It was going to happen eventually but last weekend I missed a #sixonsaturday #six-on-saturday update. I did manage to post about my RHS experience but the sos went by the way. Not that I have been entirely idle though as you shall see.
1. Fig tree – There are a number of gardening celebs I can blame for leading me off the straight and narrow. Sarah Ravens website I have to ration strictly otherwise I might just as well sign my bank account over to her. So enticing, with beautiful pictures of flowers in beds, borders, pots and other containers. However, it is not Sarah I am blaming for this documented small expenditure this time though but James Wong.
A couple of weekends ago he wrote about growing a fig tree in the garden. I had always thought that they were difficult to get fruit from due to the way they are fertilised by a tiny wasp which I don’t think is native to UK and their prediliction for a warm climate (and it might yet take a couple of years before I am proved wrong or right) but I decided to buy one. Not for me though but for G. who had been talking about them co-incidentally the day before I read the article.
So I jumped in and bought one from Ken Muir who I think sell fantastic fruit plants, trees etc. Last weekend we duly potted it up and it is now sitting in a protected spot against the wall of the shed which is the one bit of the garden that gets the sun from mid morning until evening during the spring, summer and autumn. All crossed for a future fig or two. Will post a photo when it is more than 2 sprouting twigs.
2. Strawberry beds
I have strawberries growing in a few places both on the allotment and in my garden. They are in the ground, in mangers (wooden trugs on legs that G. built) and in a tiered bed G. also made for me. Last weekend I spent a solid few hours weeding and feeding the strawberries. They are one of my favourite things to grow although eating too many of them causes me to come out in red blotches, the only food I am actually allergic to, but it does take a lot of strawbs to cause a reaction (thankfully).
The reason I am posting about them is because this year I am trying Strultch around them (mineralised composted straw which is supposed to both feed the plant and protect from slugs and snails). It is a little pricey but I figure if it works to protect my strawbs it will have been worth it.
Here are the strawberry tiers when they were built last year,
I haven’t taken a new photo but will in the next couple of weeks as the strawberries are growing strongly and there is a lot of flower on them too and they should be looking good soon.
Here’s of the strawberry mangers (photo also from last year),
3. Morrocan Black mint
Alys Fowler posted a photo up on instagram this week of her black mint plant. It looks a very pretty plant. I am growing this also, however, it seems to be growing at a snails pace, at the rate it is going I should bave my first cup of mint tea about November time. Alys reckons it is the best flavour for mint tea so if you are interested it is available from Real Seeds.
4. Today I took receipt of another order of lemon verbena rooted cuttings – for some reason I do not seem to be able to successfully over-winter this plant. Outside or inside I am unsuccessful, if anyone has any suggestions please let me know. Although this year I will be attempting to strike a lot of cuttings as this is a plant I love the smell of.
5. I also took delivery today of two peonies I bought at the RHS Cardiff Show. They are lovely specimens from Primrose Hall, here they are on display at the show.
6. She-shed … Today and tomorrow we empty and demolish the sheds on my allotment plot and in its place G. is building for me a super-duper new one (my “she-shed”) and I am extremely excited. He has designed it as well as building it and as well as storing all those masses of pots and allotment essential detritus there will be a potting bench and room to put seeds to germinate with more light than my house window sills. Am hoping we can find and install a solar panel that might just take the edge off the cold enough in the winter to be able to start even some slightly more tender plants early.
Today we spent the afternoon taking away the old sheds (which were falling apart), not finished yet but more than 50% done, here are the before photos so I can feature the after when its done.