Saturday, 30 May 2009

Sunny Days and Bank Holidays.

The last few weeks have been busy with weeding, watering and feeding.
The weather has been glorious especially over the Bank Holiday Weekend.

I have managed to plant up hanging basket and trough's for the front of the house.

The basket has: Trailing Geranium - Purple Flamed, Surfinia - Burgandy, Calibrachoa Caberet - Cherry Rose, Petunia Tumbelina - Clara, Dichondra - Silver Falls, Lamium - Beacon Silver.

The trough's have: Helichrysum, Ivy Leaf Geranium - Toscana Maxima, Petunia Tiny Tunia - Violet Ice, Verbena Twinkle - Crimson. Plants have settled down and are starting to flower.
I have planted Armeria - Joystick, Papaver - Royal Wedding, Gaillardia - Sundance, Scabiosa - Misty Butterflies, Verbascum - Sixteen Candles, Polemonium - Stairway to Heaven, Thungeria - Lemon & Orange Beauty, Lupins - Pixie Delight, Dahlia - Bishop of Llandaff, Cornflower, Night Scented Stocks, French Marigolds & Thrift.
This is a picture of the new raised beds that we put in this year.

They are situated at the bottom of the garden and have been planted out with pea's, radish, lettuce, beetroot, shallots, onions, climbing french beans and garlic.
In between all the vegetables I have grown, corn flowers, nasturtions, viola, calendula. I am really pleased with how they have turned out.

So far I have harvested mixed salad leaves, radish and mint. I have picked my first pea!(meteor)

Today I have harvested some mange tout. These are my husband's favourites. I have been growing them a big pot and will sow somemore so we can still enjoy them later in the season.

The Heritage pea's are happily growing away and have lots of flowers.

The picture on the right is of Ezeta's Krombek Blauwschokker variety which is purple podded. Over the next few months I am hoping to write up some reviews of the pea's that I have grown this year, I have completed the first one which was Clarke's Beltony Blue.
Tomatoes And Tomatillo's.
On the left is my first tomatoe of the year. The variety is Stupice, which was given to me by a friend. All the other varieties are starting to flower. The Heritage tomatoes seem to have bigger flowers than the modern varieties. I have moved the tomatillo's outside of the greenhouse, they are starting to get quite big and have lots of yellow flowers.

This is a picture of Melon - Canteloupe, I have grown two from seed and I am training them up string which is attached to wires across the greenhouse. I have also grown a variety called Emir which apparently can be grown outside and produces fruit in our climate. This remains to be seen!
I may leave one in the greenhouse and move one outside and compare how they grow.
I have also planted up a pea salad bar - Kelevdon Wonder, Hurst Greenshaft & Sugar Snap. Sown Swede - Magres, Silene - Shell Pink. Need to check seed box to see what needs to be done next. I have also made the first batch of compost tea from the wormery, it has been diluted with water and feed to the veggies.
Happy Gardening

Heritage Peas - Clarkes Beltony Blue.

Clarke's Beltony Blue.

Type of seed: Wrinkled

Type of pod: Purple Podded

History: Heirloom variety was donated to the the Heritage Seed Library by Mrs Anderson, this variety has been grown on her family farm in Co.Tyrone since at least 1850.

Description: A tall vigorous pea that produces beautiful pale pink and maroon flowers on long slender arching stems, followed by purple pods that develop a green mottling when mature.
The leaves are 2.5 inches wide by about 4.5 inches long. The leaves are green with white mottled markings and have the tell tale sign of a splash of maroon where the stem meets the leaf indicating that its a purple podded variety.

The pink half of the flower has thin purple veins running through it, whilst the maroon petals are a full bodied colour.

When the flowers are starting to produce the pod, the flowers fade to a beautiful baby blue colour. Shortly after the purple pods start to form.

My pea's were sown on 21st February, and have been flowering for the last week, they are just starting to form purple pods.

This variety has been a joy to grow, it needs support as it can grow upto six feet tall.

Once the pods have filled out I will update this post to record how they taste. I am also hoping to collect seed from this variety to share with others.
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Saturday, 2 May 2009

May - Update

Runner Beans.
I have sown two lots of runner beans this year. I usually grow Scarlet Emperor which are very good and produce a prolific crop.

This year I wanted to try a new variety so I have sown 4 seeds of Best of All. The Scarlet Emperor were planted out this weekend and Best of All are just breaking through the soil. Just need to think now were they are going to go. Last year 4 plants supplied enough beans for a family of 4, two neighbours and my mum and dad. This year I want enough so I can pick them a bit younger.

Teasel & Lemon Balm

Earlier this year I was fortunate to receive some Teasel Seeds and Lemon Balm cuttings and seeds.

The picture on the left is the teasel which was planted out last weekend, I have dotted them around the garden to encourage the birds who like to feed on the seeds, however they will have a bit of a wait as they are biennials. The lemon balm has put on a lot of growth and the seeds I received will be sown as I want to grow another pot in hope that I may get an allotment some day. The lemon balm I an going to use for pot pourri and I want to try it as a tea. Will let you know what its like!
Potatoes In Flower Pots.
The potatoes that were planted up back in March have been growing well. I chitted them throughout February and early March and they sprouted and were planted up into flower pots. I drilled holes in the bottom for drainage. The varieties I am growing are Pentland Javlin, Charlotte and Pink fir apple. I planted two seed potatoes to a pot. At the moment they are sat on the patio step which gets a lot of sun as its south facing. At night they are covered up with fleece just in case of frost. Last year I did some potatoes in a grow sack and this method worked quite well although one of the varieties that I did turned out really poor so hoping these will perform better this year.
Blueberry Bushes.

I planted two blueberry bushes last year which I have been growing in pots of acid soil. They have been flowering for a few weeks now. I don't expect a huge crop from them but would like enough just to try home made blueberry muffins!

My dog "Billy" protects them from the birds but may have to consider putting a net over them for when he's not about.

My Sister brought me this Azalea last year as a gift. This is the first time it has flowered and its beautiful.
The flowers are a soft purple colour, later in the season and after it has finished flowering I will pot it up and move it into the shade.
This is the first time I have grown azalea, and its nice to see some spring colour as the daffs and tulips have gone over now.
Beetroot and Chard.
My beetroot and chard have been growing well in the pop up cold frame. They will be ready to go out in a few weeks time. I have been leaving the top vents undone all day and night. I still need to harden them off properly so over the next week they will be left out during the day for one week and then all night the following week as long as we have no frosts forecast. Our last frost date for my area is mid may. Although some years ago I can remember a frost in the first week of June, lots of disappointed gardeners that year as lots of people were caught out. Always a risk of when to plant out but will keep an eye on the weather forecasts and a hand on the fleece!

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