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Archive for the ‘Plant Nurseries’ Category

Tulips Rai, Queen of the Night and Curly Sue

I have to admit that my dividing Agapanthus pics are none too visually thrilling, so I’m shamelessly throwing in an update of my gorgeous tulips at the same time.

Tulips Rai, Queen of the Night and Curly Sue + Ballerina 2

A week later than my last tulip post and the very dark ‘Queen of the Night’ and the softer, more frilly ‘Curly Sue’ are adding a more sombre note to the bed. Very raspberry ripple, but the firey orange ‘Ballerina’ does add a zing and if I was planting this bed again, I’d probably add a few more of these. I’m pleased with the combination none-the-less though.

Agapanthus pot

So here’s my large (16 inch) pot of Agapanthus.

Sweet peas and Agapanthus by the front door

To be honest, it does give me about 30 flowers every summer (with plenty of feeding), but it’s been in this pot for years and I thought it was time to divide it. I originally bought the plant as a large clump of an unnamed variety from Pine Cottage plants and it’s been delighting me for years. This is a glorious Agapanthus specialist nursery in Devon and well worth the visit should you be heading down that way. They also offer a fantastic mail order service with a wide and very tempting selection of cultivars and I’ve ordered many quality plants for clients that way too.

Agapanthus roots 3

It wasn’t easy removing the plant from the pot, but once the first sliver was out, I was able to use a large sharp kitchen knife to slice through the roots and divide up the rest.

Agapanthus roots

There was hardly any soil left in the pot, but now I’ve re-potted the large clump back into the pot with plenty of fresh rich compost, and the smaller pieces have been planted in a neighbour’s garden. I’m hoping that I should get some flowers from the larger clump this year and I’m curious to see if the smaller pieces will flower too in the soil this summer.

Tulips Rai, Queen of the Night and Curly Sue + Ballerina and mustartd leaf

Meanwhile, back in the Tulip bed, I’m lapping up what these luscious spring bulbs have to offer.

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Plant belles rusty wire cloch supports with bamboo

I love this show. I always seem to find what I’m look for, and then some more. I’ve been debating whether I should use a cloche for my winter leaves or not and then I came across this nifty and stylish solution for those with petite growing (and storage) spaces. Some bamboo canes and a bit of fleece (or plastic) added to these rusty wire hoops will do the trick perfectly.

Plant Belles rusty cloche supports in different sizes

Plant Belles supply hoops in different finishes and sizes to suit all needs and have other gorgeous plant supports online too. I plumped for a set of 5 smaller hoops for £15.00 and I know I’m going to use these time and time again.

Pachysandra axillaris 'Crug Cover'

I’m always irresistibly drawn, as if by a magnetic force, to the Crug Farm Plants stand, and this year I was delighted by this deliciously scented Pachysandra axillaris ‘Crug Cover’. So similar are its flowers to that of a Sarcococca, that I thought it must be related, but the Pachysandra genus is part of the box family. The ‘axillaris’ leaves are sizeably larger than the more common Pachysandra (terminalis) ground cover that you see in many gardens, and growing in light to dark shade, to about a foot high (and of creeping habit),  this new plant discovery is definitely on my ‘shady bits of the garden’ must-have list.

Chilli Peppr seeds

After a bit of plant gazing and shopping, I was onto the serious business of seed buying. I do want to start some mustard leaves off soon in my mini greenhouse (and new cloche) and called by to the very friendly Sea Spring Seeds stand. They always have  a really good selection of leaves and I plumped for some ‘Broadleaf’ and ‘Red Knight’ Mizuna (fast becoming one of my favourites) and Flaming Thrills and Golden Streaks Mustards-always very decorative. But Sea Spring Seeds are also a Chilli specialist and I’ve ordered some Super Chile plug plants to be delivered later in the year for our community veg growing project. I think they’re going to look fantastic in sunny window boxes and pots along our street come summer.

Pennard plants stall

I also dropped by Pennard Plants to discuss seeds potatoes. These will be for growing in growbags at the end of March and I’ve plumped for Salad Blue Early (a handsome dark purple tuber for some great lilac-coloured mash), which I can collect at the Potato Day at the Garden Museum in Lambeth on Sunday March 10th.

Rainbow mix carrots

And I picked up plenty of packets of seeds so neighbours can grow these gorgeous rainbow coloured carrots this year too.

Lathyrus vernus at the RHS Feb show

As ever, there was a glorious array of spring-flowering bulbs and perennials on offer, and I snapped up a few Lathyrus vernus for another shady spot from the Hardy’s stand. And a few of the darkest of Hellebores and some Hollyhocks for tree pits from The Botanic Nursery. This is my favourite sort of shopping!

Woodland planting in nearby street in Victoria

As you leave Vincent square, there’s a garden nearby (attached to some grand old purpose-built flats in Ashley Gardens-thanks for local knowledge Nicolette) that always looks as good as the show stands. This year was no exception and the cyclamen, primroses and hellebores made the route home a perfect ending to a very enjoyable day.

P.S.

Irises at the RHS Feb show 2

Following Claire’s comment below, here’s a pic of Jacques Armand’s lush Iris display. Have a look at her fab blog for her review of the show.

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Solent Wight Garlic Bulbs

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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