Gardening by stealth and other garden updates

Over the last week or so there have been quite a few things going on in the garden.  Considering this is the ‘off season’ in terms of big garden developments, I’m excited to have been able to get outside and check off a couple of items from my to-do list.

1. Gardening by stealth, what’s all this about I hear you ask.  Well I finally got around to pinching a cutting from a plant I had been eyeing off for months.  If you’ll remember from an earlier post I have wanted to start a collection of flowering plants that I remember from my childhood, in particular from my grandmother’s garden.  Top of this list was the fuchsia, or as I always called it, popping flowers.  Of course I could have gone to a local nursery and picked one up, but I’m also trying to avoid buying plants considering I’m no longer working (well not in paid employment anyway).  On the way to the train station one morning I noticed a rather neglected looking fuchsia in a front yard.  If I had have been living in the town I grew up in I probably would have gone and knocked on the door and asked for a cutting, but I live on the ‘wrong side of the tracks’ in the city and you just never know who is going to be on the other side of that front door.  Well last Saturday I took the baby for a long walk down to the library and walked past this same house along the way.  It took me until the return trip to work up the courage and strategy to collect the cutting, using the pram as a decoy I was able to pick a section of the plant and tuck it away quickly.  I must admit I have no idea what you should look for in a cutting or how to deal with it once collected.  I got home, cut most if the leaves off and threw it in a pot with a mixture of potting mix and top soil, added water and voila.  A week and a half later it’s still green and upright so that’s got to be a good thing doesn’t it?  I am so hoping this little specimen turns into the vision I have in my head, then I can introduce my two to the delights of popping the flowers.

2)  Lemon Tree update.  I finally bit the bullet and put my failing lemon tree into the garden.  I opted for a position that gets quite a lot of sun, especially in summer, but probably not the best position in the garden.  As I am hoping to get a couple of other dwarf fruit trees soon I thought I would save the best spots for plants that have a greater chance of success.  This lemon tree has had enough of my love, care and attention, if it doesn’t get its act together this time, that’s it!  You hear me lemon tree, THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE.  So here it is in it’s new home, tucked in with some aged manure and a good watering.    Note the last remaining leaf has since fallen off.  This is the first of the food producing plants to go into the big garden, hopefully more will follow soon.  Weed eradication is needed first though.

3) Growing from seed.  In the bed where my eggplants have been I have decided to put in some peas.  I’ve started these off in seedling pots – well actually they’re in loo rolls, but once they’re big enough I should be able to plant the whole thing into the ground.  The only problem with using loo rolls as far as I can see at the moment is collecting enough to plant out the seeds.  My ever diligent mum kept throwing them out on me last time she stayed, so I only had nine in this lot.  I will save some more and start again once these ones have been planted out.  I’ve created a little hothouse using some plastic containers, one to stand the pots in and one large one as the actual house.  I currently have them inside as my dog would be into them in a second if I left them outside in the sun.  I’ve taken to shifting them around throughout the day to keep them in the sun, and so far it seems to be working with lots of condensation forming on the lid and it smelling nice and earthy and warm in there when I give them a little more water.  As yet they haven’t popped their heads up through the surface, but it’s only been a week so hopefully they will appear soon. 

4. In other news, the spring onions have finally made an appearance, they’re so tiny I couldn’t really photograph them, but will when the get a little bigger.  I had just about given up on them, so it was a nice little surprise to see them there one afternoon.  The broccoli are continuing to improve and make me eat my words about their ability to grow and fend off the bug assault.  I have been keeping the water up to them so they don’t bolt to seed like my last lot and I now have thoughts of home grown broccoli, yum.  And finally the broad beans are looking magnificent, full of flowers and almost as high as the fence.  Actually these plants remind me of The Day of the Triffids, I think it’s their ability to stand tall and straight without the aide of stakes.  I can just imagine them growing legs and trying to take over the world – I must remember not to look at the sun, just in case (that will only makes sense to those that have read the book).

That’s it from the garden, but hopefully not for too long.



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4 Responses to Gardening by stealth and other garden updates

  1. L says:

    Looking good! I’m concerned about your broad beans though – mine have a tendency to snap clean off if they get too tall.

  2. Oh no, here I was worrying about them coming to life and taking over the world when I should be concerned about them breaking off altogether. When I say they’re as tall as the fence they have a head start being in quite a high built up garden bed and the fence isn’t terribly high. Hopefully they will survive and give us lots of beany goodness.

  3. Andrea says:

    Glad im not the only one with a record of pinching cuttings,now the secret is a lot more walking the streets(day time) to find fellow keen gardeners and their gardens,especially Italian and Greek ones and when their home say hello and ask them for a cutting.I bet they will be more than happy to share some advice as well!! Now about your lemon tree I wish you luck but if you have a birthday coming around soon I would start dropping hints for a Healthy new one (thornless) to anyone that will listen. Great idea with the pea seeds, Cheers.

  4. Oh Andrea, you don’t sound too hopeful about my poor old lemon. I have so many other plants I want for my birthday – next week incidentally – that I was hoping not to have to put another lemon tree on that list.
    We also have lots of Greeks living around here and they have the most wonderful gardens, if it had have been one of their’s I definitely would have asked them for the cutting and some advice. Unfortunately this specimen was in a VERY dodgy looking home (of which there are also lots, it’s a hodge podge of a demographic around here), lots of suped up cars and loud music. It’s only be the grace of God that anything is surviving in the garden, certainly not from care and attention that’s for sure.

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