I tend to ramble on which makes my posts rather long so I only put small pictures on. If you'd like to see a bit more just click on the pictures to make them bigger.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Lots of yummy stuff!

Well, it's the middle of June already and things are growing really well. We've eaten virtually all of the salad leaves from the first sowing and I have more to come but the seedlings have only just come through. We've also had some rhubarb and the first strawberry.

This is the rhubarb that was split. We really shouldn't be picking any of this as the goodness needs to go back into the plant for next year but we're sorely tempted as there are two or three very thick sticks just begging to be cooked and eaten. If we do pick them I'll have to promise myself they'll be the only ones, don't want to risk weakening the plant for future years.

The borders are really filling up now and I've realised that I have crammed too much into too small a space. Never mind, I am a novice and you only learn by your mistakes.

The camelia is just showing on the left, right at the back I've planted some sweet peas to climb the rusty old fence between us and next door. This was concreted in by the previous owner so not sure if we can get it out and replace it so for now we'll try to hide it. The oriental poppies at the back are just coming into bud, the corkscrew hazel is getting bigger (must give it more room next year!), dwarf sunflowers are in bud and the poor little gooseberry bush next to it must be wondering how on earth it's supposed to get any bigger! There's something unidentifiable but quite big to the right of the gooseberry bush but I'm curious so I'll leave it there for now (it's probably a weed!) then there are some of the onions.

Either side of the urn are gladioli and some dwarf lupins which are just coming into flower. The two cherry tomato plants in the black pots have trusses now and the aptenia, cranesbill geranium and paeony are flowering nicely. It would be nice if next door would move the old dustbin but he seems to be digging up the whole of his garden for some reason - still it's better than his overgrown plants growing over ours and bringing loads of snails with them.

Here's a closer shot of the cranesbill geranium, paeony, pinks and the tall lobelia in the corner which wont reach their full height until later in the summer.

The alpine border again has some plants which have grown very vigorously and some slower growing ones are virtually buried underneath them. This will get reorganised later in the year.

Paul's Blue Moon rose looking and smelling lovely! We're thinking this might be transferred from pot to garden next year as if we forget to water it during a dry spell it suffers and we don't want to risk losing it.

The other top border is looking colourful. This fuschia is really lovely and loaded with flowers but they all seem to be at the bottom and lots of them are resting on the soil. We want to keep it but will have to think about what to do so that it will look it's best for displaying the flowers next year.You can just about see one of the small orange poppy flowers on the right hand side.

Wow! Look at the leaves on the primroses underneath the camelia! They seem very happy there so hopefully another beautiful display next year. The Salvia Hot Lips has suddenly developed lots of red and white flowers, I think this is such a cheerful plant. To the right you can just about make out the dark burgundy coloured leaves of the tall lobelia and whatever is at the front hasn't done very well there. If anyone knows what that shrub is with the pink and white flowers that is peeping over from next door, please let me know as I think it's lovely and I want one. Our neighbour can't remember what it is.

Better view of the shrub!

Hostas, begonias, rose, lillies, sprout plant and some of my washing which I thought I'd tucked up out of the way!

The sprout is bigger than I thought! Miniature rhodedendron, miniature fushcia. The white plant labels are to remind me where the allium bulbs have been planted now that they've finished and the leaves died down. I want to plant some more in the autumn to make the group a bit bigger. The clump of montbretia is coming along nicely and the Christmas rose is looking quite healthy.

The arum lily has, thankfully, recovered from it's frost damage really well and is looking wonderful. The rhubarb plant next to it was new last year so we can only pick a few sticks this year - mmmm, they were very tasty! The hydrangea belongs to our neighbour and it's going to look stunning, we're very lucky that we've got such a lovely view of it.

This is the only runner bean we can pick at the moment! Because they were at the top of the sticks and already in full flower before we could put them out, not many flowers were pollinated. There are a few other beans on but only about an inch long at the moment. We wont be getting a very big meal of this one!

Potatoes, onions and the later sowing of carrots.

Strawberries, parsnips, carrots, radishes, leeks (well, two or three!).

Well, the tomato plants are looking very shabby but there's quite a lot of fruit on them. I've picked the ripest to go with our salad tonight and there'll be a few more ready in a couple of days.

I'm thrilled with the number of peppers on these plants. Can't wait for them to go red. It's a good job I can eat them like apples otherwise I think I'd be giving quite a few away.

Tomorrow I'll be sowing some more radish seeds plus the last tub of carrots, some more salad leaves and some rocket seeds my neighbour gave me today.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Here comes summer!

