Archive for July 12th, 2010

Flowers, Shrubs and Climbers, Plus the Greenhouse at the End of July

Monday, July 12th, 2010

The flowers in your garden never leave you alone for a minute, and it’s now the time to sow annual carnations in the border or over-winter and flower there next year. At the height of summer the white, grey, grey-green and pale shades of colour come into their own, and gardeners who appreciate the cool look should make a note of the santolina, cineraria maritima, the white-green zinnia, and the light-as-air gypso-phila, that are more restful to the eye than the hot sunset shades.

Moving onto your garden shrubs, heather can be trimmed back and mulched with peat. Cuttings inserted in sandy soil, placed in a cold frame facing north will root well in July and August.

Roses should be fed to encourage the last flush of bloom.

Cuttings of many shrubs can be taken at this time of year, and side shoots that include a small heel of hard-wood from the branch, should be inserted in a pot of good soil with a high sand content, and then found a shady place.

Evergreens do not respond well to the knife, and should only be cut back if trespassing on others or straggling, and in truth the majority are best trimmed in the spring.


Monday, July 12th, 2010

Everyone knows this ornamental tree whose masses of white blooms decorate the countryside in early spring, followed in autumn by bright red berries which children string into beads.

Its occurrence in the wild as well as its cultivation is restricted to the inland tropics with their heavy rainfall and rich soil. Over the years growers have bred and developed a great variety of cultivated forms and we no longer know what the original wild trees were like.

Rowanberries are subtly piquant fruits reminiscent of cranberries with their slightly bitter, aromatic flavour and bright colouring. Forms with sweet fruits are ideal not only for making compotes, jams and wines, but above all for flavouring roast beef, roast game and cream sauces, to which, besides taste and aroma, they also give a lovely colour.

Cocoa, as well as the chocolate made from it, are surprisingly enough used to flavour certain meat and fish dishes (mainly octopus). It is used in combination with onion, garlic and tomatoes, principally in Italy and Spain.

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