Friday, 23 August 2013

Aster Unicum Mixed

The Aster Unicum Mixed (Callistephus chinensis) is adding a welcome splash of colour in the border late this summer.  The newly planted border (this spring) has been disappointing with many of my bought plug plants failing to flower.  However, the beautiful Asters were sown by my teenage son back in the spring and he is proving to have the gardeners touch!  I am going to ask him to sow some more for me next year as he is obviously doing something right.

I have really caught the gardening bug this year and can't wait to grow as many  things from seeds or from cuttings as I can next year.  There is a deep feeling of satisfaction knowing you have grown plants yourself even if you do have a little help now and then.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Seed Pods No.1

On a dry day, late in summer, it is quite satisfying going around the garden collecting seeds from their pods.  The seed pods above are from a stray Californian Poppy that must have self seeded from last year.  You only have to touch the tip of some of the pods and the seeds burst out all over the place!

You can see what the Californian Poppy looks like by clicking here.  It has a lovely translucent quality and prolific blooms.  I am going to sow some of these seeds this autumn time and some more in the spring time and see which fare best.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Ripening Toms

My upside down tomatoes are ripening up nicely now and each flower was pollinated.  I am growing the same variety conventionally in pots in the greenhouse.  Although the plants are very leafy and healthy looking there are hardly any fruits and yet still some flowers to be pollinated.  Next year I think I will just grow tomatoes outdoors in hanging baskets with a contingency plan of transferring them to the greenhouse if we have a cold and wet year. 

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Ginger Mint

The gardening shows on t.v recommend cutting back mint plants now before they flower and to encourage a second flush of growth.  I have been picking from my spearmint plant regularly over the last couple of months so it hasn't flowered. I will be cutting it back by half and drying the cuttings for use during winter.

My ginger mint (mentha x gracilis) however, has been allowed to flower profusely throughout the summer.  It has been a magnet to all kinds of beneficial insects and can often be seen covered in butterflies and bees and other winged creatures.

If you want to encourage the bees and butterflies to your garden I strongly recommend getting a ginger mint plant.  Keep it in a container to avoid spreading and enjoy the bounty of wildlife that come to visit it.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Echinacea Alba

On a visit to Myddleton House Gardens today,  I was delighted to find that they had a sale of the plants they grow there.  This Echinacea Alba (pictured above) really stood out for me.  Purchased and safely transported home, I now need to find a place for it to shine in the border.