Thursday, 23 March 2017

Banana plants - Spring

We took a ride over to Hayle Plants to collect a couple of baby Banana plug plants that I,d bought online , actually I bought them from Plantaholics but I was to collect them from Hayle Plants next door....anyway very excited .. as it is always been closed whenever we,ve tried  to visit .

  Blue sky..we've had some squalls ,hail and thunder , it is still a little blustery , but brightening up now .

  It was a lovely drive ..all the daffodil fields are looking so beautiful right now .

We found the place , its quite close to the Golf Club,where my husband likes to practice on the driving range . I usually sit doing my embroidery in the car while waiting for him , but now I can come and look at the plants and get ideas for the garden .

They are very busy filling up the main huge greenhouse with lots of beautiful plants .
 I  love the succulents ..unfortunately the one I would have liked was not for sale ..but Bess told me they will be bringing more in and maybe they'll have that one .

A couple more photos of this splendid greenhouse ...just give me a deckchair and I could sit here quite happily all day ..lovely and warm ... aaah  .

My two Musa Basjoo Banana babies ,were actually quite big and very healthy looking specimens .

I grew one from seed about twenty years ago , it grew very big and I eventually planted it outside . After three years though it began to dwindle away and last Autumn I decided to dig it up and give it some more intensive care and pampering .

Here it is , it is putting up a new shoot now . I just cant remember which variety of Banana it was . I really would like to have a clump of Bananas in my garden  and Musa Basjoo is the one that does best here in Cornwall  . It is known to be the hardiest one .

 The rest of the day I spent potting these little ones up and tidying up my big old Musa Ensete  maureii red banana  . This is such a beautiful banana plant, but not very hardy , not even here in Cornwall , this one should always be dragged into a shelter zone for the Winter .     ( By the way , I,m talking Cornwall England here , not Cornwall in Canada ...who are having some really cold and wet weather at the moment !  Hi ! Cornwall in Canada ! )

                   Musa Ensete maurelii red banana - before and after its tidy up .
In the Autumn , when I drag it in ,I dont take any of the compost off, I dont disturb the roots at all . I dont cut any of it's leaves off . Some of the outer leaves go crispy and that is fine . I dont water at all through the winter .
 Today I have taken off a few of the crispy leaves , but not all of them , see my picture above . There is a lovely new leaf coming up and beginning to unfurl .
I scraped off some of the old compost on top and refreshed with some multipurpose compost . I ,m thinking about to planting it outside into the ground , but that wont be  for a few weeks yet .Its either that or it should really go into a bigger pot  .
 Here is a slideshow of how I brought it in for the Winter a couple of years ago .

                    I pulled off a couple of those shoots and potted them up .

I also put fresh compost in that time, as the plastic container was much bigger than the original pot .
  Hope the slide show works or I'll have to come back and re-edit this !

Monday, 20 March 2017

First Day of Spring 2017

 It is officially the first day of Spring and we have pulled the garden table and chairs out of the garage . After about fifteen minutes of fiddling about , we finally remember how to pull open those chairs without getting our fingers caught.....except for one chair ...which is well and truly stuck !

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Gravel Garden + Agave update

I made the gravel area of my garden about 15 years ago ..and landscape weed membrane has lasted very well.  It makes a pleasant interlude for the eye as you look around the garden . It is a nice place to sit  and we have a seat here . A gravel bed/garden needs to be raked often to stop weeds germinating ...I like to rake patterns in the gravel and keep it looking nice everyday .
However I wasn't able to keep up with it while poorly the last two years , the leaves fell from the trees, people walked on it with mud on their boots , the wildflowers crept in and  well nothing  lasts  forever . The big Agave potatorum which flowered three years ago , I had cut down it's flower mast after it had gone to seed and I had expected it to die....hasn't died ...and I thought I,d wait and see what it might do after cutting off the flower spire .
Would it die ? Would it carry on growing ?  Well , it has pretty much remained in a static state , doesn't look to be fading away , but not growing either .

                                The weeds crept in around it ....sigh....brambles too .
                                       Time to do something about it .

 After four days of heavy drifting fog ,the sun has at last returned  . I found a comfortable flat slab of rock to sit on and with the sun warm on my back and bucket at my side , I must have spent a good hour taking away all the rocks and pulling out weeds .

            There were even snails in there hibernating underneath those spiky leaves  .

I pulled off the very lowest leaves that came away easily and left the one you can see here. There is beauty in them too . They actually go hard and crispy and shelter the ground underneath and around the plant . The rocks that I put around the Agave soak up the heat from the sun all day and pulse it out again during the night and help shed the rain away from the roots . I also put a big cloche cover over it , on cold ,wet days and especially during the winter months . See the first picture  of the cloche cover . It is more the wet that kills them than the cold .

                     Then look what I found ! A baby Agave ! So it is still growing !

 Usually I take these off from the mother plant , leave to dry off for a couple of days and pot up in gritty compost .

 I decide to leave this one on for a bit longer and remove it when it is a little bigger and has better roots . I put some earth around it , a hand full of sharp gravel and returned some rocks to protect it .

I put back the large rocks hands aching and sore... it is going to be very cold tonight after such a lovely day of sunshine and clear blue sky . I put on the cloche cover and weight it down with more rocks .

 Such a lovely day..... I get cleaned up and we take the dog for her walk along the cliffs.

                                            We sit and watch the waves .
I have a few other young Agave plants waiting up in my greenhouse to replace this one when it finally goes .
               Hope you had a lovely Sunday ....I will dream of Agaves tonight .