At this time of year when the garden is galloping off into the distance with us poor gardeners hurrying along behind and trying to catch up with the exponential growth everywhere, it is helpful to remember the Red Queen’s dictum to Alice:
“Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”.
And so it is with gardening; you must garden every day to keep up otherwise the garden will overwhelm you. With Cruella and the idiot son still isolating in the U.K. I have been merrily gardening to such an extent that I have not even had time to write this blog. I have therefore made an editorial decision; I am going to try and blog more frequently (possibly every couple of days) over the next couple of busy months but not at such length you will be pleased to hear.
17th June. Things I have been doing lately.
✂️ Clear the last of your bulb beds. Most bulbs (apart from Nerines) will now be spent and the stems fully dried out. You now need to cut the stems right back to the ground, whilst at the same time removing any weeds that have hidden between the stems. Once all the stems are cut back, you should cover them with a layer of compost. This will both protect them from the Sun and give the, a slow release feed. The last thing you need to do is give them a good water and then say goodbye to them, wish them goodnight and tell them you will see them next year “God willing”. The photos below show some of my bulbs before cutting back, when cut back and lastly with their nice covering of compost. Click on each photo for a larger view.
🕷 Potting up baby spider plants. Spider plants, or to give them their proper name Chlorophytum comosum, are often left unloved and wilting on bathroom window ledges or, in the corner of kitchens. Their ability to grow in low light seems to have made them ideal for this purpose. But they can be useful in the garden to brighten up shady and semi shady spots. Its variegated leaves seem almost to glow in the shade and can look quite stunning. But the most important thing about spider plants is their ability to provide you with baby plants for free. The mature spider plant throws out long aerial runners which each produce a mini spider plant at the end. These plants would normally burrow into the soil and eventually free themselves from the mother plant after a few weeks. The long aerial runner makes sure that the new babies are far enough away from the mother plant not to compete. Operating on the same principle I am thinking of sending our idiot Son to Australia.
To harvest these babies all you have to do is look for ones that are quite large and looking like fully formed plants. Simply snip these off at the end of the runner and then pop them into a pre-prepared pot of compost. You need only dib these in about 2cm and then push the plant leaves and all into the hole. Keep it moist but not wet, and out of direct sun. Within 2/3 weeks it will have rooted. The first photo below shows a spider plant nursery with lots of babies dangling on the end of their runners. The second photo shows a baby about to leave home. The third photo shows its new home being prepared. Finally we see happy babies in their new Nursery. Click on each photo for a larger view.