We’re sowing our main crop onion seeds this week. The strain we’ll be sowing is Tilbury F1. We grew Tilbury for the first time last year and had a terrific result. Harvested mid January the onions are still in excellent condition now in mid August as you can see from the photograph.
A couple of years ago the gardening world in the UK, Europe and America was bewitched by these new plants, the result of some brilliant hybridising by the venerable old English company Thompson and Morgan.
Dowdeswell’s Delphiniums is a family owned Delphinium nursery in Whanganui New Zealand that is recognised worldwide for their superb breeding work. Plants raised from their hand pollinated seed are much better than cheaper strains such as Pacific Giants or Magic Fountains.
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.