Saturday, June 18, 2016

Early summer garden

It is always a pleasure to visit my friend's garden. 
It is a real oasis for various shrubs, perennials and trees. 
On a warm summer day the fragrance of many flowers fills the air.
Today the scent of sweet lilac, honey scented roses and 
peppery lupines was prevalent. 
Too bad that there is no possibility to bring that online.

But the photos may give you an idea.
The double filled lilac heads are big like grapes 
and so heavy that they are hanging upside down.

These tall, Bearded Iris' flowers are the size of my hand.
Sky blue wild iris
Allium siculum among blue Lupines
They look like pink and white bells.

They are also called "Sicilian honey lily", or Sicilian honey garlic.

Beautiful wild lupines, banned as noxious weeds in many places, 
but not on this island. 
June is the time for Lupines.
I especially like the pink ones with the red "banner".
When I planted some in my garden they all turned out blue. Hopefully I will get some pink ones over time. One never knows.

Scented roses 
(Rosa rugosa alba)

Filling the air with it's heady honey like perfume.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

A multitude of choices

This time I will post about how I started out with 
planting seeds.
Online I found different pages that promoted to "winter sow" seeds in milk jugs and just leave them alone 
until you are ready to plant your garden. 
Winter sowing in milk jugs
Others praised to do your own cheap, neat,
"biodegradable" pots 
made out of newspaper, or toilet rolls. 

Well, I found all this intriguing and wanted to give it a try.
And that's what I found out about:
Seeds planted in milk jugs
It is easy to prepare the milk jugs and pots for the seedlings. I sowed cabbage and kale, lettuce and yellow cosmos. 
Kale - did not like it at all
The first batch was sown February 19th. 
A month later the plants were either there or not at all. 
On May 15th I was not impressed at all. 
Lettuce - neither
The only seeds that thrived somewhat in the milk jugs 
was cosmos. 
Cosmos - doing ok
The seeds in the newspaper pots did not thrive  
because the pots did retain the water. 
The tiny roots were not able to penetrate the newspaper 
at the bottom of the pot
The paper did not disintegrate. 
There is not enough room for the seedling to expand.
I had to peel off the paper to "rescue" the seedlings.
Lettuce got stuck in a soggy pot
Ditto with the toilet paper rolls.  
Seedlings in paper coffee mugs did way better. 
Additional I also used paper coffee mugs.
Lettuce seedlings.
Difference between coffee mugs and toilet roll
Maybe I am clumsy, but needles to say, I won't use newspaper, toilet rolls or milk jugs any more. 
I rather go back to my old way 
of starting the seeds -
in seed trays.
The water drains well, the seedlings thrive and are easily to be pushed out for transplanting when necessary.