Friday 29 May 2020

The Chelsea Chop

When I first heard of the Chelsea Chop, I pictured serried ranks of red-coated veterans, knife and fork at the ready, at some sort of regimental banquet. I had the right Chelsea but the wrong chop. Codger’s readers are a bright lot so you probably know that the expression refers to a technique whereby perennial plants are cut back in May – the time when the Chelsea Flower Show takes place (under normal circumstances, that is). In the past I have tended to be cautious about the chop, but now year-on-year mulching has done its work I’m a little braver. Even so, I do not chop back a whole clump. Rather, I give the haircut to about one third towards the back of a clump. This means I get a succession of flowers, extending the season – the point of the exercise. I strongly recommend caution for the first year. there's plenty of advice on the web - and videos - simply search on Chelsea Chop. You can read the official RHS take here

Do not chop!
Camellia - new growth
The chop should only be done to herbaceous perennials like Michaelmas Daisies and stocks. Shrubs such as the camellia shown here should not be touched. Indeed, this is just the time to be looking after these plants. Just look at the bright, fresh top growth. Now is a good time to feed. This will build the plant up and give you better flowers next Spring

Now is also the time to get moving with tomatoes. Our first batch of Cerise (bush variety) are now spread around gardens in the locality. (One has even been delivered to Buxton) The next batch are now ready, along with several other bush types: Supersweet, Cherry Mix and Sungold. And only just behind we have lots of Money Maker due to the kindness of our neighbour who gave me seed when they could not be had for love nor money

DIY Tomatoes
The best way to grow bush tomatoes is in a plastic trough. You may have an old one that can be reused. In any case, the shops open soon (with B&Q, Homebase, etc already open). A short trough will take a couple of plants – a longer one will take three

Before you plant up, make sure the trough has drainage holes – sometimes these have not been punched out. As in the photo, put some old crock over the holes and half fill with potting compost or the contents of a grow bag

If you look closely at the picture, you will see that I have wrapped a length of wire around the middle. This is to prevent the middle bulging out as the trough is filled. Not essential but it keeps things tidy. Plant the tomatoes but do not water yet. There's another job first. This is the best time to make a support to carry the prolific crop that will be produced. As you can see, I used bamboo canes tied together with string (below right)

If you undertake this project with children they will learn much. We undervalue practical skills in this country. Again, do not water yet – the thing weighs a lot more when the compost is wet. Find a sunny position. I prefer against a wall as that not only gives general protection but you also have the benefit of a warm micro-climate (the bricks store heat during the day and give it out at night). Finally, water the tomatoes in. And don’t forget feeding Friday! (see earlier edition).  Please get in touch if you would like to have a tomato plant (or more than one - we have plenty)

Garden Codger mending his nets - and thinking
Lockdown and wartime
Gardening gives you space to think. The coincidence of lockdown with VE Day stimulated a rash of good TV programmes about WW2. The best series I saw was made in 2015. The programmes featured veterans who spoke with deep emotion about their experiences – some for the very first time. Working outside, my mind has frequently goes back to childhood and the period immediately after the war when I was at school. I wonder if VJ Day will be commemorated (2 September). I had an uncle who was a Japanese POW – he never fully recovered from his imprisonment in Burma

Most of my secondary schoolteachers had served in the forces. Mr G taught us arithmetic. Although he never referred to it, we knew (as schoolboys do) that he had worked on the Suicide Railway – made famous by the film The Bridge on the River Kwai. He was a firm disciplinarian but, on the whole, a fair one. Some days we sensed that he was a bit shaky and were extra attentive to his instruction. I do not now remember what triggered the incident but, in one lesson, poor Mr G ‘lost it’. The culprit, if that is what he was, got beaten mercilessly. Emotionally exhausted, the teacher eventually left the room. We all sat in absolute stunned silence until the headmaster appeared and took over the lesson. The boy who had been beaten never complained – nor did his parents to my knowledge. Nothing was said. Both the boy, and the rest of us, forgave Mr G as if it were the most natural thing in the world to do

Rosa: Madame A Meilland
I was up early this morning, enjoying the best part of the day. Something caught my eye that took me out to the garden and, then, back indoors to add this piece. I thought today's post was already complete but now feel constrained to add this photo and these words ...

