Article by Rosemary Jones

Following on from last month, our members have some tips to share with you. 

Knowing that “more grows in a garden than the gardener knows she has planted,” I’ll hand over to Hanna Roberts to tell her story ….“My biggest success last summer was with agapanthus. About 7 years ago, a plant just appeared in my border bearing 2 flower heads. Because it was in the wrong place, I dug it up and put it in a pot. Over the years it filled the pot up, and although they like to be pot bound, I decided to split it into 4. Last summer I had over 100 flower heads in total. The photo shows my 6-year-old granddaughter explaining the anatomy of the flower to her older brother. We may have a future Carol Klein!!”

Our next suggestion comes from Michael Murch who would encourage all children to grow vegetables as he did as a child. His wife Judy explains “Given his Mother was French, he loved growing French radishes which was extremely easy. Just sow thinly and wait for the results. The taste is not as strong as the English ones!” Michael’s own children helped him grow leeks. “Again, sow thinly and when finger thick make a row of holes and gently drop each one into a hole.  As they continue to grow, earth them up much like potatoes. This encourages the stems to stay white.” Apparently, Michael’s mother made lovely leek soup. “I don’t think my soup was as good,” admitted Judy. “But then I didn’t much like garlic, so it might have been a bit tasteless!”

Lastly, whilst most of us love runner beans, making frames for them is a chore! Keith Goodwin may have the answer. He concedes that “My least favourite job on the allotment is to tie canes together to make bean frames. However, I remember my Scouting days, and making a firm cross-over lashing.” He advises starting with a clove-hitch knot, slipping it over the top of the cane and continuing from there to wind the string round and round and back and forth over the canes, finishing with another clove-hitch. The result is a square or diagonal lashing that holds the canes together firmly to form a frame.

According to the Chinese proverb “Life begins the day you start a garden.” Ready for the challenge? Enjoy the spring and happy gardening everyone!


Rosemary Jones

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