricky, I think.

I have a good friend who is a garden designer and admit I toyed with the idea of retraining as such myself during my ML. I didn't because I thought the market here (reasonably affluent corner of sarf London) was overcrowded with mummies-who-had-retrained-as-garden-designers. From what I can see locally, there is plenty of work for people who are well-trained, experienced (word of mouth recommendations help a lot) and will also do the planting and some practical stuff (like putting up trellis, not so much the very heavy stuff). I think the recession probably has shaken the done-a-weekend-course-dilettantes out of the market, though.

Where are you based, CUP?

cantspel Wed 05-Jun-13 15:30:51

Sorry you are having a hard time of it at the mo cup.

can you google your area and garden design to see what the competion is like in your area?

Rhubarbgarden Wed 05-Jun-13 18:15:42

Hi CUP. That's really tough when you reach an impasse like that with a partner re where to live. We had it to an extent. I didn't want to leave Sussex and move to London, but I ended up doing so. I pined. I pined for six years. In the end DH relented and we moved. It's rough when somebody has to compromise like that; it's hard to find a solution. And even though it was me who was driving the move, I still found it a wrench to leave the London garden that I'd created. I keep wanting to go back and peep over the hedge to see how it's doing and make sure they prune things at the right time.

Starting a new garden is fun though! Could you get excited by that maybe, as a consolation?

It was me who was talking on the other thread about there being no money in garden design. I do think you can make it work though, if you are very business minded (I'm not) and disciplined. I know people who do. There is money to be made on the plants - buy them wholesale and sell them to the clients at a profit.

Sorry to break off mid flow - dd has just done a poo in the bath. I will continue...

Rhubarbgarden Wed 05-Jun-13 19:30:55

Poo incident dealt with.

Avoid working for friends and family. They want it on the cheap, you end up endlessly re-drawing for them because they have no concept of your time being money or that "can you just twiddle that bit there/add a path etc etc is another whole day working for nothing. They don't value what you've done and complain when their newly planted border doesn't provide an immediate screen even though they would only fork out for the smallest plants... Oh listen to me I've gone into rant mode...

There is plenty of work out there though. I am still grudgingly accepting it turning it down even though I have never advertised and have only done a couple of gardens over the past three years since starting a family. Word of mouth is a powerful force.

I think the bottom line is make sure you charge enough. Don't fiddle around endlessly adjusting designs. Get them done. Get a good builder on side for the hard landscaping. Choose your clients carefully and don't be afraid to turn down work if you get the feeling that clients are going to argue to toss of every figure or change their minds constantly. Actually, changing their minds is fine, provided you've made it clear to them that each change made to the drawing will be charged.

Rhubarbgarden Wed 05-Jun-13 19:34:18

argue the toss

HumphreyCobbler Wed 05-Jun-13 21:24:57

first rose out on the rose walk - Mme Alfred Carriere. Too high up to smell it though.

funnyperson Wed 05-Jun-13 22:12:56
Rhubarbgarden Wed 05-Jun-13 22:38:12

Roses out here too today, climbing around the French doors that open onto the orchard. I think they may be Gertrude Jekyll. They look lovely against the old brick of the wall.

CuttedUpPear Wed 05-Jun-13 23:00:37

Rhubarb I've worked in garden design for 8 years so I'm aware of the pitfalls. (I usually say to clients - be careful pointing your finger around asking for more stuff; every time you point it costs £100!)

I give friends/family an hour free consultation with a back of the envelope design done there and then. If they want to do it themselves, fine. We've had a chat and a cup of tea. If they want me to do it, good, I'll price the job up and we do it on a clear schedule from there.

But jobs have been running dry in the last few years. All my work has been word of mouth and I've never had to advertise so far. I do events work as well so I've had another career to attend to. (Which is actually very similar in format). Therefore, I think, the design work has fallen off.

I'm thinking of making the leap and spending money on a website (gulp).
It's less of a question about how many other garden designers are in my area, more how many potential clients are out there?
I live in rural West Gloucestershire btw.

Funny - Thanks for that link, I'm really enjoying Victoria's blog.

Wynken - thank you for the cosmos advice. I nearly bought a tray of ready grown ones this morning but I shall try to resist and raise the seeds.

Cuttedup - sorry to hear about your back... But oh to be a garden designer! Do you have a signature style?

My roses are out too grin I have peach coloured a patio rose rose, in a pot with violas, right by my front door and this morning there were 2 mini blooms there to greet me. I bought it when it was looking a bit cheap sad at the end of last season so it's lovely to see it thrive.

