Tag Archives: flowers

‘Wave that Glad’

I have to admit that I’ve been guilty of ‘Gladioli Snobbery’… refusing to allow them space in my garden or allotment because of the link to Dame Edna and the ‘tacky tag’!  However last autumn I visited the Malvern Show and stumbled across a gladioli stall by Pheasant Acre Plants from Bridgend, South Wales.

The specimens on display were stunning! No hint of tackiness! I fell instantly in love with a Gladiola called Bangladesh.

Gladi White
Bangladesh

I placed an order for Gladiolus Antica, Sunshine, Sweet Shadow and Bangladesh. I could have bought loads more.

They were planted into plot 5a using a bulb planter pushed extra deep (around 9″) into the soil around April when the soil had warmed up a little.  I also ensured that the bulbs had plenty of drainage by adding a generous scoop of sand to the bottom of each bulb hole.

I then left them to their own devices. I know they need plenty of water to flourish and luckily we had a rather wet growing season here in Wales!  They probably could have done with feeding but quite honestly, it didn’t enter my head 😀

I was treated to the most glorious display….

Gladi 1
Antica
Gladi 3
Sunshine
Gladi 2
Sweet Shadow

A random ‘pink’ found at a local garden centre. Pink 2

This was my first year growing gladioli and they caused a sensation on the allotment site…perhaps we’ll see a few more allotmenteers growing Gladioli next year.

I’ve snuggled mine up under a mulch of chippings for the winter ( I confess to being too lazy to dig them up and store!) It’s a risk but hopefully they’ll survive.

I’m not sure what to do with the foliage though. Any advice? Do I cut or leave to die back totally?

Gladi bed

 

Gladi stall
Pheasant Arce Plants at Malvern Show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gardd Mamgu (Grandma’s Garden)

‘At the bottom of the garden there lives a little gnome’

I love my garden.   I’ve always appreciated the beauty of a lovely garden buzzing with wildlife and I hope that I’ve managed to pass on that love of nature to my children. However as a grandparent I’m taking ‘gardening’ to another level by trying to create a little magic…

There’s a little gnome house in the old tree stump:-)

stump

‘Tiddler A’ loves stories about fairies and gnomes. A few strategically placed items seem to light up her imagination and keep her interested in the garden as a whole.

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I truly believe that we shouldn’t be precious about our gardens…so what if it’s kitsch?!

geoff

I always have watering cans ‘dotted’ about the place and ‘Tiddler A’ regularly fills up from the garden tap before helping  me with the watering – she knows how plants grow.  ‘Tiddler A’ has planted seeds of most vegetables and nurtured her chosen flowers seedlings with joy but sadly she is the only child in her class that understands the process of gardening.  None of the other children had ever sown a seed, watered a flower, dug up a home-grown potato or even made rose petal perfume! Sad, very sad!!

My garden is the perfect and most natural place for the ‘Tiddlers’ to play and learn.  Why, oh why, is gardening generally ‘discovered’ later in life?!  We have a responsibility to be sharing gardening skills with our grandchildren…if necessary with a little sprinkle of fairy dust!

‘What we sow in their minds today will reap a priceless harvest tomorrow.’

 

 

 

 

 

 

Growing Medicine for the Mind

“Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine to the mind.”

I love growing flowers on my allotment plot. To me, they look stunning, they attract pollinators and very importantly are they can be used as an environmentally friendly bug barrier!

I’m currently growing perennial flowers such as daffodils, verbena, hydrangeas, lavender and rudbeckia but I also grow a number of annual flowers such nasturtiums, sunflowers, sweet peas and marigolds.

This year I’ve decided to dedicate Plot 5A to flowers. So far, I’ve planted 2 beds of bulbs and they’re already up!

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In 2016 I have to admit that I was very disappointed with the results of ‘direct sown’ seeds – they either didn’t germinate or produced 3 inch high plants 😦 so this year I’ll be starting ALL my flowers off in the greenhouse.  I’ve already started stockpiling a few beauties (these will go straight into the ground)…Any tips on growing dahlias will be gratefully received 🙂 Look at these gorgeous ‘dinner plate’ varieties!

flowers-2

I’ve managed to gather a few basic planting tips:

  • Don’t rush to plant – dahlias hate cold soil. Wait until all chance of frost is past.
  • Plant in full sun. They need 6 to 8 hours of sunlight to thrive.
  • Protect from the wind.
  • Soil should be rich and well-drained.
  • You can start tubers indoors.
  • Be cautious with watering – tubers rot easily.
  • You can expect flowers within around 8 weeks of planting, starting in mid-July.

Do you have any tips or advice on growing Dahlias?

On my wanders around gardens in the UK, it’s clear that most kitchen gardens combine flowers and veggies.

These two pictures show the Agatha Christie’s kitchen gardens at Greenway House…

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Love the combined planting!

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I’m aiming to create a mini version of this sweet pea and bean (the beans have been cleared) arch (at the National Botanical Gardens of Wales) over the central pathway on Plot 5A…

arch

Do you grow flowers on your allotment?  How do you ‘mix them up’? What are you most looking forward to growing in 2017?