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Gardening, Growing and Green-ing Adventures

Discussion in 'Members Gallery' started by toppington, Aug 6, 2017.

  1. toppington

    toppington Tiny garden, always on the cheap!

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    Hello!

    I am a new-person to gardening, but wanted to make a sort of picture diary of things that have been done in the garden and are growing, to keep a record of what I have learned and what is growing. Hopefully other people may find this interesting or of info when they are just starting out too! Also I see how much the GC Gang love pictures of plants and gardening... :biggrin:

    Since I was a kid, I was always wanting to know a bit more about the countryside but not really appreciating how much plants work for us. This is the first time I have lived somewhere which has a garden, and so I wanted to make it look nice and try growing things, to see what happened! I rent, but am allowed to do a bit to the back garden - as long as there are no structural changes. The garden is only small, about 15m long at the longest point, and about 6m wide at the widest point. Most is laid to lawn with a border on the right hand side.

    When I first came here, the whole garden was grassy (to look at) however a closer inspection revealed numerous weeds, thistley plants and horrible spikey things in the lawn. I bought a weeding tool and removed them as i saw them, and seeded over with Wilko grass seed (pay by weight), and thankfully none of the horrible thistles and spikes have come back since!

    The garden is not a regular shape! I have a few tools but can't afford to spend much on gardening or plants, so most of what I am doing is on the cheap (or re-purposing things in other ways).

    IMG_1922.JPG
    In the first year I put in three French Lavender plants, which died after a year and a half - I hadn't learned how to plant something properly and hadn't worked the earth enough either!!! Oh well - that was a lesson learned. I tried some spring bulbs too with varying success (alliums excellent, tulips good, bought a bad batch of daffodil bulbs which ended up possibly being mini daffs!!!) - all these bulbs were bought late on in the year, mainly in the Wilko and The Range sales.

    I also tried to experiment with growing a few things from seeds I had around the house, such as nigella and mustard (from culinary seeds in the kitchen!) but was trying to grow them in a cool environment and possibly not enough light to help them along.

    The one thing I really enjoyed though, was chamomile! I used a compost-filled tray, and cut open two chamomile tea bags. I sprinkled the contents over the tray, watered and kept misted, and kept in the light. After a few days, the viable seeds in the teabags grew into tiny seedlings! I was very surprised!! I learned how to prick them out and pot on, and the plants grew. These were planted in the border, and it was lovely to admire the flowers and scent, and then pick some of the heads for freshly brewed chamomile tea too!
    IMG_1756.JPG

    There will be more updates to this as I collect pictures back of what I have done and grown here, as I have now been here a couple of years. Lots more to follow, especially as I am now in the process of applying for an allotment in the plots nearby - fingers crossed!! :)
     
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    • Redwing

      Redwing Wild Gardener

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      1. Sounds like you have well and Truely got the gardening bug! I would never have thought of emptying the contents of a chamomile tea bag into a pot to try and germinate them. Well done you.

      Re French lavender: it isn't very hardy in the U.K so don't blame the planting, they just don't last very long. Try English lavender; you'll have more success.
       
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      • Sheal

        Sheal Total Gardener

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        Well done Toppington. :thumbsup: By the look of the plants above you definitely have green fingers and are not afraid to experiment. :) As gardeners we all know whatever our level of experience that gardening in general can be trial and error, that's how we learn and because the world of plants is ever changing it promotes new challenges for us. Good luck!
         
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        • "M"

          "M" Total Gardener

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          Great idea for a thread :thumbsup:

          I'm with redstar - would never have occurred to me to open a teabag to experiment with; inspired indeed!

          So, from teabag to allotment, well done to you! That is a great move considering your actual garden space. I'll keep my :fingers crossed: that you don't have to wait too, too long for a plot.

          Looking forward to seeing the updates and progress :star:
           
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          • HarryS

            HarryS Eternally Optimistic Gardener

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            Nothing wrong with bulbs etc from Wilkos and the Range. I have always found them good quality at a great price. Now the potted plants is another story ! If you get a fresh delivery all is fine , but they do not look after them so you can see a lot of sorry looking plants there.
             
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            • toppington

              toppington Tiny garden, always on the cheap!

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              Thank you very much! I have got rid of the dead French Lav now and got some English. It smells MUCH stronger and looks healthy for now - thank you for the tip!!