I had a lovely morning at work today. I had to see a tree nursery client, which is always nice anyhow, but this chap had a sideline hobby of competing Nationally in veg competitions. So, instead of doing what I was strictly there to do, I was indoctrinated into the madness science of growing enormous and perfect vegetables. What a wacky world! There were cucumbers growing in Perspex tubes, carrots and parsnips growing in 200L drums of sand, leeks growing in pipe lagging, kohl rabi growing on miniature stilts (which I may actually try with mine). And the volumes were incredible, 60 tomato plants just to ensure 12 perfect tomatoes! I was shown photos of carrots that were 45inches long, leeks the size of a leg, just incredible.

HumphreyCobbler Thu 06-Jun-13 22:01:12

That sounds amazing Bertha. I would have loved to have seen all of that. Loving the kohl rabi on stilts! It reminds me that I keep meaning to attach a milk bottle to a teeny apple so that it grows inside the bottle and I can amaze the dc.

Apparently kohl rabi have a habit of flopping over as they grow (which mine are doing - I'm a first time kohl rabi grower so didn't know this was normal), so, if you put three plants sticks around the foliage to prop it up then when the bulb bit forms it works its way up and ends up sitting on the sticks like stilts. Ot something like that anyway. Very clever. smile

I'm not going to start growing carrots in drums though...

CuttedUpPear Thu 06-Jun-13 23:17:37

What do they feed them on to make them grow so big? Is all chemicals? Or good old Guiness?

Hi. smile

I was on the old thread but dropped off because I fail.

I love this thread.

I haven't counted my pots but I have a ridiculous number - we had a balcony and they just sort of accumulated. I've got one of those half-barrel things with a magnolia in it, plus a couple of olive trees and a bay tree in similar-sized plastic pots. We did nearly kill ourselves getting everything in the car when we moved here. grin

I am so jealous of people with roses. There is an interesting-looking rose growing all over the back fence from the neighbour's side, which is covered in buds (it looks as if it might be something like rambling rector, not sure). But it won't open!

I do however have a gorgeous pale-pink peony that is flowering right by the kitchen window and the smell is just amazing. It's making me very happy.

Just catching up and saw it was wynken asking about the magnolia in the half-barrel, so will be more specific.

Mine was labelled as stellata and it was winter. Come spring, it became very obvious it wasn't stellata. I think it's grandiflora. So, whoops! It's been in the barrel for well over three years now and it is doing absolutely fine, though obviously not growing bigger at the rate I think it naturally would. It always has around 10 flowers, which is not many, but I think this is to do with the fact that where I used to live, the squirrels would eat the buds.

I don't feed it anything (I probably should), and I've never taken it out and replaced compose (again, probably should, but it's a total bugger to move). It does obviously need quite a lot of water.

But that's it. And I reckon if it works with one of the big magnolias, it should be fine for the others!

I'll try and put a pic on my profile in a mo.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Fri 07-Jun-13 10:03:36

That's fantastic LRD, thank you very much. Mine is labelled Stellata but need to wait until spring. I'm gong to shove it into a very large pot and let it get on with it. One of the offer cheapie magnolias has started to come into leaf. I'm definitely going to have to give one away, I do not have room for 3 .Sticking with the school I think as DS leaving this year. It would be lovely To think we might go past in future years and see it in blossom and remember DS's time there. The head was asking for donations of shrubs etc, it's just a large shrub!

I still don't have a totally open rose, the Harlow Carr is the closest. My Alfred Carriere is in year 2, lots of growth but no sign of flowers. Someone gave me a split bit of peony last year. I thought I'd killedit but a leaf has appeared. My non flowering one is still just that but i've put in the new offer bare root tree peony so will have to see what future years bring.

I love Magnolias. smile I am jealous of you having three but they'd be equally beautiful in school grounds of course.

I've had to look up Harlow Carr, but that looks lovely - I can imagine the smell would be amazing.

envy

HumphreyCobbler Fri 07-Jun-13 11:26:42

I have a standard stellata in a half barrel - it is the only magnolia in the garden that thrives. It has really good quality soil and we top dress it sometimes.

I love this thread too LRD. It works as a diary for me, I can look back and see how far the garden has come. I also really appreciate being able to ask questions and get suggestions from experienced gardeners.

Sunny but very windy here today. The cottage borders are looking lovely with lupins, oriental poppies, aquilegia in every colour from deep purple through pink to white, some purple, white and blue iris, sweet rocket, verbascum, peony buds and Young Lycidas flowering. There is a lot of green foliage to set everything off. I am really pleased with it.

