Shrinking Violet


Latest posts by Shrinking Violet

Plum ID

Posted: 11/08/2017 at 14:43

That looks a bit like ripe Marjorie Seedling plums.  I used to have a very, very large tree when I lived in Hertfordshire.  (when I say large - we picked 1cwt in an afternoon - and that was just the plums we could reach).


If so, you are very lucky.  Fully ripe they are a super dessert plum.  Slightly firm they are wonderful for cooking in plum pies and crumbles.  Any others make nice jams and chutneys.  They make a rather thin wine, which is a difficult one, actually, because the skins can make the wine difficult to clear. 


They also freeze well.  I used to halve and stone them, layer them in polyboxes with a sprinkling of sugar over each layer. 


PS our neighbours helped us out with the largesse that we picked, thank goodness, or the freezer would have been full of nothing but plums t

Penstemon cuttings

Posted: 06/08/2017 at 19:42

Just because received wisdom says to do this or that, doesn't mean you have to follow blindly!  But often the advice is based on experience (not mine, but many others much more gifted than I am).


However, sometimes, breaking the "rules" brings results.  GW on Friday had Monty Don showing how he divided astrantias and potted them up - against all received wisdom - and had some lovely plants to put in place. 


Likewise, I had to move a cistsus purpurea, and the timing was wrong for cuttings;  I took lots to hedge my bets, as it were, and some were successful.


So - moral of the tale?  Always worth giving it a go.  But bear in mind that it may not work as planned.

Penstemon cuttings

Posted: 06/08/2017 at 17:18

Lyn. I don't think you can propagate phlox like that - it is easily done by division.  Wait until the autumn and then split the clumps of phlox that you want to multiply, and then replant where you wish.  Tried and trusted method, which works every time in my experience.  In any event, the act of splitting a clump of phlox (and many other perennials) re-invigorates them, especially when you can discard the old centre part of the plant and replant the newer, more vigorous bits from the outside (if you see what I mean!)

Penstemon cuttings

Posted: 06/08/2017 at 15:36

Like anyone else, I love a voyage of discovery, B3.  Trouble is, it can sometimes result in a mix of colour that just doesn't work (shocking pink and orange anyone?  Thought not!)  But I do identify with the day lily problem.  Trouble is, they only last a day (!) and I forget to nip out and label/colour code them, swearing I'll remember the burgundy one, the pink one, the cream one, the . . . . . . . well, you get the picture.  But they are a reliable and beautiful addition to a garden, much like the penstemmons that flower all summer long.

Penstemon cuttings

Posted: 06/08/2017 at 15:13

I have just been taking penstemmon cuttings today, and have put them in small pots and covered them with a dome, such as I have done successfully in the past.  But I like the idea of just popping them in water to take root, so I am going to try that as well (with labels )

Flower Show

Posted: 04/08/2017 at 19:43

I spent a pleasant few hours at the Taunton Flower show today, and it is a lovely atmosphere with lots of lovely plants, too.  Funnily enough, I just felt duty-bound to add to my garden with a couple of plants that I'm sure I need.


Next year may be the last time that this event is held in the council-run park.  Apparently (and I know local councils are strapped for cash) the cost will rise exponentially, and the organisers won't be able to continue.


This may not be on the same level as Chelsea, but it is a pretty important date in the Somerset horticultural calendar.  I can only hope that someone, somewhere finds a solution!


Toby Buckland was there on a panel answering gardening questions today - what fun and how informative he is.

Tomato plant deformity 2016

Posted: 04/08/2017 at 19:36

I shall add my name to the Watchdog list, although I have not been affected by the terrible problems that others have suffered.  My problem was a couple of years ago with dreadful compost, and they did, at least, have the grace to acknowledge the issue, and I had a voucher as compensation.  But I didn't lose a whole year's worth of plants, which has been the unfortunate experience of others.


A united voice is more likely to be heard than individuals being fobbed off one by one! (Let's call it a class action!  )

Tomato plant deformity 2016

Posted: 03/08/2017 at 20:12

Back in June I suggested that gardening magazines might wish to take up the cause.  It would seem not and maybe the advertising revenue has something to do with that.


But the Watchdog programme (on hold for the summer hols) is just the sort of programme that would be prepared to take up the cause.  They are taking problems for future episodes, according to last nights episode, so I think it would be a good idea if some of the posters most affected contacted the programme makers to see if sufficient "noise" might bring about a change.

growing for wedding 2017

Posted: 27/07/2017 at 19:51

pmc - do let us know how you get on.  It sounds as if you have the space - but can't control the climate.  For what it's worth, I think blooms in pots rather than cut flowers would be best.  If you have to rely on buying them, there will be bunches of daffodils available - and these can be a good alternative.


btw I researched some from Suttons Seeds, and noted that they make a donation to Marie Curie for all the relevant bulbs sold, which is an added bonus imo.


Good luck!

growing for wedding 2017

Posted: 27/07/2017 at 16:42

I've just been looking at spring bulbs, and found one that may be more predictable:  a Cornish daffodil called Martinette - yellow, multi-headed, fragrant, February flowers. 


Hope this helps

Discussions started by Shrinking Violet

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1 to 15 of 17 threads