Tuesday 24 March 2015

Plans and remembering things at their peak

Things are cold, and summer seems a long time ago...so as I wander around the garden I am trying to remember how things were and plan for this years extravaganza....

This is the same view....above is today and below at the peak of summer

Saturday 21 March 2015


A slow day gardening, pondering and planning whilst the effects of last night’s special ‘Gin and Hogarth’ evening at the Tate wears off.
Things in the garden are hotting up and now we are past the Spring Equinox the days are getting longer than the nights. This has embedded a slight fear of being behind and as such I have released my sleeping Enstes into the light and planted my Ricinus seeds.

These are the Ensetes which have been stored in a dark frost free place since the end of November when they were dug up (see before and when they were prepared here). 
The next steps were to clean them up and cut away the dead/rotting leaves. They aren't really potted up, more loosely rested on pots of fresh soil.....burying them would probably just encourage rot. But they now have light and warmth
This is inside the polythene greenhouse on the terrace...the experiment has gone well and there have been no negative effects of the cold at all. The bananas and Hedychiums have kept their leaves, Begonia luxurians looks healthy as does the Brugmansia.
In fact the Brugmansia gave me a surprise by flowering!
 The Musa sikkimensis on the terrace has also been unwrapped.
Good news in that the Giant Echiums all seem to be ok......
The other project was to plant a giant bamboo to give some protection from the neighbours...
This seemingly simple job turned epic when the 'soil' was just buried rubble and reminded us of clearing the land of old..... this picture is misleading as the rubble was HUGE at least the size of a mini....
Daffodils because its spring, innnit!
Tetrapanax waking up
Fatsia polycarpa
I've got the key, do you have the secret?
Grrr to the cold, hurry up spring!

Sunday 8 March 2015

Lemons like you have never seen them before....the Menton lemon festival

Last week we were sunning ourselves in the South of France and so took ourselves off on a day trip to visit the Menton lemon festival not really knowing what to expect. Menton nestles on the border with Italy and so has a good climate for growing lemons and indeed when the festival was founded in the late 1800's Menton was the number one lemon-growing region in Europe.

What we found was one of the lemon marvels of the world! On the theme of 'The tribulations of a lemon in China' there were lots of different structures made from oranges and lemons. Words can not describe, so....

This is my surprised face at coming across a lemon Panda!

Menton itself was lovely to wander with a great ancient old town

We have one lemon tree in a pot that so far has survived about 5 years of winters with minimal protection. It has also now started producing lemons and we have had 2 gin and tonics with Camberwell grown lemons! They are good, relatively east plants to grow as the scent from the flowers is intoxicating. You will need some good protection, but they aren't as tender as people think.