We have been eating salad from the greenhouse every day this week. Yummy rocket is the best.

I'm eating garden rocket too. smile

This thread is motivating me to keep planting things.

Your cottage borders sound gorgeous. I love oriental poppies.

HumphreyCobbler Fri 07-Jun-13 11:46:59

They are great. It is funny, I remember NOT liking them before I had a garden, I have no idea why. They are just so huge and spectacular. I have one really wonderful cerise pink one. I will try and take some root cuttings of this one, it really is an excellent colour.

Can you take a picture? I would love to see.

There's a few things like that for me - I didn't really 'get' acers when I saw them in other people's gardens, then I realized it's the way they look in different lights that's so appealing.

I am currently being jealous of all the people around here who have gorgeous irises. I have some siberica, and a white one that doesn't look as if it's going to flower this year.

What are everyone else's favourites? And recommendations about how best to help them grow/which ones are least likely to die on me?

MousyMouse Fri 07-Jun-13 12:03:45

the figs the figs!
have just discovered that the figs that I left on the tree over winter have balloned in size and are actually looking nice and big and juicy. so hopefully we will be able to get some fruits this year.

have sown some bee friendly flowers, a second pack will be sown when these ones are nearly in flower so the bees have something in the late summer.

the lettuce is a bit of an dissapointment, the seed pack said 'seed to plate in 2 weeks' but they are still tiny 3 weeks on.

Anyone near enough to London who's an RHS member fancy meeting up on a Tuesday or Wednesday in June to go to Chelsea Physic Garden? Free entry for primary card holder as RHS partner gardens this month.

Also, we set up a Facebook group last year for sharing pictures - it should be searchable, it's called Osteospermumsnet I think. Has gone a bit dormant...

WynkenBlynkenandNod Fri 07-Jun-13 16:24:56

I'm taking notes of what you all have flowering at the moment as the fronts gone a bit quiet until the roses and clematis comes out. I swear someone has superglued my flower buds together, all my neighbours have far more out. Would love to plant lupine but have heard they give bad hayfever and DS is off school today after having the most horrendous attack of hayfever at cubs last night. I thought someone punched him.

I'd love some oriental poppies. The pot I planted last year hasn't survived the winter. Jealous of figs and Irises. Had forgotten about the FB page. Would be good to get more on there.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Fri 07-Jun-13 16:52:12

Have just put some pucs up. Sorry, got a bit carried away...

cantspel Fri 07-Jun-13 17:31:02

Just searched for Osteospermumsnet on facebook and nothing is coming up. I was going to spam you with my garden pictures

I checked, it's a 'secret' group. probably need to be invited or something... Will check and pm you!

HumphreyCobbler Fri 07-Jun-13 17:37:36

It would be great to share more pictures - I don't do a profile on here. Will go and put some up now actually. Can we make it an open group?

Can I come on the FB page too please? GW on. I'll be back later.

Bearleigh Fri 07-Jun-13 21:45:40

Rakeabed, I would love to go to CPG but as I work could only manage an afternoon from say 16.30 onwards. I have never been and have always wanted to.

Rhubarbgarden Fri 07-Jun-13 23:12:21

I'd like to join the FB group too please if I may?

The garden is starting to show that is more than just a collection of overblown shrubs and badly positioned conifers. Some alliums, weigela, sweet William, clematis Montana and a couple of unidentified perennials are all injecting some colour. FIL sat on one of the perennials though <sigh>.

I had a cubic metre of topsoil delivered yesterday for filling in the hole left when the previous owners took the pond with them. I'd assumed it would come in a tonne bag - schoolboy error! It arrived loose on the back of a tipper truck. I had to scuttle around to find a tarpaulin for him to dump it on in the drive, followed by a frantic two hours of shovelling and wheelbarrowing across the garden while ds had his nap, so that the in-laws would be able to park when they arrived later in the afternoon. All in the heat of the midday sun. I didn't get it all done, there was about a third to a quarter left. But it no longer blocked the sun steps and allowed space for the in-laws Volvo.

