My gardening Diary
MONDAY Apples on our ‘Discovery’ tree are ripe. You have to move in quickly before the birds start pecking and the wasps get at them! The fruit is properly red and sometimes the flesh is pink. They have a fresh, sweet flavour – but they don’t keep. We’re entering apple-eating fortnight!
TUESDAY Our Prunus padus ‘Colorata’ is dropping its first leaves: pink, orange and russet. Sad to think that autumn’s on the doorstep. During spring and summer its foliage is dark, almost black, and it’s accompanied in May and June by pendulous racemes of tiny, pink flowers. It’s growing very vigorously but if we’re to prune it, we should do it straight away to avoid silver leaf.
WEDNESDAY Squashes ‘Uchiki Kuri’ and ‘Crown Prince’ got off to a slow start, but are now showing signs of making a rewarding harvest. Last year they scrambled over a sizeable area, but yielded only a few fruit. This year they’re growing in big pots and seem to be more bountiful.
THURSDAY Can’t believe it’s time to empty out our clay pots in readiness for spring bulbs. This year we successfully saved lots of tulip bulbs, but they’re small and we might just try them in the veg beds to use as cut flowers, having added plenty of grit to the soil. I can feel a tulip-choosing frenzy coming on!
FRIDAY While deadheading the Penstemon heterophyllus ‘Blue Gem’ that edges the beds on either side of the front steps, I can’t resist taking a few cu ings. At this time of year they root rapidly and we should have flowering plants by next summer.
SATURDAY Is it worth sowing beetroot for an extra crop for later, making use of the space in the huge tree pots that potatoes have just vacated? Because beetroot have such big seed clusters, it’s easy to station sow them, giving each an individual cell to then transplant them later without root disturbance. SUNDAY The third sowing of Orlaya
grandiflora, made from seed collected from the first sowing, which flowered miles too early, are themselves running up to flower in their pots. We need to plant them out in the ground straight away in the veg beds in the hope they’ll slow themselves down!