I had to climb to get this shot. (Very precariously, but no-one was there to stop me!) It is a rose that looks after itself except for when I wield the loppers in the autumn. I'm pretty sure it moved with us to our present garden in 1990 - the first rose we owned. At that time I thought it was a bush rose but subsequent history indicates otherwise. But the flower of this rose is unmistakable - probably the world's most famous. Until I checked just now, I had not understood the connection with WW2. The French grower named the rose after his wife: Madame A Meilland. Foreseeing the German invasion, Meilland sent cuttings to abroad just before the outbreak of war. Thus in different countries the rose was adopted under different names. With the cessation of hostilities in 1945, Meilland wrote to Field Marshal Alan Brooke and gave him the honour of renaming the rose in gratitude for his role in the liberation of France. Brooke (later Lord Alanbrooke) wrote back saying that his name would soon be forgotten. Instead, call the rose Peace - the name by which it is now known

After my climb to get the photograph - and, more particularly, the memory of the story behind this rose - I call to mind the words of Psalm 34 verse 14 - seek peace and pursue it

You can read the psalm here. We plan to be back on Monday - hope to see you then ...

... your friend, the old Garden Codger

Thursday 28 May 2020

Wash your hands!

For sanity's sake I only watch the news once a day. Perhaps unusually these days, I also avoid the 24/7 online drip-feed. Hearing of some government crisis involving a possible resignation I tuned in to the BBC News to hear what Boris had to say. Members of the public and representatives of the media were invited to ask the PM questions about his decision. I imagine that, like me, they were somewhat surprised to be told, "Wash Your Hands!" Perhaps I am politically naive but it did seem a odd thing to say in the particular circumstance 

However, I'm sure that it is a sound enough message - and - wait for it - it could be good for your garden. As a responsible lockdown citizen, Codger has joined the league of frequent hand washers. Every time I come in from the garden I wash my hands - rather thoroughly, in fact. I use a little antibacterial handwash and a lot of water - enough to fill the plastic bowl in our utility room. Can you see where we are going with this? Yes, to the garden! So, resignation or no resignation, here is my three-word mantra: Don't waste water! Put it on the garden

Use only tap water for plants in containers
Watering: a tip
I have just checked the forecast - dry again! So, here are a couple more points about watering. If you have a container that has completely dried out, you will probably find that that water runs straight through without doing much good. One answer is water only a little, wait for half-an-hour or so, and then water again. An alternative - or an additional approach - is to keep water in a large container that plants can be stood in

Kinking hose
This can be annoying. You are in a hurry and the hose kinks, stopping the flow. When you check, you find that it has kinked at a weak point so the problem is likely to reoccur. Did you know that it is possible to buy stronger hose - four-ply hose? However, it is much more expensive. Garden Codger had an idea: Replace only the lengths of hose that kink most easily. See this in the photograph here (the length that runs between the reel and the tap). You will notice that the more expensive hose is coloured blue. I have some spare if that would help anyone out. If you are local to me, just get in touch

More on Lockdown
You are bound to have you noticed the lack of aircraft overhead. It may seem strange, but I miss them. We used to have a regular four-engined Emirates (Airbus 380?) that coasts in on a Tuesday afternoon. Perhaps I should explain that we are under the London to Birmingham flightpath. In normal conditions (what were they?), the planes sail over us, turn right at IKEA and then follow the M6 back to the airport. Should this interest on Codger's part seem incongruous, note that both sides of his family were involved in the aircraft industry: De Havilland and Handley Page - but that's another story. We'll keep that for another time

Tayberry growing into the sunlight
Our property is exactly aligned to observe the traffic into Brum as it passes overhead before the IKEA right turn: we face precisely south-east. The gardening terms, this is known as the aspect. Over the years I have become more and more aware of the garden's aspect and how the seasons affect the amount of sun received by different parts of the garden. Nearly all food producing crops need lots of sunshine. Beans will tolerate some shade - in fact they hate baking conditions. I have found that soft fruit can also be grown in more shady conditions provided they are positioned so that they can grow into the light. That is the case with this tayberry (a bit of an experiment). Its roots are completely in the shade but it grows up into the light - the photograph was taken in the early morning. I'll let you know how well it fruits. The situation with our raspberries is similar and they usually do well although I think they tend to be taller than usual. We always get a good crop of raspberries - my favourite fruit

Bush tomato ready to go
More plants
Here (photo left) is a tomato plant looking for a good home. All planted up and ready to go, if you would like it. Just water and feed - and in this amazing sunshine, you'll have fruit in no time at all. Tomatoes are also available in small pots for you to pot up - more on that tomorrow

And, the Spring has been so good, the next batch of perennials are also ready to go - see photo below. Let me know if you would like a mixed box. They are young plants so best left to harden off in their pots a bit more before planting out

In both cases, just get in touch

Mixed perennials - hollyhocks, lupins, verbena etc

Happy gardening - best wishes from ...

