Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Plants by post

A month or so ago, I took a tentative step into the world of ordering plants over the internet. It's a bit nervewracking; what if the plants that arrive aren't in good condition? What if you're out when they arrive, and they wilt while waiting at the depot?

Neither of these things happened. The pansies, patio pinks and clematises turned up a few days ago and have duly been planted. They all arrived in good condition, packed ingeniously in a sort of plastic pot-cum-protective-greenhouse inside a cardboard box. The clematises were a lot tinier than I was expecting, but they're supposed to be hardy for immediate planting outside, so I'm crossing my fingers.

A winter vegetable collection appeared this morning: five plants each of "Offenham Flower of Spring" cabbages, "Sakura" calabrese (chunky broccoli), and "Hungry Gap" kale. The latter is really for our guinea pigs, which consider kale to be a fine delicacy (let's hope the slugs don't). These were rooted in compost, but came loose in plastic bags inside a cardboard box - they arrived in perfect condition as far as I could tell, though. Planting them was a muddy job. It hasn't rained in the last few days, but all the rain over the summer has made our clay soil very heavy and claggy.

I'm amused that the calabrese is called "Sakura", which is Japanese for cherry blossom. I've looked it up on Google Images, and it's definitely not pink. Maybe it refers to the season at which it's ready to eat?

The new sowings of spinach and salad vegetables haven't done anything very impressive. I suspect that it's been too rainy and cool for them to get off to a good start, and the plague of slugs got what did appear. We've also not had any visible flowers on the squash; there are buds - they've been there for a while - but they don't seem to open, which doesn't bode very well.

However, we have had some tomatoes off our plants, and there are a lot more to come - my cousin gave us a glut of hers, though, so we're not yet picking them to ripen indoors. The peas never produced very heavily; I think they don't get enough sunshine where I put them. The few pods we had were delicious. We have beans ready to pick, and a lot of flowers.

1 comment:

Isabelle said...

Well, those were two interesting posts. I'd given up checking this blog.