Wednesday 9 May 2012

A "Miscellany" post

Since the weather has been so atrocious recently I haven't had many opportunities for taking photos - just the odd few minutes here and there in between the periods of rain.  This post is a collection of photos without any real theme other than that they are all of recent developments in my garden.

The "Midwinter Fire" Dogwood is recovering well, and the new shoots look very colourful.

The Rhubarb is about to produce a flower. I used to think that removing any flowers that formed ought to be a good thing - preserving the plant's energy maybe  - but I have recently read that leaving them in place does no harm. Does anyone have any advice to share with me on this?

The first few Lily of the Valley flowers are out now. The little patch of it down by my shed has expanded a lot since last year. It must be enjoying the moist conditions.

Close by I notice there are a few bronzey-purple leaves of Heuchera poking through the faded foliage of the Daffodils. I planted this Heuchera years ago and it has never done well for me. I have actually re-located it twice to see if different conditions would produce a better result, but to no avail. This is a shame, since it can be a good-looking plant. Maybe this year, with all the drenching it has had recently, the Heuchera will do better?

When harvesting lettuces recently I have been in a hurry (trying not to get too wet!) and I have just cut them at ground level without pulling up the roots. The stumps have begun to re-grow:

I think the re-growth would probably be less good than the original (perhaps a little bitter?), but in any case those stumps are coming out just as soon as there is a good day, because I need that bed for the Three Sisters.

Against the back fence, the Clematis has started to recover after its ravaging by the foxes. It has never flowered yet (this is its third year) and I was hopeful that this year would see it producing its first blooms, but some weeks ago the foxes trashed it. The plant, though badly bruised, is nevertheless now putting out some shoots.

One of the jobs I was able to do last weekend, under cover in the garage, was pricking-out my Bush Basil plants.

The bush variety of Basil has much smaller leaves and I think the plants will probably stay more compact - ideal for a windowsill site. I don't see myself needing more than three or four of these and of course I now have far too many, so I shall be giving away a few of them.

My Coriander seedlings are getting quite big now.

My plan is to prick-out about half of them into bigger pots and grow them on for their seeds, whilst using the other half for their leaves. I hate Coriander leaf (I'm allergic to it), but I love the seeds. Jane likes both however, so she can have the leaves for garnishes on curries etc.

At this time of the year I'm normally thinking about potting up into their final growing-containers my Tomatoes and Chillis (plus this year I have some Aubergines as well) but, judging by the weather forecast, I think they are going to have to stay in little pots for another couple of weeks.


  1. That coriander in the pot looks just precious. Mine is going to seed now in the garden. I need to get a lot ripped out I love it both as a leaf and a seed. So tasty.

  2. Everything looks very nice. I wish I could remember if our rhubarb ever flowered when I was a kid but I can't remember. I know we just left it alone except for adding manure each year. I don't remember us ever cutting any flowers off of them.

  3. Mark re the flowers on Rhubarb the wise old heads down here say it weakens the plant if flowers are not removed once seen and reduces the crop in later years.It is a typical gardeners question in that your likely to get three different answers, for what is worth I always remove my flower heads and give a really generous dose of well rotted farm manure every autumn (as I do all of the plot)and find the plant very prolific in its bounty (using your recipe as the standard now, many thanks)

  4. I have a clematis too and it's going so well. Hope yours recovers. Surely you will need more basil? You can never have enough basil in my books.

  5. I have a clematis too and it's going so well. Hope yours recovers. Surely you will need more basil? You can never have enough basil in my books.

  6. We have been really lucky with the weather here this last weekend I got quite a bit done in the garden! Some guilty tasks that had been backing up

  7. Hi Mark. It seems when you have crummy weather, we have nice weather and vice versa. Hopefully spring will come to the entire northern hemisphere at the same time. Cheers, Jenni

  8. I think rhubarb tends to go to seed in dry weather - I doubt we will have any problems with that this year.

  9. When we remove the flowers it always throws up more. In the rhubarb fields around us the flowers are just left on so the growers don't seem to mind them!

    Is it just eating coriander that you are allergic to rather than touching the leaves too?

  10. I love lily of the valley. I bought a plant last year and I'm pleased to see it springing back to life again now, though it hasn't produced any flowers yet. My plot neighbour always gets flowers on his rhubarb. He never cuts them off and he's got the healthiest patch of rhubarb I've ever seen.

  11. Funny thing the weather - you started out ahead of us here, but my Lily of the valley are nearly done, and some of the clematis is in full bloom. The veg is looking good!

  12. Hmmmmm not sure about only needing 3 or 4 basil plants - surely its a case of too much is never enough when it comes to basil. Or is that just in my pesto addicted household?


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