Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Happy New Year 2019, Seed sowing already!

I have gardened for years and am hopeless at being organised. I have been given beautiful gardening books where you can log down all the seeds you buy, when you sow them, when they germinate etc etc. I always start to use them then forget or don't write things down and out the window it goes.

I follow an avid, enthusiastic and very knowledgeable tropical gardener on Facebook who sources seeds from all over the world. He has the most amazing set up a 'Dewpoint Cabinet' which seems to germinate anything he puts in it, yes I do yearn for one but if I had to choose between one of these and a new wirehaired dachshund puppy, the puppy would win hands down.

Anyway I digress, this year I shall be trying harder to log down my successes etc, as I have been finding over the last few years that by the time planting out into the garden comes along, that quite a few plants have not quite reached the right size or are way too big and have all gone leggy. Had I kept good records I could have adjusted sewing times etc. etc.

The only problem I have found is the inside is not set up as I would like.

I like the idea of a nice book, maybe I should make one?

I expect I will probably end up using a spread sheet. 

So the first seeds are sown, did you know that very fine seeds need to be sown early, these are Nicotiana Sylvestris. I still need to buy some coleus seeds as I haven't got them yet and they need to be started now too.

The Ensete Hiniba in the greenhouse are doing really well, I am thrilled how good they look.

I split them up and have half in the house and they are ok but not as good. I would move them out to the greenhouse but I think the change in temperature would be too much for them, so they will stay inside, for the moment.

Monday, 31 December 2018

New Years Eve,2018, in the Garden

A typical winters day in the UK, mild 8C, very grey skies and no wind. So out I popped just to do  bit of tidying up and weed pulling and reconstructing of frames.

We have had some really strong winds and the frames have taken a real battering this year

I have had to redo all of them!!!  I have made the frame a lot smaller, my main concern is lack of air flow, well we will see. We still have the worst of the weather to come yet.

Solonum Laciniatum is still going strong, I have had to stake it, as its roots are very shallow, but as you can see its still alive. We have had a number of frosts but nothing over a long period, so will be interesting to see how it copes over the next couple of months.

Although the Cypomandra corymbifolia has lost quite a few leaves it is also still alive, another one I am watching.

Petasites Japonicus seems to have flower heads on them. The look a bit cabbage like?

The Ensete are still upright and have not yet gone to mush, but I am sure they will in the next few months.

Some marigolds that are still flowering.

Meanwhile in the Greenhouse, I have kept the temperature a little cooler this year, aiming for 5C rather than 10C. So far ver few pest problems, I am pleased to say.

My various cuttings are flourishing.

Even shrubs, I cut back severely are growing.

My carnivourous plants seem quite happ in the coldest part of the greenhouse.

These are the Baby Ensete Hiniba, I have split them in two, half are in the greenhouse, on a heat mat, with a cover I pull over, they rarely drop below 5C

The others are in the back bedroom, the coldest room. It is also the darkest so have a growlight on. This room is about 12C.

All are looking good and should be available for sale as 2 year old plants in late spring of 2019.

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year and all the best for 2019. xx

Friday, 2 November 2018

Frost has arrived!

The cold weather arrived rather quickly so it was a great rush to get everything covered

and cut back so I could put the frames up

to offer some protection to the palms

that I have in the garden.

Although I probably didn't need to rush quite as much, it is far easier to push the poles into none frozen ground than it is to push it into frozen ground.
We have already had a -5C, but at this time of years it usually goes down and comes back up quite quickly so no time for any damage to occur.
I have dug out a lot of my dahlias this year especially some of my favourites. They are all now potted up in dry compost and being kept in a frost free greenhouse.

We have had our wood delivered, so we are ready here as well.

The greenhouse is a little empty this year, compared to previous years that is. I have cut back on the amount of Ensete's  I am keeping. Now hubby can't help as much in the digging out I have tried to buy more 'hardier' plants. I have also been very pleased with m seed grown plants this year so have decided to fill gaps with these as some can grow to the most amazing sizes in one season.
 On the heat mat (which is not switched on) are my carnivorous plants and quite a few cuttings I have taken this year.

A number of palms Cycas Revoluta, Washington Robusta the larger thread palm which are not as hardy and two new plants which are hardy but I am being kind to them this year.

The Agave and succulents have reduced quite considerably.

Lobelia Tupa and a Hardy Tomato being over wintered in here too.

In the garden, I am surprised by what has and what hasn't been affected by the frosts we have had, which have been more or less on a daily basis since last weekend.

The 'TRex' is beginning to wilt.

A Ricinus has definitely collapsed.

As has the fig.

One of the big surprises to me is the Solonum Laciniatum which is grown from seed and has easily hit over 8ft has not been affected by the frosts.

No wilt to be seen on the leaves at all. I am going to leave it and see how long it lasts. Where as right next to it is

The Hardy tomato has totally gone.

Meanwhile the Cypomandra corymbifolia has also come through totally unaffected, so far! Apparently this is a hardy tree tomato from the Andes mountains and can take -10C, we will see. Last year I over wintered this in the greenhouse and had the most awful infestation of whitefly. It has got so big this year that I decided to leave it out.

Till next time x