Tag Archives: bamboo

The seeds arrive

I learned a valuable lesson when my Fatsia Japonica seeds arrived the day before yesterday, check the planting requirements before ordering.

I have, it seems, committed myself to keeping them warm, then keeping them in the fridge then waiting up to a year. Our fridge is a hazardous place, and my memory is poor, so it looks like the poor things are doomed even before we start.

Everything else looks fairly simple. Good King Henry, and Sorrel seem easy and the bamboo seems simple too, though I’m worried that in the wilds of Nottinghamshire the target of 100 foot high, a foot wide and a growth rate of a foot a day may not be achievable. On the web it says it will do well in any sort of soil apart from clay. We, as luck would have it, are on clay. Ingenuity and compost are likely to feature in the bamboo story.

Meanwhile, the seeds of the tea bush proved to be a little unusual. They are more like nuts than seeds and need soaking, scarifying and refrigerating before they start to grow. Somehow the effort seems justified to grow our sacred national drink, whereas it doesn’t seem worth it for a shrub.


I’m sorry the photograph is upside down but that’s how it’s coming through. Even when I turn the photo upside down before loading, hoping that it will come out right way round, it still comes out upside down. Does anyone know why?

It’s a bigger mystery than the miracle of plant growth.



Games, bamboo and beans

It’s not often we welcome a sports personality to the group but we did today, after his trip to the Disabled Games at Scunthorpe. So it’s congratulations for a job well done (including archery and curling) and a big thank you to the Rotary Club for putting on  the games.

Despite predictions of cloud and rain over the weekend we pretty much seem to have had good weather. Too good for the plants in the polytunnel – some of which had laid down and died on heat stress on Sunday. I was in on Saturday so I know all was well then. Current forecast indicates we are in for some cooler days but they haven’t exactly covered themselves with accuracy for the last ten days so I don’t know what to believe.

I’ve been ordering a few new seeds as I crave excitement in the garden and don’t think I’ll be getting that from phlox, onions and feverfew. So it’s hello to Giant Bamboo and Bananas. The Giant Bamboo is suposed to grow a foot a day when it gets into its stride so I’m looking forward to that. It’s going to make an interesting photo diary at the very least, and next year’s bean frames are going to be pretty spectacular if it gets anywhere near its predicted 100 foot tall.

Final picture is of our new, slightly out of kilter, X-shaped bean frame. The theory is that the beans will hang down and be easier to pick from an X than from an inverted V. I’ve seen a more sophisticated version of this in a book – I think by Alan Titchmarsh – which was a timber frame supporting a proper V shape. If the X works I may look at going the whole hog next year.


More news on the beans is that the roots we saved from last year are starting to form shoots. Normally gardening books tell you to cut the top part off and leave the roots in to the soil so that all the nitrogen they have fixed from the air will go back to the soil. A couple of years ago  Julia read an article saying that runner beans were perennials and you could store the roots like dahlia tubers. We did it and they seemed OK. Opinions on the net seem a little mixed but we’ll give them another year and see what happens.