Thursday, 3 September 2015

Beetroot

Germination is always tricky with beetroot, the soil and air temperatures have to be just right, and conditions not too damp.  You need a crystal ball!  I always sow under a cliche, to keep them warm and dry.  However, you really can't predict how they will do. So this beetroot is from the first sowing, which has produced really good roots. The second sowing has produced nothing but leaves. No idea why, the weather was warmer!  I grow egyptian flat/turnip rooted, they do best for me.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Little and Large...

One giant courgette on the right, one mini cucumber on the left!  The cucumber is meant to be that size, they are good for growing outdoors in a cool climate.  Taste just the same as big ones, but the flesh is more dense.  Very tasty.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Arley Hall and Gardens Revisited

 The characteristic of a great garden is that you can go back at a different time of the year and see different things.  We visited Arley Hall towards the end of May and this week went back.  The original post is here and I have taken a couple of pictures of the same areas so the differences are clear.  This first photo is of some hydrangeas in an area which was uninteresting in May, it is just on the other side of the wall from this:
 In May this garden was flat and sparse, with classy white tulips in the centre, but now it has pushed up and out.  Some of the roses had already finished, but the borders now partly cover the paths, the colour scheme now purples and pinks.
 In May this border was straggly and uneven, with the spring flowers finishing but now it looks luscious, with floaty cosmos flowers, my favourites.
 In May the long herbaceous border was green and dominated by the topiary (picture on the other post) but now the topiary is largely hidden.  It is a complete mix of colours and textures.
 There's something for everyone here, I think this was my favourite combination of plants and colours.  Handily, they have put a photo identification of plants by month in the seating area so if you see a particular plant you like you can check the name on the photos.  This border is very long and very spectacular.
 We had missed most of the shrub roses, but clever planting means that even in an area where the main event is finished, there is always something interesting to see.
Finally a few waterlilies, I love these and see them so rarely it's nice to get a photo.

We do hope to go back to Arley Hall in the autumn to see the changes.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Strawberries in August!

I have never picked strawberries in August, ever, until this year. Just a sign of how cold and late the summer has been this year. Likewise the blackcurrants which are normally picked in July - I picked a lot today but there are still some left. Happily the long range weather forecast shows settled temperatures for a few weeks so the summer, such as it is, looks set to last well into September.

Couldn't resist a pic of these lovely blue hydrangeas in a local park, gorgeous colour!

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Soft Fruit

The long, cold spring has been followed by a chilly summer.  To my taste, the strawberries are not as sweet as normal due to the low temperatures. They are, however, lasting a lot longer than usual, with a good crop so far in August and more to come.

Gooseberries are being picked in groups as they ripen, and we have had a decent crop of loganberries too. More blackcurrants and gooseberries to come yet.