Friday, March 24, 2006

Potty about colour

On my last trip to Kew I bought a rich-purple coloured pot with the intention of adding some colour to my otherwise neutral home. Dee and I went a little crazy at the nursery last month and bought loads of plants for the house. The aim was to get something preferably in bright pink (Chio would be proud), mauve, burgundy, or purple.

We noticed a plant with leaves similar to primrose and a multi-flowering head of blue/purple called ‘Kim’, botanically known as Streptocarpus. It is indigenous to southern Africa and has been continuously flowering for the last month. Didn’t realize that it was so popular, and glad that there is some info on the web concerning its welfare since nothing was provided with the plant apart from the basics.

Also decided to get another native from that region, Asparagus setaceus, which is currently housed in a cream pot. This fern-like shrub has delicate feathery green leaves – bootiful foliage. I’ve asked Shar to paint the pot so that it compliments the throw she brought back from Morocco... I’m thinking dusty pinks, cool blues, silvery purples or mossy greens.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Sound advice

Got to catch up with Gardener’s Question Time on Sunday afternoon before heading off to the yoga beginners’ course. If there isn’t a class then I usually listen to the radio whilst pottering about. One of the plants that the panel discussed was chilli pepper. I have two failed attempts with this vegetable under my belt and reckon its third time lucky! One of the tips they suggested was to make sure that the plants are in pots with plenty of space, something I have neglected. In the past they have been sown in the smallest pot available, then forgotten until they germinate and watered whenever they appear a little limp. Not the best approach for healthy, productive, plants. After listening to the show I’m tempted to try one more time.

At least I caught one programme over the weekend. My first Friday night in for ages, I’m scanning through the TV guide checking the schedule and what a disappointment! No gardening programmes tonight only highlights from the Commonwealth Games. Was looking forward to catching up with Monty and team - after checking out the Gardeners' World website I'll have to wait until the end of the month, but look at what they are trialling!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Splashes of colour

It’s not going to be as impressive as the carpet that Kew have arranged for their spring planting, due to the presence of 5 million bulbs, but there will be more colour this month with my bulbs making an appearance, yay!

At the moment there are two clumps of the giant snowdrops flowering away. The flowers are so delicate and small compared with the deep green thick leaves – I have to admit that this is a name that I’ve given them since I’m not sure what they are called. As you might have guessed it’s a large version of a snowdrop! This has been their best year – usually they have been disappointing with only a few flowers.

Next coming up are the crocuses – again there are large clusters scattered about. The daffs are slowly appearing, I think that I might have planted them too deep since they are all emerging at different times.

And my primrose has been flowering away despite the snails/slugs. The leaves are riddled with holes but thankfully they haven’t attacked the pale yellow petals. Looking forward to the hybrid varieties adding their rich velvety burgundy to the border.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Cuts and scratches

Sunday was the first day I have managed to get into the garden for months. It felt great! The air was crisp, the sky was blue, the sun was warming but the ground was definitely cold. Got through all my tasks and a few extras...

· The intention was to repot the honeysuckle that mom bought last year – check.
· Then add some compost to the roses – check.
· Remove weeds from irises – check.
· Wash terracotta and plastic pots – check.
· Cut back dead stalks from the lemon balm – check.
· Prune roses so that you don’t get caught on them whilst walking along the path – check.

Only then I got distracted. Now that the artichokes are just tubers the whole garden is exposed… Realised that the brambles have been busy during my absence, and set down roots in a couple of places. Of course they are located at the back of the border and you have to negotiate with the roses before reaching them. 15 minutes later my fingers, hands and wrists were stinging from various cuts, nicks, scratches and splinters... I guess no pain, no brambles?