I was completely wrecked though.

funnyperson Sat 08-Jun-13 05:21:17

Good morning! How lovely to read everyone's news.
cutteduppear leaving a garden to create a new one is both a wrench and an adventure but DC and DP come first don't they?
I left a beloved garden and pined for years till I went back and a)saw that the new owners had completely altered it and b) it wasn't as nice as in my memory and c)my current garden is much better because I am a better/different gardener.
Anyway take as many of your own special plants and seeds as you can!
I have 21 pots in the front patio, 7 in the verandah and 14 or so not counting seedling trays in the back garden.
As a complete contrast I loved that the rhodedendron place on GW and the concept of creating a garden for future generations: it is making me think differently about my own and my mums garden.
I bought 3 different types of cherry tree. They will go in mums garden. Wrong season for planting but there you go. DD has a very ancient weeping cherry in her college garden.
Rhodedendron Yakushmanum survived in a pot and is flowering: I fed it a lot in the spring. Azaleas, Ceanothus, Alfred carriere, Gertrude jekyll, Peonies, Irises, Salvia, Dodecathon, Phlox, Valerian, Clematis montana elizabeth, Geranium phaeum, Geranium johnson's blue are all flowering. The little tiny whie flowers of the creeping cotoneaster look very pretty with tumbling purple aubretia over a wall. We have been eating rocket and salad from the vegetable trough (so wonderful to be able to come home to instant fresh food). Sweet peas and mange tout are growing satisfactorily up twine round willow sticks. Dogwood hosta ferns and various grasses all doing their foliage thing.It is garden heaven at the moment. What an amazing year.

echt Sat 08-Jun-13 07:45:16

Your garden sounds lovely funnyperson and the mention of salad troughs has had me going out to inspect ours. The lettuce are coming along, slowly but surely.

We had a stroke of luck today having gone on a road trip to a bit of Victoria we hadn't been to before, it being the Queen's birthday long weekend. Staggeringly lovely hilly country with windy roads and heavily forested with gums. A great name too: the Wombat State Forest.
A gardening centre was propagating verbena bonariensis in long thin glass vases of water in the open, and they were sprouting roots. This is in area that was -3 C last night. I'm encouraged, as all my cuttings planted in soil/rooting hormone died like flies. The ones on my garden have stopped flowering but are busily growing new side shoots, so I've chopped away, got lots of cuttings, and am hoping for a result this time.

The final buy for spring flowers was some tulip bulbs, nothing special, but cheap, and DH loves them. The QB weekend is traditionally the date for planting tulips, which have to be kept in the sale crisper until then.

The three gardenias in 40cm pots that I pruned severely, are all sprouting tiny new leaves, so I'm banking on a heavenly pong in early summer.

echt Sat 08-Jun-13 07:46:10

Salad, not sale.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sat 08-Jun-13 08:49:14

You get a long weekend for the Queen's birthday, that's handy! Absolutely love the Wombat State Forest, what a great name. I am a Facebook numpty but have worked out how to add people . If people could PM me email addresses I'll sort it.

It was lovely to see all the Rhoderdendon on GW. Though Carol was suggesting they are hard to grow in Dorset, the purple ones are one of the plants I associate Dorset with. There are loads all out on the verges on the way to Dorchester and they look stunning when out. We've also got a lovely camellia and blueberry nursery locally. The PYO blueberries are superb. I think there's a lot of old heathland which I read is good for all those types of plant, or something along those lines. You do see a lot of them around. I'm sticking a camellia in where the old conifer was so hopefully that will thrive in years to come.

You are all worrying me about my Mme Carriere, two people have mentioned it's out. I'm going to have another year of no flowers again aren't I .

funnyperson Sat 08-Jun-13 09:07:26

I'm going to look at cameras today.
Echt those gardenias! I remember your description of them last year(or the year before)Maybe I shall get some for the verandah.
Monty always seems to be pulling up stuff as well as planting stuff. I never pull up my tulips. They just stay there, though I do take the seed heads off.
Alfred Carriere only has the start of the roses here wynken I think there are a load more to come. I want to take pictures when it is fully out.

funnyperson Sat 08-Jun-13 09:15:59

In DD's college garden there were some really pretty aquilegia colours- purple are looking brilliant everywere this year, but they also have splashes of yellow and orange ones.
Last year I divided what I thought were a ring of day lilies which hadn't flowered, into maybe about 20 new plants and planted them round the garden. It turns out they are a deep royal blue iris! So now there is a very pretty flowering spot with dark purple geranium phaeum, fire of ice hosta, a velvet deep russet bearded iris, the tall blue iris siberica and ceratostigma in leaf :behind is the apple tree, the american pillar rose and the clematis polish spirit due to come out (though no buds). And violas and fading daff foliage and various weeds (which I though might be viola seeds coming up but arent).

teta Sat 08-Jun-13 11:17:22

I was meandering round the garden last night enjoying the smells and investigating my perennial sweet pea[which i though was dead but isn't] only to find my neighbours had pulled the stem of my climbing rose through the slats of my fence and were training it onto their supports.Now given that there garden look like a concrete wasteland[they don't like gardening but they are otherwise lovely] isn't it cheeky?.How dare they enjoy the fruits of my labour.Anyway i pulled it back[probably damaged it a bit in the process].I think they must have thought i wouldn't notice as it is at the side of the house.But given that i removed the very tall shrubs from that side last year[partially due to their request for more sun] and replanted the area with lots of climbers and peonies i am definitely going to be aware of what is going on in that particular spot.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sat 08-Jun-13 14:17:41

Teta I would go ballistic if my neighbour did that. One of the laterals, ok, but the stem? How cheeky can you get.

