Markus Kobelt and Emma Cooper recording the Lubera podcast
Recording a podcast with Markus Kobelt of Lubera. Photo by the lovely Fran of Rabbit Attack PR 🙂

At the Garden Press Event last month I met up with Markus Kobelt of Lubera to record the first in a series of podcasts about the wonderful world of fruit growing. The first show – in which we discuss the history of citrus cultivation, the exciting varieties of citrus Lubera are adding to their catalogue this year, and the secrets to successfully growing citrus in the UK – has gone live this morning. The audio is available via SoundCloud, and there’s a transcript of the show on the Lubera blog. I’m hoping we can embed the audio file into the Lubera blog post at some point 😉

I’m also going to be doing some blogging for Lubera, so I will let you know as and when those posts appear. I’m excited to be working with Lubera, because I love their range of edible plants (which includes some unusual ones) and their philosophy of breeding fruit varieties for gardeners, which means they have (e.g.) some new dwarf varieties of fruits that would normally take up a lot of space.

Anyway… find 20 mins to listen to the show at some point, because I have a lovely radio voice (so I’m told) and Markus is really knowledgeable and entertaining!

green basics grow table xxl

The other new arrivals are a little less virtual. I had a good chat with Elho at the Garden Press Event, about their stylish and practical containers for growing your own in. They’ve been kind enough to send me a couple to try out. This beauty is the green basics grow table xxl. It’s sturdy and well-designed. It comes with a metal rod, and after a few moments pondering I worked out that this ‘fixator’ fits into slots on either side of the base, in the middle, to prevent it from bowing out under the weight of plants and wet compost. The plastic lid has handles to make it easy to lift off, and vents you can open or close. And the whole thing drains down through the legs. It will be very useful when it comes time to harden off seedlings, and after that I plan on turning it into a slug-free salad trough (either by standing it in a moat or putting copper tape around the legs!).

Elho green basics allin1 growkit

They’ve also sent the green basics allin1 growkit, which is a small and stylish propagator. It’s in three parts – the plastic lid, a growing tray with drainage holes and a saucer tray to catch the drips. You can either plant directly into it like a seed tray, or use it to hold pots. And they give you a few plant labels to go with it. It’s arrival is timely, as my Boneta peppers had germinated in the Steam Pipe Trunk Distribution Venue, and needed to come out into the light. I’ve put them into my new grow kit on the windowsill, until they’re a bit older.

On Saturday morning we were treated to the lovely site of the song thrust having a bath in one of my flooded pots, right by the patio windows. I worry about birds falling in and drowning, so it’s usually covered over with wooden slats. Later in the year the Houttuynia cordata in it will poke above the surface again, although it probably isn’t its permanent home. Anyway, we have constructed a less dangerous bird bath from a cat litter tray and some stones (to weigh it down and act as ‘steps’), for the time being. I’d love to find a proper bird bath that isn’t hideous, but I’ve been looking for years now, with no success! They’re either gargantuan ‘stone’ gothic monstrosities, or something twee with painted squirrels.

And this morning I have been out to refill the bird feeders and discovered that the lime balm I sunk into the border in a pot is leafing up. It will be fun to see how it compares, both in growth and in flavour, to the lemon balms that are already well established.