Sweet peas

  • Madeleine's Garden - Borders and Onions

    As the weather has been so inviting over the past few days with lots of sunshine and warmer temperatures I have been busy outside generally tidying up the garden and building site. Our house was ‘finished’ – well we call it finished but of course there is an everlasting list of continuing jobs – last year, which means that I can now start with a bit of landscaping and making of borders.

    I am planning to make a border all the way around the house, some parts gravel and some parts climbing roses, wisteria, a self-fertile kiwi tree, bulbs and other things that I haven’t yet chosen. It would be fun to have a theme perhaps, an Italian or French corner or maybe all white and pink. We’ll see... Let me know if you have any good ideas.

    Garden Borders and what needs doing from Haxnicks

    Empty Flower Beds at Haxnicks Garden

    A small update on my tomato seedlings, they have just started to grow their real leaves although they are still tiny weeny – 2cm high, which is lucky as there is so much more cold weather to come and they love the warmth of my windowsill.

    Growing Young Plants for Haxnicks Garden

    The sweet peas are getting taller I think that next week I will pinch off the tops so that more stems grow from the bottom making bushier plants, therefore, more prolific in flowers.

    Young plants on window sill in Haxnicks Rootrainers

    I had a rummage in my seed packet drawer and came to the conclusion that I had no more seeds to plant at the moment except for my onion sets, I couldn’t resist and today I planted them and then covered them with fleece tunnels.

    Onion sets planted at about 10cm apart. Fleece tunnels to keep the ground warmer.

    I have placed the onion rows to the outsides of the bed as they act as an insect repellent later on when I have rows of carrots and salads in between.

     

     

  • Madeleine's Garden 12th February

    Winter jobs in the Garden

    Today was a beautiful sunny day here on the Wiltshire/Dorset border.

    We are spoiled by having such lovely warm houses, that going outside can seem a little daunting as it is so cold. So I wrapped up warmly - woolly hat and all, and ventured into 2°.

    Finally my two little garden gnomes saw light as I pruned the raspberry canes down to about 3 inches high and got rid of any dead ones and unwanted weeds. Maybe tomorrow I will spread some manure around their bases to give them a little warmth and nourishment – The raspberries not the gnomes!

    I'm never quite sure how garden gnomes actually find their way into a garden.... they are never invited, they just seem to turn up.  Maybe someone brought them here as a birthday surprise one year, sneaked them in and then forgot to say anything. Anyway, it doesn't seem very fair to get rid of them just because I didn't choose them myself.

    Before                                                                   

    Before the Clearing of Haxnicks Garden

    After 

    After the Clearing of Haxnicks Garden

    I have decided to plant a beech hedge along our 'drive to be', ready for when we can start to use it. I always admire people who can think in advance. So I bought 30 plants from a mail order catalogue. They arrived and this is the perfect time of year to plant them. Hedging and trees like to be planted when they are dormant during the winter months.

    Haxnicks Garden Products can be brought online

    Lastly I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that some of the sweet pea and tomato seeds that I had sown less than 2 weeks ago were appearing. Doesn’t time fly.

    Preparing the Garden for Spring with Haxnicks Rootrainers     First signs of Spring plants growing from Seeds in Haxnicks Rootrainers

  • Madeleine's garden 30th Jan 2018

    30th January – Mending fences and sowing the first of the seeds – Tomatoes, Sweet Peas and Delphiniums.

    Well I still haven’t pruned the raspberries. But with the help of my university student son who was anxious to earn a few pennies before returning to university, we mended the fence. He hammered the sledge hammer and I held the post. I was a little too close and received a thump on the collar bone from the hammer, thank goodness I was alright and my son was truly concerned and apologetic.

    This morning was beautiful and I managed to sow the tomato seeds, some delphinium seeds and sweet peas. I have a large windowsill in our house so have brought them all inside so that they can germinate. They all need roughly 15-20 degrees. I have often been tempted to sow tomatoes earlier and it never pays off so the end of January is an ideal time to start.

    Seeds emerging from Haxnicks Rootrainers

     

     

  • Madeleine's Garden

    Madeleine’s Garden 2018

    January 8th 2018 – Inspecting the Patch and buying seeds

    I haven’t had a minute to even look at my vegetable patch for at least 6 weeks, Christmas has been time consuming and the weather has been grotty.

    I passed a garden centre and had a good rummage through their seed selection, in between the left-over Christmas decorations, choosing which tomatoes to sow this year and finding any new fun seeds to sow. For some reason butternut squash seeds are outrageously expensive £3.99-£4.99 for about 8-12 seeds. I chose some normal courgette seeds as actually having tried so many different varieties I decided that I like the green ones best.

    I also saw some onion sets and bought some giant onions and some red onions, wondering when I should plant them. It looks like I shall have to wait until March unless of course I use a Haxnicks poly tunnel………

    Haxnicks Garden Tunnels

     

     

  • Sweet Peas and mice!

    Haxnicks Garden Products can be brought online
    The Potty Gardener

    At last the boring brown is yielding to verdant specks of life!  Potatoes are pushing up, and must be buried with another layer of compost, keeping their prying eyes covered. My first sowing of carrots has germinated in a most disorganised fashion thanks to some ‘help’ from my chickens. Tiny tomato seedlings are emerging and receiving a light misting of water when they ask nicely, but the biggest push has come from the sweet peas in their Rootrainers. Grandpa Haxnicks is full of advice about sweet peas, mostly mice advice…..

    Mice like cheese but mice LOVE sweet peas! Did I not soak my seeds in liquid paraffin overnight before sowing to put off the mice? Well no, actually that instruction was not on the seed packet. The sweet peas are now out in the greenhouse keeping cool to promote root rather than stem growth  (I grew up in a cold house, maybe that’s why I have long legs and a short body?). There is plenty of mousey evidence in the greenhouse so I had a good think out of the box, in the box and around the box about how to prevent my sweet pea seedlings from becoming a rodent salad.

