Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Rain, birds and rare plants.

We had some rain overnight, the first for about 10 days, not a lot but enough to dampen the ground. It amazes me how fast the grass and other plants green up after a shower. The other thing I have noticed in the pastis how seeds will germinate after rain when they don't seem to after days of using a watering can or hose, has anyone else noiced this?

I spent an hour last evening constructing this cage to protect the Kale (Brassica oleraces Var acephela) that I have planted. I decided that this year I would be mean and not share my crops with the pigeons and the caterpillars as I have done for the last couple of years. One of the local farmers who shoots pigeons on his land was telling me that at this time of year they taste of cabbage when you cook them due to the amount of oil seed rape they eat.

On Sunday I drove over to Northamptonshire to visit the rare planr fair at Evenley Wood gardens. It was really good but a lot smaller than the ones I used to go to in London. The setting was a lot nicer than the hall in Clapham were I used to go, the stalls where laid out in woodland and surrounded by magnolias in flower.

I bought a few things including Prostanthera rotundifolia the Australian Mint bush, the scent of which is amazing, Ancathunus mollis Hollands gold which has golden yellow leaves not the usual dark green. I also got a ebony leaved Angelica and a lovely poppy called Papaver 'Louve'.


  1. Your protective cage is excellent. Rainwater always works better for some reason.

  2. The cage you built looks neat. I've never grown poppy and the one I tried to germinate last year was a flop. I would want to try it again. Are poppies edible for the birds? Right now I'm looking for flowers whose flowerheads would be useful for the birds.

  3. Birds may eat poppy seed on the ground but normally seem to leave the seed heads in my garden. Things like thistles, Artichoke, Cardoon, Millet and Giant Sunflowers atract a lot of birds. Have a look at what they eat in the wild and find cultivars would be my advice. The big difference is we have seasons here whereas you don't, it is easy for me to attract birds to feeders in the winter when food is scarce in the wild. Gary

  4. If you had lightening maybe that is what greened up the lawn! I read that lightening fixes the nitrogen in the air so plants can use it! I like the protective cage you've contructed. gail

  5. And a beautiful cloche you have too!

    Hope you have a very Happy Easter tomorrow, Gary.


  6. Good luck with outwitting the garden marauders. Rain does seem to give a good boost to the garden, over and above any watering plan.


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