Well the summer has well and truly taken hold.  Everything is so dry though, the potatoes are looking good and so are the tomatoes, lots of trusses on them.  I am using tomato planters this time with a deep trough for the water, it waters them a lot more equally.  The carrots are trying to grow but my cat keeps sitting on them!!

Now is the time to dead head everything, so that you get flowers all summer long.  As it was so hot in April and May everything flowered too early and alot of flowers have finished, so dead head it all and you should get repeated flowering.  I have even noticed my mums Liquid amber tree is already turning autumnal colours, way too early.

Another job to do at this time is to feed everything, the compost used to pot it all up, whether it is veg or flowers in pots and hanging baskets will have run out of nutrients, so add a fertiliser, the best ones to use are the ones you water in.

Till next time.

Happy Gardening

Lucy @ Lucysgardens

Well the summer has arrived early and although there has been next to no rain the plants are doing very well.  Have noticed that  all the alliums finished a bit early and a lot of foxgloves are nearly over, probably because it has been so hot, they are setting their seed earlier than usual.  All my veg is now in, I decided to hold back on putting my runner beans out too early as last year there was a frost in mid May so I only put them out 2 weeks a go, they will catch up I am sure, but will suffer if we continue to have little rain.

Have decided to try out the straw bale planting technique, so far the cucumbers I put in them are struggling and the butternut squash and runner beans look a bit starved of nutrients.  It is difficult to keep the bales wet, but the plants roots will be warm and will prob make their way down into the soil beneath.  Straw bale planting seems to be very popular in America, it is a quick way of having a raised bed system at a low cost.  I shall report back further in the season to see if it works or not.

Have enclosed a lovely photo of wonderful garden flowers that can be used in a vase, ‘Nicotiana’, ‘Zinnia’, ‘Osteospernum’ and ‘Menthus’.  I always grow ‘Cosmea’ too as it has such a long growing season, right up to Oct/Nov, and you just keep dead heading them to keep them flowering.

Well the sun has been shining and it has been a perfect time to get out there and do some gardening.  April is a fantastic time to start sowing those vegetable seeds.  Carrots/Parsnips and Beetroot are good to sow now, outside in the open ground or in containers if you have little space.  Other seed to sow undercover, either in a greenhouse or indoors are tomatoes, sweetcorn, peppers, squash, pumpkin, runner beans, peas, green beans.  A great thing to also try when sewing seeds outdoors with the vegetable plot are companion plants, like ‘Calendula officinalis’, ‘Tagetes tenuifolia'(Marigold), ‘Limnanthes douglasii’ (poached egg plant).  All these flowers attract hoverflies that will eat those horrid aphids that suck all the sap out of your lovely young veg!

You can also plant out shallots, onions and garlic now, planted near the carrots will deter carrot root fly which attacks carrots, the smell on the onions confuses the pest!  Potatoes can still be bought-just, as they are usually bought end of Jan/beg on Feb ready to ‘chit’, ie putting the seed potatoes in an empty egg box and letting them sprout undercover ready for planting out in May, after the first frosts.

The cherry blossom has been looking fantastic, some are losing their petals now, but they have looked truly marvellous against the beautiful blue sky we have been seeing of late, and now the tulips are looking fantasic, all those deep reds and burgundy’s, perfect!

Happy Gardening everybody from your local gardener Lucy from Lucy’s Gardens!

Ahh, the sun has been shining all the way through April, amazing! Have planted a lot of seeds which are romping away now-Runner beans, climbing green beans, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, you name it I have planted it!  Loving the tulips as well, especially one that I tried last year called ‘Green Wave’, It emerges green, then has a pink tinge as it opens and looks almost alien like as the petals unfurl all twisted, beautiful.  Here is a picture.

Hamamelis x intermedia 'Pallida'

Hamamelis x intermedia 'Pallida'

Yay hay, the sun has come out to play, thank heavens for that. Since the sun decided to show its face I thought I would take a picture of a wonderful plant that is out now: Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Pallida’. Beautiful yellow witch hazel, it really comes into its own now during these cold winter months. If you pick some, put them in a vase and breathe in that lovely honey scent, if you actually breathe on the ribbon like petals it releases the aroma more. Gorgeous!

Well 2010 is now over, I am raring to go now, thinking of loads of plants to grow, including the veg plants. It is still very cold out but have been in the greenhouse getting it ready for Spring. the bulbs will start to show soon which will be great. I will try not to grow too many plants as I have no outside tap and watering the plants gets quite time consuming and tiring.

I’m thinking meadow flowers again this year, the ‘Cosmos’ I grew last year were brilliant, lasted well into Autumn. I will grow bee and butterfly loving plants again, as it really helped to keep the greenfly at bay last year.