Tag Archives: morning glory

My blue wall seems to be orange and purple!

My little sister emailed me yesterday and pointed out I had not posted anything for a while. I realise this is true but there is a reason. Every time I sat down to write something all I could think about was the awful weather, nothing is growing and how the garden is being eaten alive by slugs.

I am one of life’s positive people – irritatingly so sometimes. My glass is always half full etc etc etc but when midsummer night came and we were sitting in the dark with the fire on – normally we would be sitting outside until after 11pm – even I found it too hard to think of something positive.

Since then, the temperature has risen to a level that is still below average for this time of year but slightly warmer than the record breaking coldest June on record levels experienced recently. And there has been the odd sunny spell. It is still very wet, that combination of heat and damp that conspires against straight, shiny hair (ladies, you’ll know what I mean), but that is why scrunchies were invented.

So last night when I got home I wandered round the garden looking for something positive to tell you all and, despite recent adverse conditions, there is some good news.

My experiment growing early carrots and peas inside the greenhouse has paid off and I now have lots of the sweetest petit pois and Autumn King and Purple Haze carrots to eat. The spinach and pak choi are also ready for eating.

The tomatoes, lettuce, rocket, basil, coriander, peppers and chillies are all making progress, the aubergines are in the bed in the greenhouse and I have flowers on my melons (ok how many of you are hearing Kenneth Williams saying “ooh matron!”).

Outside, the brassicas are happy and there is beetroot, fennel, beans, peas and mangetout. The strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries and blackcurrants should be ready for picking soon and the potato bags have already been filled up to cover the shaws.

On the flower front, I have still not finished planting all my seedlings, but most of what I have planted has been eaten by slugs.  I have turned my focus to the winter flowering pansies and perennial flowers for next year which are all germinating nicely inside.

Finally, my biggest surprise came when the flowers on my blue wall started to come out. I dedicated a trellis and the border in front of it to be only blue flowers to see if I could create a wall of blue flowers. For the climbers I picked blue sweet peas and a variety of morning glory called Grandpa Otts – a lovely royal blue flower. In the border I have planted blue and white anemones, white cosmos, silver dust, salvia, catnip (not that there is much left after Dennis has eaten it) and, when they are a bit bigger, my lavender that I have grown from seed.

Well the monring glory flowers have started to come out. What colour would you say this is?

In my book this is purple!

However, at least purple is closer in the colour spectrum to blue than this anemone!

My blue and white anemones appear to be orange!!!!!

But after the season we’ve had so far I am just delighted to have any flowers.

Happy gardening!

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Disaster has struck!

I knew it was cold last night as we had a thick white frost this morning and when I checked the temperature at 8am it was -4 degrees!

It never crossed my mind to look inside the greenhouses because, although it was cold, the frost would not get to the plants. However, I have just been out to check everything and I have lost quite a few plants. So far I have lost:

  • All Morning Glory plants – I was worried about these anyway as the leaves were becoming discoloured. All 18 are dead.
  • 68 Cosmos Plants
  • 14 Marigolds
  • 11 Sungold tomatoes
  • 9 Red Cherry tomatoes
  • 9 Moneymaker tomatoes

I am not so worried about the flowers as they all germinate quickly and will catch up. I am gutted about the tomatoes though. I planted them all on 19 February so they had a good head start. I have lost nearly 7 weeks but am going to have to start again.

The problem I have is that where I live in Central Scotland our summers can be mixed and are not famous for wall to wall sunshine. So if I have late tomatoes they will probably not get enough sunshine to ripen. This is why I always plant them so early so they get a head start and get the full benefit of any sunshine.

Now here is what I think I have done wrong. Last night I watered everything at 7pm. It was a clear night so the temperature (which was already low) would have plummeted very quickly. I think that even though the plants were protected from frost, the water must have frozen in the pots and modules and that is what has killed them. So from now on, or at least until there is no more risk of frost, I will water everything in the morning.

Not happy tomatoes

Unidentified Growing Objects!

Last year I planted some dahlia tubers in a flower bed under the livingroom window. Seven out of the eight that I planted grew, but they were a bit late flowering (my fault for planting them late!) and then got obliterated by the strong autumn winds.

Once the leaves had turned black, after the first frosts, I cut them down leaving just a tiny bit of the stem above the soil. They were then covered in a really deep layer of topsoil to protect them from frost.

They looked so lovely I decided to buy some more and create a flower border just full of dahlias. They are all semi-cactus variety and the flowers are huge. The foliage varies from a green-black to lime green so even before the flowers open there is some variety of colour.

Dahlias or pineapples?

It is recommended that dahlia tubers are planted in the ground about 6 weeks before the last frost is expected. This is round about now where I live. I was having a look at the border when I noticed a pineapple shape sticking up out of the ground. As the week has gone on more and more have started to appear. Now if I was a betting woman I would put money on them being dahlias. However, they are not anywhere near where they were last year.

According to Mr Mac the tubers spread and what has popped up are new tubers. This explains why they are in a different place. It is unlikely last year’s tubers will flower which means I will need to wait to see where they are all going to pop up before I can plant the new ones.

It also means that they will have to be protected from the risk of frost so I will be tuned to the weather forecast each night and if it looks like it may be frosty I have some protective fleece to throw over them. It would be a shame to lose them now after they have survived the winter.

Another odd thing that has happened this week is the Morning Glory seedlings I potted on last week look like they have started to burn round the edges! They were growing really well but now most of them look as if they are going to die. I wondered if it was just too hot for them in the greenhouse so I have been taking them outside each morning and putting them back in at night. I have planted some more seeds just in case. I will need them for my blue wall.

Finally, you may remember a few blogs back I had lost my Muscari. Well I found it! It was at the front door.