Last weekend it was my birthday and I had promised myself I would finish the garden by this time. As gardens are growing and never finished, I set the date to say it would be acceptable to have people over to view the new garden by throwing a garden party for my birthday (and my son on the same weekend). I will try to post about the whole process in another post but for now that is my excuse for missing the last couple of weeks of SoS.
Here is some pictures for this week; Corn is growing male tassels but this second lot has gained a greater height before they appeared so I hope they are destine for greater pollination that the first lot.
Gloriosa rothschildiana – Glory Lily which is not actually a lily but a climbing tuber that uses tendrils that grow out of its leaf tips to cling to things. I thought that I was having trouble with this plant as it was growing very slowly – but outside, mind you. When I was a Hampton Court I asked two separate Gloriosa sellers why mine might be slow; and I got two completely different stories. One lady said that it needed humidity and growing outside was too dry so to put it in my bathroom but couldn’t tell me if that was enough light, however, once it got big I could put it outside again. The other, a man, told me before I had even said what my conditions were that I was overwatering; how he could tell that by the one sentence ‘My Gloriosa is not growing’ I will never know. However, he was wrong as he did not ask me how much I was watering or whether it was in the sun or even if it was in plastic or terracotta (as that affects rate of evaporation). He also told me to put it in full sun on the patio and that it would be fine (and that the other lady was wrong).
I ignored both of them (any of you who know my back garden will guess it was already in full sun) I kept watering it the same and left it where it was. It is quite short but it has five flowers and I suspect they ones they have for sale are actually a few bulbs together to make it look bushy and attractive.
The other reason to ignore people is that they might be pessimistic and not know your garden as well as you do. These are two chilli plants that are producing fruit nicely with some even turning red. These are seeds that I got in a seed swap but the other chilli plants I have (not pictured), someone gave me in seeds, were given because they said it was too late this year to grow chillies so would not be using them. However, I now have an almost glut of chillies; luckily chillies dry much better than courgette do so can be stored for later easily.
Speaking of turning red, I will soon have a glut of tomatoes (although, I am sure I will not complain). I have seven tomato plants (each a different variety) and they are falling over with tomatoes. The green above are fox cherry, seeds I got in the same swap as the chillies and the ones below are marked as ‘yellow’ (I just checked) – your device is not broken they are indeed ripening to red but the labels may have been mixed up (I did have quite a few too many seedlings at one stage) or this might be the reason Experiments in Tomato; they could be Sungold F2. Strangely the larger salad tomatoes are also ripening and I had one yesterday – it had no seeds so perhaps it is Blizzard F2 and has become infertile.
Speaking of infertile, I was looking yesterday at buying some new sunflower seeds for next year (a little early I know but I was in the mood as these ones are not the classic I would like) and you can get pollenless sunflowers. What a terrible thing to grow flowers and then have bees starve. I understand that people are allergic but these were advertised as not making a mess on your counter when you use them as cut flowers.
I had to give a small bumblebee a drink of sugar water so that it could fly again. I don’t know why it was tired but I am glad that after a drink it flew away. Terrible picture as I was in deep shade and couldn’t get the focus right before she left.
Lastly, a couple of months ago when I started cutting and picking vegetables almost daily I said to Mr Urban Farmer that I wish I had a trug – he said what is a trug. However, sure enough he did his due diligence and last weekend presented me with a box shipped from Sussex. It was a handmade trug!
(he also bought me a remote thermometer for cooking roasts) It is handmade by trugmakers of Sussex and signed by the maker, Kevin. It has a lifetime guarantee and I love it because now I feel like I have a pretty thing that can be useful too; becoming even more attractive to look at when I fill it with vegetables.
Bonus: Question – have you ever had tiny caterpillars eat all of your parsnips and carrot tops?
I chopped the tops of all these parsnips as they were covered in tiny black dotted caterpillars; do you think it will affect the growth of the roots (good or bad?) hopefully, the rest of the leaves will just grow and it won’t care. Do you think I should cut my losses (excuse the pun) and pull them up and eat them now.
(googling seems to bring up a parsnip web worm – they were tiny with silk everywhere)
I hope your day and garden is caterpillar free unless only to have a snack and turn in to a beautiful butterfly rather than decimate your plants. Pop over to The Propagator for many other six on Saturday activities.
I am off to the allotment which is now very overgrown and I may be swallowed up by the fastest growing courgette and pumpkins I have ever seen. If not, I will return with photos of the growth and changes.