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Late Spring catch up

Once again it's been a busy couple of months, here's just a brief summary of what's been happening in my garden:

Chamomile lawn

My latest project! I'm not attempting to replace my entire lawn but I have an area in front of a seat which I'd like to turn into a small patch of chamomile lawn.

I ordered a massive 60 plug plants online. Unfortunately the mail service let me down and instead of delivering as expected on a Friday they kept the plants over a hot weekend and delivered them on the Monday. I know it was them and not the supplier because the package was tracked. As a result some of the plants were starting to rot. Luckily I'd ordered more than I needed so I still had enough both to plant out the area and to put some spares into a couple of pots. That proved to be useful because the young plants were also very much enjoyed by slugs!

6 weeks on, with some of the original plants replaced by those from the containers, what's left is growing well and I'm hopeful that in another month or so I'll have achieved my goal.

Left to right from top: plug plants as delivered; some were not in great condition; holes ready to receive plants; planted out; spares in containers; 6 weeks on

Giant Reed

When we moved to this house 19 years ago there was already a patch of giant reed - arundo donax - planted close to our back door. Although it can be invasive it has behaved quite well and to be honest I like it: it provides shade to our seating area in the summer and is an attractive plant. I cut it down to ground level every year and it grows back to around 5 metres high by the end of the season. The only problem is, when it's windy it blows all over the place and is constantly setting off the motion detector on our house alarm, so this year we built a wooden trellis structure to keep it upright.

Left to right from top: this is how large the cane grows in just a singe season; in late summer it gets rather attractive purple fronds on top; sometimes in winter I strip off the dead lower leaves to show off the canes; this year's growth so far with the new support structure in place.

Garden club sale

For the second year running I grew loads of seedlings and cuttings for my garden club sale, except that this year I was catering for 2 sales having joined a second garden club during the Covid lockdown. For most of Spring my greenhouse and decking were both full of containers with baby plants growing away. I'm not sure how many plants I grew but they included rosemary, poppies, dahlias, sempervivum, tomatoes, herbs, nasturtium, rudbeckia, cosmos and zinnia. They sold well with both clubs making good profits. This was just the first batch:

As is often the case I ended up bringing home quite a lot of the plants which didn't sell, and I've only just finished planting those out. Most were annuals so I'm hoping for a good display in a month or two.

The Kitchen Garden

This year I am once again growing loads of tomatoes, making the most of my new larger greenhouse for the more tender ones although I still have 10 further plants outside. I've got lots of different varieties growing, including my favourites from last year from which I saved seed so that I could grow them again.

I've also got several varieties of potato in various bags and containers plus peas, runner beans, kale, chard, turnips, cabbages, radishes, celery, lettuce, cucumber, onions, spring onions, herbs and squashes. And in terms of fruit I've got gooseberries, blueberries, arbutus, blackcurrants, aronia, raspberries, pears, almonds and jostaberries. From the list it may sound as if I have a large area dedicated to the kitchen garden but in fact I have just 3 raised beds, the rest are scattered among the borders or in containers. So far the only things ready to harvest have been peas, turnip greens and a few blueberries but they've all been delicious.

Left to right: peas, young conference pear, cabbages protected with netting, runner bean flower


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