How hard can it be to grow a few edibles in the garden?
Well, harder than I thought. Take your cucumber – tricky little devil. On my second attempt now – the first batch just, well, collapsed and died! Not through over watering as I first thought – I think it was because I neglected them – nay! abandoned them! on the cold conservatory windowsill when the temperature plummeted for one night to almost zero!
So here they are – the second batch – basking in the almost tropical heat of the kitchen windowsill. I’m afraid to move them now!
They are actually outdoor cukes and below are the ones I planted directly outside: not died off – yet! – happy in their 5 star accommodation – cosseted, in fact, I’d say!
So their fate lies with my limited (but rapidly expanding!) horticultural knowledge and the fickle English climate.
I know! Stick to courgettes! But I want to grow one of these!
15 º !! The late March sunshine has drawn me outside for a stroll round the garden. Things are coming to life – well, some of them are! My garden is small – just as well, as I think the novelty would soon wear off if I had acres to cope with. What I have in the front garden is a motley collection of shrubs such as this mahonia – we’ve come to an uneasy truce – it has agreed not to get out of hand if I agree not to try and dig it up – whatever I do to it makes no difference, anyway – it is indestructible – I quite like it really – it provides some winter colour.
and this plant – cant remember it’s name, but it’s supposed to smell of chocolate. It doesn’t, but it has nice yellow flowers so it can stay.
Along the side which edges the public footpath I have a giant currant bush which deflects errant footballs , litter and the many dogs which come this way on their daily walks. And last autumn I put a few mixed daff bulbs in which have been flowering away for weeks now.
But it’s the back garden where I conduct my annual experiments – it’s a bit of a sun trap and secluded enough for me to sit out and read the newspaper or just admire my horticultural handiwork in the summer. I don’t have much luck with the herbs I grow in pots as you can see :
– especially rosemary, but this year it is thriving – look at this – it’s even flowering!
The chives are making a comeback and so is the fennel
and I can rely on the permanent residents to provide interest whilst the newcomers get established.
To provide some seclusion and added height my son put a sturdy trellis up along one fence, but because the things I grow along it have to be in pots I’ve had varying degrees of success. I’ve tried clematis which I find quite a contrary species – since doing some research I have discovered the best ones to choose for exposed positions are the little bell shaped ones – I have one so I need more of the same.
The rather exquisite Princess Di clematis with waxy red flowers, bought at a local garden show, gave up almost straight away, then came back, then disappeared again (seemed as unpredictable as its namesake) and then there’s the one with glorious white flowers like dinner plates – the plant re emerges every spring but only produces a couple of flowers now – perhaps I need to nurture it more!
I found a local clematis grower with hundreds of varieties like the evergreen winter- flowering armandii, I had great plans for it – was going to let it weave itself up through the plum tree, which it did to be fair, but I discovered it didn’t like exposed, windy conditions and it, too, eventually perished – a shame as it was very different from the rest! These pictures are from previous summers
But back to March. What else is stirring?
It’s exciting walking round my little patch, spying something else just coming back to life – the climbing rose, bought the year before last), the photinia , drastically pruned last autumn a quarter of its original size, but flourishing,
the honeysuckle – well, impossible to kill that off , patio pots of aubretia, and the ubiquitous nasturtium,
And then there’s the prospect of filling my little veg patch with carrots, onions, strawberries, tomatoes and peas.
At the very bottom of my plot there are two fruit trees – a plum and a pear – which always provide me with enough fruit to make jam and pickle for the following winter, but the patch of ground they inhabit is a forgotten bit of land and plants which don’t thrive in the main garden tend to get transplanted down there – and you know what? most of them start to flourish – out of defiance, I think!! such as this euphorbia, which got uprooted when a new fence was put in out the back. Now that’s the sort of plant I like!