Tuber, tuber, tuber

We usually lift our Dahlia tubers in the autumn and stick them under the stairs in a paper bag to dry out and then return them to the ground in the spring but this year we didn’t and feared for the worst. We shouldn’t have as the two plants are giving us a spectacular display this year.

We’ve had a bit of blackfly on them but they’ve now seemed to vanish. We’ve given them a bit of TLC in the form of regular watering and a weekly feed of comfrey liquid and loving the results. All from a couple of tubers bought in Shannon’s a few years ago! Anyone out there got any nice varieties we can show on Weeds? Pictures please…

Advertisements

November spawned a monster

A few photos of the state of play in the Weeds garden at the moment. There’s fun and frolics in the pond with the goldfish and this year’s batch of tadpoles and it’s not looking too murky in there at the moment. There’s no sign of that thieving Lewisham heron either thanks to the folks at Shannon’s for telling us to put pea netting over the top of the pond (with a few escape routes dotted about for the local mini-wildlife).

The poppies are doing their thing too. Any seed heads that form we dry out and distribute around the garden so they’ll come back next summer.

The vegetable bed at the bottom of the garden has moved on since last month. The spuds are on their way, the alderman peas are starting to grow and we’re finally seeing the runner beans germinate. And about time too!

My, how you’ve grown…

It’s only a few days after the summer solstice and boy the garden is growing well. It’s getting lots of sun and we’re trying to water it as regularly as we can so that’s a great combination.It’s funny how changes can revolutionise things, the Jasmine above (purchased from Shannon’s many years ago) never really did much. It slowly crept up the trellis on the back of the house and there wasn’t much of a scent when the flowers did bother to come out. Then the other month the Berlin wall type structure went up next door (post here), we thinned out the belfast sink it was in (there were others plants in it at the time) and since then kept it watered and fed with comfrey liquid and lo and behold look what’s happened (above). There’s a lovely fragrance from it in the evening too. TLC that all it needed!

In the bed at the bottom of the garden (below) the spuds are now flowering and on the purple flowering broad beans there’s a good few pods forming. Also in that bed there’s onions, beetroot and strawberries somewhere all busy competing with each other which isn’t ideal but we’ll be pulling up the spuds in a couple of weeks so there’ll be space soon.

The side bed (below) where once was a greenhouse is doing well too. It’s usually clayed up this time of year but earlier in the spring half a compost bin’s worth was dumped on it and around the plum tree the ash from a couple of barbecues were sprinkled around. Lots of watering and a regular bit of comfrey liquid helped too! My, look at those tomatoes…

To celebrate the summer growing season here’s a great tune on the Stone’sThrow label from Washed out called Get lost. A tune with a brill cut and paste video too. Happy growing my friends!

This post was written whilst listening to the excellent radio show The Garden of Earthly Delights (live every Friday 10pm til midnight GMT on CRMK here and on mixcloud here) Tune in!

After the virus has gone

pumpkings-and-juniorIt’s been a fair few weeks since any work’s been done in the weeds garden due to that nasty virus doing the rounds but to help to get us in the mood here’s a pic of a couple of pumpkins.

Thanks to the good folks at Shannon’s where we got the pumpkin plant from and also a big thanks to the rodent who was caught in the darlek compost bin. It was seeing the retreating large back end of the rodent that made us decide to put all the decaying waste into a compost trench (more on that episode here) and buy said plant to plonk on top of it as pumpkins do love a bit of rich soil.

On the left is the fruit of our labours weighing in at a nice 4.8kg and to the left and from an very close associate of weeds (from her gardening club at school) a nice smaller variety at 2kg. It’s great this gardening lark isn’t it? We can’t wait to get back out there!

And while we’re here here’s a tune that’s nothing to do with Pumpkins.

The awakening

It’s just gone the month of February, maybe it’s because I’m a little bit impatient and I have a touch of the twirlies but there’s already some spuds chitting and seeds sprouting indoors. Also if I get a minute this week, I’m going to stick a double layer of fleece over a couple of patches of the garden to warm the soil up for the big kick off in the next couple of months.chitting 2016 styleeI bought two types of spuds from Shannon’s, who have loads of varieties in stock from the different cropping types (first earlies, second earlies, main crop and second/late main crop) the terms of which used to confuse the hell out of me. A simple explanation about all of that is here. The ones “chitting” in the back room (above) are Sharpe’s Express (first early) and the good old Maris Piper (main crop.) seed starting 2016 styleeAlso in the back room near the window, is a covered propagator with tomatoes (Moneymaker) and sweet peppers off to an early start, which will be no doubt be leggy as hell before they’re ready to go out.foxtail returnsAnd talking of Shannon’s, this is where I bought the Eremurus aka foxtail lilly or desert candle bulb from and it looks like the monster is ready to resurface again for it’s year long reign of terror (above.) It might be not even be an inch at the moment but before you know it, it’ll be 6 foot tall and will be sending up a lovely flower spike like last year (below.)

But be warned, don’t get on it’s wrong side as it might come into your home and take over your life! On afoxtail 2 tip

Be afraid, be very afraid

Shannons tweetEarlier this week I received a great tweet from the good folks at Shannon‘s telling us that the Eremurus tubers (Foxtail Lilly/Desert Candle) had arrived. I had a shock when I picked out two of (the very strange looking) tubers today as these were huge (nearly a foot wide) compared to the one I had last year. I  even had to put both of them in a bin bag just in case they’d scare the neighbours! The tubers are very out of this world looking and wouldn’t be out of place in “War of the Worlds” either.Be afraid very afraidThey were £7.99 each which may seem a bit steep but what you get for it, a giant of a plant with a huge coloured flower spike (some varieties grow up to 3 metres), it’s well worth it! Here’s what it was like earlier this year. Roll on next year!foxtail last year

What a carry on!

I popped into Shannon’s this morning whilst the sun was out and on the way round deciding what to treat myself with, I noticed this delightfully named passion flower.

silly cow

While we were there, we bought a bag of coarse grit for my daughter’s cactus collection. On the way out we noticed a few people doing a double take at the bag my daughter was carrying. And this is why…

Coarse gritIn the background while writing this, we’re listening to this week’s fitting tribute to the late Joe Maiden “the godfather of soil,” by Tim Crowther and friends on BBC Radio Leeds. It’s a mixture of happy and sad and a show worth listening to on play again here. R.I.P Joe Maiden.