... the Garden Codger

Tuesday 26 May 2020

Ideas that work (mostly)

Rose: Tess of the D'urbervilles
I promised a look around the garden today. I would like to share some ideas that have worked fairly well - although often not perfectly

The rose shown here is Tess of the D'urbervilles. It is a low climber with an absolutely wonderful scent. Not surprisingly it was chosen by Mrs Codger who also had the big idea: put up a trellis to hide the bins. Dare I say it, it works well. The trellis measures 2m x 2m and is backed by reed screening. Without this the bins can be seen, rather spoiling the effect. In fact, I also found it necessary to also use a backing of black plastic. I had some by me and it has stayed good for six years or so

Blackspot is a fungal disease
But there's a problem: the Lady has blackspot. There is no easy cure to this disease but we seem to have made some impression. Following advice last season we simply removed the infected leaves as they showed signs of the trouble. A drastic solution which we are repeating this season. We have found the new leaves grow back to replace those that have been removed. However, writing this piece has caused me to reflect a bit. I sense our Tess of the D'urbervilles is not a happy lady. The root run is under the patio slabs and rather restricted. So I wonder if she is hungry: Happy plants are healthy plants. I think a good feed is is order. I'll report back

Quick digression
A slight digression on the subject of bins. I think it is a real pity that the system is so undifferentiated. You never know, the Sandwell Bin Supremo might be reading this so let me presume to speak on behalf of others: standard bins are a big curse in small properties. Why can't there be small bin option?

Bog garden from across the pond - photo exaggerates size
Bog garden
I cannot pretend digging a pond is easy work but I can say that setting up a boggy area is relatively straightforward. The result is completely worth the effort as it creates conditions for a range of plants that will not grow well elsewhere. From left to right in the photograph (left) you have marsh marigold, hosta and mimulus. The very tall plant is ligularia. Behind this (see second photo below) are iris and bistort (persicaria) - plus a few camassia. Obviously, all of these prefer/require damp conditions

It need not be as big as ours but, in any case, construction is simple. Dig out the soil and put down used plastic bags (potting compost bags are ideal for this purpose). Pierce with a fork and and replace the soil. then keep moist! And a word about planting: go for a few bold plants. I had all sorts dotted around, at first. Just did not look right. In any case, the big boys soon took over. Speaking of mistakes, I ought to say something about the rockery ...

See above - showing limited planting
The cascade that did not work
I imagine we must have visited a National Trust property with a string of pools. Or, perhaps it was an expensive garden centre with an impressive water feature. Any, the project became a cascade of three pools, one feeding into the next. Actually, it worked to an extent but I quickly discovered that I ran the risk of exhausting the entire supply from the South Staffordshire Water Company. Cascades = leaks. So, after many attempted solutions the cascade became a rockery. More to be said - my track record on rockeries is not good. But the photograph below indicates a sisyrinchium  is happy

Feeding the birds
I have previously mentioned the value of having birds in the garden. Like amphibians they help keep down the pests. Having tried putting the feeders in different places, we discovered the obvious trick. Site them near cover. In our case, a cherry tree. 

And another reminder. Encouraging frogs and toads also helps keep down the pests. Our big hosta is hardly touched by slugs

Final shot
Before we sign off, let me show you our pear tree. It is looking in particularly good shape this year. It is trained against the fence in order to save room, espalier fashion. Much easier to do that anyone would imagine. Last year it cropped poorly - so, here's hoping

We have hit a period where there is much to do and, despite lockdown, not enough time to do it in. So, apologies in advance, we will be fully occupied away from the computer on Wednesday. However, we plan to be back here on Thursday with a few more hints and tips. Plus a little progress report. Hope to see you then ...

... with best wishes from the Garden Codger

Monday 25 May 2020

Have a go!