FP you have encouraged me not to give up hope with my Mme Carriere. I will talk to it nicely.

Spent a lovely hour or two at Compton Acres this morning admiring the woodland walk with all the rhoderdendrons and the Japanese garden. Oh and the Italian Garden was lovely. They had hostas with alliums on the way into one section which was lovely.

funnyperson Sat 08-Jun-13 16:19:43

I am sitting in garden heaven in the sun heaven drinking iced pomegranate juice. The garden has got to the stage when although there are gaps, there is something interesting and pretty to look at so it is nice to sit in, and anyway when one has worked very hard all week there is no guilt at all in sitting in one's comfy ivory colonial chair with a William Morris cushion or two, and doing nothing in the sun with the blue blue sky above.
I owe so much to this thread, and to Monty and Gardeners World. It is really not so very long since it was touch and go whether a plant from the garden centre would survive in my shady north facing garden. I lurked on this thread for a long while, reading Lexi's and Maud's and Humphrey's and Bertha's doings, and it gave me the courage to plant out stuff and take a few risks, and of course when Monty showed one how to plant clematis or how to mulch, or how to rake a fine tilth, all the while saying how easy it is, and indeed it didn't look that difficult, all that helped.

Every so often there would be a very astonished moment like when I saw the fb photos of lexi's little garden, or when Maud posted about clematis, or echt would write about her Australian garden, or Rhubard writes about her family, and I wold realise that you lot are really quite something.

Then there are the incredible moments on GW when Rachel looks at Hepatica and says they make her feel greedy, or the Agapanthus guy says how happy they make him feel, or the clematis lady with her viticella last year, or when the city chap showed us his garden with a geodesic dome in it, or the programme about ferns, when horizons expand, and the garden becomes something else than just a place where pretty plants grow, and is a place of creativity and passion and detail and infinite planting variety and possibility.

So the shady garden isnt just a dry shady garden any more. Lots grows here, and I have realised there are quite a few very sunny places in it, where lots flowers. It is a friendly place with seats and a table and a veg trough and pots and I want to say thank you to you all thanks

HumphreyCobbler Sat 08-Jun-13 16:24:52

what an incredibly lovely post funnyperson.

Gardening and sharing our news about it really does make us all happy, doesn't it?

Lovely post funny - you made me all weepy thanks

Teta - that is cheeky beyond belief! Will you say anything to them?

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 08-Jun-13 17:54:03

It certainly does! And funnyperson's post is touching and moving.

rhihaf Sat 08-Jun-13 19:35:09

What a lovely thread this is! Funnyperson you brought a tear to my eye, and I second everything you said. Bravo!

Have just caught up after a week of frantic gardening and tidying in readiness for our first family holiday -eek! DS in one next week, so DH and I are going with PIL to France. How will I survive without a daily update on here?! confused
There are the most vibrant fuschia pink anenomes blooming as fast as they can in the front border grin Most pleasing, as I've never grown flowers before this yr. Funnyperson, like you, I lurked a while, gleaning tips before taking the plunge this spring, so thankyou everyone.

Runner beans have just germinated, have planted out delphiniums (pacific giants), hollyhocks (white), and sown some oriental poppy seeds. Fingers crossed they come.

Enjoy a fabulous weekend one and all!

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 08-Jun-13 19:47:25

I have just planted my cerinthes. From a pack of seed I have two, possibly three, viable plants. It would have been markedly cheaper to buy the T&M 6 plug plants for 1p offer, if I'd been quick enough off the mark!

Tomroow I will plant out some ammi majus and cosmos Purity for my world-renowned ::wink:: monochrome border.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 08-Jun-13 19:47:52

And happy holidays, rhihaf!

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sat 08-Jun-13 19:54:14

That is a lovely post FP. When I joined I was mostly doing my allotment and mostly growing veg. The garden was a poor second but I've been so inspired by this thread that I have started focusing on it so much more. My garden thanks you all. The garden and this thread have helped me hold onto my sanity during Mum's diagnosis which has been a very difficult time.

