Archive for the ‘Flower Gardening’ Category

The end of the Harvest Season

Person Author: Sojali Farm Calender October 21, 2015 Posted Tags: , , , , Comment No Comments
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As we near the end of Harvest season, what do we do with our plots, containers and gardens? Plots: Now is the time for adding mulch, ground cover seeds or weed sheets. Some people even just turn their soil and leave their plots alone to let nature do its thing, although if you are not a daily visitor, then after the bad weather, it can very quickly turn into the day of the triffids on the plot! Containers: All that spent soil needs emptied into the composter(s) and the pots cleaned thoroughly with jeyes and water, and stored ready for the Spring time! Gardens: By now, your last lawn cut should of been done or about to be done depending on your geographical location. The bulbs have been sown for the spring time and everything has been harvested (fruit trees) and pruned. Kitchen:

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It’s April and Like the Scouts ‘Be Prepared’

Person Author: Helen Fowler Calender April 10, 2013 Posted Tags: , , , , Comment No Comments
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Well March came in like a lion and went out like a lamb, so I hope that means that the worst weather is over. The start of April has been brilliant, for me at least, and I am wondering, has spring really sprung? I do hope so. Last week on Gardeners World, Monty Don was saying to keep sowing indoors, but not to be in a hurry to sow outside. So like the scouts, I intend to 'be prepared'. I am sowing lots more seeds indoors and the hardier ones in my cold growhouse and greenhouse. I will keep sowing a succession of salads and peas over the next weeks in modules and carrots in containers. I am now sowing other veg including climbing and dwarf beans in pots so that I will be ready with well grown plants for planting out in May. I have lots of hardy and half hardy flower seedlings that ar

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Wow it’s March!!

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I can hardly believe that March is here already! Mind you the last few days have been very spring like. I have seen a few very large bumble bees buzzing around. These will be females that have come out of hibernation, they will feed on early flowers, then look for somewhere to build nests, often old mouse holes. This got me motivated to create a new bee friendly bed out of my old rhubarb bed. The rhubarb grew so huge last year that it over grew the paths and made it difficult to pass. I had already decided to move the rhubarb so after it had died down last year, I planted a plum in the centre of the bed in October. I had chosen a half standard Burbanks Tangerine plum, this would allow for planting beneath it. I have been growing some plants that are very attractive to bees, lots of

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How Quickly the Weather Changes.

Person Author: Helen Fowler Calender February 20, 2013 Posted Tags: , , , Comment 1 Comment
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How quickly the weather can change from one day to the next. The last few days have been mild, sunny and positively spring like, I worked happily in the garden for a few hours on monday and tuesday, it really was like spring. Then bang! today is dull, cold and with a really raw wind. A few mild days and I was suckered in, I know it is only February and spring is a good month away, but for a few hours I really felt that spring was tantalisingly close. The Helebores also think that spring is just around the corner, their lovely red, pink and white blooms are blossoming by the day. Anyway the preparations for the 2013  garden season carry on. Lots more seeds in and out of the propagator, with more flowers going in now the toms and peppers are through. I have some perennial flower

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Snowdrops and Snow.

Person Author: Helen Fowler Calender February 13, 2013 Posted Tags: , , , , Comment No Comments
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Its very cold today, snow is coming and I can see from my window that the first light snowflakes are falling. Yet it is suprising what is growing in the frozen ground. While filling up the bird feeders, I had a quick walk round the garden. Snowdrops are starting to flower in ernest now, I have lots of the common snowdrop [ Galanthus nivalis ] and it's double form Flora Pleno. I also have some of the larger flowered snowdrops, Galanthus elwesii and the broad leaved Galanthus plicatus. I love my snowdrops but not as much as some. Such is the popularity of snowdrops that for some it borders on obsession. These folks are know as 'Galanthophiles' and spend much of their time searching for or breeding new varieties. With some of the rarer choice bulbs selling for more than £150 per bulb. I

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New Cold Frame!

Person Author: Helene Coleman Calender February 5, 2013 Posted Tags: , , , , , , Comment 1 Comment
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As the sun was shining on Saturday we decided to make the most of it and spend a couple of hours down on the plot. Having spent so little time there in the past month because of the snow and rain, it was good to check on how our veggies were faring and catch up with some of our fellow allotmenters. Most things are doing well and have survived the snow, which was good to see, although we have lost most of our purple sprouting broccoli to some sort of pest. I can’t fathom out what it could be, the early sprouts of broccoli have been all but devoured and lots of the leaves in the centre of the plant have been stripped to the stem. It looks like the sort of damage that slugs could have done, but isn’t it too cold for them this time of year?! But our broad beans, swiss chard (‘B

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Free home made cloches

Person Author: Gavin Conway Calender January 1, 2013 Posted Tags: , , Comment No Comments
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Today  - 1st January 2013... That means its under two months till I aim to plant out my first broad beans and peas... I have some (slow to germinate) peas which are planted in guttering and some broadies waiting in the greenhouse to go out and I'll do another batch in a few weeks along with more broadies. So it's all go over the next few weeks or so. Along with my leeks and onions and a few trial early tomatoes that are busy germinating in my conservatory the season has officially started for me..  The plants are going to require a bit of protection if we get a really harsh end to the winter. Cloches are a great way of protecting your new planted out veg or flowers during bad weather. Once early Spring has sprung and the ground starts to warm up you can plant out a variety of plan

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Home-made “Black Gold”

Person Author: Gavin Conway Calender December 23, 2012 Posted Tags: , Comment 2 Comments
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Today is one of the first days I have had a chance to get into my home garden due to work and rain.. So i’m making the most of it and getting some compost ready for potting my seeds this season. Home made compost is one of the best things you can do in a very small space at the back of the garden shed etc.. I have 2 dalek type bins plonked half under a huge fir hedge behind my greenhouse and they don’t get much sunlight at all. But they still make great compost. See my article on Composting here. I basically throw anything that can degrade into it and a year later its done. I hardly ever mix or turn it.    I don’t have much manoeuvring space so I have a short spade to dig the compost out of the bottom door, then into an old recycling bin and then taken to the potting s

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My Small Castor Oil Plant

Person Author: Lajos Szabo Calender September 5, 2012 Posted Tags: , Comment No Comments
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This summer was really good for most of the perennial flowers and fruit bushes as they don't need much of  a heat to grow well and they appreciate plenty of water. And most the annuals did well too but not the heat loving Ricinus. I love this plant a lot and most years you can grow them very well here in the UK too although it is a Mediterranean plant. I sow the seeds in late April - May indoors or in late May in unheated greenhouse. The first two years I overwatered the seeds and they started to rot rather than germinate; that is me saving time giving plenty of water at once and I thought I won't have to worry about it for a few days; well I didn't have to worry about them for an other year. So the conclusion is that water regularly, otherwise the seeds will start to rot, especial

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Saving Seeds – Flowers

Person Author: Helen Fowler Calender August 16, 2012 Posted Tags: , Comment No Comments

It's mid-August and an ideal time to save your own flower seeds. Lots of flowers either have or are starting to set seed. A quick walk around my own garden and I found about 20 different flower seeds to collect. Flower seeds come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Some are large and easily collected, like Sweet Peas, Cerinthe and Morning Glory. Other seeds can be very small and fine, like Poppies, Foxgloves and Lobelia. The best time to harvest the seed is when the pods are starting to go pale brown. It doesnt matter if the pods still have some green, but the seed will have better germination if it is mature. Poppies for example can be harvested when pale green and still give good viable seed. There are a number of ways you can collect seeds. The easiest way is to walk round the garde

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