Friday, 29 June 2012

Lucky Lucky Lucky

Well, the luck of Scotsburn seems to continue with Tuesday being a glorious day, albeit sanwiched between some horrible weather on Monday and Wednesday.
However, the poor weather had brought it's influence to bear and several clumps of lupins were laid flat as was the Splish Splash Geranium. The lupins were cut down to ground level but the Geranium was staked up as it has only just started to flower and there are plenty of other lupins in the borders,
One of my most enjoyable jobs on Tuesday was the cutting back of the Oriental Poppies which had mostly finished flowering although some still had petals but these flowers, being big and blousy really do not like wet and windy weather meaning those that were left were looking prety scruffy, so it was out with the secateurs and four barrowfuls later, they had all been despatched to the compost heap. The plants will soon throw out new foliage and we should get another flush in mid to late August.
The cordon sweet peas are beginning to look as if they now know what they are supposed to do and the majority are between 2ft and 3ft high and I continue to remove any tendrils and side shoots on each visit.
The sweet peas that are being grown up cane wigwams in the borders are also rocketing away so hopefully we'll have as good a display as we managed last year.
Sally has started croppping the mixed CCA salad leaves in the greenhouse and the tomatoes are still growing away steadily - with flowers starting to show on most of the plants now, so it'll soon be tiome to stat feeding them with a high potash feed.
I checked over the roses and a couple of the climbing roses were showing signs of mildew (!!!) and there were a few greenfly and whitefly about too, so these all got a spray of Rose Clear Ultra 3 in 1.
Having said that, the infestations on the roses were nothing like the one pictured below - this was on every stem of a pale pink lupin but not on any of the surrounding dark blue / purple lupins. I removed the plae pink lupin completely and sprayed the surrounding lupins with Provado as insurance - having checked every other plant in the borders, it seems that this was the only one infested - strange - maybe aphids like pink as well as yellow !

Anyway, spent the rest of the day weeding, planting out the perennial sunflowers and two more Astrantia, tying a second string round the campanulas against the wall and tying in the Hollyhocks, the tallest stem of which is easily over 7ft already. Anyway , for a change, I will finish with not only a photo of the borders from the potting shed but with some other views of the borders taken from various random points. Hope you like them


Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Dodging the downpours

Another warm but decidedly wet day at Scotsburn, with a nice start to the day followed by some prolonged and heay showers -is there not gonna be a summer this year again ?
Anyway, began by removing the sideshoots and tendrils from the cordon sweet peas which are growing steadily but are not exactly screaming up their canes

After this I watered the greenhouse thoroughly, sideshooting and tying in the tomatoes -the Gardeners Delight have now started to produce their first flowers, though the other varieties have yet to follow suit. I planted out the Big Jim chillies and three Perpetual Spinach into the greenhouse bed in front of the tomatoes.
Then I went and checked on the veg outside - the onion sets, parsnips and carrots are looking good as are the peas, brassicas and potatoes

However the beans, both Runner and Climbing are looking really quite yellow. I'm not sure as to the exact cause but after a bit of research, it may be weather related and the plants should hopefully start to green up when (or should that be if) we get some beter weather.....

Then it was onto the long borders. My "favourite" plants, the oriental poppies, the majority of which are looking past their best, so it was out with the secateurs and some fairly enthusiastic dead heading commenced, removing weeds as I went, and cutting down the clump of daffodil Ice Follies foliage which was smothering a couple of other new perennial plants.
This was followed by planting out the first 18 of the 42 dahlia cuttings into gaps in the borders - and giving each lanting a generous dose of slug pellets as I went.
Then I started the staking and tying in process - first off were the Campanulas that grow along the back wall - these are a good 18" taller than last year so needed tying back to the support wires that run the length of the wall. After the campanulas I also staked some Centaurea and tied in the hollyhocks to thir support canes.
I then started to weed one of the beds by the summerhouse - wil finish it next week as time just runs away with you in this garden,
Anyway, following last weeks dearth of photos, here is what we have in the garden at the moment..

