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Bloomin' Spring

PeteG

By PeteG

15 comments


Happy Spring To You!

I have to admit that I’m having an .. interesting .. spring so far. My camera-jobby has decided that it will seem to take photos but then not save them properly. I was going to show you photos of all the plants that died during the winter as well as a shot of my broken tile pile! How will you survive without seeing those??

The pond is starting to look ..um, overcrowded? I’ve left it ‘fallow’ for a couple of years but now I’m adding plants with a vengance. What with 6 Arum Lillies (“Crowborough”), 8 Water Forget-Me-Not (Myosotis palustris) plants in submerged troughs, the infamous Watercress, a remarkably tall and spreading thing with long, narrow, redish-green leaves and a flower like a demented buttercup on a 3ft stalk and another, smaller, version of same (labels lost during the winter) there isn’t much room left for the water! Everything seems to be growing but I think there may be a shortage of nutrients in the water so I’m faced with a dilemma: how to feed the plants I want without encouraging too much algal growth. Much head scratching going on at the moment.

As you may have seen from my recent Question on this site, my apple tree has only produced about 4 blossoms this year. Last year, it was quite productive even if the product was a bit on the small side. Our friend and colleague, Andrewr, has suggested that it may have gone into a 2-year ‘heavy fruit/very little fruit’ cycle which can apparently happen with fruit trees. I’m wondering whether – if next year seems to promise a good harvest – I should remove about half the fruit before it starts to mature to try to force it back into a 1-year ‘medium fruiting’ cycle. Any other experts out there with Opinions??

The apple problem is particularly galling because I’ve set up a flowering regime to try to get insects used to coming to my garden, ready for apple blossom pollination: we start with Lesser Celandine which insects seem to love (the yellow colour, I think), then Dicentra (not a lot for insects but it keeps them interested), then Japanese Azalea (I think!) right under the apple tree, then the apple blossom. Oh, and Wigela in case they get fed up with the taste of apple!
Unusually for my plans, this one does seem to work – I seem to have a relatively high insect population at this time of year whereas the neighbours don’t!

The fuchsias, both in-pot and in-ground, are starting to do things but they seem a bit slow – the cold winds recently, perhaps? The Gert Fern (not sure of the name but a British native) is unfurling its fronds and will soon be obstructing the pathway and the washing line as is its wont. The new veg bed and the waterfall are still awaiting completion (hah – ‘awaiting starting’ is more like it!) and the year rolls inexorably forward …

I hope your gardens are sprouting and flowering in fine form – thanks for reading!

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Comments

 

Almost May.... the year really is rolling forward...
looking forward to pics. of the waterfall... :o)

25 Apr, 2009

 

I had some apple trees in my old garden and they sometimes did that - ie went into a 2 yr cycle. They didn't always do it, but only sometimes.
They did it especially if they had a good crop one yr, the next would be very poor. But then they sometimes had a few years of average crops. I don't think there's anything you can do about it.

25 Apr, 2009

 

Hi Both - I just noticed you before trudging down to the dungeons and curling up in my nice comfortable coffin for the night!

TT - yes, 'time flies' and all that! The waterfall is becoming a bit problematic; what I originally intended won't work so I'm trying to plan something else but I've hit the waterfall equivalent of writer's block! Ho hum - I'll get there in the end!!

Hywel - Hmm, I suspected the answer might be something like that! I guess I'll use this year just for growth and prune it nicely at the end of September. Then I'll at least have a good looking tree for next year.

25 Apr, 2009

 

I have never fed the pond plants. mind we have lots of fish that add their nitrogenous waste so i guess i dont have to. if you have fish you wont need to either.

25 Apr, 2009

 

You really will have to save your pocket money and buy a digital camera, Pete!

Your pond sounds fun - if you can sort it out! I haven't got one, but there must be someone who has who can advise you..

