Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Today's Harvest from my Veg Garden

                                  I picked a good arm full of Rhubarb and Leeks .

      I decided to harvest all of my Purple Sprouting Broccoli and get it into the fridge .
    It was just starting to flower in this lovely sunny and warm weather ...I caught it just in time . We love this beautiful vegetable ! It is also time to sow some more for next year .

                       We enjoyed a dish of Rhubarb crumble and vanilla ice cream .

Making a Frog Pond in Mummabear's Secret Fern Garden

 It has been surprisingly hot here and I escape from it , in to the cool ,damp ,shade of my little secret fern garden .

     On one side I planted it up with ferns of all kinds , it is beautiful lush and green .

On the other side is the back of our garage , and it is here that I laid some paving slabs and created a propagation zone for all my seedlings and cuttings.
 It has all become overgrown with weeds ...most quite easy to pull out  , but the Ivy has become a nightmare ! Growing up the garage wall , it is beginning to grow onto the roof and even coming through inside the garage  !

                              This picture only shows a little bit of the problem .

 So I'm moving out all my plants , so we can get in there and do a proper job of it ...groan .

 So anyway then I found this sweet little frog and suddenly it all became more fun again .

                My little helper came over and suggested that we make a pond .
                     To begin with we dug a hole deep enough for our box .

 The kind lady at B+Qin Penryn let us have this plastic box for half price as the handle was smashed on it ....no one else would want it..but it was perfect for us to make a pond with .

                                              We put the box into the hole .

 We cut open a big black binbag and laid it in the box to make it look dark and tucked it in all around the edge.

             We found some rocks to go in and one big one for the frog to sit on .

Then we filled it with rain water from our water-but . Frogs don't like tap water !

                                               This bit was so much fun !

We put a piece of wood in for the frogs and other creatures to climb out on .
                      We hope our frog will be happy in his new pond .

 Little helper went home ...so now I'm back to pulling out the weeds ... hope the weather is nice with you .

Found a Frog !

                        Whilst tidying in my secret fern garden , I found a frog !

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Gete - okosomin in my Cornish Veg Garden

                 Sowing the Gete -okosomin seeds by the Moon waxing gibbous

I have decided that I will record on here , progress with growing the Gete -okosomin  .
 Kindly sent to me from Nancy Wolf in Vermont .Thankyou Nancy for passing on these interesting seeds and the fun and joy of growing them and your friendship .
I decided to give these precious seeds the best chance I can and begin by sowing them at a good Moon phase .
Yesterday 7 April 2017 - Moon waxing gibbous - a good time to sow vegetables that produce internal seed bearing fruits. Tomatoes, beans, peas, peppers, chillies, pumpkins and courgettes .......also good time for garden maintenance . I usually check  and recommend  this information  on a brilliant website -- http://www.the-gardeners-calendar.co.uk/
 I have sown three of the four seeds I have , into seed compost , each in its own 3inch pot watered in and these are now up in my greenhouse . ( yes I still talk in old measurements )
 The weather has suddenly changed to being blue skies , sunshine and warm . The greenhouse is unheated , but gets very hot when the sun shines . I open the windows in the mornings when it is fine .
Wish me luck and hopefully I will have delicious squash to eat and seeds and fun and joy and friendship to pass on .
 I will update you on this soon .

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Trevena Cross Nurseries

We took a drive to Trevena Cross Nurseries over at Breage ...We have been coming to this wonderful place for years.....they have all the most exciting plants ...dessert , outback , savanna , rain forest or jungle..in fact there is a distinctly Jurassic feel in the shade tunnel !  The plant displays are the best ever this season ,whoever planned all this should be really proud of themselves .
 They've  had a huge delivery of Agaves and Tree Ferns . Dicksonia antarctica truly magnificent specimens in tubs , or you can buy them as stumps ....I was delighted to buy a small one for £3.99 ! That is a bargain !  ...and they soon grow !

I couldn't resist this Podophyllum "Spotty Dotty " and Nick kindly went and found me a slightly better one .
I bought a couple of Mountain Ash saplings ..they were reduced to half price (all the hedging saplings ) To plant out along the boundary between our meadow and the neighbours field to encourage and indeed welcome wildlife...and then I went to have a look at the new Cactus display .....

                                                           What is this ?

                            .....and found this ....except it has lost it's label , so I have no idea what it might be . Is it a Kalenchoe or an Adromischus  ?  Does anyone  know please ?
 Anyway I love it ! I bought a couple of nice shallow terracotta pots..I'm in the process of re-potting my cacti , giving each one a bit of pampering and loving them again .
 On the way back , we stopped at the top of the cliffs above Poldhu to rest and watch the waves .

                                           ....then home to cut the grass .

Schlumbergera opuntioides and Agave Utahensis

                                                  Shlumbergera opuntioides

 I,m so busy in the garden at the moment sowing seeds , tidying, planting , pruning , that I have hardly any time to blog !
 I thought I,d very quickly show you a few pics of things going on .
The pictures above are of my Schlumbergera opuntioides . It has been coming into bud since before Christmas..it really takes it's time to flower ..hopefully I will have some fully open flower photos to show you very soon . They last so much longer than the flowers on Ripsalis ,or the regular Shlumbergeras . I love how it is half Shlumbergera and half Opuntia .

                                                       Agave Utahensis

 Meanwhile up in the greenhouse  I have hundreds of cacti , succulents and Agaves that desperately need re-potting . So I have made a start with this Agave Utahensis .
I grew this from seed from the British Cactus Society about 15 years ago and it hasn't left this pot..which has forced it to remain small .
 Now I want it to grow big !
 I am thinking about replacing the Agave potatorum , outside on the gravel bed with this, if and when it eventually withers away .
 Agave Utahensis is a much more dramatically and sharply angular  Agave . Very spiky . Love it !
     The sun is shining ..I,m off out into the garden .....so much to do !

Harry's Runner bean

Parc Eglos School Helston sent the children home for the Easter break this week . My grandson came home clutching a beautiful Runner bean seed wrapped in wet cotton wool inside a little plastic bag .
 Already germinating !
 The children had been told to pot it up and grow it on during the school holiday .....so Grandma helped out with a pot and some compost . Here it is already to go on his bedroom windowsill .

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 ....my 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 .