Perfect weather for a spot of gardening May 27 2015

The sun shone for us this afternoon and it was perfect weather for a spot of gardening.

Papaver Orientalis. Garden House Brighton by What You Sow.

The stars of the show today were these gorgeous poppies that have just appeared in the last few days. They’re huge, they’re called Papaver Orientalis and the colour is amazing.

Papaver Orientalis. Garden House Brighton by What You Sow.

So today in Gardening Group, we had lots of jobs to do.

Worm tea. Garden House Brighton by What You Sow.

We gave the fruit plants some fertiliser in the form of worm tea. This was given to us by Amy whose worm farm is doing fantastically and last year produced loads and loads of worm juice. She also gave s the worms that live in our wormery. We diluted 1 part very stinky worm tea in 10 parts water and used it to water the fruits, including the blueberries &  gooseberries which are really coming along now.  

Blueberries. Garden House Brighton by What You Sow.            Gooseberries. Garden House Brighton by What You Sow. 

Inspired by our National Gardens Scheme visit to Tredcroft road a few weeks ago, we planted some very pretty viola and strawberries against the outside of the raised beds. A couple of tiny strawberries had already made an early appearance.

Viola and alpine strawberries. Garden House Brighton by What You Sow.

Alpine strawberries. Garden House Brighton by What You Sow.            Viola. Garden House Brighton by What You Sow.

Alpine Strawberries. Garden House Brighton by What You Sow.

We also planted Thunbergia “African Sunset” and Rhodochiton “Purple Bells” in the really tall pots, supported by some branches with twigs known as pea sticks. We had to handle the plants very carefully as they’d already grown quite long, and used pea rings to tie them to the pea sticks. The close up below is of the Rhodochiton.

Rhodochiton and pea sticks. Garden House Brighton by What You Sow.            Rhodochiton. Garden House Brighton by What You Sow.

Some of the team started work on the three sisters bed. Three sisters is a commonly used companion planting method of planting sweetcorn, beans and pumpkins together to allow them to all benefit each other. The beans grow upwards, using the sweetcorn as a support and feeding nitrogen to the soil, then squash is grown in between to shade the ground, preventing weeds and creating a natural mulch for the whole area. And as if all that wasn’t enough…the three crops combined provide a perfectly balanced diet too! Probably.

Three sisters. Garden House Brighton by What You Sow.            Three sisters. Garden House Brighton by What You Sow.

Today the beans weren’t quite ready to plant out yet, so only two of the sisters made it into the ground. The beans shouldn’t be too far behind.

Now here’s an interesting fact…my grandfather, Gordon Haskell, was the first person to trial large scale sweetcorn cultivation in the UK. He was a horticultural scientist for John Innes and here is a picture of him posing next to his crop at Merton, South London.

Grandpa Gordon and the Sweetcorn. Garden House Brighton by What You Sow.

Ro and Kate planted up some pretty pots and hanging baskets with bright pink petunias as well as some tins with hyssop, a medieval herb and also potted on some thai basil.

Petunias. Garden House Brighton by What You Sow.

Petunias. Garden House Brighton by What You Sow.

Hyssop in olive tins. Garden House Brighton by What You Sow.

And just to finish, here’s a lovely shot of Deborah herding the chickens, using some lettuce and cucumber to tempt them back into their house. Talking of chickens, it’s just a few days now until the chicks are due to hatch! Keep your fingers crossed that all has gone well and I promise to keep you posted.

Herding the chickens. Garden House Brighton by What You Sow.