The last of the chrysanthemums have finished in the garden which normally signals autumn is now in full swing. The leaves are falling by the wheel barrow full and some trees are even bare already so it was nice to get the new Woolmans Chrysanthemum catalogue through the door. It's always a joy to get a catalogue through the post opening the catalogue and revelling all the brightly coloured plants is like letting in a ray of sunshine to the dank, dark autumn and winter months.
Woolmans has been around since 1881 so they know a thing or two about chrysanthemums There are some lovely chrysanths to chose from some ones that caught my eye where The Exmoor collection this is a collection of large reflex blooms. These are the types you would normally see on the show bench but this collection has been chosen to grow well outdoors and make just as good garden plants as they do exhibition blooms. The Tapestry collection is your old fashioned garden mums these produce lovely domes of colour that will keep on flowering for months from September to the first frosts. Golden Rain AGM is a lovely spider type that remind me of old Japanese prints they look so delicate there florets can reach up to 15cm long flower from November onwards.
Now Woolmans are not just about chrysanthemums they have a wide range of perennials, bulbs and dahlias that will fill your garden full of colour through out the year.
The Royal Horticultural Society have just released a new book which is published by Frances Lincoln. If you ever wanted to know anything about scented plants then this is the book you need to have on your book case.
Written by the writer, broadcaster and designer Stephen Lacey, Steven is a prolific writer and has written many books he is also a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph and The RHS Garden magazine. The book is also packed full of lots of lovely photographs these are all the work of Andrew Lawson who is not just a photographer but also a published author in his own right. So you know straight away that this is going to be a good book The RHS Companion to Scented Plants is a weighty book. With over 1000 scented plants included in this book but it's not just about the plants it about themselves it's also about how to use them in the garden. One of the greatest joys about stepping into the garden is the scent that is given off by the plants especially on a hot summers day Now the scent that is given off by plants is not just there for our enjoyment it's primary use is to attract pollinating insects and bees. Towards the back of the book there is a great calendar which will help you get scent in the garden all year round everyone tends to think of scent through the summer months, but there are lots of great plants that flower in the winter and early spring that give masses of scent to the garden. This is a great and inspirational book that show how to get the most scent into your garden and would make a great book to receive or give this Christmas whether for the experienced or novice gardener.
The RHS Companion to Scented Plants is available now from all good book shops RRP £25.00.
I managed to get out in the garden this weekend which i have not been able to the last couple of weekends. Now Saturday was not a good start to the weekend as it rained most of the day and when it wasn't raining the ground sodden. So Saturday became a right off now Sunday was a completely different day the day started off with the sun shining through the curtains (i don't get up too early on a Sunday). There is always lots to tidy up at this time of the year whether it's leaves or cutting back those perennials or in my case Beans. My runner beans are well and truly over now and the frost we had last week finally finished them off they where looking very sad for themselves. But before i get rid of them there where lots of dry pods full of beans as part of my bid to go self sufficient next year part of that is to produce a lot of my own seed.
So i have been saving lots of seed this year from various vegetables in particular peas and beans as they are great for the the home seed saver. As most are in breeders which basically means they pollinate themselves before the flowers open but this is not true with runner beans. They can cross pollinate with other runner beans but there are many self fertile variety's now coming on to the market. I have got lots of french beans and runner beans drying in the greenhouse i spent a good few hours shelling them all ready to store away till the spring when we start the growing season again.
But we don't have to wait till the spring to do a bit of bean sowing November is an ideal time to sow Broad beans to over winter in the outdoors. I managed to get a row of The Sutton in, this is a small podded variety and also dose not grow as tall like other variety's i must admit that i am not a huge fan of broad beans but do insist on growing a row every winter.
The Marshall's catalogue is one that i can remember from being a boy my dad would spend many hours flicking through the pages. Deciding on what he was going to grow in the garden next year as kids we always got to open the parcel when it arrived excited to see what was in it. Back then the seed packets where very simple sometimes they just had the name written on the packet things have come on a long way since then. Marshall's seeds only used to be a mail order seed company but they have expanded there range and are now in most good garden centers.
