Archive for the ‘Roses’ Category

My next door neighbour has the most amazing rose in her garden, and by some miracle of luck, it has grown over to our side.

I think it started last year when we noticed it had climbed up a tree on our side.  This year it kind of collapsed onto our side, and the spur grew so much that I swear we are getting more flowers than they are,  which seems a bit cheeky.

However, the happy coincidence of it growing into the lime green foliage of our tree gives us both a mutual benefit, greater than if either of us kept our plants on our own side of the fence….

What do I do?  It seems an absolute travesty to cut it off, but I have a sneaking guilty feeling that we should be encouraging it back?

There is a saying that you should offer back anything that you take off the plant, so I guess that means if we pick any flowers.

The whole thing makes me feel somewhat like a character out of the fairy tale Rapunzel.

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The cutting garden

Well, this was going to be the year when I concentrated on flowers for cutting rather than vegetables.  On the whole, flowers have proved a lot easier to grow.  I wonder if this could be our soil, with about 3 inches of chalky topsoil before you hit the bedrock.  This means its very poor in nutrients and prone to frequent and long droughts, both of which flowers seem to handle better than veg.  I think to build up sufficient bulk in a vegetable crop you need to either water it constantly, or improve the soil every year for about 10 years??

Having said that, obviously where people are vigilant they have got fantastic crops.  You only have to see Ali’s blog (from the same allotment site!) to see the potential.

I think until I am able to commit more time in the summer evenings, I will have to resign myself to the lower maintenance crops like flowers and herbs.  We are planning to get a greenhouse in the garden later in the year, so this means we can do tomatoes and so on there.  Watch this space to see if we do grow anything interesting this year, or whether my moans, groans and excuses fill the WHOLE BLOG!  Ha ha.

So in the meantime here are some more of my finest cuttings from this week.  First up my Charles de Mills rose was magnificent.  This yielded me a whole bush of fragrant, dark mauve blooms.  The best ones were cut with a stalk attached and put into an arrangement with some cornflowers.

Ones that were too late to pick for cut flowers were picked just below the flower and placed in water to keep them fresh.

And because I couldn’t bear to waste them, I even picked the petals from the deadheads to be dried in saucers and saved.  The smell in the room was fantastic!

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Days like these are what allotmenting is all about.  A horrible first day back at the office, with everything as usual in complete crisis and over schedule, blah, blah, blah.  I finally got out at 7pm, and went straight to the allotment, carrying the cares of the world.

A balmy evening and we arrived to the sight of fellow gardeners happily tilling the land.  In our case an explosion of strawberries and flowers meant there was a bumper crop in store for us.

Little hands collecting the crop

Little hands collecting the crop

The girls were squealing with excitement as they picked the ripe strawberries.  We ate some off the plants, but had enough to bring a whole bucketful home.

Allotment June 1 004

Eden noticed that her rose had flowered, and was thrilled to find it has an amazing fragrance.  The rest of the roses have bloomed, along with the peony.

Sarah Raven eat your heart out!

Sarah Raven eat your heart out!

As we packed up and headed for home, there was contentment mixed with excitement about having ice cream and strawberries for supper, and the prospects of a great summer ahead.

Allotment June 6 001

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