Sunday, 26 April 2009

I had a busy weekend and managed to get some jobs done in the garden, but not everything I had planned to do. I potted up the tomato plants I grew from seed and these are now cosy in the dining room where they get the most heat. Hopefully they will grow quickly and be ready to go outside in the middle of May. I've only grown hanging basket/patio varieties as last year I got fed up with the larger ones falling over! They are heavy croppers and don't need any side shoots removed so they are much easier to look after. They also taste wonderful.

I'm running out of space in the pop up cold frame by the back door. But chances are if I buy a new one now I might not need it for very long so I will have to make do with windowsils and the dining room. My climbing beans havent shown any signs of germinating yet but hopefully they will next week!

Paula popped in on Sat afternoon after she'd spent all day in her garden. We drank lots of tea and chatted for ages. I walked her home and you could see she had been very busy. Her Wisteria is amazing growing along the fence and smells wonderful. She has also been more sucessful than me with her sweet peas. For some reason I'm not very good with them this year and my second batch only 10 germinated. These are the ones I pre-soaked over night. I knew I shouldn't have bothered. Never mind.

Anne popped in today and dropped off my celeriac which I planted up later in the evening when it got a bit cooler in my garden. Its a sun trap out there so waited a while to put them in.

Ian and Jack were busy with the new marine tank today and I went to the aquatic centre with Ian in the morning. He bought a star fish and some snails. I've named him Sylvester! Whilst Ian was buying up half the shop I popped into Millbrooks Garden Centre next door to buy a birthday present and go two lovely lantern tea light holders and some more seed labels for me. You can never have enough of them!

Anyway off to empty the dishwasher now and then off to bed.

Amanda x

Friday, 24 April 2009

Growing French Beans

This link is very helpful and tells you what French beans did well in their 2008 trial. Luckily I bought some Musica in Homebase this week just in case my seeds didn’t work out too well. It says they are one of the top ones to grow with huge crops!

I am growing from seed Bluahide and these are not heavy croppers but have pretty flowers and purple fruit and also Sultana that I grew last year that was a heavy cropper. Happy Gardening!

Sunday, 19 April 2009

This morning Iwade had a table top sale. If the weather had been better maybe more people would have ventured out. People started to arrive at the end of the sale which was a shame for all the effort people put in. Everything is now back in the loft maybe for another day?

I bought some cute Bellis plants from a local lady who grows her plants from seed, a very handy contact! They were 40p each, a bargain. Here is a photo of the Bellis in a cute blue pot next to a Hosta planted from one divided recently. I love Hostas especially after it has rained as the rain drops stay on the leaves. If you click on the photo you can see the water droplets!

Back to work in the morning and I've not completed all my garden stuff yet! Amanda x

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Eight by Six has had an extension!

It's in! After an afternoon of digging and using half the composter it's finished. Well almost. I have to back fill and make it look a bit tidier but the new bed I've been waiting for is now in place. A big thank you goes to Ian for taking me to the wood yard this morning to collect the wood and for building it. Now just what to grow in it?! I thought about making it a home for the allium family or for beans.

I told Ian I would like to split the existing veg patch to make a path to the new one. He wasn't too impressed but I'll work on him! I just wish I could dig up more of the garden but then that would probably be over the top. I have tomorrow off to finish it and will do some more on Saturday if the weather is ok. At least I have worked off the Easter eggs today. I will pay for it tomorrow morning that's for sure.

Homebase has an offer of 3 for 2 on all thier seed. You can never have enough seeds! Amanda x

Monday, 13 April 2009

New raised bed

I managed to dig over the area for the new raised bed that Ian is building in the morning. I still don't know if I'll have enough room for everything I want to grow! So I've decided to grow my courgettes in pots this year around the main veg patch and got two ready today. That way I should have some space to grow my dwarf beans and climbing beans around the frame too. Once it's all finished I plan to finish off inbetween with bark to make it look a bit tidier and to keep the weeds at bay. I've also incorporated perenials and hostas dotted about to give it some extra colour and life and to attract the bees. Hopefully it will look good once it's all growing together. I haven't actually planned it, some where in the ground and I just put things in around them. I normally just walk around and think oh I'll put that there and that's where it ends up. If I buy a new plant or I am given one I don't rush to put it in the gravel area, I leave it in the pot for a few days until I am sure I like it there! It's such a lot of work getting the gravel out of the way so it's better to make sure it's where I want it to be. Anyway I'll update you on the extra veg bed tomorrow when it's all finished.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Free Seeds

For those of you that caught the latest Gardeners World (I didn't but my sister told me!) they are giving away free seeds (again). Here is the link

I went to Millbrooks Garden Centre today with my mum and sister and we all made use of our 30% discount vouchers as it was raining (you get 10% if it the sun is out). This is to celebrate 30 years in the business. We stopped a while and had lunch in their restaurant for soup and a sandwhich then it was time to get home and get on with some gardening!

I always come away from my sisters with a bag of plants. She has a large garden and a big green house. This week it was dwarf runner beans she grew for me for the new troughs she bought me as an early birthday present and a cutting off of her dark red grass. Well she bought one for about £2 and managed to get three plants from it! I get all my gardening advice from her as she always knows what to do and when. She was that one that told me to cut straight through my Hostas and I've done it ever since. The first time I was a bit worried about killing the plant, but it gets easier the more you do. This is my favourite plant and I have tons of them in pots and in the gravel area. They do better in the gravel because the slugs don't like it! I like it when they poke through the soil/gravel at this time of year and then when they flower.

Anyway tomorrow I plan to move the rest of the plants from the veg bed area as my husband is making the new frame on Tuesday.

Enjoy your Easter eggs tomorrow! Amanda x

Friday, 10 April 2009

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to all of you. I hope the weather remains the way it is this morning. The weather forecast is rain later which is a shame as its perfect gardening weather right now. My alliums have come through and promise to give a good show this spring. I planted these last summer from plants rather than bulbs. They seem to like where they are in the gravel. I checked my seeds in the pop-up cold frame and I was surprised that my Marigolds have germinated since last weekends sowing.

Enjoy your long weekend whatever you are doing.


Saturday, 4 April 2009

A very productive day

I had a very productive day in the garden today. Making the most of the warm weather in my south facing garden I planted up most of my seeds!

These included:

Courgette: Patriot F1 (5) (Mr Fothergills)
Onion sets: Red Baron 30 (given to me by my sister)
Tomatoes: Gartenperle (5) and Tumbling Tom Red (20) (extra for Gardening Club)
Chilli: 5
Chard Bright Lights (planted in modules to give to friends)
Marigold dwarf double mixed (left over from last year) planted in modules to give extra to Gardening Club.

I still have to do the Patty Pan from last year and will give plants to Paula & Nicola. The plan is to grow one plant up my new obelisk that Ian & Jack bought me for mothers day. I also re-potted the 4 pepper plants given to me by Anne. They are doing really well and are now quite big! I hope I planted them correctly. I used some spare lollipop plant labels!

No gardening tomorrow as off to London sight seeing and a river cruise up the Thames.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Sweet Pea Coconut Candy

At the end of last summer I bought some seeds in Woolworths in the seed sale for about 60p. So tonight I decided to pop them into tepid water overnight and tomorrow I will sow them into some new toilet roll planters.
They are fragrant, large flowered and excellent for cutting. I thought they would look good in a pot with a wig wam.

My red sweet peas took a while to germinate so I thought I would try soaking them this time. I've read that it can make them weaker plants but decided to give it a go anyway!
I'll let you know what happens.