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There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments

“There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments”. – Janet Kilburn Phillips.

And we do a lot of experimenting in the garden, you may have noticed. Particularly with our plants and how we do things. Having to put our plants in containers means we could be restricted in what we grow. But we don’t let it stop us and try to grow anything we want. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. Our main issue with having containers is watering and feeding our plants. They only have what’s in the container unless we give it to them, as showers don’t seem to help. We have had to experiment with ways of water getting to the garden, which has resulted in a lot of team work. And we now have a lightweight, expanding hose which is so much easier to use.

Some plants get bugs or are eaten. So we have experimented with natural ways of dealing with this. Slug wool, Neem Oil, companion planting. At the moment we have nasturtiums coated in blackfly. But at least they are attracting them from our other plants. We are learning from our ‘mistakes’ each year. So it’s always interesting to be involved in the garden.

The veg garden now has strawberries, spinach, salad leaves, courgettes, spring onions and peas to eat. We label these up these so that visitors can help themselves. Most people seem to be eating the peas raw, something I did as a kid. The purple gooseberries are doing well, although someone was picking them while they were green and unripe. We’ve just finished picking the last of the radishes, red onions and garlic, which seem to have been popular with everyone. Some chilli plants have just been donated. So they have replaced the onions.

There’s a lot of colour in the garden as the lilies are now out, along with many of our other plants. We haven’t planted many annuals this year, so we are relying on the plants that we already have. The alliums are coming to an end, but the flower heads covered in seeds look amazing still. The rose is worth having a smell of too.

Changes in the garden this week include the table being painted blue. And a very pink and purple corner created by the WI using pallets. They are still working on their corner, so watch for developments.

As it’s been dry and sunny, volunteers have to make sure they are protected when they work in the garden. The strength of the sun’s rays are apparently related to the angle the sun is from the horizon. So the ‘shadow rule’ has been created. It works all over the world, even Runcorn. If your shadow is shorter than your height, then the sun’s rays are strong enough to burn you. So slap on the sun cream, wear a hat or get in the shade. Or do them all.

The Blooming Old Gardener

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