June the 21st will be the longest day of the year, but so far we’ve had a very delayed start to the year with April being the frostiest month since the 70’s according to the met office. Working with the weather certainly makes you appreciate how changeable it can be, our polytunnel certainly helps extend the growing period, but as it's not heated it's still subject to the lower overnight temperatures.
Last month we planted up our belfast sink at the nursery, we’ve planted ours up with succulents funnily enough but they are really flexible, they can be planted with bulbs, alpines or even mini bog gardens. For the well drained planting we cut out the old plug and put 2inches of gravel in the base. Then planted it up with a 50-50 mix, but you can vary the grit depending on what plants you plant in it, but if you wanted a bog garden having plastic in the bottom to help retain the moisture will be needed but you still need to make sure it has drainage so it doesn't become a mini pond. You can then plant them up with various bog plants for a display, perfect if you don't have room for a pond.
If you fancied something really different but along the lines of the bog plant theme you can plant them up with carnivorous plants, these however require a more specialist mix for them to thrive, they need a slightly acidic nutrient poor soil, with perlite, sand, bark and moss mixed in. They get their nutrients from the flies they catch.
On certain areas of dartmoor they grow wild, they are the sundew type, the ones that have a sticky surface to catch the flies compared to the more popular venus fly traps with the snapping jaws. They enjoy the boggy areas on the moor.
In Giulia’s veg patch we’ve got various trellis we’ll be putting up to grow different varieties of veg up. We have some climbing courgettes, an italian variety that can have fruit on around 3foot long! We also have the usual beans and cucumbers that we will tie in around the veg patch.
We have around 60 Echiums that we grew from seed, we have lots for sale but we’re planning to plant them all around the nursery. These are biennial plants so they flower in the second year before dying back. They are prolific seeders and can grow up to 3m tall and they are a magnet for bees and other pollinators.