I will be talking about the weather in true English style, be sympathetic and give some support to all you growers out there battling with your veg/herb/flower gardens, encourage you to try a Riverford Flower Box To Grow and inspire you with some photos of gardens I work in.
Heavens Above! What is going on? In recent times we have had the driest autumn on record, the driest winter, the coldest April and now the wettest too. How about the hottest summer next please. It really makes life rather difficult for anyone trying to grow anything at all. I read some garden articles in early spring listing plants suitable for drought as this is what we were all expecting then, hose pipe bans spreading across the country like wild fire and then it starts and we are all relieved to have at last a shower and then another….. and another …..But this onslaught and absolute deluge of rain that we have been subjected to over the last few weeks is just all too much. Maybe an article on damp gardens is called for now.
It is pretty miserable working out in this kind of weather and sometimes if it’s persistent enough one just has to give up. I have pretty good waterproofs in the form of fishermans salopettes, wellies, a coat and an assortment of hats, (shorts and a sun hat in the car too, just in case, yeah right!!!). It is not a pretty sight!
Even some of the field workers have had their hours cut as no planting can be done because it’s impossible to get the tractors and planters on to the ground. Things are not happy!
box to grow
Veg and heb box to grow customers have had their plants for a month now and hopefully have manages to plant them up. Nothing has grown much this last month because its been unusually cold and very wet. My courgettes have copped it…just couldn’t cope, simply drowned and my other seedlings are sat there not growing and looking rather sodden and sorry for themselves . All you can really do is keep checking for slugs and snails who come out in troops in this weather. If really keen you could cover the plants with cloches to try and keep some rain off them and also raise the temperature a bit. We could all do with some sunshine to make the plants grow.
flower box to grow
The Flower Box To Grow is my baby in some ways as growing cut flowers is my speciality so riverford have used me to select the plants and varieties that come in this grow your own kit. I have grown organic cut flowers in a field I rent from riverford over the last four years. The Kit will provide you with flowers to cut and enjoy in a vase through out the summer and well into the autumn. The flowers are all traditional English country flowers such as cornflowers, bells of Ireland, love in a mist, sunflowers, snapdragons and so on….take a look and be tempted. The kit comes with 54 seedlings and two packets of seeds and is extremely good value for money and obviously I highly recommend it.
in the garden
What with all the rain perennials have pretty much doubled in size over the last few weeks and have been really enjoy this long awaited drink. I am lucky enough to work in some really beautiful garden in the local area and to cheer you all up and possibly inspire you I will show you some photos of some of these.
This garden is partly walled and formally planted with fastigiated yews and lots of shaped box and box hedging. It sits quite high on a hill and has lovely views across the valley. With in the formality it is planted quite loosely with loads of old fashioned roses, geraniums, day lilies and so on.
We let campion, forget me not, sweet rocket and valerian officianalis seed freely and then cull when necessary. This makes it look very natural and also fills gaps creating ground cover and hence suppresses growth of unwanted weeds.
forget me nots
symphytum ibericum comfrey
This is a low growing comfrey and a useful ground cover plant too
This is a taller comfrey useful for making a liquid feed and great for composting as it encourages the rapid breakdown of other materials you put in your heap and its also very pretty.
Symphytum x uplandicum Russian comfrey
I love this combination of bright yellow Kerria japonica and a bright red Rhododendron behind. Very cheerful indeed.