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How Does Your Garden Grow?

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Last post 07/08/2018

Posted by SurSteven

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      Standing in my garden, basking in this brief sunny spell here in the UK, the thought arose that we don't have a gardening chatter thread here.

      I'm no Percy Thrower and corners of my garden look decidedly shabby but what I do have is rewarding at the moment.

      My Victoria Plum is absolutely weighed down with developing fruit, many will fall undeveloped, but I think a good crop is certain this year.

      My problem is that they all ripen at once so it'll be jam making time, I must make sure I have enough jars collected to bottle that.

      Panning round I have a variety of flowering shrubs in blossom - I'm that good a gardener that I can't tell you the names but they look pleasing heralding the onset of summer.

      I have a modest garden so when I bought the house I planted two apple trees with the heavily limiting rootstock which only provide a small upright tree with very short side shoots.

      I plumped for an eater and a cooking variety and used the blossom guide to ensure they blossom and cross pollinate each other, however that plan seemed to be in vain as the cooking variety steadfastly refuse to blossom year after year.

      Now they say that talking to plants is beneficial, I wonder however if plants are more susceptible to thoughts as I gave serious thought to uprooting the cooking apple this spring - within two weeks of considering that it blossomed fiercely for the first time ever and now bears promising fruitlets.

      I built a silly tiny deck in one spot years ago and placed a rusty old bench I found in the garden when I arrived on it, that never get used so now I have covered the bench with potted strawberry plants and am looking forward to a decent crop through the summer.

      I bought a fig tree and mentioned it to a colleague soon after, I got a disparaging "you won't get that to fruit this far north".It's a shame I changed jobs a few years ago as I'd like to present her with some of the fruit developing at the moment. I never knew figs were a bi-annual crop until I bought this one with the fruit devloping in the autumn, over wintering before developing to ripeness the next year. The tree has come back from near death as local wildlife attacked the stems to reach the fruit the winter before last.

      I have a tiny plastic greenhouse and after messing around with bedding plants for a year or two I have turned it over to more vegetables this year with a jalepeno pepper plant in residence already. I'm waiting to get to local car boot this week to get a couple of tomato plants to join it - my local supermarket gardening section has some but at silly prices.

      I want to try a method shown on Gardeners World this week using a grow bag, but instead of following the usual guidelines, cutting it in half and standing each half on the end to form a deeper "pot" - it should water better and will give more depth for the roots.

      Anyway enough of my ramblings, as you can see I lost my labels years ago and don't do Latin names so if anybody else wants to chip in and share where their garden is at this time of year feel free to do so on equal terms.

      If you do do Latin names and can help some of us along do chip in

      Martin

        How does my garden grow? Basically, we make a trip to a local nursery (or sometimes a bigger 'box' store, such as Home Depot) every year to buy a bunch of plants that never seem to last through the winter into the next year - and so the cycle continues ops:

          I sing to my roses it seems to work. Compassion had 700 blooms last year and the McCartney 131. Penny Lane was only 69 down from 200.

            This is so great ....all men responding to the gardening thread ...I love it!! I have a perennial cottage garden complete with rose arbor and stone pathway leading through the middle of it. I designed it and planted every single flower and bush that grows in it. I have Peonies, Roses, Foxglove, Lillies of the Valley, Veronica, Lemon Thyme, Russian Sage, Purple Hydrangea and many more that I can't remember the names of off-hand right now. It's all surrounded by lavender plants which I love to weed around cause the fragrance is so fantastic!! MARTIN....your antiquated bench with strawberries growing around it sounds charming and I'm so impressed that you make your own jam and can it as well....good for you!!! Oh, I also have vegetable garden and grow many type of veggies and of course lots of tomatoes!!

              We bought some tiny tomato plants & a few cucumbers a couple weeks ago. They are growing nicely in the vegetable garden. Our cucs never seem to make it though. They get something on their leaves & die. Plus they get so cheap at the stores...5 for $1.00. It is barely worth it to spend any time tending to them. Now...tomatoes are fantabulous when picked fresh from the garden. I can't wait!

                ...out of the ground?...

                I don't garden (my mom does) but I did find two wild Lady Slipper flowers in the woods (right next to each other! And they're rare I've heard.) Apparently it's illegal to pick them or anything, but would you really go to jail for picking a flower?

