Thursday, 17 May 2018

Cacti & Succulents

I can't believe it is 3 weeks since I last blogged. Been so busy in the garden and the greenhouse. I have been busy planting plants out and potting on my seedlings.

Two plants that need repotting but I am not looking forward to doing!

My cactus and succulents have over wintered relatively well. All apart from my Agave Ovatifolia which practically died. I am hoping I have resurrected it. Well it is looking a lot better than it was a couple of months ago!

I have lots of babies, some labelled some not, I really should sell them as its ridiculous keeping so many of one plant!

I enjoy the challenge of assisting them in growing.

as you can see, I have one or two!

So simple to start too, I have a tray of grit, if a leaf falls off, I just chuck it in here. I really do mean chuck as well, I don't place it carefully making sure the end is near the grit, I used to do that, but found that often they would shrivel up and die.

As you can see, some look good and grow on others don't. So I believe, neglect is the answer!

the tray on the right are leaves that fell or where pulled off last year and popped in my grit tray then once they developed little plantlets I potted them on in grit in the autumn, then left them over winter on a back shelf in my greenhouse, and as you can see they are doing well. They came from the Echeveria on the left of the next pic.

Some of my Aeonium's which also need repotting.

My collection of cacti and succulents is not limited to what I have shown you here, I wonder if I have a problem????

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Boring? I hope not!

I was on one of the many forums I go on, finding information and new ideas for my tropical look garden. There was a discussion about the types of plants people use to get the effect. I mentioned that I used a lot of annuals. The response I got from one member was :-


It quite flummoxed me, so much so, I never even responded.
Since then I haven't blogged, and to be honest, I have commented that much on the forums either. I thought, maybe it is boring and people won't be interested. So I continued in the garden but just followed the forums.

I know I am lacking structure in the garden over winter and it is something that I would like to improve. But due to the frost pocket I live it, I have lost a lot of rather expensive plants over the years.

I saw a garden a couple of years ago that had a lovely Loquat 'Eriobotrya japonica' in it. An impressive plant/shrub/tree with very large leaves that looks very at home in a tropical setting due to its large leaves. So I bought 2!!! Well, it was buy one, get one free.

They where slightly bigger than I had anticipated, but once planted, especially since the neighbours, have had the top half of the garden's fence done, I think the look quite good.

What I hadn't really thought about, was actually how big they will get, but with judicious pruning, I am hoping to keep them an 'OK' size.

Having planted these, and bearing in mind how many seeds I have sewn this year, (keeping costs down)

I realised how much you can do with seed grown plants and how amazing it is that something like this

Can grow to something like this, that is taller than me (5ft 10) in just 5 months!

Plus, I don't have the hassle of lifting heavy pots or digging out heavy plants to move them into the warmth of the frost free greenhouse for winter. The other advantage of course, is, I can try different seeds as well as my favourites. 

But then this last year I did dig a couple of plants out...

Cyphomandra corymbiflora, was dug up in the autumn, although it is big and wide it is also light so easy to move.

A bit of a challenge for me to overwinter as there where so many leaves, every time you knock against it, it gives of a very strong smell.

I also dug up my Sonchus arboreus ' Tree dandelion', and Solanum betaceum 'Tamarillo', both have been badly affected by whitefly

this was back in February, they are on the right and I have had to remove most of their leaves and spray them to eradicate the whitefly. Which I didn't, but I think I have saved the plants, we will see.
Note to self:- read up on how to reduce whitefly in greenhouse!! 

Its been a tough old winter, I have lost most if not all of my elephants ears, there corms are mush. Yet the cannas I forgot to get out seem fine. We will see.

So do I have a boring garden? No, I don't think so, it might be empty in the winter, but in all honesty how often do we go outside at that time of year and by growing annuals I can bring in a lot of different types of plants, it might not be everyone's choice, but it suits my garden.

Plus I have my arid bed, which has come through the winter remarkably well, more in my next post.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

What a Beautiful Day.

Just what the doctor ordered. We had our first bar b que of the season today, it was 'lush'.

I uncovered the arid bed, and boy hasn't everything grown,

The Aloe Striatula, is enormous and even though I cut off two branches before I covered it in the autumn, it has now really out grown this space.

The Yucca Rostrata, is smothering my Aloe Polyphlla so along with the Aloe Striatula we will be moving both.

I think someone has been feeding my Agave Montana something that has made it grow even during our winter, it is enormous now, looks so healthy.

The Dasylirion Serratifolium is looking decidedly lopsided, I think that is because of the poison I had to put around it last year to kill the creeping violet.

Pachycereus Pringlei has sailed through its first winter

as has Trichocereus Macrogonus

My daughter was over so we decided to dig out and move the two Aloes, this turned out to be a bit of a disaster as I stod on the gravel the back board gave way,

I slipped and put my hand out and impalled myself on this, it down right hurt!

The Arid bed has only been constructed since 2015, but we used the wood from around the old veg beds and they had been around for quite a few years. The reasons for this being we weren't to sure whether we really where going to like it.

This was just after t had been set up, you can see just how much everything has grown.

So a bit of a 'bodge job' to keep it together until we can get some new wood.

We managed to dig and remove varying plants

and I think it looks loads better.

Some of the plants have been moved to the raised bed by the pond

more to be added later.

But a good start to the gardening season, I had a good day.