Sunday, August 23, 2015

Growing cats in the potato tower

Or something... 

Actually, Jamie at Garden Amateur wrote in his most recent post (Garden Amateur) that his potato bags were sprouting, and so since we happened to plant our spuds on the same day I thought I'd check my potato tower, and Lo! Mine are sprouting too! Not many yet, I only found a couple over the whole thing, but at least I'm finally sure they haven't all just rotted away in there. 

Meanwhile, apples are planted, pears are planted, roses are 1/2 planted. I try not to moan too much, but sometimes it's so hard to get anything done when you have small children for company :/ But we did visit the Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens for the start of the yearly Magnolia bloom, and that was lovely and the kidlets hardly complained at all, despite falling into a bog and a long walk up a very steep hill. 

Friday, August 21, 2015

Fun for the postie

A great week for packages! I got my apples and pears already:

And my roses finally arrived, minus the Abraham Darby, which was a bit of a bugger because it was one of two that I really, really, really particularly wanted (the other being Cornelia), but it did give me a great excuse to go trawling a few of my favourite nurseries to see if I could find one (and I did, woo woo!)

Next update will be plants in the ground. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

It's not easy being green

Not being a house plant in a house with small children. 

But, perhaps I can make the best of a sad situation, and turn one African Violet into seven...

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

St. Cecilia gets a second chance

After three or four years in the front garden, my St. Cecelia (David Austin) rose has done little better than limp along. Today she got the heave ho, but with some last minute magnamity I've potted her up. 

The rootstock has been trying to take over from the day this rose was originally planted, so it's had a rather severe bit of surgery from a pruning saw to try to get rid of the problem. Too much? Will she survive? We shall see. 

Fingers crossed. She's bedded in half general purpose mix, half premium mix (because I ran out of GP mix), and a handful of Seamungous pellets to help the roots along. Hopefully some pot culture and a quieter and cooler position in the garden will do her a world of good, and she'll blossom for me. 

I had my usual assistant today too, though not so sure the beloved, white Moomin appreciated being used as a gardening tool. 

(Off topic: how sad is my lawn in the background?! Come back, warmth and sunshine; we need you!) 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Apples and pears, oh my!

I did it. I held my breath, closed my eyes, and clicked 'order' on six new fruit trees: three apples, and three pears. It's a bit extravagant, but this will really round out my little home orchard. All trees are on dwarfing rootstock, and I've chosen varieties that hopefully will one day see us eating our own fruit from February right through to July (November-January already well covered by other fruit trees in the yard. In order of fruiting, I am getting:

Williams pear (Feb-March) 
Beurre Bosc pear (March, Chef husband's #1 choice) 
Grand Duke Constantine apple (March-April)
Beurre D'Anjou pear (April)
Braeburn apple (May-June)
Pink Lady apple (June-July, my #1 choice). 

I don't have a suitable garden photo today, so in the meantime, please enjoy this Pablo Picasso painting, 'Poires et Pommes,' from 1908. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Potato Tower

 I haven't bothered with growing potatoes for a couple of years now, because fun as it is, it's also quite a lot of effort and space for minimal return (I've found). Anyway, on my beloved Pinterest I found pictures and links to 'potato towers' ( and being intrigued, I thought I'd give it a whirl. I especially like the minimal amount of ground area this takes up! 

Anyway, all we have here is pea straw, four bags of bought compost, a bit of half-made compost filler from our compost tumbler to add bulk down the bottom of the tower, and two handfuls of Seamungus, one each one third and two thirds of the way up.

 From top to bottom the layers donuts) of potatoes planted in here are:

-King Edward (plus a couple of Kestral from one gone green in the kitchen)
-Royal Blue
-Dutch Cream

Diggers afficionados will recognise the 'members' mix' of spuds here! No red  varieties though, I'd have liked some but they were not included in the mix and I didn't want to spend any extra money. 

Stay tuned; I will update as we go along, and fingers crossed this works well otherwise it's a bit of an expensive experiment!