My greenhouse is full of small, healthy tomato plants, courgettes filling their pots and a crowd of half hardy annuals for Summer colour. They are part of the April and early May shuffle which involves taking them outside and then carrying them back in so they are gradually hardened off. Permanently outside there are hardy perennials and annuals completely used to the fluctuating temperatures and ready to plant in the garden or containers.
This Sunday, there will be plants and flowers available at Wolvercote Sunday Market in The White Hart Community Pub. You can pre-order for pick up at the market between 10.00am and midday; alternatively, orders of £10 or over can be delivered within 5 miles of Oxford. Deliveries will be on Saturday 29th only this week, apart from local Wolvercote deliveries which can be done on Sunday morning.
Email orders and any queries to: email@example.com
All home grown flowers raised using an organic approach: the beautiful, field grown tulips are blooming strongly in a whole range of colours from brights to lights while the ranunculus, in a range of gorgeous colours, are just getting into their stride. Geums, astrantia, fresh foliage and quince blossom will be just some of the other ingredients in this week’s seasonal, local bunches and bouquets.
A jam jar of flowers: starts at £6.50
A pickle jar of flowers: £10
Market bunches: £10 – £15
A vase of gift wrapped flowers: starts at £20
For bespoke flowers, please email me.
These were started later than usual this year because of the cold early Spring and are still in small pots. They are stocky, healthy plants which will grown on very quickly in the coming weeks when it warms up. However, they will need a little extra care: you will need to harden them off completely and wait to plant them outside when there is no danger of frost. It is best to plant them when their first flowers appear. Then they will need regular watering and weekly feeds with either seaweed solution or tomato feed. All tomatoes enjoy sun and can be grown in the ground or in containers in a greenhouse or outdoors in a warm spot. All the varieties below are of the indeterminate kind which means they need support (tying into a bamboo cane) and to have their side shoots removed as they appear. This may seem a lot of bother, but it is worth it for the delicious taste of a home grown tomato.
They are being offered for sale now as I am on holiday until mid May (bad timing for a gardener!). There may be still some available later in May when I get back.
Varieties – each £1.50 a 7cm/9cm/11cm pot
Cocktail Crush: an excellent UK bred, blight resistant tomato. It produces a heavy crop of cocktail sized tomatoes with a sweet flavour and an slightly acid tang. It is suitable for growing in unheated greenhouses, outdoors or in containers.
Sungold: an absolutely delicious yellow-orange cherry tomato which is very sweet. An all time favourite which can be grown inside under cover or outside.
Chocolate Cherry: is a sweetly flavoured, heavy-cropping purple cherry tomato that ripens to a deep rich cocoa. It appears on fruiting stems of six to eight fruits. This tall and upright tomato is perfect for small growing spaces inside a greenhouse or outside in a a sunny, frost-free spot.
Gardener’s Delight: another all time, favourite cherry tomato. Trouble-free and prolific with long trusses of richly-flavoured sweet red fruits, it is reliable and easy to grow.
Indigo Rose: all tomatoes are a rich source of important antioxidants and this blue-black tomato variety contains particularly good levels, so they are super-healthy. It is medium sized and is sweetly flavoured.
Stupicke Polni Rane: is an early medium sized red tomato with a wonderful flavour. The potato-leaf plants bear large numbers of very sweet, 2 to 3-inch, deep red fruit. Originally from the Czech Republic, it does well both outdoors and in greenhouses (heated and unheated). It has good blight resistance which is particularly important if growing outdoors.
Black Krim: one of the very best flavoured tomatoes and perhaps my favourite of all (though it is impossible really to pick). It is a large tomato which can be grown in a greenhouse or outdoors. It produces large, ribbed, beefsteak tomatoes with deep red and purple skin and flesh which tastes superb. Highly recommended.
