Sunday, 22 June 2008

The Sweet Smell of the Garden

We went away last weekend, so I have been playing catchup in the garden this weekend.

I have unearthed my garlic and if they had been a success, I would have taken a photograph and would have reported me jumping for joy but as I pulled them from the earth, my heart sank with disappointment. Some of them were waterlogged and the ones which weren't, were small and a bit insignificant. I left them on the top of the soil in the sunshine today and then brushed off the dirt and have hung them to dry in the garage. When I entered the garage half an hour after hanging them up, there was a faint whiff of garlic in the air!

Talking of whiffs you cannot beat the smell of Sweet Peas. This is a success I can photograph and sing about. I absolutely love Sweet Peas. Next to Dahlia's these are my favourite flowers. They

are so delicate but pack a punch in the nasal department. They need to be fed and watered well and in doing so, reward you with flowers in abundance. Professional growers, grow them on a cordon, (one stem) and cut off the tendrils, which are a nuisance as they wrap themselves around the stems which distorts them. I heard someone today, say that you shouldn't let them flower until they are 2ft tall but I just can't do that, I am too impatient and am happy to have small flowers and lots of them. The important thing to do, is to pick the flowers regularly and not let them set seed, otherwise they will stop flowering. So the more you pick, the more they will flower.
Although I have planted Autumn fruiting raspberries, I am picking the fruit from the bushes now which has puzzled me. I have been growing plants for many years and have quite a good knowledge but vegetables and fruit are new to me. There is so much to learn. The advantage of growing on an allotment, would be that there are lots of people around you with experience and advice but growing on your own with just a few books for help is not so easy. I am thinking that it might be a good idea to join a horticultural society. There must be one local to me. I will do some research.
This afternoon, we took ourselves off to the Purbecks to visit Kingston. They opened 9 gardens in the village for charity which were absolutely heavenly. One garden had a small plant stall and I bought a Dahlia. It has dark foliage and the flower is an acid yellow.

Most of the gardens were small but had the most wonderful views of the Purbecks, the sea and Corfe Castle.
I love visiting ordinary peoples gardens and talking to them about their passion.
The village church was open for tea and cake. I got the last scone with jam and clotted cream - I really felt extremely happy. Gardens, cream tea and sunshine. It really doesn't get better than that!

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