Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Il Pleut

Today was wet - no, more than wet, bloody wet - and windy too, very windy - not really a very nice day to be working outside - not that weve had too many really nice days this year.
Anyway, after watering the plants in tjhe greenhouse and potting up some small white Narcissi and some Crocosmia Lucifer corms, it was back outside into the rain.
No drastic damage done by the weather, so I started to clear up the bank above the greenhouse. This was planted with some Alchemilla mollis and this has filled out nicely to cover the edges of the steps on the upper side of the path down to the greenhouse. If it hadn't been so wet I would have planted this area up today but the ground was fit for nothing -  I have a couple of young buddlejia's in pots that were self seeded in the long borders, dug up and potted up to grow on a bit. There are also a number of Mullein in pots which will go above the Alchemilla and I have been collecting the seeds from the few Welsh poppies that have sprung up in the garden and these too will be scattered on this banking, so that it has a predominantly yellow theme.
Whilst there I weeded tha lower side of the steps which is planted up with Catmint and Lavender (a bit of a blue theme going on there).and cut back the Catmint.
Then I lifted some more carrots, three more decent parsnips and the last of the Desiree potatoes. I then turned over and weeded the area vacated by the onions and planted out 16 Spring Cabbage - whilst not ideal conditions they were getting tied of being in their pots so it was a job that needed done.
Anyway, Richard appeared about three o'clock and told me to pack up and go home as the weather was too poor to do anything more.
Sorry - no photos today - too wet, and nought worth reporting that can't wait til next week !

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Very Nearly Autumn

Well, with the equinox fast approaching, there is a definite change in the weather, and it's been much colder this past week or so.
Started the day today by finishing pricking out the best of the rest of the Canterbury Bells  (Campanula medium) in the greenhouse - if the all survive we should have 284 to fill gaps next year.
I then cut away some more strawberry runners and potted them up into 3" pots - we now have 44 growing away.

Then, given the imminent arrival of the frosts sometime in the not too distant future, and given the fact that the cordon grown sweet peas were at the top of their 8ft canes again, I cut what blooms were there ( yet another florists bucket full) and then dropped the whole lot onto the ground. They will continue to give a few more blooms until the frosts do arrive but it isn't worth the time and effort of layering them properly and retraining them up new canes again this year.

Then it was back to weeding and tidying up - this week was the turn of the fruit border. After weeding I cut down the spent canes of the raspberries and made sure that the new canes, which will bear next years fruit were, as far as possible, within the confines of the training wires. Ther are plenty of new canes so hopefully we should start to really reap the rewards next summer.

After weeding the bed, I put down some old black plasric sheeting on the bottom end of the bed to try and minimmise weed growth before bext Spring - anything to help !
I then pruned the currant bushes, taking half a dozen cuttings from the healthiest and most productive bush and these were placed between the strawberries and the wall.
As you can see the ground cover that was put down for the strawberies is in tatters - I think it was a material that required to be covered with a mulch of some description - not to worry, will sirt it all out when I plant the new runners out in early Spring.
And that about concludes the day - I also lifted some more potatoes carrots and parsnips, picked a pot of runner beans and cleared away the peas (finished) and beetroot (eaten by mice & voles) and started moving some of the old cut tree lengths from the area to be turned over to veg - little and often  and I'll get it done without noticing - these will be left outside the garden gate for ease of access for cuting and blocking for the fire.
No pic of the border this week - not a lot worth seeing and it was raining heavily at the time so I gave it a miss.


Tuesday, 11 September 2012

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

First off we have the Goods.....
I got the onions that hadn't succumbed to the weather strung up today.....

And potted up the first of the strawberry runners into 3" pots (36 today). These will stay in the greenhouse until they have developed a decent root system then will be put outside over the winter to get the cold snap they need to help promote flowering and fruiting next year. I will continue to take runners and pot them up as you can never have enough strawberries !

And the Cantebury Bells (all 260 of them, with approx the same again still to do) are thriving and putting on a wee biut of growth after pricking out

And whilst we are in the greenhouse, we have some red tomatoes !!
I also finished weeding the long borders today. they will now not be weeded again until I start to cut down the herbaceous perennials later in the season. Whilst I had my weeding head on, I weeded the old rose bed which has two roses and most of this plants from this Spring's Dahlia cuttings in it. This will eventually be full of dahlias and the roses will be moved to elsewhere in the garden
So that's the Good, now for The Bad. As a result of recent high winds from th west and south west, one of the wigwams in the bordrs whch was supporting a heavy crop of sweet peas has been blown over but not too much damage. However, the runner beans and their supports have been flattened - this is in spite of the fact that they were tethered to metal spikes at either end. They are now propped up but a few of the plants have obviously been broken somewhere - it's impossible to say where.
And as for the The Ugly....

Sodding Caterpillars have started on the PSB. Think some "Decis" will be on my shopping list for next year !

Elsewhere, I cut another bucket of sweet peas - one more week for the cordon grown plants then they will come down but the wigwams in the borders will be left til they decide to pack it in themselves.
The mixed salad leaves in the greenhouse will come out next week too as they have all run to seed now.
The rasps continue to bear fruit and send up a lot of new stems which will bear fruit next season. The Glen Ample and Tullameen are really sprouting with the Glen Moy a bit behind but still doing okay,
And so to finish, here is how things look from the potting shed today, between th showers



Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Breezy start to September

Thank God for walled gardens as it was exceptionally windy today and although the garden didn't escape, it was certainly a lot calmer on my side of the wall than the other.
Started the day as usual by sideshooting and tying in the cordon sweet peas, as well as picking those blooms which were ready (filled a florists bucket full today) then down to the greenhouse to check on the tomatoes and side shoot them too.
Whiolst I was there I pticked out some more of the Canterbury Bells from the seed trays - we now have 260 in module trays with probably the same again still to do. I also potted on the 15 x  Echinops and 12 x Guarda "The Bride" from cell packs into 3" pots.
Then it was back to spend the rest of the day weeding the lower of the two herbaceous borders, deadheading as I went.
Just before finishing I dug up some more Desiree potatoes, lifetd some more carrots and picked a heap of peas, then cut some perennials for the house - Crocosmia, Alastromera, Dahlias, Achillea, Helenium, Eryngium, Phlox and Echinacea.
Sorry no photos today - camera was required elsewhere.
And finally today - Happy Birthday to Richard for Thursday - the BIG SIX-OH, Have a great day !

Alness Show and Sweet Peas

I decided that Sally should put a vase of sweet peas into this show for a couple of reasons .
1. It is a very good local show with a lot of very good exhibits across the schedule
2. There is no point in having lovely cordon grown sweet peas if you're not going to show them.
So, after picking a selection of blooms on the Thursday evening (mainly because it was dry and rain was forecast for the Friday), I took the SP's over to Alness along with my own veg entries.
Selection of vlooms was the biggest problem as quite a few had only three blooms but I finally decided an the 12 I wanted so they were staged and I left for work.
When I returned at mid afternoon, it was to find that they had come first in the Sweet Pea Section and that as well as a red card there was a trophy to accompany it.
Anyway - the trophy is away being engraved so here is a pic of the vase of 12 mixed blooms that won.

So that brings the total tickets and trophies for Sweet Peas this season to 3 firsts, a second and a third plus two trophies for best in class. Not bad  - 5 exhibits, 5 tickets. Next year, I think I will persuade Sally we need to enter some bigger shows, maybe Black Isle and Inverness. All we need to do now is choose our varieties for next season, buy more canes and a lot more rings !!