Tag Archives: Good King Henry

Filling in the gaps

I’ve been filling in the gaps today, with rows of spring onions, beetroot, radish and various salad greens appearing all over the raised beds.  So that we have at least something green by the weekend I’ve also planted out the New Zealand spinach that was originally meant to be part of the container growing demonstration. I It was slightly disappointing in the container but having just read how to plant it whilst  searching for the link, I’m amazed I managed to get anything at all. I also have a few things off the market (mainly lettuce).

It’s good to fill in the gaps, but I have a confession to make. I’m not that fond of salad. Spinach is OK but lettuce is tasteless, radish is pointless and beetroot is downright unpleasant. Thoughts like these are a disadvantage when it comes to growing your own.

Fortunately I love beans, peas, courgettes, nasturtiums and horseradish, which are the other things I’ve been planting.

My Good King Henry, comfrey, bamboo and pampas grass are all refusing to show but the rhubarb seedlings are looking good and I’ve just been re-potting Cape Gooseberry seedlings.


NZ spinach on the edge of a broad bean bed


Salads in an unused corner

I’m now starting to worry (after finding out about what I should have done with the NZ spinach) that there’s a lot more I need to learn and that I need to fill gaps in my knowledge as well as the physical gaps in the beds.

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.