Archive | Flowers and Plants

Annual, perennial and interesting flowers with advice on culture, information, tips and recommended varieties

Plum Picks are Victoria and Czar

My Victoria plums have just been picked and the majority converted into jam. The wasps had not got at the sweetest fruit so I had a treat for dessert. The tree is now 10 foot tall and I will prune it back next May or June when the danger of fungal infection is reduced.

Last years Victoria plum crop was so good I decided to try another variety and a Czar tree was planted last Autumn. Czar is a culinary plum with a distinctive blue skin and a sharper taste. This year there was no fruit but next year I hope to do better. Both varieties are self fertile but if you have difficulty there is a great web site for pollination information.

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Companion Plants for Clematis

Some plants work well together for shape, texture or location and with others it is the colour combination that stands out. This Pholx and Clematis both look exceptional in the late afternoon light. The Phlox adds scent and this vibrant coloured clematis has been in flower since late July.

Focus on Clematis partnerships

  • Climbing Roses and Clematis make  classic partnerships. Try the dark Clematis jackmanii ‘Superba’ with a light pink Rose ‘New Dawn’.
  • Consider the environment for climbing and parner the clematis accordingly. Warm stone will look  different to a rustic pergola so try Commtess de Bouchaud or Miss Bateman
  • Clematis ‘Nelly Moser’ can look good with Nicotianas
  • I have seen Clematis montana ‘Rubens’ intertwine with a Golden Ivy and hold its own.
  • Careful mixing of Clematis varieties can produce good companions. Clematis tangutica’s yellow lantern flowers and seedheads look fine with large hybrids Clematis Mrs N Thompson has a yellow centre to pick-out the yellow lanterns.
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Tips for Tomatoes in September

I am picking more and more Cherry Tomatoes as the days get longer. I still have a lot of other vines in the greenhouse with fruit to pick and if they won’t ripen I will try some of these tips. Let me know if you have other methods.

Encourage late ripening

  • If you haven’t taken the greenhouse shading off, do so and clean all the glass.
  • Bunny Guinness suggests you cover plants with horticultural fleece or perforated plastic.
  • Stop pinching out as it is too late and excess water can be transpired through the new leaves to help avoid splitting.
  • Reduce the plants work load by selecting the fruit you want to ripen and take the rest off.
  • If you pick green tomatoes hang vines in a dark dry place to ripen.
  • Wrap a tomato in newspaper and put in a drawer  or cardboard box. Tomatoes ripen best in the dark and sunlight will make the skins get tough.
  • Put a banana in with green tomatoes will speed up the ripening/decay process
  • Pick green tomatoes as they start to change colour. Hard, dark green tomatoes get to a point where they won’t ripen and are only good for Chutney.
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Gardener of the Week

Michael J Berry

Private gardening commissions in Morecambe and Lancashire over several years. Now semi-retired

Specialises in home grown tomatoes in his own plot near the west coast.

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