First sweet peas just picked
Hmm-mm! We look - and - we smell. Its cousin - we eat. In fact, its second cousin, the Runner Bean, was originally grown for its scarlet flowers rather than as a source of food. Only later did it become the almost defining vegetable of the British. Elsewhere in Europe, what we call the French Bean, was favoured - and still is. Garden Codger rather thinks of beans, Runner or French, as an excellent starter project for anyone wanting to try vegetable growing. This is especially the case if they want to make it a family project that will interest children. Two advantages come to mind. First space: you need well less than a square yard. You could manage with a large pot or some other container. You could also work with a space between other plants in the flower border. Second, you get height - a key dimension in the well-planned garden

Not much space is needed - this is roughly 3 feet square
A little challenge
So I am hoping that I can entice some folk to dip their toe in the water - or, at least, their trowel in the soil. My example requires a space measuring about 90cm square (illustrated on the right). Readers may wish to adapt - bigger or smaller - or even a different shape. I shall be planting climbing French beans since Mrs Codger prefers their flavour. You could equally well be British and stick with your runners. And, should you prefer it, you could sow seeds rather than start with plants - obviously, the harvest will be a little later should you choose to sow seeds. I have reserved nursery plants for anyone who wishes to have them from me. Please get in touch - I would love them to be used

First four canes, tied at top
Do not feel nervous about the construction bit - making a 'wigwam'. It is easy to explain in two stages. The wigwam is made from eight bamboo canes (8' if possible, 6' will do for this first time) and some string. You will also need eight plants (or seeds) to finish the job

Step 1: starting the structure
Mark out a 50cm square and push in a cane in each corner - really firmly so they stand up on their own. Thus you have four vertical canes. Take any two canes and pull them together at the top so they bend towards each other. Tie at the top with string. Repeat with the other pair. Loop string around the tops of both pairs, pull them together and secure. (Although not essential, you will find a bit of useful tension in the structure due to the bowing of the canes.) 

All eight canes in place
Step 2: completing the structure
Mark the midpoint of each side of the square (yes, I was once a Maths teacher). This is where the remaining four canes go. Push the canes vertically in the soil. Then pull the tops together so all eight canes meet.  Tie in at the top, securing well. Bingo, you have the wigwam!

Eight plants should give a good harvest worth having

Step 3: plant
Using a trowel, plant a bean at the foot of each cane. On the inside of the square is better. As ever, water in well! And keep up the watering especially if the weather is dry. As the beans settle in and begin to develop the leading shoot will starting twining. Sometimes a bit of gentle persuasion may be needed so it heads for its own cane. You can do this with string - but do this just loosely. You will discover that the beans always twine  anticlockwise - never the other way. And here is The Garden Codger Guarantee - come July, and you'll never taste a better bean - French or Runner!

Now for an easier way
If you have got this far, well done. But there is an easier way: get a good size pot, put in two of three plants along with some sticks for the beans to scramble over. If you water well, you'll still get a result. And, perhaps, you'll be brave enough to do the full-blown thing next year. With gardening, something is always better than nothing! But, I would be pleased if at least a few folk try the challenge I've set. Remember, plants are available for the asking

A clematis that has surprised this Spring
Tomorrow - and today
... an invitation to join me on a wander about bits of the Codger garden tomorrow . We will have a look at few successes - and a few failures, too. We learn from both. In the meantime I suggest you get out the hose or the watering can. On SaturdayI found working in the blustery conditions quite unpleasant. Some plants - like delphs and chrysanths - suffered wind damage. I'm finding that plants are generally short of water especially those that are container grown. I've already been out and done some emergency watering as it promises to be a hot and a dry day 

Do please do join me again tomorrow when we look at ideas that have worked - and some that haven't

 - best wishes from the old Garden Codger

Speaking of surprises - an untimely amaryllis

Friday 22 May 2020

Readers' Questions

Rose perfection from Boskoop
Readers' questions today, so we begin with a reader's picture. Lovely, is it not? Boskoop, of course - the buckets give it away

I seem to be well behind the prowess of my readers with our roses. Not really a speciality of mine. I came to roses late. We bought several after a David Austin visit during the early stages of chemo - and then we had a couple more as gifts. One great aspect of those bred by David Austin is their scent. I won't be answering questions about roses - I'm still at the early learning stage. I'm a bit better with veg

Shredded paper about to go on
mowings and lies is beneath
Q1: Soggy compost
A common problem - mainly caused by not having a good mix of material. The trick is to incorporate brown material with green. By this we mean dry stalky type stuff - what's left of last year's perennials, for example. Technically, it's a matter of balancing nitrogen with carbon. Getting enough of the drier material is difficult. I find shredded paper to be the answer. This adds the necessary carbon to the heap. All our junk mail gets shredded. But remember not to use the plastic bit of window envelopes - these do not rot down and become an annoyance

