Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Drizzle, then rain, then drizzle then rain, etc

Today was not the most pleasant for working in - very warm but with an almost constant drizzle interspersed with heavyish showers - just perfect for the infamous midge to come out and forage on my exposed parts!
To start, here is this weeks piccie of the border from the potting shed, taken first thing this morning.

So what was on today?
First off I planted some young Alchemilla mollis (Lady's Mantle) along the upper side of the greenhouse steps, though I need about another half dozen plants to complete the run. These will be mixed in with some Meconopsis cambrica (Welsh Poppy) to give the area above the steps a lime green / yellow theme. The plan is that the Lady's Mantle will eventually froth over the the steps and soften the edges.
I then planted out 24 Alcea (Hollyhock) that I have been growing on in the greenhouse. These were grown from seed saved by a member of Tain & District Gardening Club and the only description I have is "Dark Red", so I'm not sure if they are first year flowering though I think it is more likely that they will flower next year. Anyway, these were planted in groups of threes or fives in areas of the herbaceous borders that needed some interest. I also planted out the four survivors from a old packet of Sunflower " Pastiche" to help brighten up a bare spot in the top border.
I think I have mentioned before that there were quite a few shrub roses that were being given a last chance this season - and that most have responded and are flowering - two that hadn't taken my advice now have a new home - the compost bin! I cut back all the long leggy fresh growth on the remaining shrub roses to tidy them up, and dead-headed the white geranium clumps in the top border too, as well as the various groups of lupins. A victim of the harsh winter, I finally got round to removing the mallow this afternoon.
I also tied up the sweet peas again as the weather seems to have taken it's toll on those planted out in the border, though those in pots by tye potting shed are looking considerably more healthy.
On the veg front, the Brokali has started to produce small central heads, the onions are looking good, with lots of healthy green leaves, so they should start to bulb up now, into some quite decent onions, the lettuce are coming at it, the tatties are all looking healthy, the carrots are starting to show signs of decent leaf growth, the runner beans in the extra beds are pale but climbing their canes (just need the sun, as do we all), the brassicas are all looking good and the Crimson Flowered Broad Beans have got...............crimson flowers !!

On the greenhouse front, I pinched out the side shoots on the tomatoes and started to tie them to their canes. Started to feed the toms, cucumber and aubergines with Tomorite, so Sally has been instructed in the correct dosage and how often to apply in my absence. The Capsicums are starting to grow away slowly and the chard "Bright Lights is ready for picking. After taking away the hollyocks and sunflowers, the greenhouse staging now only holds young PSB plants, baby leeks which should go out next week and some recently germinated lettuce seedlings.To finish the day off, I ventured off to the fruit bed and did some more weeding, removed another shrub rose that shouldn't have been there and got munched alive by those little midges again.
Only one other photo this week - this is a bloom on tyhe peony "Sarah Bernhard" that was planted as a plug last year - if it looks dirty that's because it was lying on the ground - this was taken after it was re-staked.
That's it for another week folks, thanks for looking.

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