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Tokely's Tales - Andrew Tokely's gardening blog

Tokely's Tales - Andrew Tokely's Monthly Gardening Blog

June 2012

Despite the changeable weather of late it has been a very busy time in the garden and on the allotment.

All the bedding plants have been planted and watered in both by me and by the gods, so these have got away well and are starting to bush out. With a little more sunshine to bring out the blooms it should soon look very colourful, rather than various shades of green at present.

Begonia Apricot Shades hanging basket

The hanging baskets were hung out, then after a few days taken down again as we had some very strong winds, thankfully these eased and the begonia Apricot Shades baskets are once again brightening the front of the house.

Earlier in the year I was given some Dutch iris bulbs, it was getting quite late to plant but I decided to pop them in amongst the border that I grow my hostas. This planting combination has really turned out well, adding colour and height to the display of decorative leaves.

Perennial border - back garden

The perennial borders at the front and back of the house are looking very lush after all the rain. These are beginning to look interesting as each plant comes into bloom. The alstroemeria that are about to open. The hardy geraniums are in full flower and the various clumps of delphiniums are just coming into bloom and will look spectacular later this month.

Normally at this time of year my sweet peas are in full bloom, but sadly as it has been so wet and the temperatures quite variable I only have a few open and lots of stalks with buds dropped off. As soon as the weather becomes slightly warmer I’m sure these will burst into bloom as usual.

Sweet Peas

Now all the planting has been done I have just added a feed and weed to my lawn, which will be washed in with the showers we are still getting. At least now the hosepipe ban has been lifted I can add a little extra, if required, without feeling guilty.

In the greenhouse the tuberous begonias I grow for exhibition and display purposes have been potted into their final 20cm (8in) diameter clay pots and have had canes and ties added for support . The tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and aubergines have been planted out in the greenhouse for this year’s crop and I have just sown my last batch of runner beans and winter brassicas to grow on ready for planting out into the plot later this month or early in July.

Tuberous begonias potted up

On the allotment despite the cold, wet weather and very poor light levels holding some crops back, everything is looking good. Early sown parsnips and beetroot have been thinned, onions have had high nitrogen feed added to the soil to give them a boost and I am picking rhubarb by the armful.

The second batch of runner beans has been transplanted to the plot, just as the first batch is making its way up the canes. Courgettes, marrows and sweetcorn have all been planted out and are starting to get established. The summer brassicas are growing well despite the odd aphid that I must get under control, and it won’t be many weeks before I cut a Hispi cabbage to eat.

Cabbage Hispi

Talking food, lettuce, radish and spring onions are in plentiful supply and if we get a few days sun I will soon be picking my own Twinkle peas to go with a few fresh Maris Bard new potatoes that are ready to lift from some pots that I planted earlier this year. Once this batch of peas is finished, the later row sown alongside is growing well to take their place so I can keep the kitchen well stocked.

I don’t think you can beat the flavour of home-grown produce and with so many vegetables coming along I can hardly wait as the choice will soon be endless.

Happy Gardening!

Andrew Tokely, Head of Horticulture, Thompson & Morgan