06 January 2010

garden group blog

I belong to three different gardening groups. One of the groups is comprised of ladies from the International Women’s Club Provence.
We are English, Dutch, Danish & French in the gardening group and we meet once a month at someone’s house over coffee and biscuits and discuss (mainly) things to do with gardening !

We have a couple of ladies who tirelessly research and organise trips for us to make throughout the year and we have visited some beautiful gardens and met some extremely knowledgeable and kind gardeners. What we don’t have, as yet, is a way of sharing not just the information but pictures of the places and plants we have seen. To date this has been sent as a round-robin email which I don’t believe does justice to the time and effort that has gone into its composition. I am suggesting that we should have a blog so that we can have a visual record for always of what we have done, where we have been and what we have seen. To this end, I thought I would make a first post for our new blog – as yet to be designed and agreed upon – in my own blog, so that the ‘powers that be’ can see what it could look like …

The following arrived as an email this morning and is just the sort of information that I think could appear in our blog, so :

“First of all a very happy & healthy New Year to you all.

On return from our trip to the UK I found a seed catalogue in the post, from which I’ve ordered seeds for more than ten years. I’ve always been most impressed with the selection of seeds they have on offer and thought I’ll pass their website on to you so you can browse through it. Beside their selection of seeds, they have a few pages on how to grow from seed. Under the subject : information, select : cultivation leaflet.

Just when you look at basil, they have 23 varieties, six varieties of parsley, a coriander that is a ‘slow bolt’, bolting is always the problem with coriander. Last year I tried out of packet of tomato seeds that I bought in the shop, Aldi. They were supposed to be trailing tomatoes, I have a stand with nine windowboxes and I planted the young shoots in there. They grew so profusely and cropped so well. The only problem was they were not really trailing tomatoes and I had to contrive all sorts of structures to make them stand up in the end. This year I’ll select one of the trailing tomato plant suggestion in this seed catalogue, they have a choice of at least three. Interesting Chilli varieties, one that could look very nice in a pot with upturned chillies. Lots of other herbs if that’s where your interest lies.

Plants that I’ve tried out myself here t
hat they have seeds for are : Caesalpinia, Cistus, Lagerstroemia, Monardas, selection of Penstemons, lots of Salvias, Salvia patens being a favourite of mine. This year I’m going to try the seeds for Albizzia julibrissin (Persian Silk Tree).

Years ago when I still lived in Belgium, I tried out the seeds for an umbrella pine, Pinus pinea, it went very well, grew to more than 1.5m but then, unfortunately, a very wet winter killed it off in the end. Still it was a nice try and if it fails it has not cost you too much.

The company is called Chiltern Seeds based in the UK. They are very reliable and post to Europe. They charge £2.50 for the postage. They accept visa and other credit cards.

Their website is: www.chilternseeds.co.uk (the different-coloured text is a live link – all you need to do is to click on it and it will automatically take you to the website, opening another window in your browser. b-fg)

January being more or less a dead month in the garden, hope this will keep your gardening spirits going.


So, hopefully this will be the beginning of our new blog. Any constructive comments are obviously gratefully received !

Keep warm everyone !

image :


Yvonne said...

Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving your helpful message. If you were to start your IWC gardeners blog I would definitely like to access it myself - as you, say he weather is not too different where you are from where I am in Italy. The very poor selection of plant varieties around here is a real disappointment so yes any suggestions of alternatives with a more similar environment are very welcome. In fact I am working with a local nursery owner to try and develop a much wider range of plants suited to our local conditions - quite a long term project! Happy gardening for 2010. Y

Lucy Corrander said...

It seems you have already started it!


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