                  My parents have a wonderful garden! A great place to relax! The zuccinis and blackberries are doing very well! Last year unfortunately the zuccinis became victims of slugs! *ewww*

                  The firebugs are really annoying! Do you know them? They are everywhere and they are mating ALL THE TIME! Wonder when Paul will put a pic of those on one of his album covers!

                    Never thought I'd be replying to a 'gardening' thread, but I've been really getting into my garden lately!

                    We moved here two years ago, but a month after moving in, I had my second child, so next to nothing has been done in the garden over the last couple of years. Neither my husband or I have any gardening experience but we've been trying to keep what's already there neat and tidy.

                    Last year we planted five fruit trees as our garden is quite long but is pretty much uncultivated at the moment. Most are doing ok with fruit appearing on the cherry and the two apple trees. The peach tree my mum said would probably never fruit, has several small furry fruits on it, but it doesn't have many leaves, and those is does look diseased.

                    The trouble is I've got two large garden pests to compete with...my two girls. I've tentatively planted some flowers in the flower bed, but the beautiful pot of assorted tulips fell fowl to my two...they pulled all the heads off in a few seconds flat! :

                    Our plum tree is laughably a twig in the ground, with no leaves or any sign of life, so digging that up is a job waiting to be done. We've got lots of plans for the garden and we're looking forward to working on it over the years.

                    Am thinking of getting one of those plastic covered greenhouses just for basic use. Are they any good?

                      anna_medlicka:
                      The firebugs are really annoying! Do you know them?

                      Are those the ones that glow?
                      They call them fireflies and lightning bugs here.

                        I have no green thumb... but I did plant two things this summer.
                        Baby carrots, for my K-9. She loves them!
                        And green peppers for my grill.

                          I was brought up in the world of church fetes and neighbourliness and it has bred in a stinginess when it comes to plants and vegetables.

                          No-one knew what a Garden Centre was, everybody raised their plants from seed or cuttings and everybody raised more than they needed for trading.

                          In the right season it was not uncommon to find the entrance to the church filled with plants as members of the congregation brought things to swap around at the weekly service.

                          Visits to stately homes were made with a sharp knife in hand in case a nice cutting might be taken without spoiling a shrub - indeed it was that activity that led to stately homes rasing their own cuttings for sale and formed the beginning of garden centres....

                          Anyway that meanness took me to the car boot sale which has replaced the church fete or other fund raising events as the place to get cheap plants.

                          I got the two tomato plants I needed, as usual the vendor told me the varieties and the name escaped me immediately - suffice it to say I got one of each, the variety and type will unfold in due course - that's £0.80 against the asking price at my local store of £6.58 ( probably spent £2.00 in diesel driving there but it was a lovely sunny day and it was a rewarding walk amongst the stalls).

                          I called in at the garden centre to buy the growbag to plant them in - as seen on Gardeners World - but I baulked at the price and returned home. I finally broke into my compost bin and dug out a well rotted (approx 4 year old) compost and planted the tomatoes in that instead - in two buckets in which I have drilled holes and placed rocks for drainage.

                          They are nicely situated in my small plastic greenhouse - I've seen it listed in pictures as a "bookshelf" grenhouse - which fittingly describes it, however I've removed all but the lowest shelf to accommodate the growth of the tomatoes and jalpeno pepper plant.

                          Must remember to water them though - I'd do that now but it's raining

                          Martin

                            Jonathan:

                            anna_medlicka:
                            The firebugs are really annoying! Do you know them?

                            Are those the ones that glow?
                            They call them fireflies and lightning bugs here.

                            No, I'm talking about these: http://home.arcor.de/banaumwelt/Bilder/Insekten/Feuerwanzen.jpg

                              Well, I think I'm done with the garden now - just lawn mowing and general tidying for the rest of the summer.

                              My final job was my "social duty" job - i.e. the border in the front garden that faces the local road, got to keep up the neighbourhood

                              Not that we're going to win any Britain In Bloom awarda around here.

                              I weeded the bed and was pleased to find that several of last years bedding plants had self seeded and were growing well - that's one less job for me.

                              Snapdragons - Antirrhinum, and I said I didn't do Latin names

                              There are also couple of nice flowering plants I never planted - they must have blown in on the wind or been brought in by birds - don't know their names but I'll keep them if they self seed again this year.

                              I've snapped out the dead wood on the two fushia plants and dug out all the inevitable dandelions that invade.

                              That left a few gaps in the bed so as we were off to the car boot for our usual walk in the country - well up and down rows of vendors anyway - I had a watching brief for a few bedding bargains.

