Sunday, May 27, 2018

21 Jun

What a difference a week makes!

Fuchsia Blacky
Fuchsia Blacky
Fuchsia Blacky
Fuchsia Blacky
Petunia Harmony and Begonia Devil Red
Petunia Harmony and Begonia Devil Red

My week started with a little bit of jealousy. Everyone else’s window boxes and hanging baskets are looking full of colour, whereas mine are still looking green. They are a very healthy and a very bushy green, but nonetheless showing a distinct lack of any of the beautiful flowers as promised in the Gardening Direct brochure.

 

So a quick email to one of the horticulturist specialists at Gardening Direct assured me that this was absolutely fine and my situation is comparable to that of his plants. This is because my plug plants have predominately been raised under my fantastic care in the back garden, rather than in a controlled environment. My plants are doing exactly what they should do based on the water and the sun that they have been receiving. Although mine are flowering later than my neighbours garden centre bought plants I am still winning in terms of quantity and value for money, but not forfeiting on quality. The amount of plants I have, ensures that I have more than enough plants to fill 2 window boxes, 4 hanging baskets, 9 containers, 2 very large three tiered baskets, 1 large grow bag and lots of beds and borders. All this because I followed the system recommended by Gardening Direct in buying plants that give you the biggest yield in terms of quantity and variety. Plant varieties are chosen for their garden performance rather than pack performance.

 

This basically means that although my flowers weren’t in flower when I received them as small plug plants, they have been specially selected to have the biggest impact in my garden rather than in the packet at the local store. This again means that I am the winner in this gardening project and I will certainly be using plugs again next season.

 

Anyway, I said that my week started with a little bit of jealousy.

Petunia Harmony and Begonia Devil Red

Petunia Harmony and Begonia Devil Red

 

Begonia Big
Begonia Big

By the end of this week I’ve seen an amazing turnaround and my jealousy has subsided considerably. My Petunia Harmonies are huge and are producing lots of beautiful flowers. The trailing Begonia Apricot Illumination has loads of flowers which are a gorgeous apricot colour. The Big Begonias: well what can I say; they are big! Strange as it may seem, you can virtually watch these grow whilst you sit and admire them. The Surfinia Petunias are also a beautiful flower, and are now beginning to trail out of their container. The only plant that is not showing much growth is the Sundaville. I have moved this pot into a full sun position hoping that this might encourage it to grow. It looks very healthy but is just not growing at the moment.

 

All the vegetables and herbs are doing well. I have so far used the coriander and basil in my cooking. The children have been eating the strawberries from the garden and love to pick the ripest ones and then eat them straight away (these are the ones that I have had for a few years as opposed to the ones from Gardening Direct). However, my Gardening Direct strawberries are starting to flower so hopefully we will be picking these strawberries in the not too distant future. It really is a fantastic feeling watching the kids really enjoying the whole scenario of picking and eating the strawberries. I have never had the same response to a packet of shop bought strawberries.

 

….and finally an update to my slug defence mechanism.  No slugs have been seen on any of my plants! I have seen quite a few munching their way through the leaf mulch but the slugs seem to be so stuffed after this feast that by the time they see my petunia’s they cannot eat anymore and so leave them intact. I do have slug trails over the plants but no leaf has been touched.

 


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