The diary of two novice gardeners and allotmenteers

Chris and Steve's Weblog – City Chickens

Night Scented Stock – Matthiola longipetala

I love these wild looking flowers and they bring back good memories for me because my Mom always used to sprinkle a packet of Night Scented Stock along the strip of garden under my bedroom window in the prefab when I was growing up. The prefabs had really large windows with two side opening ones and of course being a prefab the window was very close to the ground. No upstairs for us. When they were in flower the scent rising up when you opened the window was amazing and I can still recall it now. I can’t wait to go into the garden on a warm summer night and breathe in that perfume and remember, 30th March, a little early, I know, but I have sprinkled a bit of this seed here and there in sheltered spots around the garden.

Sow directly where they are to flower. Position plants around seating areas and along paths in the garden so their scent can be enjoyed in the evenings.  A sunny situation should be chosen making sure that drainage is good. Wait until the weather warms a little before sowing. Sow thinly, Water the soil regularly, especially in dry periods. Light spring frosts will not harm the plants.

Polygonum Baldschuanicum – Russian Vine

Yesterday Sean an Deb brought along a mile-a-minute vine that they had picked up for a pound. It had been reduced from £6.99 but there are a few green shoots showing so maybe it will turn out to be a bargain. I have planted it in the side garden where the two big trees used to be but shall keep a close eye on it  as it can be as naughty as Ivy in it’s destructive habits. I plan to cut it back severely each Spring.

Russian Vine is grown for its flower-laced vines and as it is a fast growing plant it is grown as cover for unsightly fences and other garden structures. However, it has the capacity to become invasive by spreading beyond its intended limits. The white flowers are decorative and provide nectar and pollen for bees. wiki

 

Adam – 20th February 2017

I find it hard to accept that a whole year has passed since I lost Adam. I miss him more than ever. He should still be here with his family. I know that if he could he would be telling us all to enjoy life. He used to say “Life is great” but it will never be the same for us without him. This weekend has been very difficult.  Adam died on Saturday 20th February 2016 and I’m sure that in spite of how difficult life was for him at that time he would still have chosen to live. Love you and miss you my lovely boy.

Black Eyed Susan – Rudbeckia

Another welcome gift from my daughter-in-law Deb. Three large healthy roots of this lovely hardy perennial. Deb is a gardener with her own successful company www.daisy-chain-gardens.co.uk. Thank you Deb.

image

Charming, daisy-like flowers with prominent, cone-shaped, blackish-brown centres appear in abundance from August to October. This beautiful ‘black-eyed Susan’ is an excellent choice for the middle of a late summer border and it associates particularly well with ornamental grasses. It is a particularly free-flowering variety, that is best planted in bold drifts in a sunny or partially shady site that doesn’t dry out over summer. Information and picture from crocus.com.

Adam – Saturday 20th February 2016

My beautiful son, Adam, passed away on Saturday 20th February 2016. We were together when he took his first breath on the third of March 1974 and we were together when he took his last. I was privileged to be able to care for him until the end. He loved life and fought to hold on to it despite the awful suffering. I know he wasn’t ready and would have put up with anything for one more look at his beloved children. I am trying to get back to what’s left of my life as he would and often did tell me to.

Motor Neurone Disease

Did you know that this week is MND National Awareness week. Well my family has certainly been made aware as my youngest son, Adam, has been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.

http://www.mndassociation.org/news_and_events/our_news/mnd_awareness_week_1.html

He and the whole family have gone through a state of shock and grief that has hit us all like a jugernaut. After the first round of gp, consultant, hospital, specialists and awful tests we are now trying to come to terms with the diagnosis and what it will mean. On 31st May we had a family visit from a lovely MND Nurse, Heidi, but since then we have had no contact from any of the care team and remain in a state of limbo.

Adam is bravely continuing to carry on as normal and has made a special effort to take his six year old daughter on days out, seaside holidays and this weekend he, his girlfriend and his daughter are travelling to Cyprus for a week in the sun to make some special memories .

If my weblog has been a bit sparse on the gardening front recently it is because we have all been totally preoccupied with this current situation and my positive and optimistic view on life has taken a bit of a battering.