Chris's Weblog – City Chickens

Monthly Archive: April 2011

William & Catherine

 

What a spectacle the wedding has been. They both looked beautiful and it all made me very proud to be British. I am not a religious person but the ceremony was very moving and I hope that they have a good loving marriage. Princess Diana would have been so proud of the boys as I am sure Prince Charles is.

Spring Clematis – Vyvian Pennell and Montana Rubens

I have added two more Clematis to the side garden. Clematis Vyvian Pennell – This vigorous climber has double frilly flowers of violet blue blooming in May , June and September. Clematis Montana Rubens – Sun loving drought tolerant plant. Ideal for fast growing screening.  Will tolerate full sun and sandy, drought-prone soils as well as cold exposed locations and heavy clay soils.

 

Aubretia Variegata

Now the ducks have moved home we have reclaimed the pond and have both spent time cleaning it up. Rob managed to get all the mud out and I have made the beds surrounding it ready for planting. Yesterday I bought two Aubretia plants from Mick Market at the allotment and they are now sited at the back of the pond with the hope that they will spread and hold back the soil and stop it from dirtying the water. Tip – Cut back quite hard by shearing after flowering has finished to maintain a neat, compact growth habit and to encourage a second flush of blooms. Incorporate ericaceous compost into the planting hole for best results.

 

 

Lychris – Rose Campion

This is a superb plant for a sunny border. A clump-forming perennial which seeds itself. The silver woolly leaves are a pleasant backdrop to the bright magenta flowers which appear in late summer. It can tolerate most well-drained soils but produces the best leaf colour in dry soil.

My sister gave me a pot of seedlings but she couldn’t remember the name of them. I have potted on a load now and they are coming on well. Last time I spoke to her she said she thought they were Lychris or Rose Campion and I am very pleased because they are beautiful plants and will fit in nicely in a new bed I have made behind the pond.

 

Leek – Musselburgh

I have sown a deep tray of Leek Musselburgh and put the tray into a polythene bags to preserve moisture and heat. I have grown this variety before with varying success which has more to do with the gardener than the variety. I shall grow them on until they look sturdy enough to plant out on the allotment. They will probably be put into the ground that the potatoes come out of where they will stay until early next year.

Brassicas – Sprouts and Calabrese

I have sown a batch of Brussel Sprouts Noisette.  Noisette are an old French variety that produces small to medium sized sprouts with a nutty flavour. Tip – Cut the top from this plant as soon as big enough to eat. This encourages the rest of the sprouts to mature at the same time rather than gradually but can reduce the crop slightly.

I have also put in some quick growing Broccoli Autumn Calabrese seeds. I have sown them thinly in a tray of moist seed compost and enclosed the tray in a polythene bag. I shall keep them indoors until they germinate which should be 14-21 days. They will need potting on and hardening off before planting into their final position but I am more confident with that now. At first I was very nervous when growing brassicas and lost a lot of seedlings.

Tip – Once you have cut the large central head from Broccoli leave the root in and you will more than likely get some tasty side shoots.

Growing Update – Seeds and Seedlings

The Lupin seeds have germinated and are already forming true leaves. I have sown seeds of dwarf Nasturtium both a mixed packet and some with variegated leaves and deep red flowers. I have had a go with some dwarf Scabiosa seeds in modules. These are not easy to germinate in my experience so fingers crossed. The other flower seeds I have sown are Honesty, a few collected seeds from my sister.
I bought some bulbs from the pound shop. They are a white Anemone and out of twenty bulbs I have five decent plants which is not bad for a pound after all.
13th April – I have potted on most of my tomato seedlings. I have Black Cherry, Money-maker and Yellow Plum.
I have sown seeds of Beetroot Boltardy in modules today and covered them with Clingfilm. I have also sown runner beans Blue Lake, Black Bean Delinel and Kelvedon Stringless in pots. The White Lady will be sown direct. Down at the allotment all the potatoes are now in. They are Sharps Express, Vivaldi and Rocket. We have put most in bags but some in the ground. The peas and the broad beans are now in their permanent beds at the allotment and one on the new rhubarb crowns has been planted.