About to make the cordial
Q2: my compost refuses to rot
If you are building the heap with the right stuff, it will rot eventually. But you will get better compost by accelerating the process. How? In a word: urine - let's call it Factor-X. Each grandchild in turn has been horrified to discover this well-kept secret of Codger's garden. But, think about the waste just going down the drain when it could be helping to produce beautiful crumbly compost! I often use the Factor-X neat but if the heap has dried than I dilute to taste, if you would pardon the expression. (There is not a hygiene problem here, Factor-X is sterile - unlike No 2 which should be avoided as there is a define health risk!) 

This is not the heap itself - more the departure lounge!
Q3: how do you get your heap to heat up?
The two answers given so far will certainly help. My third tip is to think two-stage. Let me explain. Assuming you have the fairly standard plastic conical composter, you will also need a large bucket or something similar, with some drainage. Put your peelings, weeds and so forth, in this container. Do NOT immediately add to the heap. Chop up with a pair of shears. Keep moist with diluted Factor-X. Once a week add this already rotting matter to the heap. If you have a lawn then synchronise this with mowing - all the ingredients will then be on hand at the same time. Then top the heap with shredded paper. This not only adds carbon but helps to keep the heat in. In other words, stage-manage the rotting down process and you'll get a better result. Skill is involved - so, practice makes perfect

Two of my three trowels (!), narrow spade, secateurs and spray
Q4: what are your most useful tools?
Undoubtedly a trowel. I have three so I can always lay hands on one. They are very ordinary cheap jobs - nothing special at all. Next comes a narrow spade - the sort used for making fencing post holes does the job. It can reach where others can't - especially useful when digging out plants in a border. Third: secateurs - the only expensive garden tool I own (a gift one Christmas). You may have seen these on TV - nearly all the experts seem to use the same make: Felco - the one with red handles. My opinion is that they are definitely worth the money. They take an edge like no other (yes, you need to keep them sharp)

Q5: do you spray?
Yes, I use SB Plant Invigorator occasionally (photo above - other makes available). I mainly use it because I get trouble with whitefly in the greenhouse. Even with the best practice the enclosed space offers them protection. I also give the roses a treatment from time to time. Thinking about it, the gooseberries also had a dose the other day. It is approved for organic growers. I think it is meant to make the pests feel poorly so they go away. When I hear the greenfly coughing I immediately give them another dose

Q6: are you a no-digger?
Technically, yes - but the term, while useful, is not exact. The mere act of inserting a plant into the ground involves a degree of digging. But, I am no-dig in that I no longer turn over the soil. I mulch with compost - as much as I can make - and plant into the the top layer of soil with is compost-rich. The research seems to indicate that you get better results by simply laying on the compost - digging it in does not help. Let the worms do the work!

Q7: what about your faith? You make the occasional reference
Even without gardening I would believe in God. The evidence for a Designer standing behind the design of the universe seems overwhelming to me. More particularly I follow Jesus Christ. It thrills me to think of his involvement in creation. The Bible says: Through him all things were made, without him nothing was made that has been made (John's Gospel chapter 1 verse 3). There is much to this. But there is a gardening connection, in the beginning part of the whole Bible it says, almost casually, Now the Lord God had planted a garden ... (Genesis 2:8). But I would also point out that I do not believe the oft-quoted line: You're nearer to God's heart in a garden. It is faith in Christ alone that brings us near to the heart of God

Rows, from top to bottom :
Morning Glory
Peas (Prelado)
Little Gem lettuce
Cucumber (Marketmore)
Q8: how's the compost experiment going?
I assume you are referring to the trial I started recently. This concerns the performance of bought potting compost. (Not home-made garden compost, as mentioned in questions 1 to 3. It is an annoying feature of English usage that the word 'compost' is used in two different ways). Well, I can best answer with a photograph. Vertically, so to speak, are the three columns of compost. From the left, ordinary B&Q, then expensive professional grade and, on the right, a good quality peat compost - the old sort, you might say. The rows correspond to four different seeds. So, for example, the bottom row shows freshly germinated cucumber seed. The others do not matter at the moment. You can see for yourself the result at seven days - there are distinct differences (click photo for a larger image). I have done my best to produce equal treatment in watering, warmth and light levels. Look out for the 14-day photograph next week ...

