This year I planned to have a lovely contrast of pink and purple tulips in my front garden. Blousey pink Tulipa Rai proved to be a big success with clients, so it’s back again as the star of the show. I love it here alongside my Red Giant Mustard leaf. The purple tulips which I hoped would work well with the T.Rai look to be a week or so behind, but orange Ballerina is now returning for its third year since planting, and yellow and red Helmar has also popped up again in quite a number from last year’s planting.
I’ve always assumed that in my heavy clay soil that tulips will struggle to return, but these are raised beds that I’ve added plenty of compost to over the last few years, and some varieties are definitely more adept than others on making a comeback. As ever, my chosen combinations are not quite as planned (yet!), but looking forward to seeing how the bed progresses over the next week or so…
Here’s a Tulip update one week later
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Posted in 'How to', Annuals, Bulbs, Community growing, Garden Tools, Perennials, Planning, Simple but briiiant, Tree pits, Trees, Wildflower mixes, tagged Alliums, Best plants for tree pits in London, Community_veg_growing_project, Erigeron karvinskianus, EverEdge edging, Hollyhocks, How to edge a tree pit, how to edge around the base of trees, Ilsington council, Miniature gardens_in tree pits, North_London_community_gardening_project, Pimping_our_pavements, Planting perennials and annuals in tree pits, Planting up tree pits, planting wildflowers around bases of trees on January 15, 2013 |
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About 5 years ago, our community veg growing project was launched when Islington Council gave away free wildflower seeds for tree pits (the base around trees). Since then, pimping our pavements has become a regular part of our horticultural activities, and an edged tree pit has become the holy grail of our street planting.
When the council included our community project as part of their entry into London and Britain in Bloom, they kindly helped us along with edging fifteen of our pits.
Just those few extra inches make all the difference,
allowing residents to plant perennials alongside wildflowers and other annuals.
Sadly, these resources are no longer available from the council, but we do have enough funding to have a go at DIY tree pit edging. And here’s Nikki, our first DIY tree pit candidate. The metal EverEdge edging comes in packs of five 1 metre lengths, that easily interlock to create a continuous border. We were slightly alarmed at how rigid it sseemed at first, but bending was more do-able than we at first thought, simply wrapping the metal around a piece of wood (instructions are enclosed!) and using a bit of elbow grease.
Since it was our first attempt, we did learn a few lessons along the way.
- Ask your neighbours to move their cars the day before, for easier access to the tree pit!
- Don’t permanently join your lengths of EverEdge together until you have created all the bends on all of the pieces
- You’ll need more soil to fill the tree pit (once it’s been created) than you think
- You’ll need a large mallet for hammering in the edging, plus some wood for shaping the corners and to use with the mallet (see pic below) (more…)
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Posted in Allotment, Bulbs, Garlic, Plant Nurseries, Still time to, Watering, tagged best time to plant garlic, Garlic suppliers UK, Outofmyshed, Planting_Garlic, Solent Wight Garlic, UK gardening Blog, When to plant garlic on December 18, 2012 |
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I love roasted fresh garlic and this seems like reason enough to plant a row or two whilst the ground is not frozen at my allotment. My mate Colin says, “Plant on the shortest day (well only 4 days to go!) and harvest on the longest”. I’m yearning for summer already! You can plant cloves anytime between November and March and I’ve plumped for Solent Wight from the Garlic Farm as it has a great taste, grows happily in our climate and stores well. Prepare your soil well, adding plenty of compost and give your bulbs the sunniest space possible for best results. Be careful as you divide the cloves as any damage may lead to rotting and plant an inch and a half (3-4cms) deep, root down and pointy end up, about 6 inches apart. I’ll feed with Potassium sulphate in February, water well come March, then pray for a bit of sunshine to help it flourish. Here’s hoping……
P.s. Garlic can be grown in pots as well as in the ground, although bulbs probably won’t grow to such a large size. You’ll need a pot at least six inches wide and deep, but the bigger the pot, the more bulbs you can grow (and the less watering you’ll have to do!). Planting bulbs three to four inches (7-10cm) apart, you can fit 3 bulbs into a 6inch (15cm) pot, 6 into an 8inch (20cm) pot and 9 into a 10inch (25cm) pot.
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