The weather has warmed up at last and everything is finally outside where it should be. The warmth and the rain has meant quite rapid growth and some things coming to the end of their flowering season.

The potatoes are doing wonderfully well, so are the two tubs of onions. I've just sown more carrot seeds in the long tub behind the potatoes, the other tub will be sown in a few weeks' time. The two pots on the pillars are finally planted with the summer bedding now that the geraniums have arrived and been hardened off.

This side of the balcony has the parsnips and carrots doing well in the long tubs. There were a few gaps where one or two seeds failed to come through so I've popped a few radish seeds in and they've started to come up too. We have quite a few strawberries now formed in the tall two tier planters and they're looking nice and healthy too.

The four tomatoes plants look a bit sad, I don't think they really liked being moved from their lovely warm home in the sun room but we do have a fair few fruits on them so they should be alright. Also up on the balcony we have one pot planted with radishes coming through nicely and the salad leaves are going great guns. They're all "cut and come again" type leaves and we've had a few meals from them already, very nice too! I wont mention the leeks, they're pathetic!

So, down in the garden we have the fuschia with lots of flower buds, the Armeria Maritima (Alba and Sea Pink) flowering nicely, some bedding begonia I've popped into some gaps and I've also planted a few dwarf lupin seeds at the back of this bed.

The Salvia Hot Lips is looking lovely, I can't wait to see the pretty red and white flowers on this plant, the Lobelia Cardinalis with it's dark red leaves is coming on - it still has a long way to go as it is a late summer flower and will eventually be about 3' high (slugs love this so we have to keep an eye on it). The allium are looking like big beautiful purple pom poms and I love them but they are just about to pass their best. The fushcia is a hardy type which has the smallish red flowers but not much sign of them yet. We did hard prune this last year and it looks so much better for it.

The two hostas in the pots are doing so well, the one on the left has six flower stalks and the one on the right has 13. They should look wonderful when in flower. The bedding begonia in the long tubs are at last starting to grow but even this small there are some flowers on them. The red rose behind (hard pruned last year) looks healthy and has some buds on, another fushcia - again pruned last year, and the lillies are looking good too.

The miniature rhodedendron is in flower, also the miniature fuschia, more lovely allium, the clump of montbretia is filling out nicely and on the right is a Christmas Rose which was a poor pathetic weakling being sold off at the local garden centre at the end of last year which I took pity on. It's took a while but it's looking healthy now.

My beautiful arum lily which the frost (very rare around here) almost killed off. I'm glad to say it's survived and is now flowering nicely. I don't think we'll have such a good show this year but at least we've still got it. To the right of it there's a rhubarb plant which we've just had our first pickings from, there's a sprout seedling growing nicely in there too and a couple of onions where I filled a gap.

The corkscrew hazel is very happy in it's new home and is growing like crazy, there are some oriental poppies growing nicely just behind it to the left and to the right are the dwarf sunflowers. The gooseberry bush could do with growing a bit (or am I too impatient?) so I've dug in a bit of feed to encourage it, some more onions to fill up a space and then the gladioli.

The big old urn now has all it's summer bedding plants, then there's more gladioli, some dwarf lupins in front, aptenia (creeping ground cover plant) to the right, cranesbill geranium, paeony then Lobelia Scarlet and Cinnabar Rose in the corner (more tall lobelia). Cherry tomatoes are in the two black pots, again I don't think they liked being moved from their snug home in the sun room but they're alive and growing.

The runner beans aren't too happy, the flowers had started to die off before we could put it outside so not many were pollinated. We have one tiny bean on but hope to get a few more from the remaining flowers. I've popped another four beans in the pot so hopefully they'll appear soon.The gorgeous Blue Moon rose in the pot has lots of buds and some are starting to open. This should be a lovely lilac flower but the buds are a dark dusky pink, it will be interesting to see what they're like when they open up. The perfume is absolutely gorgeous, a good old fashioned rose perfume - one to definitely buy if you like a rose to smell lovely!

No I didn't plant this!!! I couldn't resist, this is Tilly who managed to find a shady little spot yesterday afternoon. She was having a rest from chasing the wild rabbits who live near the yacht compound although she did bring home a mouse later on as a present for Mommy but as I didn't want it she ended up playing with it - alas I don't think it got away.

Finally the peppers in the sun room are doing really well. They're loaded with fruit at varying stages of growth with still lots more to come. I can't wait until they start to turn red.

That's about it for now. Don't forget to click on the photos if you want a better view.