Chris's Weblog – City Chickens

Yearly Archive: 2016

Pear Discovery

Yesterday, 13th October, Laura and Glenn harvested the pears. Despite having had a blight of European Pear Rust on the leaves, we had a very good result from the Discovery. The Red Williams and the Beurre Hardy however didn’t give us any fruit worth a mention.

European Pear Rust – On pears Bright orange spots on the upper leaf surface. As summer progresses brown, gall-like outgrowths develop on the corresponding lower leaf surface. Fruit may be affected, but this is much less common. This fungus attacks both pears and junipers. In fact it needs both plants in order to complete its life cycle. Another reason for the removal of the enormous fir tree from the side garden.


Perennials – Thompson & Morgan Bargain 2016

I had just about decided to stop gardening today and have a rest when the postman delivered 72 tiny perennial plants I had ordered from T&M. On opening them I could see that they were good healthy seedlings and well worth the £2.99 that I had paid for them. They were, however, in need of potting on. They are now all in new pots. The plants were sold as “lucky dip” so discovering what was in there was exciting. There were six each of Cone Flower, Sea Holly, Dianthus, Thrift, Geum, Foxglove, Aquilegia, Delphinium, and more.

Update on Saturday 22nd October. I have lost one of these seedlings and feel quite concerned about getting them through the winter safely. I wondered whether to plant a few out but on doing a search online I think I will keep them protected until the spring. I don’t have a greenhouse or a cold frame so they will have to live on the window ledge until then.

Rosa Ernest H Morse

This beautiful Rose has deep red flowers with a powerful fragrance that are produced through Summer and Autumn. Excellent for bedding and cutting. I have planted this in a large square planter and added a few spring bulbs too. This morning, 3rd February, I had to do a rescue job on this pot as it had become waterlogged. I pushed a few holes around the pot so I hope I was in time.

Information and picture from Parkside Nursery.

Rosa Doris Tysterman

I have planted this Rose this morning, Monday 10th October. It is in a large pot with some Tulip bulbs. It’s one chosen by Kelly and looks a beautiful colour. I am looking forward to June next year and living in the hope of some lovely Roses.


Large flowering Hybrid Tea rose. Slightly fragrant, well-shaped blooms of a lovely blend of tangerine and copper are produced throughout the summer and autumn. Foliage is a glossy green with hints of bronze. Ideal as a cut flower. Hardy. Information and picture from Rumwood Nurseries.

Rosa Queen Elizabeth


Another tall one for the back of a border. I think I shall plant this one in the new side garden where the two big trees have been removed. I have heard that it’s indestructible . We shall see. Friday 21st October, I changed my mind and put this one in a large pot for now. The side garden is still not ready for planting after the water problems we had last month. Had to rescue this plant from a waterlogged pot this morning, 3rd Feb. Fingers crossed.

Rosa Blessings

I have planted this Rose today, Thursday 13th October 2016, in a large pot. I put a few white Narcissi around it. The plant looks really healthy and already has plenty of new shoots.

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Highly scented salmon pink flowers are produced through the summer on this compact rose. Best in full sun at the front of a border where the scent can be appreciated. This classic Hybrid Tea rose was introduced in 1967 and bred by Walter Gregory.

Heuchera Palace Purple

Another Aldi bargain today. A Heuchera plant reduced from £1.49 to 49p. The variety is Palace Purple. Sprays of salmon pink flowers appear above mounds of large dark burgundy leaves. Heuchera is grown mainly for its foliage. It is semi evergreen and will thrive in dappled shade. Keep soil slightly moist. Tidy them up in autumn. Lift and divide clumps every couple of years in early autumn and replant with the crown just above the surface of the soil. Apply 2-3 inches of mulch around the crown of the plant in spring.


I now have three of these as Deb and Sean brought me two the last time they came. The two they brought are in pots but this one is in the ground.

Planting In Pots


Planting in pots gives you the freedom to change the position of plants around the garden. After flowering the containers can be moved out of view while the plants die back. I use a general purpose compost with a bit of sand and grit to improve drainage. Using pots this year also gives me a chance to let the garden evolve as I am making changes after neglecting it for the last few years. With the exception of one pot all of the containers I bought didn’t have drainage holes. I found it very difficult to make the holes without damaging the pot. I’m not handy with a drill so I eventually bought a small bradawl from Screwfix and did the best I could with that. I still found this job difficult. I am not as strong as I used to be so I should be very glad if pot manufacturers added drainage holes. The only one that did was from a company called Whitefurze, and they were the most expensive.

Water plants in containers regularly as they begin to grow, and continue throughout their flowering period. Once the foliage begins to die back you can gradually reduce watering as they enter their dormant period. Advice by Sue Sampson of Thompson and Morgan. I bought my new pots from T&M along with some plants that were on a special offer.

Rosa Paul’s Scarlet

Another bargain Rose from Aldi. This brilliant red climber will be in a pot against a  trellis between the side fence and the small shed. It looks really healthy so far so I am hoping for good results come June next year.

Paul’s Scarlet is a very free flowering old climbing rose, producing large clusters of brilliant, unfading scarlet double flowers, with dark green leaves. A friendly climber as the near- thorn less stems are easily trained. (Information from Ashridge Nurseries)