... and keep the questions coming. There is a a huge amount I don't know but I am happy to help where I can

With best wishes from the old Garden Codger

Graham Thomas - another David Austin rose
Note on photographsMost of the garden photographs on this site, but not all, are my own. If you click on a photograph you will usually get a much bigger image. This is useful if you wish to check a detail. In the case above (seeds germinating) you will see definite differences at the seven day stage. As we mention, we plan to report again next Friday. In the meantime, we hope to see you again on Monday

Wednesday 20 May 2020

... and Away!

Deutzia - possibly variety Chardonnay Pearls
We will get away today, I promise. To assure you, our photograph has a Dutch connection, but unexpectedly so. The plant, which I rather like, started as a Garden Codger cutting and became part of a box of plants made up for a friend at the very beginning of lockdown. Whilst making another delivery yesterday (good customer!) I noticed the little plant glowing in the sunshine. I just could not resist a photo but, as I took the shot, a doubt crossed my mind about its identification. Yes, I had made a mistake - the label was wrong

Enter, in a virtual sense, Jan the real Nurseryman. He got the answer in one: Deutzia! (Further research has made me wonder if it is a Deutzia variety called Chardonnay Pearls)

Jan, Elly and Margaret in 2016 (but not their residence)
As mentioned in an earlier post Jan (pronounced Jon) lives with his wife, Elly, in Boskoop in Holland. When we were last there in 2016 I had a look around the Rosarium. Although I did not say so (English reserve) I thought it looked rather tired. So unlike the Dutch who keep everything absolutely spick and span. Well, Jan must have felt the same. When he retired, he took matters in hand. Here is our interview with him ...

CG: why did you feel the Rosarium needed attention?

Jan: A lot of trees were old and no longer in good shape. Some were even sick in the roots, as you see in the photo – fungus! Also, the old Roses had to be replaced for new varieties. Like you say, it was looking rather tired. Don't worry, we Dutch call a spade a spade! (Rather appropriately)

CG: so how did you go about the job?

Jan: There was a huge amount to do. The large trees needed a haircut. The Rhododendrons had gone wild hardly blooming anymore. Basically, we cleared the site – even importing fresh soil. This gave all the new plants a kickstart. Lawns were renovated and good shrubs – those worth keeping – were pruned

CG: a rosarium needs roses – what did you do about them?

The first rose in bloom
Jan: we planted many, many roses. 22 varieties altogether. They have to be of the highest quality and checked regularly rather like the RHS runs Award of Garden Merit (AGM). I’m involved in the regular inspection process to ensure quality - disease resistance and so forth

CG: how did you manage all this work?

Jan: Well, we had a group of volunteers who worked very hard – there were a good team. The local council were also involved – they handled landscaping and the planting of shrubs other than roses. We all worked well together

CG: the Dutch seem to have manged lockdown more effectively than the British. How did your lockdown affect things?

Jan: we just got on with it and stayed 1.5 metres apart (typical Dutch answer!)

CG: thanks, Jan. It would be great to see all the roses in bloom. Well done!

Hellebores flower in the winter 
Back home
There are couple of things to mention. Plenty of tomato plants are becoming available and the weather is great for planting out, just now. Currently, we are out of cordon varieties but plenty of Money Maker will be ready soon. We still have a few Cerise (bush variety) that are ready to plant. The photo at the bottom of the page shows you an order going out today - so you see you can see the size. Plenty more are coming on in a mix of varieties including Supersweet

Three y hellebores that might look good in your garden
Also, we have three very well-established hellebores looking for a good home. They are useful for a shady spot and flower in the dismal winter months (see photo above). Good for pollinating insects, too. Since these three are much bigger than our usual garden-ready plants I have just taken the photo below. I included the trowels in the shot so you can judge the size. They would fill out a corner in light shade well. (Also available singly)

Tomorrow, we plan to deal with readers' questions and other practical matters. Before then, you might be interested to see how the charity fund raising is going. Click here

... much to do, so all for now from the Garden Codger

Tomato Cerise (bush variety) on their way out this morning

Editor's note: despite this page showing as Wednesday it is Thursday 21 May - Ascension Day, in fact. Despite its significance, often overlooked - 40 days after Easter Day (the Church, wisely, took note of Luke's accurate reporting, - see Acts 1:3). Luke obviously did better with the the Blogger Engine Room than I have managed so far, at least)

Shady border selection due out this afternoon