The diary of two novice gardeners and allotmenteers

Chris and Steve's Weblog – City Chickens

Tag Archive: Lidl

Lavandula Stoechas Anouk – Lavender

I bought a couple of pots of this Lavender from Lidl. I think they were £2.79 each. One is here in the garden and one has gone to live with Sean and Deb. I have repotted it for now as it seemed a bit pot bound but it will go into the garden later in the year.

Lavandula stoechas is a species of flowering plant in the family Lamiaceae, occurring naturally in Mediterranean countries. An evergreen shrub, also called French or Butterfly Lavender. Anouk is a compact variety and does well in mixed containers as well as a hot, sunny border. Hardier than other forms but also easily wintered indoors. Drought tolerant once established. Flowers are attractive to butterflies. It  was developed in the Netherlands.

Prune the lavender plant in spring or early summer just after new growth begins. Pruning in autumn can cause the plant to waste energy on new growth leaving it vulnerable to frost. Do not prune lavender plants in the first year when they are establishing roots. Lavender plants, unlike many perennials, do not handle division well so cuttings is the way to go. Softwood cuttings – use only soft, new-growth material from this year that has not yet become brown and woody. These cuttings will grow fastest but are only usable if the soft material is at least 5″ long and includes at least two leafy nodes. Prepare a seed starting tray or small flowerpots to place the cuttings in for the first few weeks after cutting. Because plants without roots are sensitive to both drought and excessive moisture use a good draining compost. Use terra cotta pots due to their breathability and soak overnight before continuing to the next step. Using a clean sharp knife and  slice off the selected branch just below a leafy node, removing a cutting at least 5″ long, including at least two leafy nodes. The longer the cutting is, and the more nodes it has, the more likely it is to be successful. Leave the top cluster of leaves on as they will provide energy for the new plant. Cut all the other leaves off the cutting so that it directs its energy to root development. Plant the cuttings in the containers you prepared earlier just deep enough to keep them steady. Give them a generous quantity of water immediately after planting.  After three to six weeks strong roots will have developed in the small pot. 

 

Clematis Miss Bateman Group 2

I bought this Clematis yesterday from Lidl for £3.99. It looks very good with lots of new growth and large root. I have bought Clematis from Lidl before, the Hagley Hybrid and it has been flowering for years so I am looking forward to adding it to the garden. I bought it to replace Miss Christine which I loved but which died on me after once being replaced by Crocus.com the replacement died also. That one was £17.99. I would like to place it in the same spot but think that may be too risky so I am opening up a new border behind the trellis and I shall place it there.

White early summer flowers initially striped green with contrasting chocolate centres. This compact  large flowered clematis is excellent for growing in a large container or through a shrub or tree. Coping well in full sun or partial shade, it produces a second flush of satiny flowers from August to September.

Blueberry Patriot – Vaccinium Corymbosum

I have bought two roots of Blueberry Patriot from Lidl. They were two for £3 so worth a risk. I have a Blueberry bush that is quite a few years old that I think I got from Wilkos for a couple of pounds and it has paid me back over and over with fruit. This early season variety is said to have large berries and be a reliable and heavy cropper. I am going to plant them tomorrow in a large pot with a mix of all purpose and ericaceous compost. I am a bit doubtful about them as they look quite weak but let’s see what a bit of tender care can do. 11th April – there are signs of fresh growth but not looking promising for this year.

Patriot is an early season variety. It has been developed as a cold hardy variety that will bear consistent crops of large sized fruit, fruits can sometimes reach the size of a 10p coin. Cropping is high, ranging between 10 and 20 pounds when the bush is mature. The berries are dark blue and highly flavoured. Patriot is a low growing, spreading bush reaching a height of around 4 feet. It is adaptable to many soil types and will perform better in moist soils than many other varieties. Patriot looks fabulous in the garden with its showy white blooms in the spring, dark green summer foliage, and fiery orange autumn colours.

Christmas Rose – Helleborus Niger

On Thursday this week I shall be going to the local Lidl store to buy some of these beautiful plants. At six for £7.99 I shall be a happy lady. I have kept back some tête-à-tête so I shall pot them up together. This will be another reminder of Adam as this combination of plants grew along under his bedroom window at the house on the hill. When they were at their best I would take him a photo and the twins would often just pick them as toddlers do and take them in to him. I asked for White Hellebore to be included in Adams funeral flowers and they looked lovely.