More planting this afternoon. I got a couple of peonies, a number of small pink alliums which caused a stir amongst the other shoppers when they were in the trolley, margarites, gazania, geraniums. And then when at the till they had some calla lillies which I made the mistake of enquiring their price. At £1 each I couldn't leave them, took 3 and she gave me two free ones. Everything is in and I'm enjoying looking out at it all.

teta Sat 08-Jun-13 21:57:22

Wynken and Notanother i'm probably not going to say anything.i don't know whether the stem grew into their garden itself or it was helped a bit.I can't remember when i noticed this rose last time.But i noticed it immediately when it was missing last night.The thing is they are very nice and have always offered to pay halfs for things in the past.This rose is growing up a focal point of their garden,whereas i can't even see it from my house.I think i would have made my point already.
Dc's have helped me plant Dahlia tubers,Gladioli and Dutch Iris today.All rather late i know.I have some Chrysanths and Sweet Peas to plant up tomorrow.Plus masses and masses of weeding[and lawn mowing].Loads of buds on my peonies at the mo.I am really looking forward to seeing the first flowers on my Bowl Of Beauty plants.The tree peony seems to have survived being run over numerous times by the mud sliding dc's luckily.

echt Sat 08-Jun-13 22:35:51

A brisk 6 degrees outside this morning, but will be sunny all day and up to 16, which explains the vigorous weeds. They'll be getting some attention today as I have a mountain of exams to mark and reports to write, and any distraction is good.grin

Pottering down the side of the house I found a velthemia capensis about to flower. I keep it under the carport as they hate to get wet when dormant. It's now in the front garden, on a table where I can see it as I'm writing this. The flower spike should last about 4-weeks. I divided the bulblets last year and only 1 bulb took. Boo hoo.

One more cuppa, then off to the study, red biro in hand.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 08-Jun-13 22:44:11

I've just Googled the velthemia. Wow! That is a truly architectural plant.

Lovely post Funny smile. I've said many times in these threads that if it wasn't for being on here I wouldn't have grown a single flower, just veg. And I love my long bed. Full of colour from alliums and aguilegia and valerian and glasnevin solanum at the moment and so much more coming up.

I had an epic four hours in the garden this afternoon. The veg plot is now sorted and my conservatory is empty of most things (unless still too tiny or intended to stay in there). As a result my back is killing me; but satisfying none the less. Some minor jobs to do tomorrow and then the hard stuff's over and I get to sit and wait for crops and admire things generally.

funnyperson Sun 09-Jun-13 09:16:56

Cerinthe seedlings: 9 have survived from the packet: they have gone in the garden bed outside today having spent a fortnight hardening off and growing in the seed tray outside. Those that went in the flower bed 2 weeks ago from the other seed tray didn't survive. Cosmos seedlings: 8 survived from 1/2 a packet: they went in last week, 4 in one place are fine, 4 in another place have disappeared.
Delphinium from seeds: seedlings that went into the flower bed 2 weeks ago have disappeared, those that were potted on in pots have thrived and are going in this weekend: about 5 healthy little plants. I may even leave them another week. Sweet peas on the other hand all did well and are thriving in their final pot positions. Echinacea seeds are germinated but very tiny so still in the seedling trays. Lotus seeds have germinated!!

You are right, Maud, if plug plants are available cheap, they are probably as good if not better than germinating seed. On the other hand I think I have perhaps been planting seedlings out too early before there is a good root system.

funnyperson Sun 09-Jun-13 09:22:48

teta I think you dont need to say anything but you do need to resume ownership of your rose. Just cut off the stem before it goes into the neighbour's garden. It will regrow back into your garden and flower there where it belongs. You can do it this weekend. After pruning you can put a 4 in or so layer of organis compost at the base of the rose and water in, to give it a boost. It will take at least two weeks to grow. Make sure any ;eaves from your side aren't infected with anything which could affect the cut off stem and get rid of any infected leaves.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sun 09-Jun-13 10:43:40

Actually Teta I think you are right not to say anything. I know I would have gone bananas but DH would have got the brunt of it. I don't think I would actually say anything, just retrieve the stem as you have done and rant at home. A lot.