              Thank you for your message!! I do like to try things, but it's a massive learning curve - learning to tell if a plant is thirsty or over-watered, or what might be wrong and so on. Lots more learning to go as well! Thank you!

              I am in the queue! It is quite short in numbers terms, but that may equate to years in actual terms! :) Thank you for the good wishes, though. I am enjoying learning things! Must admit to watching the teabag thing on YouTube and wondering if it would work, seeing someone else trying it and then being inspired to have a go myself!

              Oooh thank you HarryS! Good tip there. The bulbs this year were excellent - I can only think that maybe as they were reduced in the first place they might have been "out" too long and not in the ground? Again, am a total newbie so don't know if that has any effect on anything! When planting for the spring this year, I planted a couple of bulbs which appeared to be mouldy (or sort of greeny-sheened mould!) but they grew in the end, it's quite amazing how resilient everything is!!
               
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              • Irmemac

                Irmemac Total Gardener

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                I am a new gardener too, and think this is an excellent thread! You sound so passionate and interested, and not afraid to try. I've added this to my watch list, and look forward to hearing more of your gardening exploits. Lovely!
                :spring:
                 
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                • toppington

                  toppington Tiny garden, always on the cheap!

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                  @Irmemac thank you very much for your lovely comments! I am very new to growing things, and often incredibly surprised that things survive (and then learn when they don't!!). I will give anything a go and see what happens, you never know, it might be amazing!! :) There will be sporadic updates here possibly at weekends - the weeks are too busy to sit still sometimes!! Looking forward to hearing of your exploits in gardening too - do you have a Garden Diary kind of thing too? :) :spinning:
                   
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                  • Irmemac

                    Irmemac Total Gardener

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                    No, not as yet. I'm really just dipping my toe in the water, but I'm certainly interested. I love reading what people are doing in their gardens, and think you sound so interesting. What a clever idea with camomile tea!
                     
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                    • toppington

                      toppington Tiny garden, always on the cheap!

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                      I had no money and wanted to see if there was anything in the kitchen which would grow! The poppy seeds did not sprout, nor did the coriander or mustard (possibly too old!!) but the chamomile did! Definitely not interesting - just the fruits of frustration when you can't afford to buy seed!
                       
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                      • "M"

                        "M" Total Gardener

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                        Those boxes of dried peas on the supermarket shelf? They can be soaked and sown in the garden ;)
                         
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                        • toppington

                          toppington Tiny garden, always on the cheap!

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                          This is a BRILLIANT idea!! I had no peas at the time however will now go and seek some out! Thank you @"M" :D
                           
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                          • Irmemac

                            Irmemac Total Gardener

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                            Happy pea planting! Good idea, M. I chopped up a butternut squash this afternoon and have kept a few seeds, just in case they might grow next spring.
                             
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                            • "M"

                              "M" Total Gardener

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                              Frugal Gardening Tip #1: There is a lovely article in this months Gardener's World (Aug '17) where Alan T describes what to look for now that Garden Centres are reducing the prices on many of their plants. The best tip from it was to look at the reduced priced plants and see if they could be divided = 1 sale purchase, potentially 2/3/4 new plants :thumbsup:

                              Frugal Gardening Tip #2: With many flowers now turning to seed, collect and save them for next year. Store in paper, not plastic.

                              Frugal Gardening Tip #3: When out walking with my mother, I would often see her running her hands through plants growing by other peoples garden fences, or she would bend over a plant to "smell" it. Unbeknown to me at the time she was nipping off tips from the plants so she could pot them up when she got home :heehee: Actually, I have a lovely plant in my garden which will always remind me of a GC member and the lovely outing we had :whistle: ... think she must have taken lessons from my mum ;) :heehee: (works with FGT #2 as well).

                              Frugal Gardening Tip #4: Keep your eyes open for the GC Seed Swap Thread; each year @pamsdish very kindly takes on the role of organising this. The parcel costs not much more than a packet of seeds and its quite exciting when it arrives. The hardest part is choosing which seeds to select :snorky:
                               
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                              • Irmemac

                                Irmemac Total Gardener

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                                Great ideas, and my mum used to do the same thing! Yesterday I 'inspected' a pink potentilla and hardy fuchsia outside a block of flats! Both cuttings are in water just now...:whistle:
                                 
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