There are many new variety's on offer this year as well as all the Marshall's favorites that you would expect. There front cover features the new Garlic 'Red Duke' it is a hard neck variety it has lovely big fat reddish cloves. With a good garlic flavor it is also buy one get one free at the moment so well worth a try i have planted it in my new raised bed already I'm looking forward to seeing how it performs over the growing season.
My Garlic cloves 'Red Duke' waiting to be planted.
Another good one to try is going to be Celery 'Blush' this is a British bread variety with a lovely blushed pink stalks will look great in the salad bowl. Courgette 'Lemona' not only is it almost spineless produces a prolific crop of lovely long yellow Courgettes up to 20cm long. another garden staple is the pea and Marshall's have introduced the new vaverity 'Twin Set' it is a very productive variety producing two pods on each node with each pod containing 10 peas with good disease resistance.
Suttons seeds have out done them selves again and bring us another great catalogue with many new variety's on offer for you to try in 2015.
The Front cover features the new and improved Carrot 'Rainbow F1' the picture really shows off the great mix of colours that there are in the mix. They also have a lovely new Artichoke 'Purple de Provence this is a fantastic new purple variety that would be fantastic in the flower border. It is said to have a finer flavor than the green variety's only £2.99 per packet with 45 seeds in there will be enough plants to give one to all your friends. The pink banana shallot 'Simiane' apparently a favorite amongst Michelin started chefs it is torpedo shaped and has a lovely rose colored skin. Now a Suttons seeds catalogue would not be complete without The Home Grown Revolution seeds from James Wong. There are some great new variety's on offer ever wanted to produce your own mustard well now you can this variety has been bred by Coleman's Mustard. The leaves and flowers are also edible so you can get a mustard sample before the seeds are ready to harvest. Another must grow next year is Liquorice contains a chemical 50 times sweeter than sugar harvest the roots between September - November ideal for making your own Pontefract cakes. There are so many other great new variety's to try out in 2015 too many to mention.
The leaves are coming down thick and fast now and getting rid of them has become a daily task. One of the problems that most people encounter every year is a couple of scoops full of leaves and your barrow is full. Meaning endless trips to the compost bin so it was was time to give my rusty old barrow a boost. With the wheel barrow booster from Grean Base you may remember seeing it a few years back on Dragons Den.
The wheelbarrow booster is so easy to fit to the our barrow it has an elasticated base to stretch over the lip of the barrow.
Just pull up the sides and you have boosted your barrow increasing its capacity by 300% the booster is so light that it dose not add any extra weight to the barrow. It is ideal for light weight stuff such as leaves, pruning's and would be excellent in a stable for carting about all that hay and straw.
The wheel barrow booster can be taken off folded up and put away when you don't need to use it so will last for years. I would recommend every one with a barrow should have one in the garage to help out when you need that extra bit of barrow space.
Available from most good garden centers or direct from Grean Base RRP £12.99
This book is packed full of lots of great information some fact and some folk law the book has been split into four sections. Early garden tools, Conserving moisture in soil, Plant folklore and Healing gardens thanks to this book i now no why me and the wife argue. I did not know that mistletoe is also called the good luck, bad luck plant the good luck coming from getting to kiss your lover under it. But if the Mistletoe is not burned on the 12th night all who have kissed under it will be quarreling before the year is out. This is one of those books that you can pick up read a couple a pages and pick it up another time.
The author David Squire has written 80 books over the years and was awarded the Garden Writers of America ‘Quill and Trowel’ award. David studied Horticulture at RHS Wisley and also Hertfordshire College of Horticulture.
With Christmas coming up this would make an ideal gift that any gardener would love to receive and is available from all good book shops from the 13th November.
Or direct from the publisher Green Books it is also at a great price of £9.99