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Green Fingers, The Roof Gardens

Grow your own vege & what to do with a Christmas plant that is past its best

Happy New Year,

Sorry it has been so long since my last post on here but rather unexpectedly the last few months have been a very busy time here at The Roof Gardens.

Not only did we have our Christmas theme of Narnia but we just cleared it away in time for New Year and the snow and cold came in and we looked like a real example of Narnia.  Then the snow went and the cold stayed and then the snow came back.  I can report that the flamingos were not in the slightest phased as long as we kept them fed.  Just like me in cold weather, I just want to stay where I am and eat ( the cold weather saw off all the Christmas left over chocolates).

As I am now in serious training for the Virgin London Marathon that seems to take up quite a lot of time.  You can’t imagine how long it takes to come up with another excuse for not having done nearly as much training as I should have!

But what’s all that got to do with Grow Your Own you may ask.  Well to escape clearing more snow I got all my seed orders and plug plant orders in on time so I’m really looking forward to getting going just as soon as they arrive.  This year we are growing far more for our kitchens than ever before.  Salads, beans, garlic, soft fruit as well as all the herb we can think of and the tree fruit.  I have even managed to persuade the managers of the Restaurants and the Chefs to come into the gardens and help sow some of the seed as the time is right so that there is a direct connection between the food we serve and the people who cook and serve it.  I think it will be a fun day all ding a bit of gardening.  Of course deciding to grow your own does involve quite a bit more planing than buying everything as ready grown plants.

….Especially for the bedding plants I have had to plan right through to the end of the year.  The Spanish Garden is going to be so colourful this year.  The quantity of flower in the Tudor garden and scent should really enhance the new planting from last year.  Some of the scrubs are getting to a good size now.  We might even get enough elder flowers to make cordial.  So I will keep you posted on how things are going with our increased grow your own initiative.

But in the meantime what do you do with that Amaryllis that you were given for Christmas.  We all got one. Well there is a lot of advice out there on how to get it to flower again.  This  is where I have to be blunt, and I am sure this might not make me that popular gardeners who save everything, but the bulbs that are brought as Christmas presents have been bred and fed to flower well at their optimum size and for most of us here in the UK we just don’t have the right conditions to plant them out and get them to flower again.  So I suggest we all treat them like a beautiful bunch of  cut flowers, enjoy them and look after them well while we have them but when they are over — treasure the memories but move on.  If you are even a little bit interested in gardening I am sure you will get another next year anyway.

My next post will be very soon as some of the art commissioned for The Roof Gardens last year arrives tomorrow and so I can’t wait to get the pictures of those straight to you all.

So until next time, happy gardening for those of you that can get in this weather and joyful planning for those who cannot.

David