Chris's Weblog – City Chickens

Tag Archive: T&M

Scabious – Scabiosa Atropurpurea Beaujolais Bonnets T&M

Last year we went on a visit to Ashwood Nurseries and Laura couldn’t resist buying a packet of T&M Scabious seeds, Beaujolais Bonnets. We had discovered a blue version of this lovely herbaceous perennial amongst some wild flowers grown from a mixed packet she received free from RSPB. We repotted it into a large pot and it is showing signs of regrowth even now in the snow. Our plan is to top up the compost in last years pot and sow the new seeds in there.


Scabiosa Butterfly Blue is a Lovely, lavender blue, pincushion like flower blooming from July to September, held on delicate stems above clumps of lance shaped, grey green leaves this long flowering blue scabious is ideal for a sunny, well drained rock garden or container planting. As its name suggests, the charming pincushion like flowers are highly attractive to butterflies and they make very pretty additions to fresh and dried flower arrangements.

 

 

Found by chance in a Suffolk garden, this showy Scabious produces large, burgundy pincushion flowers surrounded by an outer collar of raspberry pink petals. Scabiosa Atropurpurea Beaujolais Bonnets is a variety with tall stems that stand above other perennials. The nectar rich blooms are loved by pollinating insects. A first class perennial for cottage garden borders that will also provide you with some fabulous cut flowers.

 

 

Scabiosa Caucasica was introduced into Britain in 1803 after seed collected from the Caucasus was sent to the Hackney nurseryman George Loddiges. In the wild it is found in cool meadows and in the garden this plant seems to peak once the heat of summer starts to wane. Clive Greaves is a selected seedling originally grown by market gardener James House, who ran a successful nursery near Bristol. The House family had previously named a white form Miss Willmott in honour of Ellen Willmott who gardened at Warley Place in Essex. They also developed their own seed strain, usually known as House’s hybrids, which are still available from Thompson & Morgan as young plants and seeds. The first scabious ever introduced was the small flowered Scabioisa Atropurpurea in 1591. This species comes from warmer areas of southern Europe. Often sultry and dark, it was given the common name Mournful Widow.

All scabious prefer well-drained soil and a sunny position. They dislike cold, wet winters. A top dressing of grit in October will aid surface drainage. However they also hate hot, humid weather and do best in temperate conditions. Dead head regularly to promote further flowering. Scabiosa are easy to care for and require little maintenance. Rainfall is normally all the water they need however they will require supplementary water during prolonged dry periods. They require no fertiliser as the addition of compost will suffice. It is recommended that you deadhead spent flowers to encourage further blooming whilst providing a vital tidy up. Divide and replant in fresh soil every 2-3 years to maintain vigour. Attractive to bees and butterflies. Hardy perennial.

Cucumber Long White T&M – Cucumis Sativus

I bought the seeds of this Cucumber, Long White, from T&M way back and have had several attempts to grow them without any success. They were £1.99 for 25 seeds and there were ten left in the foil packet so I have put them all into some damp compost, enclosed the pot in a polythene bag and sat it on my computer box for a little bottom heat.  This is my first sowing of the year. I have not been enthusiastic this year about seeds and sowing but I have nothing to lose with this as the seeds are here and its either sow them or throw them. I think it will be the same story with most of my seeds as I have only bought parsnip seeds for the allotment this year as these are well known for not staying viable over time. The allotment is now Robs domain any way as I will probably concentrate on the house, the garden and the chickens. Update 18th February – One seedling through at 8 days.

 

Creeping Phlox Subulata

The plug plants of creeping phlox ordered from T&M have been potted on into small pots of moist compost and put outside. The five varieties include, Snowflake, Candy Stripes, Emerald Cushion Blue, Red Wings and Drummonds Pink. This a completely new plant to me but caught my eye as ideal for around the pond if it gets done this year. At least they can hopefully flourish in pots for the time being.

Creeping Phlox Subulata is a stunning, wintergreen perennial and ground cover plant, with lovely star-shaped flowers. Flowering from April to June, creeping phlox grows out to an attractive and eye catching, spring flowering green carpet. Creeping phlox is much loved by gardeners all over the world for its rich flower display and grows to approximately 15 cm tall. It is an ideal rock garden or woodland plant and is a welcome addition to any flower border. This lovely plant is easy to grow and care for.

 

 

 

 

Geum Mrs Bradshaw

Geum Mrs J. Bradshaw is a clump forming herbaceous perennial with fuzzy, dark green pinnate leaves and erect purple stems supporting double flowers. The rich scarlet blooms set against emerald green foliage are a bonus in the border. These hardy perennial plants will flower all summer from June right through to September. An excellent Geum variety awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit for its reliable performance, stability of colour and form and good resistance to pests and diseases. Cut back the foliage after flowering to encourage new growth. Update – Only two of the seedlings made it through the Winter and they have been potted on again into five inch modules.

