Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Epiphyllum crenatum flower and Vegetable seedlings update .

 I went up to the greenhouse early ,  to open up the windows , it 's going to be another sunny day, still a cold breeze though .
  The flower on the Epiphyllum crenatum is still not fully open . Isn't she lovely ?

                                    Are you getting the fragrance ?

                               So now to see how my beans are doing .

              I,m growing Montecute Runnerbeans from Adam Alexander  .
These were once grown in the kitchen gardens of Montecute House in Somerset .

            Ryder's Top O'the Pole , a climbing French  Bean ......that I am growing  for it's connection with golf and to get my husband interested in growing vegetables  .
    It is a good and tasty old variety of bean that needs to be grown more and seeds shared to keep the variety going . I certainly hope to save the seeds from it and grow it again next year . We'll see how it goes ..or should I say ...grows !
    It is named after Sam Ryder . Samuel Ryder was a Sunday School teacher and gardener , who had a small business selling mail order "Penny Packets " of seeds in the 1890's.     
   Later in life , after an illness he was encouraged that he might take up golf ...the fresh air would do him good . ( I know you 're beginning to fall asleep now aren't you .... lol ! me too ! ) 
   Well , it seems he really got involved with it , as chaps do and in the interest of making something more of the competitive side of golf , and encourage more young  British gentlemen to the sport , it was he who donated the now famous and highly coveted Gold Ryder's Cup in 1927 .
 Anyway ....this is a Climbing French Bean that was bred by his seed company .
 Golf mad husband is now interested and it was his finger that poked these bean seeds into the 3" pots of compost  !
I bought these seeds from "Beans and Herbs" www.beansandherbs.co.uk ....and it looks as if they are all coming up !

 Now this is another very old variety called "Coco Sophie" a flat  Climbing French bean from the late 1700's  . Poldark time !  I wonder did Demelza grow them in her little vegetable garden at Nampara ? Did Demelza even have a vegetable garden ? We certainly never got to see it ! Worth growing and saving the seeds from these ! A real taste from the past . Hopeless romantic me !
    I bought these from The Real Seeds Catalogue www.realseeds.co.uk .  The name Coco Sophie .. sounds more like a luxurious French perfume than a name for  humble French beans .
  On the back of the seed packet it says that this looks like a Runner-bean but really isn't ! It is said to have a unique and wonderful buttery texture when cooked .  It sounds so good !  I cant find any more information about it anywhere , so if you know anything more , please let me know ? Like where it was originally bred and grown ?
  Only a couple of them are breaking the surface..it is definitely slower than the other beans.
 French  Beans in general but especially these Coco Sophie , I have found that they don't like too much watering in the early stages of germination  and need to be warm . They wont stand for any cold . I,ve been covering them over with a piece of fleece at night .
   I did sow them all at the same time ...but it is always such a relief when they begin to come up . I,m keeping a close eye on them !

                                My little Yellow Tree Lupins , so sweet !

 Tomatoes are doing well , I need to top up the compost in their pots and keep them watered .

                                        We will soon have Tomatoes !

 Butternut Squashes and Cucumbers growing fast, to go out next week or the week after ,when they have three or four leaves and the weather is not so breezy .

 Sweetcorn doing well , the under-gardener , golf maniac loves his Sweetcorn ! These will be planted out in a block for wind pollination .

                    Kalettes all grown from seed are just about ready to go out .

 Actually I have grown lots of varieties of Kale...we love them better than Cabbages ....although I have grown a few Cabbages as well this year .

 So much planting out to be done and I,m just not feeling too well today, a bit of a cold coming I think . I watered everything early this morning and now I,m going to rest up .

Monday, 13 May 2019

Epiphyllum crenatum

I love them all , but I really look forward to the flower of Epiphyllum crenatum .

               This opened up very slowly indeed compared to the others .

                                            One petal at a time .

  I could smell a slight lemony fragrance , which usually gets stronger as it opens into the warmth of the greenhouse .
 The greenhouse is not heated except by the warmth of the sun , which was shining up in a beautiful blue sky today.....unfortunately there is a chilly East wind blowing. This combination is not good , as I think I,ve mentioned before....if I close the windows it gets too hot ..and if I open the roof windows , I am always afraid that the wind might catch it and tear it off !
 So I do hope it eases up soon . I have now closed it up for the night and covered my seedlings up with a piece of fleece . Runnerbeans , French beans and and a tray of Nicotiana sylvestris . It is going to be cold tonight in Mullion with this clear sky .

                                              Nearly fully opened .

 It still was not quite fully opened when I went up to the greenhouse to close the windows . Oh ! My goodness it is just so gorgeous !

                    I hope it will still be there tomorrow and fully opened up  .

Sunday, 12 May 2019

Cactus Rescue update - needs identification please anyone ?

  So , back in December 2017 my friend had given me this beautiful cactus . It had belonged to a dear friend of hers who had sadly passed away . It needed to be re-homed and she knew that I loved cacti and would I like to have it ?
  Unfortunately , it had a bit of an accident , as in , a bit of a tumble on the way over to me in the car .  Most of it's roots were completely torn away  . Not one to give up that easily , I re-potted it , in fresh cactus mix compost , a nice new terracotta pot , a handful of sharp grit on top and four pencils to keep it propped up while it re-adjusted and grew new roots .

 As we were going into Winter , I decided not to water it in , so the only moisture was what the fresh cactus compost already had in it .
 It looks to be quite an old cactus and definitely worth saving .
My friend told me that it used to flower every year without fail !

 I placed it on the kitchen windowsill which has a radiator underneath it , to give it a little warmth from below to encourage new roots .
 There it is , with a few other cuttings ( Epiphyllums ) and a Dicksonia antarctica  -Tree Fern looking in through the window for company .

Anyway , it seemed to be doing fine , I removed the pencils and decided to move it upstairs to my South facing bedroom windowsill .
 In the last couple of days it has begun to put out flower buds ...about six of them , and yet another one seems to appears every-time I go to look at it .

 We are  having some beautiful hot and sunny days again here in Mullion on the Lizard in Cornwall ....Saturday , Sunday and Monday all forecast to be very hot .
 This cactus is loving it ! I,ve never had a cactus in flower on this windowsill before . It closes up when the sun goes in, so I expect it will last longer than the Epiphyllums out in the greenhouse which only last a day and a night usually .
  Anyway , I,m just delighted to see this in flower  !
The main body of the cactus has sunken down..I suppose while it was using it's  energy to heal it's self and partly because it was the Winter .You can compare the first pictures with this one . It should expand again during the Summer as and when I begin to water it .
 Please can anyone identify this cactus for me ? I just cant find one like it in any of my books .
  Hope the sun is shining where-ever you are  !

                                  Identification needed please ? Anyone ?