                              £4.00 did the trick with 20 well established bedding plants - cyclamen, petunia and salvia - I think...

                              All I have to do now is pop out every evening/morning to watch for slugs and snails. I don't use pellets - I just give them a free flight across the road to an area that doesn't have vulnerable bedding plants to decimate.

                              I'm pleased with my tomato plants - they've doubled in height since I planted them last week they are strong enough now for me to start picking out the side shoots.

                              I'm also pleased that the grass seems to be short enough to let the mower rest unused this weekend

                              Martin

                                I love my garden at the moment and take every chance to sit outside in it.

                                I have a garden of shrubs and trees. It's taken a few years to get there but it's low maintenance other than the grass cutting that hubby does.

                                I don't really go buying lots of new plants every year other than to fill out tubs and planters.

                                  Well, I have strawberry plants in my garden, yesterday we did bought a Kiwi plants, we have tomatoes (mini) and other veggies.

                                    martinput:.

                                    I bought a fig tree and mentioned it to a colleague soon after, I got a disparaging "you won't get that to fruit this far north".It's a shame I changed jobs a few years ago as I'd like to present her with some of the fruit developing at the moment. I never knew figs were a bi-annual crop until I bought this one with the fruit devloping in the autumn, over wintering before developing to ripeness the next year. The tree has come back from near death as local wildlife attacked the stems to reach the fruit the winter before last.

                                    I want to try a method shown on Gardeners World this week using a grow bag, but instead of following the usual guidelines, cutting it in half and standing each half on the end to form a deeper "pot" - it should water better and will give more depth for the roots.

                                    Martin

                                    I've been away from the forum for awhile. Had a bad relapse last October and just getting back into normal life

                                    I bought 2 fig trees 4 years ago and they still haven't produced But they are lovely to look at. My climate is probably similar to yours where I live.

                                    I heard this last night at our local diner regarding planting. An elderly man told me to weed during the waning and dark of the moon and plant during the full. Not sure if this is an old wives tale or not.

                                    Maybe you guys would know?

                                    One thing my great gran did for watering trees and plants - she had a heavy long sharp pole and would punch it into the ground around the roots. SAves alot of water that way.

                                    Another thing I learned from her. She loved roses! They bloomed almost year round. She always made us eat lots of bananas and would take the peels and gently bury them by the roses. Roses seemed to thrive on 'em.

                                    It does work great!!! My few roses bloom like crazy and I saved my neighbors rose by doing this last year.

                                    My great gran also use to wash her plants with soap flakes/water to control aphids and plant nasturiums by the base of the roses. Aphids prefer nastursiums over roses.

                                    Plus nastursiums are really great in salads too and look pretty

                                      feact:Well, I have strawberry plants in my garden, yesterday we did bought a Kiwi plants, we have tomatoes (mini) and other veggies.

                                      Mmmmmmm Fresh strawberries with cream.....I'm hungry now ;-)

                                        Sarah F:

                                        feact:Well, I have strawberry plants in my garden, yesterday we did bought a Kiwi plants, we have tomatoes (mini) and other veggies.

                                        Mmmmmmm Fresh strawberries with cream.....I'm hungry now ;-)

                                        Yes, and they are delicous to eat. I also made soothies with them when I hand=picked them from my garden.

                                          "As Ye Shall Sow, So Shall You Reap"

                                          Well I come here with a tale of a broken commitment.

                                          My wife and family are away for a couple of weeks in the Philippines and I made myself a decadant promise to indulge myself with junk food.

                                          I cook, and believe myself to be rather good, so when the family are at home it's meals made from scratch with health in mind.

                                          All good for the body and soul, but just once in a while the hankering for junk food overwhelms, so I have elected to indulge that whim in their absence.

                                          It also make economic sense as the traditional fish and chip shop on the way home has a wide range of "special meals" running in at £2.00 a meal. Fish, Chips and mushy peas; Faggots (look them up!) chips and gravy - to name just a couple.

                                          Sadly that self indulgent promise failed this morning when I went out to the garden to hang laundry.

                                          The apple tree had a crop of windfalls on the ground and my prudent side broke through and apple crumble and custard was the end result - and will remain so for the next couple of days as the baking has resulted in a nice big dish to eat up.

                                          Whilst there I see it'll only be a few more days before I have to start picking and preserving the plums - I've managed to gather a motley collection of jars to bottle the plum jam that will ensue.

                                          Martin

                                            At the moment it's like me.....wild and wet!

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