    Growing Sweet Peas in Haxnicks Rootrainers

    Sweet pea fortress

    First, I have instructed my cat (who goes by the name of Mouse) that for once I will not get cross with her if she leaves me a furry present on the doormat. Second, I read that mice, like horses and elephants, do not like hanging upside down so I have raised the Rootrainers with a central flower pot so that a mouse would have to negotiate an overhang to reach the sweet peas. Thirdly, just in case a mouse might consider a Bear Grylls style ascent to the Sweet Pea summit I have surrounded all access points with holly bush trimmings to prick their little pink paws. My final fortification, should my first three fail to deter the ravenous rodents is a light sprinkling of chilli powder over the seedlings. Ha! So far so good, my four pronged approach seems to be doing the trick and keeping mice, horses and elephants at bay.

  • Sweet Peas

    Haxnicks Garden Products can be brought online

    I have chased away my rainy day blues by envisaging the cheerful pots of sweet peas that will hopefully grace my garden this summer. There were so many varieties to choose from in my garden centre; whole racks of pretty seed packs with romantic names such as ’Romeo and Juliet’, ‘Turquoise Lagoon’ and ‘Northern Lights. I asked the young man in the shop which sweet pea he felt would suit me best, hoping he would suggest; a tall, leggy and beautiful, pale and interesting, or perhaps delicate and unusual variety.

    However he took one look at me and advised; ‘Madam you need something small and simple, I suggest dwarf patio mix.’ Not quite so romantic sounding. Still, perhaps it is important to identify with your plants.

    Haxnicks Deep Rootrainers

    Grandpa Haxnicks tells me proudly that Deep Rootrainers are just the thing to give my sweet peas the best possible start and other gardening experts seem to agree. Sweet Peas have a deep, sensitive root system and they don’t respond well to disturbance (the more I learn about them the more I identify with them). Rootrainers are shaped to encourage strong healthy root formation, and open like a book for easy transplanting without damaging the roots. I filled the Rootrainers with compost, giving the tray a bump to settle the contents, then gave the cells another top up and a sprinkling of water…then a splash…then a deluge (note to self: remember to  tightly screw on watering can hose). I replaced the drenched compost then sowed the seeds, one per cell, a centimetre deep and topped with compost. I have put on the propagating lid to protect the seedlings from uninvited pesky visitors such as mice, chickens, snails and heaven forbid garden gnomes

  • Easy to open propagator

    This year, more gardeners than ever are propagating their plants using Haxnicks RootrainersTM, a unique propagating tray for seeds, plugs and cuttings. The deep grooved modules encourage the faster formation of straight roots and the trays open out like a book
    to avoid damaging the baby plants when planting out.
    Haxnicks Rootrainers
    The Rootrainers propagator can be popped on a window sill
    Haxnicks
    RootrainersTM have specially designed cells with grooved sides that
    encourage the main root to grow towards the drainage opening at the bottom
    where the tip makes contact with the air and dies off, encouraging vigorous
    root growth. This air-pruning produces a faster formation of straight roots
    without root balls which is particularly good for growing sweet peas where a
    long, vigorous root system is the key to strong plants.
    Haxnicks Rootrainers
    Opens like a book making it easy  to remove the plants

     

    When
    the plant is ready to be re-potted, the cells simply open like a book which makes it easy to remove the plug without damaging the root system. Each RootrainersTM pack contains a holding
    tray, propagating lid and set of cells and can be reused year after year for
    bedding plants, salads and herbs as well as for runner beans, fruit and
    vegetables.As your local garden centre for Haxnicks Rootrainers. 
  • Runners around the Maypole

    The Haxnicks Garden Maypole

    First of all, just because something is practical doesn’t mean it has to be boring. The new Haxnicks Garden Maypole Plant Support is an attractive frame for climbing plants. Suitable for flowers such as sweet peas or vegetables such as runner beans.  It bridges the gap between functionality and ornamental interest.

    Though Instagram would have you believe it, decorative vegetable gardening is not a new idea. For many years vegetables and herbs have been a feature in ornamental gardens. Many have interesting textures or colourful foliage and flowers.  Many also smell great.
    As a result, when grown alongside traditional ornamental plants, they really add interest.  Their shapes can create wonderful contrasts and harmonies. Simply designing your vegetable garden in a different way can make a big difference and make it visually more appealing.  Introducing trellises, archways and other architectural features is quite simple and can be stunning.

    Haxnicks Garden Maypole stands over six feet tall.  It creates an elegant frame for climbing vegetables.  Runner beans, French beans, mange tout and peas are all ideal. The Maypole is tough and durable year on year. It is strong: the material selected for the centre pole and decorative finial is black powder-coated steel. From this eight rot-proof, polypropylene strings radiate out.  Finally strong galvanised-steel anchor pegs complete the package.  Like most Haxnicks products it is easily packed away and stored once the season has ended.  And can be used again the following year.

    Vegetable Garden

    Runner beans are one of Britain’s most popular home-grown vegetables.   From sales of the Garden Maypole it seems that Britain’s gardeners are getting more adventurous about where and how they grow them too.

    As long as gardeners are having fun with their plot and creating something they love then we are happy.  However, if you always grow your beans up canes.  And if the beans are always right next to the strawberries. Just behind the lettuces. Next to the onions.  And if it just might be time for a change to happen.  Garden Maypole might be the answer.

    If you decide to go for a redesign then please tag us in your Social Media posts.  We would love to see your new improved garden.

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