Christmas roses have a deep growing root system so the roots should be planted downward rather than spread out below the soil surface and the crown of the plant should be an inch below the soil surface. Apply a layer of mulch around the plant. Every spring remove old, tattered foliage and feed the plants with a balanced water soluble fertiliser.

Calocephalus Challenge

I bought this plant today on impulse and after reading up on it I think it may be aptly named. It caught my eye initially because of its structure and colour, then the cephalus  element of it’s name intrigued me too.

Calosephalus Leucophyta brownii is endemic to the southern coast of Australia, occurring amongst sand dunes and in rock crevices in exposed coastal cliffs. It forms a small compact bush with striking silver foliage in a mass of tangled wiry branchlets. The leaves have been reduced to scale-like hairs that are aligned flat against the stems giving the plant a strange skeletal and ghost-like presence. In late spring and summer has a mass of silver button-like buds that open to small spherical yellow flowers. It prefers an alkaline and well-drained soil. It is a familiar   plant in New Zealand, Australia and California where it tolerates salt, severe winds, drought and mild frosts but its sensitivity to hard frosts has restricted its use somewhat in the UK . It is not completely hardy.

Definitely a challenge.

 

Plum Jam

This morning I made three jars of jam from some of the fruit collected from my Victoria Plum Tree bought from Lidl. They are really tasty straight from the tree but lovely made into jam so that we can have the taste right through the winter too.

I usually cook large stoned fruit quite well in a little water and lemon juice then when the stones are floating on the top I put the whole lot through a seive and combine it with a little preserving sugar. There is pectin in the stones so no need to add more. Stir the fruit pulp and the sugar until the sugar is melted in then turn on the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Keep stirring until the setting point is reached, not long with plums, and then pour into your jars using a funnel.

Raspberry Canes

We potted up three raspberry canes yesterday. They were from Lidl so only £2.47 for the three. They look very healthy with a good root system but have no variety on them or any indication as to wether they are Summer or Autumn fruiting. I already have one raspberry plant given to me by my sister. We plan to erect a post and wire row for them all in the Spring.

Raspberries are best in full sun. They produce new canes in the first year and these canes fruit in the second year. First year canes are green and second year canes have a thin brown bark. It is best to prune back the cane after it has fruited. Maybe we will do what we do with the red currants and cut the wood back whilst it is covered in ripe berries. That way you do two jobs in one and the branch can be taken home to remove the fruit then trimmed and used as a cutting for a new plant.

Clematis From Lidl – Hagley Hybrid and Rouge Cardinal

clematis hagley hybridI treated myself to two Clematis today from Lidl. Only £4.99 each and both beautiful sturdy plants with loads of flower buds. One is called Clematis Hagley Hybrid and was raised  in 1945 by the head gardener at Hagley Hall. It is also known as Pink Chiffon. I have planted this one on the trellis at the opposite end to Miss Christine.I treated myself to two Clematis today from Lidl. Only £4.99 each and both beautiful sturdy plants with loads of flower buds. One is called Clematis Hagley Hybrid and was raised  in 1945 by the head gardener at Hagley Hall. It is also known as Pink Chiffon. I have planted this one on the trellis at the opposite end to Miss Christine.

 

 

 

 

Clematis Rouge Cardinal

The other is called Clematis Rouge Cardinal and I have planted that one in the side garden. Clematis Rouge Cardinal raised by Giraultin from Orleans in France in 1968. A stunning flower colour of velvety crimson, with a satin sheen to the sepal surface, fading as the flower ages. A full rounded 4″ wide flower. Brownish red anthers. Very free flowering habit. It flowers mid summer to early Autumn.

Dessert Apple Cox’s Orange Pippin – Malus Domestica

 

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We bought one of these trees today from Lidl for £3.99 and plan to plant it in the scratching area of the chicken run. There used to be a big old Sorbus in there but it has died completely and will have to be removed along with an old Bamboo. We shall have to protect the trunk until it is established. The hope is that as well as providing some shade for the girls they will enjoy the windfall too. We have a Granny Smith’s Apple in the side garden, close enough for pollination we hope.

The Cox’s Orange Pippin is England’s most famous apple variety, sweet with just the correct amount of acidity, it is packed with flavour.