Courgette Romanesco: a delicious courgette with excellent texture which never turns watery, even when quite large. A reliable variety which produces a generous number of courgettes. £1.50 for 9cm/11cm pot
Hardy & Half Hardy Annuals
Strawflower, Apricot mix: a truly lovely strawflower which is wonderful both fresh and dried. This is a warm mix of pretty peach and apricot flowers on long, strong stems. Also known as everlasting flowers, the colour and shape of these papery blooms will last indefinitely when dried. They make an attractive impact in the garden and will flower until the first hard frosts. I have planted mine out and will protect them if there is a hard frost forecast. Strawflowers like to be positioned in full sun, but will tolerate some shade. They can grow to over 3 foot tall. £1.25 a 7cm pot
Ammi majus: a superb annual, bearing dainty white flowers reminiscent of lacework, or a more refined cow parsley, above finely cut fern like leaves . It is a lovely cottage garden plant which adds a light airiness to a garden border. It grows best in well-drained soil in sun or partial shade. Allow seeds to develop to save and sow the following year, but if you leave some finches are likely to come to your garden to feast on them in winter. £1.25 a 7cm pot
Cerinthe Major: a lovely unfussy plant which gently self seeds – once planted it will come back again and again. A pretty filler in the border and the vase, its purple bell-like flowers are a magnet for bees and other pollinators. It has attractive silver grey/green leaves which often have a blue wash. It flowers early and long and can grow up to 18 inches. Space plants between 9 & 12 ins apart. They enjoy sun, but do well in almost any position apart from deep shade. £1.25 a 7cm pot; 1.50 a 9cm pot
Nasturtium Black Velvet: a sumptuous, richly dark flowered nasturtium which is great for containers or towards the front of a border. This is a half hardy annual which has been hardened off, but does still protection from frost. It can grow up to 12 inches and has a slightly trailing habit. As well as being beautiful, it is also edible and its flowers and leaves make a delicious (and pretty) addition to salads. £1.25 a 7cm pot.
Violas: dainty, extremely lovely plants which have flowers in a range of pinks, whites and purples. Perfect for containers and for gaps at the front of borders. Extremely hardy, they have been out all Winter and are beginning to flower profusely. With regular dead heading they will continue to do this for months. Once they get straggly towards the end of the season, cut them back and they will regrow strongly. They can also be left to self seed. £1.00 a 7cm pot and £4.00 in a vintage terracotta pot.
Hardy geranium Phaeum: a beautiful and striking hardy perennial which grows to around 18ins in both sun and part shade in any type of soil. Its unusual dark flowers are prolific and if you cut it down to the base after its first flowering in May/June it will flower generously again. £6.50 2 litre pot £3.50 a 1 litre pot & £2.50 a 9cm pot
Campanula Persicifolia, blue: a very reliable and very pretty herbaceous perennial which is much tougher than it looks. It forms clumps from which it sends up straight stems with green, lance-shaped foliage and numerous large, outward facing, rich blue, bell-shaped single flowers providing a long flowering display in summer. An easy to grow plant that tolerates a range of soils and different positions in the garden including light shade. Can be easily divided to create new plants and is also good for beneficial insects. £2.50 a 9cm pot.
Erigeron karvinskianus: a profusion of small daisy-like flowers with a hint of pink. Erigeron, or Mexican fleabane, flowers for months self-sowing generously. A brilliant value plant which adds cheerfulness to any garden. It grows beautifully in containers. £ 5 in an old terracotta pot; £3.50 a 1 litre pot & £2.50 a 9 cm pot
Nepeta Walker’s Low: a magnet for pollinators, it is alive with bees and other beneficial insects for weeks. It has deep violet to lilac-blue summer flowers and aromatic mid-green leaves. This catmint makes an excellent, long-flowering plant for a border. Cut back after its first flush in June, it flowers through to early autumn. Useful as an informal, scented edge for paths. Likes sun, but can tolerate some shade, it grows to around 2 feet tall. £6.50 a 2 litre pot; £3.50 a 1 litre pot and £2.50 a 9cm pot
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Here’s my latest order, very excited for tomatoes!
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