Early sowing and divisions – this week in the garden

This week, we will be sowing a nice collection of tomato varieties, some Bush, some Vine. Bush tomato plants have a dwarf habit and are described as “determinate”. Bush tomato plants don’t need much support and are smaller than vine tomatoes. Vine tomatoes are known as “indeterminate”, grow much taller than the Bush (1-2 metres) and need to be supported with canes or strings. We want to get our tomatoes off to an early start using the heat of the propagator in the upper greenhouse.

We will also kick off our 2017 vegetable growing by sowing an early spring onion “Ramrod”, under glass. We will move the “Ramrod” seedlings outside in March once the ground has warmed up. Hope the plants live up to their great name!

We will continue the work we started this weekend on the sensory bed in the herb garden. We have started to dig out most of the plants in the sensory bed, and and will heel them in to another border whilst we dig over the sensory bed and prepare the ground for this year’s display. This is likely to be a symmetrical design to fit with the shape and position of the bed.  By the way, the term “heel in” is gardener’s lingo for temporary planting of plants in outdoor soil until we have decided on their more permanent position.

This weekend we removed the tree stump in the Natural Play Kitchen area just to the right of the entrance gate at you come in, so the space is now ready to have Andy’s beautifully made, wooden children’s play kitchen placed there. The tree stump will now form part of the Woodland log terracing. We hope this week to finish clearing the variegated ivy off the bank in this area and start the soil improvement work ready to plant scented herbs later in the Spring.

This is the time of the year (either Autumn if it is dry enough, or early Spring) when we divide certain clump forming perennials. Division should maintain health and vigour in plants – as well as creating more plants for the gardener! As a general rule, summer flowering plants are best divided in Spring or Autumn when the soil is dry enough to work.  Many spring flowering plants are best divided in the summer after flowering when they produce new roots. Always water your divided plants in well. For more guidance, go to the RHS

This week, we will be dividing our Sedums (common name: ice plants).  These lovely plants from the Crassulaceae family are very attractive in late Autumn and right into the Winter. Their flat top flowers make them excellent landing pads for pollinating insects and they are great, late season, bee foraging plants. The young leaves and stems are also edible. We have let them keep their attractive flower heads throughout the Winter, and now you can see the new growth appearing at the base of last season’s stems, it is high time to gently lift and divide them.

See if you can spot the snowdrops around the garden! There are some emerging in the woodland, in the front gate borders, beside the pond, on top of the green roof and even right at the very bottom of the garden below the lower four crop!  Spring is on its way!

Other news and events coming up

We are grateful to filmmaker Jon Fitzgerald who has made a lovely film about BPCG starring many familiar faces! It will be up on the website soon but in the meantime, have a look here on youtube

Do check out all the lovely Half Term children’s events coming up week beginning February 13th. On Monday 13th February 10.30 to 12.30, there’s Land Art , on Tuesday 14th February 10.30 to 12.30, there’s Make a Bird a Home , on Wednesday 15th February 10.30 to 12.30, there’s Feathered Friends.  On Friday February 17th 11am to 12 midday, there’s story telling for under 5s, Can an Elephant and an Ant be friends? And on Saturday February 18th 10.30 to 12.30, there’s another Land Art session

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