I've just been watering neighbours garden and was mid deadheading their geraniums when she came out with a big grin on her face and told me not to stop on her account !! She hadn't said how long they were going so when I saw no car this morning I assumed it was 2 weeks. I'd just taken. All the side shoots off their tomatoes as well. It was very funny and I now have chocolates, purple sprouting broccoli and some brussels.

teta Sun 09-Jun-13 11:12:59

Funnyperson i pulled the rose back through the slats.Its a bit scratched and damaged but i least i can see it.I think as a gardener my plants are my babies and i notice everything.My neighbours are not, and in fact several climbing roses in my garden are enormous and old and i have said in the past i don't mind them training over their side as they are not in sight of my house.They put my bins out for me and on one occasion babysat my dc's at 7am in the morning.So in the interests of neighbourly accord i shall say nothing[but have ranted to dh who is not a gardener and doesn't understand].

Teta, in the interests of neighbourly harmony I would assume that they hadn't realised it was the main stem and just thought they were making the most of a rose that had got a bit unruly. I wouldn't do anything to upset my neighbour either, he looks after my chickens, waters my plants and has, in the past, gone to the shops for me at 10pm to get batteries for my smoke alarm ( which wouldn't stop bleeping even with no battery and the mains switched off!). Good neighbours are hard to come by.

I got a fab bargain in B&Q today: 3 packets of pretty grey stone reduced from £6 to £1 each, as the bags were split. I was so excited, I was tempted to rip a hole in some more packs wink I will be off to the pound shop tomorrow morning for some black garden cloth, then will make a pretty gravel garden out of he muddy pit next to my water butt.

I am planning to put the girls Wendy house on it and say it's their own little garden. I also have a bit of this stuff:

http://www.primrose.co.uk/-p-55912.html?adtype=pla&kwd=&gclid=CN2LmpfO17cCFXMPtAodKiQAXQ

That I want to use with it but am not sure how?

I am seriously so excited I want to go outside and start digging now...

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 09-Jun-13 19:47:14

That sounds like a fun project. Could you use the log edging (fairly well-buried so it isn't a trip hazard) to define the gravelled area? Otherwise, as the girls play on it it is likely to spill all over the place.

Rhubarbgarden Sun 09-Jun-13 20:40:50

That was a lovely post FunnyP. I've found this thread incredibly inspiring too. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by my new garden and the epic task in hand, but reading about what everyone is growing and now seeing the pictures on FB (just wow, by the way) has really reinvigorated my enthusiasm and I can't wait to get planting in the autumn.

I've just been away for the weekend, for a wedding, while the in-laws stayed at the house to look after the kids. They've weeded my south facing border, even pulling out all the nettles! So very kind of them, considering they had two littlies to deal with and they are not gardening people. They had carefully weeded around the alkanet though, bless them - I didn't have the heart to tell them it's a weed.

I quite like a bit of alkanet smile. I have a weed that comes up in the long bed and produces little white (& sometimes pink) flowers which I let stay for a while until it starts to compete for space. Then it gets pulled up until it resurfaces next year.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 09-Jun-13 20:52:57

We went to two lovely NGS gardens today and I noticed alkanet rearing its persistent little head in one of those!

MousyMouse Sun 09-Jun-13 21:10:33

I had to look up alkanet blush have plenty of those in my garden as well.
oh, well. will leave them for now as they are pretty and the bees and butterflies seem to like them.
a cat got caught in the netting around the strawberries today. i was too scared to get close. it got away on its own after a bit, ripping the net apart. I nearly felt sorry for the cat were it not for the fact that they like to shit between my plants

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 09-Jun-13 21:13:58

Alkanet leads a charmed life, because a lot of people my mum included mistake it for borage and let it grow.

Yikes about the cat, Mousy. I have been told today that foxes don't like the smell of moth balls, so will be planting more of those in my borders to keep the foxes away. I wonder if that would work for horrible pooping cats too?

MousyMouse Sun 09-Jun-13 21:18:46

I stood at the cat/fox repellent shelf at a diy store today. what a huge choice!
am sticking to cheap orange squash for now, don't want to poison the veg.
I hope that cat has learned a lesson and will tell all mates about this dangerous garden tonight.

Rhubarbgarden Sun 09-Jun-13 21:37:31

Alkanet in an NGS garden indeed! That actually makes me feel a bit better about the shocking weediness of my borders.

Poor cat. How had it got stuck? I hope it wasn't its collar that had got caught; collars can cause horrific injuries when they get caught on things. sad

I've found the best way to stop unwanted pooing/rolling in my strawberry patch is to fill it with pea sticks.

If anyone has a suggestion for stopping the rabbits eating my heucheras and cosmos I'd love to hear it. No cat problem around here thankfully.

MousyMouse Sun 09-Jun-13 22:03:04

it got stuck with a paw. it seemed fine (if a bit agitated) when it freed itself.
have stuck as many little sticks in as I could before putting a new net up.

no ideas about rabbits, too many foxes and cats about to have any.

