For four or five years a couple of decades ago I grew the heirloom watermelon ‘Moon and Stars’. In all those years not one ‘Moon and Stars’ melon ripened properly. This was because this melon takes up to 125 days to ripen which is problematic in our area where there are spring frosts as late as the third week in November and autumn frost as early as the end of April.
I’ve grown Salvia guaranitica for the best part of 50 years although to start with I had it as Salvia ambigens as the late Dennis Norgate sold it. Norgate’s plant ran at the feet too much for most garden situations and to my mind the size and number of flowers were too small for such a bulky plant growing as it did some 160cm tall by 100cm across.
This morning I was walking along a path in the vegetable garden to the tomato trellises to disbud and tie in the tomatoes, a once a week task at this time of the year, when I got a strong whiff of cloves from a bed of French Chabaud carnations.
These wonders of the horticultural world, the culmination of four hundred years of assiduous breeding by generations of Dutch growers, aren’t difficult to grow as long as a few simple rules are followed. Bulbs despatched from late February through to early April.
When a boy, mid last century, I was riding home on my bike from a fishing trip to the River Trent when I saw a flowering flax field for the first time. Three or so acres of light sky blue gently rippling in the breeze. Whilst common flax, Linum usitatissimum, is an annual there are lots of other species the best of which is Linum narbonense.
Lambley Nursery gets lots of questions from customers about cutting back plants to get the best out of them. It is hard to generalise as we treat different plants in different ways. Take Salvias for example.