Last Sunday I wanted to buy some wooden planters for the vines, so that they can clamber up the arbour, so we set off on a bit of a garden centre ‘crawl’ to find what we wanted – for them to fix to the arbour they had to be within a certain size range. And to fit within the budget they had to be within a certain price range…
The first garden centre was a complete bust. We barely saw any pots, let alone wooden planters. On our way to the second garden centre we got stuck in traffic, and then Ryan got called into work and we had to give up. I spent some time investigating options on the internet, and when Ryan came home we settled on two 26” classic teak stain wooden planter troughs from Amazon, made from FSC wood. They arrived on Tuesday.
We’re hoping the stain will fade to a colour more similar to the arbour; if it doesn’t then we’ll paint both at some point in the future. I’m not the biggest fan of the finials, but other than that they’re nice enough and large enough for the vines without taking up too much of the end of the garden.
Ryan fixed them onto the arbour on Saturday morning, and stapled in the heavy duty liners they came with.
On Sunday morning I filled each planter with a mixture of enriched top soil and multipurpose compost, and planted the vines. On the left (as seen from the house) is the Pinot Noir.
On the left is the Lakemont (I explained my choice of grape vine varieties when I ordered them a fortnight ago). I watered both planters; I’ll give them a bark chip mulch in due course.
Whilst I was outside I topped up the bed from which I harvested the shallots last weekend, with a bag of farmyard manure, one of peat-free compost and the last of the enriched topsoil, and planted out the flower sprouts – essentially a sort of Brussels sprout that grows tiny tufts of kale and cabbage rather than sprouts. They’ve been a bit savaged by the cabbage whites (as has the purple sprouting broccoli), but the plants have nicely grown root systems and I’m hoping that they’ll recover now they’re in a raised bed, and they will be less bothered by the dry weather.
I realised it had been a week since I’d harvested any of the courgettes (these are Rugosa friulana), but managed to do that before any of them became too large. We had more than enough to share with friends, and it’s still early enough in the season that we’re not dreading eating courgettes all week.
And we discovered a ‘volunteer’ in the sweetcorn bed. I’m pretty sure I didn’t sow any sunflower seeds this year; the most likely explanation is that this one has come from the bird seed. It’s not doing any harm where it is, so we’ll leave it. It isn’t particularly tall, but it does look like it has multiple flower buds growing from the stem, so I’m looking forward to seeing what comes of those.
What’s interesting in your garden this week?
This blog post was written by Emma Cooper and was published on The Unconventional Gardener website. If you're reading it elsewhere you may want to navigate away from plagiarised content.