Symbolic Forest Gardenblog

An experiment in container gardening

Posts Tagged ‘flowering’

Psychic

The pea plants must be reading this blog. Three days ago, I said there was “no sign of any sort of flower yet” on them. And what do I see on each of the first batch of plants this morning?

Pea flower

Fingers crossed they will all set fruit!

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Rosemary blossom (again)

A month ago, I posted a photo of a rather lonely solitary rosemary flower, as our small bush was just starting to come into flower. Ever since, as blossom erupted up and down each branch of the rosemary plant, I’ve been trying to make a better photo of it. None of the photos I’ve taken, though, has really managed to properly capture the beautiful deep violet-blue of its petals. In all of them, even those taken in the brightest sunlight, the colour seems rather pale and washed-out compared to what I can see myself outside in the garden. The local honeybees are loving the rosemary, too. Last year it was rare to see a honeybee at Symbolic Towers; I assumed there weren’t any hives nearby. There still aren’t many to be seen, but they are now regular visitors – whereas so far this year bumblebees have been a relatively rare sight.

Still, I have pushed on and tried to get the rosemary petals on-screen, before the flowers all turn to seed. Here’s my best attempt:

Rosemary in flower

Not my best photo, but it gives at least an impression of the deep, strong colour I can see with my eyes. In the foreground, you can see the flower stalks some of the chives are sending up; and in the background the feathery foliage of one of the fennel plants.

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Blossom

Back in January, I mentioned that all the rosemary in Southville seemed to be blooming. I said at the time that our own rosemary bush seemed to be slowly coming into bud: two months later, it is starting to flower. On Sunday, I noticed one solitary bloom:

Rosemary starting to flower

Today, there are rather more: I will have to try to get a less lonely-looking shot.

Yesterday, I spotted that the peas sown last Saturday, and the radish seeds sown back on the 11th, are both starting to poke themselves above the ground now. Looking back, I apparently didn’t mention the radishes when I planted them. Last year we grew several batches from a variety packet called “Rainbow Mixed”: they were good for science experiments but not much else, as almost all the plants we grew produced lots of foliage but hardly any root. From a box of radishes, we would get maybe one or two which had roots worth eating. This year, then, I’ve picked a different variety, a German type called “Ostergru├č Rosa”, sold in this country under the Eden Project’s brand name. Supposedly they should turn out with long, French Breakfast-style roots. We shall have to wait and see.

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Growth and slumber

As you might have noticed from the date of the last post, not much gardening has been done recently. Even though I went out to swap seeds, nothing yet has been sown. It has still felt cold and frosty, damp and grey, at least until a warm bright morning this morning. I went outside and noticed that the chives have started to wake up. Grown from seed last year, they did not come to much in their first year. However, they seem to be coming back again, because each plant now has a cluster of new shoots poking upward.

Moreover, the three boxes of rocket, which I had been intending to pull up, are bursting back into life too. The wild rocket had been laying low but hanging on, a carpet of foliage which managed to survive the frost and snow we had earlier in the month. This morning, I noticed that in the past week it has bolted and burst into flower.

Wild rocket

The two boxes of garden rocket had even managed to keep their flowers all winter. These too, though, have started growing fresh flower shoots and buds recently.

Garden rocket flowers

Pulling them up is on hold for now: at this time of year, anything in flower deserves to be kept for the sake of the local insect wildlife. I do love letting the garden rocket go to seed: last summer each rocket flower stem was surrounded by a cloud of hoverflies for most of the day. The neighbourhood hoverflies are still waiting to emerge, but no doubt there are other hungry insects looking for nectar right now.

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Peas and Rosemary

Given the crisp winter weather yesterday, we went out for a walk: down to Spike Island, along the New Cut, then back round in a circle through the back streets of Southville. I noticed, all of the rosemary bushes in the front gardens of Southville are in flower at the moment. Even in January.

The rosemary bush in our garden on the other side of the city is not in flower. I say “bush”: possibly “sprig” is a slightly better word. There are signs, though, that it might be starting to bud, pale green growing tips at the base of each leaf. Something is developing, at least; I don’t know much about rosemary yet.

Rosemary in winter

In other news, we’ve been trying to do a bit more planning on what to grow this year. We had a good harvest last year from the peas we planted, but before the season was over the plants were suffering rather badly from mildew, possibly because we planted slightly too many in each box – after all, when you only have so much space it is tempting.

I have no idea what pea variety we grew last year. Towards the end of the planting season, we popped down to the garden centre, bought whatever type of pea seedlings they had available, and that was that. “Pea” was all it said on the label. For this season, therefore, we have deliberately gone out and bought seed of a disease-resistant variety: P. sativum “Boogie”. Whether they are as tasty or fruitful as last year’s anonymous ones, we will have to wait and see, but the packet of seed peas is ready and waiting in the seed tin.

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