Geranium "Splish Splash"

Garden Original White Iris

Welsh Poppy - Meconopsis cambrica

Peony rescued from the bottom bank of the garden

Astrantia Rubra


garden Original Blue Iris

Shrub rose trained against SF Wall

Climbing White Rose neighbouring it

White Valerian

Red Valerian

Yellow Climbing Rose by Potting Shed

Pink honey scented rose by gate

Climbing Hydrangea in corner between gate and Potting Shed

Yellow Iris

Foxgloves (imported by birds)

Now, we've all heard of the June Drop for fruit trees - but the apple trees are still carrying blossom !!

And finally, the nest set into the arch of the Potting Shed is now definitely occupied by Mrs Wren, who is sitting on a clutch of eggs. he isb't in the photo - she was too quick for me, but she has lined the nest with feathers which are clearly visible in this photo

And of course there is this weeks photo of the borders from the Potting Shed.

That's it - more next week as there are a lot more plants just about to flower !

Friday, 15 June 2012

Get a move on

Another photo-less entry this week as I had to take an older camera as Maggie needed to use the Nikon for her work - took a lot of oictures but on my return home, neuther of us could find the lead to connect the camera to the 'puter and in spite of turning the place upside down and back again, the whereabouts of said lead remains a mystery.
Anyway, what did I acomplish this week - well to start I hoed the weeds round the cordon sweet peas, then put more support rings on them and removed all tendrils and sideshoots. Most are beginning to motor with only one or two poor looking specimens.
I then weeded the veg in this years patch and it t5oo mis beginning to do something now that the days are a bit warmer and longer (though the temperature still drops quite considerably at night.)
Then, to help me diodge the showers, I went down to the greenhouse where I potted on all the dahlia cuttings into individual pots - we have 42 very healthy young plants now which should help fill any gaps in the long borders for this year,
I also pinched out any side shoots on the tomatoes and potted on the two chilli plants whilst I was there and gave everything  a good soaking.
Then it was back to weeding the top border for the remainder of the day.
As for new flowers on the scene - astrantia in full bloom - both maxima and rubra, the white original garden iris is now flowering,  as are more of the roses that are trained against the SF wall.
Anyway, back next Tuesday - with lots of piccies.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012


Last year we had a lot of lupins self seed in the long bordres - especially the lower border. And as a result, this year we have a tremendous colour variation between plants - here a few pics of those that are showing at the moment

Colouring In

Finally the long boprders are beginning to get a fair bit of colour about them, but more of that later.
This morning I put more support rings on the cordon sweet peas which are beginning to grow a bit more strongly now.....

I then weeded the veg patch and gave the carrots, beans, beetroot and brassicas a good watering. And all the spuds are beginning to show themselves now too.
Then it was time to don the knapsack sprayer again and spray off the area that will eventually become the permanent veg patch. So it was out with the Gallup 360 (Glyphosate) and begin the battle. Currently this area is a  mass of ground elder, rosebay willowherb, fallen trees, wild blackcurrant bushes etc but once I get the majority of the weeds away I will be able to work out the best plan of action to get it up and running for next seasons veg.
After this Sally brought down some ground cover fabric and I laid this on the topside of the raspberry bed. The fabric covers approximately12 sq metres and thsi area will be the new strawberry bed.
I planted out 12 x Elsanta bare root runners, 7 x Malwina bare root runners ands 6 cell grown Finesse strawberry plants. These were planted thrugh the fabroc and given a good watering to help sttle them in. They do look a little bit lost in that expanse of black groundcover but the plan is to multiply our stock from runners so it hopefully won't be too long before we fill the allotted area.
I also planted out the dahlia tubers and some more phlox, all in the lower of the long borders, tied the hollyhocks to their support canes and started to train the border sweet peas up their cane wigwams.
Onto the colour I was talking about at the start of this post. New colour since last week has come in the form of another garden original - the Iris pictured below. This was in one clump last year but I divided it into 5 last autumn and although th flower pictured above is the only one to open so far, there are lots more to come. 

However, the oriental poppies, red hot pokers and lupins (more on these later) really do brighten the border up - nowhere more so than at the end of the top border nearest the summerhouse.

So I'll finish this post with these two pictures of the long borders - one standard potting view and the other taken from the roof of the potting shed. As for the lupins - there is a huge variety of colour variation this year so I have taken some pics of them all and will put them on a seperate post.

See you next week !