HumphreyCobbler Sun 09-Jun-13 22:07:49

We have been trying Grazers to stop pigeon and squirrel damage, it is supposed to stop rabbits too. So far, so good. The acid test will be if it keeps the squirrels from the strawberries.

Only just got in from the garden. I thought I was knackered but stopped to re-pot a salvia and ended up potting on about 20 foxgloves, 12 sunflowers, two tomatoes, one fern and some apple mint. Once you get started it is so easy to carry on.

The round veg garden is looking really nice. Asparagus and salad in one third, courgettes in another, and concentric circles of rainbow chard, russian kale, red cabbage and lettuce in the third, with broad beans down each edge. There are globe artichokes on each corner. We are not having nearly as much trouble with weeds this year, I think we may have finally got rid of the nettles.

I remember being deeply confused as to what exactly borage was until Maud helped me to understand!

Rhubarbgarden Sun 09-Jun-13 22:24:35

Humph your veg garden sounds beautiful.

HumphreyCobbler Sun 09-Jun-13 22:28:23

Thanks Rhubarb, we have been trying really hard this year having not really got it right previously due to over planting or underplanting or stuff just not growing (that was last year). Things in rectangles are easier grin

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 09-Jun-13 22:36:38

Do post a photo, Humph!

cantspel Mon 10-Jun-13 10:07:41

Lovely weekend in the garden even though i was clearing more ground elder.
I have worked out it takes about 5 hours to do one square metre. Lifting the plants where possible, cleaning the roots, digging out the ground elder roots and sieving the soil back into the bed and still i know i wont have got every single bit. So far gone through 2 pairs of gloves, 2 garden towels one snapped and the other all bent and likely to snap soon and one roll of garden waste sack.
But i am winning the battle and just need to keep plucking out any new growth.

The good thing about clearing it is i how have fresh planting space and once it is all clear i am going to treat myself to a spend up in the garden centre.

That sounds like hard work Cantspel! But I think I'd find it strangely satisfying too.

Humphrey, I'd like to see a photo of the, 'concentric circles of rainbow chard, Russian kale, red cabbage and lettuce.' Sounds amazing.

Sorry, also meant to say that I'll seek out the Grazers stuff for the rabbits, thank you. I'd let the dog into the front garden more to help control them but she can cause more damage than the rabbits!

Thanks Maud, I will definitely use the logging to make a little edging. I don't have enough for all the way round but it's too pretty to waste. I forced DH to watch 'how to be a gardener' with me last night, so we should both now be experts on laying gravel now grin

I too am envy at the sound of your veg garden Humph. My raised beds are looking a bit crap. Never grow carrots in toilet rolls, despite what Mr Bloom says, they just die.

A fairly productive day here despite the chilly weather. I potted up my new rose (armshttp://www.davidaustinroses.com/english/enlargedversion.asp?ProductId=3553&ProductName=Open%20Arms ), which I am hoping will grow up to the new trellis and make the very back of the garden look all inviting. I planted out my shirly poppies (is the frost really over? It's chilly in SE london tonight). I moved some lobelia which was looking a bit sad and split a primrose in 3 (probably killing it? I thought I'd experiment as I don't really like it). I also got 2 pumpkin or squash plants (we're not sure which) from my sister.

I've set up a mini greenhouse in anticipation of all the plugs I ordered from T&M, but there's no sign of them yet. THey seem a very strange outfit, do hey always leave it until the last moment to deliver?

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 11-Jun-13 00:21:28

T&M are unpredictable, I find, about how quickly (or not) they dispatch things. And their plugs are usually tiiiiiny - which, of course, explains why they are cheap.

funnyperson Tue 11-Jun-13 08:12:24

That's interesting, Maud. I've been wondering about some of the seed too: Last year and this I sowed various T and M seed such as cornflower and poppies direct into the ground in a rectangular shape so I would know they were proper plants, and in the very same patches both years, rectangular patches of weeds have appeared. I dont want to damn the seed entirely because cerinthe was definitely cerinthe when I planted into seedling trays, and likewise sweetpeas. However at the garden show I've bought some seed from growers and organic farmers and I'm hoping the quality of plants will be better.

funnyperson Tue 11-Jun-13 08:15:36

Round veg garden sounds brilliant. Especially concentric circles and also globe artichokes. When did you plant the artichokes and when do you think (important point coming up) you will eat them?

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 11-Jun-13 08:46:45

I have to say that I get results that are as good, if not better, from pound shop seeds (although of course they don't have the breadth of range that T&M do).

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