 

Snake in the Grass

Fritillaria meleagris

Fritillaria meleagris –  Add plenty of well rotted manure or garden compost to the soil prior to planting to improve soil.  Plant snakes head fritillary bulbs at a depth of 4″ and 4″ apart. The bulbs are fragile so always handle them with care. Planting them on their sides will help to avoid water collecting in their hollow crowns and prevent the bulbs from rotting. Divide from August to September. Information and picture from thompson-morgan.com

I have tried to grow these lovely things before without any success. I now have fifty bulbs and have to decide where to plant them. Some plants men say that the flower is deadly poisonous. It has many common names as well as snakehead it is called lepers lily.

Grigson, in his Englishman’s Flora, calls the Fritillaria  meleagris snaky, deadly beauties, but there is little written evidence of harm.

On sunless days in winter, we shall know
By whom the silver gossamer is spun,
Who paints the diapered fritillaries,
On what wide wings from shivering pine to pine the eagle flies.

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

Oriental Lilies – Lilieaceae

Oriental lilies prefer a moist, free draining, neutral to acid soil that is rich in organic matter. Prior to planting, add plenty of well rotted manure or garden compost to the soil to give your lilies the best start. When growing lilies in containers, use a loam based compost such as John Innes No.2. Lily bulbs should be planted at a depth of approximately 3 times their own height and 15cm (6″) apart. Planting deeply helps to protect the bulb during particularly hot periods. Choose a sheltered, sunny position where lilies will grow with their heads in the sun and their roots in the shade. Information and photograph from T&M where I bought the bulbs.

I am ready and waiting for them to arrive which I’m told will be late November. I shall put them into two large black, square planters. Well the Lilies arrived this morning November 7th. Unfortunately I have run out of compost. I have ordered some more so another wait now until it arrives. The Lilies are sitting in the fridge for now. Friday 11th November. All the lilies are in now. I divided them up between two large pots, keeping one back to put directly into the garden in the white border.

Oriental Lilies range from 2′ – 6′  and their very large flowers emit a strong fragrance when they bloom in the later part of summer. Their flowers, often freckled or lined, tend to lift outwards or to the sky, as though soaking up the sun they enjoy so much. Blooms are usually wide open, with recurved petals. Not always the easiest lilies to grow, their large fragrant flowers make it worth the effort. Oriental Lilies grow best in full sun in rich, slightly acidic, and well-drained soil; like lots of water during the growth period and some mulch to keep their roots cool. Smaller varieties of the Oriental Lily do well in containers, and all make superb cut flowers. 13th March – The lilies are a foot high already and I plan to mulch with ericaceous compost tomorrow and move them out away from the wall and into a sunnier part of the garden. I am looking forward to finding out what colours I have.

 

Spring Bulbs – 2016

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.

Cauliflower Skywalker F1

Today, 28th May, I have received the cauliflower plants that I ordered from T&M and they look brilliant. Healthy and ready to be planted out as soon as the beds are ready. They are an F1 variety called Skywalker and should be ready to harvest in October. Update – we planted these yesterday, 2nd June, under a covered tunnel along with nine cabbages given to us by a friend. Update 12th September – we have harvested several of these already and they have been outstanding in size and quality. Maturing in October this outstanding hybrid gives fine, deep white curds of excellent eating quality.

 

https://www.thompson-morgan.com/new-seed-inspiration?source=msn-brand&msclkid=ce1a8bddaaef16065956d1c3c5f4645a&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=3.1.1%20Brand%20%5BbrdY%5D%20%5BdevD%5D%20%5BadT%5D%20%5BGeoGBR%5D&utm_term=t%20%26%20m&utm_content=Thompson%20%26%20Morgan%3A%20T%26M%20%5BbrdY%5D%20%5BdevD%5D%20%5BadT%5D%20%5BGeoGBR%5D

Garden Pea – Hurst Green Shaft 2010

I have never grown these peas before but have read such good reports about them I decided to give them a go. They are a second early so I shall put them in during March. They should be ready to harvest in 13-14 weeks.

Pod length is about 4″ with 9-11 peas in a pod. Pea Hurst Green Shaft is a super heavy-yielding variety. Only 28″-30″ tall, with all the pods close to the top. A second early, wrinkle seeded variety, which matures in 100 days from sowing. Pea Hurst Green Shaft resists downy mildew and fusarium wilt. And the taste! Has to be eaten to be believed. info and picture from Thompson &Morgan from whom I bought the seeds.