Archive for the ‘Ground cover’ Category

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.


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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I was out gardening with friend Lizzie on a gloomy Wednesday afternoon and was hugely cheered and delighted by the sight of this Erigeron (karvinskianus) in pots.

Well into November and these blooms, having been in flower all summer long, are still looking fresh and enchanting. Not only a perennial, but Erigeron is drought tolerant too, so this is certainly an idea that I’ll be stealing next year for a window box or two.

P.S. Pots are from Hode Pottery in Canterbury, Kent


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Just read a fab post by Michelle at Veg plotting about leaves that can take all this damp weather we’ve been having and one of her images was of this beauty Cos ‘Freckles’. I  noticed this variety in Sarah Raven’s catalogue last year as it needed ‘plenty of water, but not too much sun’. I couldn’t have predicted the weather (or hose pipe ban!), but I hoped it might do well on a bit of ground that only gets 3 or 4 hours of sun in the morning. I merrily sowed seeds in modules at the end of February, planted them out about 6 weeks later in our community front garden and have been happily picking and eating them for the last month or so, and sharing the bounty with a few other neighbours too. Following Charles Dowding’s advice, we pick the outer healthy leaves, leaving the small inner leaves to carry on growing, enabling us to harvest over a longer period.

Although not completely devoid of slug damage, they’ve held up really well compared to other crops grown in the same garden, but I’ve also planted them bang slap in the centre of the plot, leaving other veg nearer walls to fight off (not always very successfully) armies of slugs and snails.

I love the look of this Cos lettuce, where some plants ‘freckle up’ more than others, and it has a great texture, slightly crunchy at the base, but with plenty of softness in the rest of the leaf too. Just about to sow another batch as it can be planted up to the beginning of September for autumn (and possibly winter?) leaves. Most definitely on next year’s list already.

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