25 Apr, 2009

 

Hywell, that is exactly how trees behave! Having had 2400 of them we know the ins and outs. Also Pete, make sure you thin them. When the apples have set and are abt marble size, then take all of them except for 2 or 3 on each bunch. These will then develop into a decent size apple, otherwise they push each other off the bunch or prevent each of growing. Pruning in winter and follow instructions, you can find on internet. You can also apply summer pruning, to let light into the tree. Sunshine ripens the apples, cold nights in September/October give them colour. Fertilise and keep the grubs outof them. It pays to have your soil tested, so you find out what nutrients you need to add to it. And then of course, as they grow big and get colour, towards the final stages, keep the birds outof them. If you don't have many trees, invest in bird netting. It sure saves your crop.
I don't know what you want to prune at the end of September, but apple trees need to be pruned in the winter. September/October are harvest months, aren't they? Never prune untill all leaves have fallen off. You have a decent winter, so there is plenty of time. Only ever prune when dormant, or else....

26 Apr, 2009

 

Here we are again! Beautiful morning in Bristol, today, (08:10) but showers later says the forecast.

Sbg - I've been thinking about fish but decided against so far - I'm on-and-off not too well and, when I'm working, I can be away for several days at a time; plants can put up with a bit of neglect but fish less so, I think. Anyway, still thinking about that - if I can find room for them between all the plants (LOL)!

Spritz - Yep, the technology's gone sour on me again! I'm waiting for everything to grow then I'll be able to see whether I need to thin/move/remove or whatever.

Marguerite - thanks for that; useful information from One Who Knows! I meant 'end of October' not September, harvest for these is around mid-September. I try not to do much in the garden during the *real* winter 'cos I get chilled quite easily so I have to do some things a bit early or late - Mr Apple hasn't complained over the past years, though, so I suppose he's reasonably happy about it!

26 Apr, 2009

 

Aren't you lucky to have sunshine...we are only about 35 miles from you down the M5 but it's a grey and drizzly day here!

You haven't had an answer from a pond person with no fish yet - there must be someone out there, Pete!

Why not post it as a question???

26 Apr, 2009

 

as far as the concern about neglected fish. They eat what is naturally in the water. i.e. misquito larvae, algae, bugs that attempt to get a drink etc. so there isn't that much care to it as long as you don't "overstock" the pond with too many fish.

26 Apr, 2009

 

Just to make you feel better, Spritz, it's been overcast here for the past couple of hours and it's blowing up for a storm (14:20)!

It might well come to Question time, but I like to try to research and figure things out for myself if I can. This one looks like high nutrients = lots of algae, low nutrients = unhappy plants! If I can't figure anything out in the next day or so (even with the help of that nice Mr Google) I'll have to ask our friends and colleagues for help.

Right, end of post - I've just been told next door's rabbit has escaped and is hiding somewhere behind my compost bin! Tally Ho ...

26 Apr, 2009

 

Right - Bunny returned to proper home!

Kmccue07 - Thanks for your information; I'll add that to the other thoughts I have, ready for Decision Making!

26 Apr, 2009

 

I think I would add a few fish Pete. So long as you don't have a lot they shouldn't over "fertilize" the pond. This is an excerpt from a web site "How to control pond algae".......

"If you have a water garden and not a koi pond then make sure you have the right types and numbers of plants in the pond. Anacharis or other underwater plants and floating plants remove excess nutrients from the pond by absorbing these nutrients for their own growth and starving the algae for its food source. Also provide approximately 2/3 surface coverage using water lilies, floaters (like Water Lettuce or Water Hyacinth), or other plants that shade the surface of the water. These plants reduce the amount of sunlight that penetrates the pond; this helps keep the water cooler and starves the algae for sunlight.

Even though you have set up your pond using the right components, have added the proper type and number of plants, and do not have an excessive number of fish you could still have some algae. This is especially true when a pond is young. Other methods of algae control may be called for during the first few years of a pond. As a pond matures (as long as it hasn't been totally emptied and refilled) the algae gets less and less and may no longer be a problem."

Hope that helps somewhat!! :o)

27 Apr, 2009

 

Ooh - thanks, Gilli! I haven't seen that particular explanation in my searches. Although I know about several of these factors, I haven't seen them presented in such a handy and concise manner so this is very useful!!

I'm going to let everything grow a bit more so I can see where I am with it, then I'll take the next step(s).

27 Apr, 2009

 

Good luck with it Pete. Let us know how you get on.

28 Apr, 2009

 

That is one hilarious blog Pete! You should be writing script for Frank Spencer. Im sure your garden isnt quite that much of a disaster area.Lol! Hope you were gifted a nice new camera for Christmas so we can view (with much pleasure) your broken tile pile!!!

15 Jan, 2012

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