Archive for July 18th, 2010

Some Early July Gardening Tips

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

In the flower garden there is now profusion as we enjoy more roses, phloxes, campanulas, heleniums, hemerocallis (day lilies) and gladioli etc. etc. Indeed there are enough flowers for everybody.

There are few bulbs that can compete with the autumn crocus’ bright performance given during the last months of the year.

They are best ordered this month for planting in August. Nurserymen seldom hold large stocks and the gardener who leaves his order until August may be disappointed.

The bulbs should be planted 3 ins. deep, where they can be left to increase undisturbed, maybe hidden by pleasing ground cover.

The jewel-like flowers, white and in all shades from blue to violet, with brilliant stigmata, are extremely elegant.

Asters, nemesias, marigolds and quick-maturing annuals can be sown to fill gaps where bedding plants have failed or are in short supply. Marigolds are a blessing to those with a new garden and a small budget: mixed with cornflowers or larkspurs they make a tremendous splash.

If more rock plants are needed, rooted pieces of saxifrages, sedums, sempervivums and some of the other rock plants, can be detached from over-large plants and replanted.

Olives

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

The existence of olives as food is the result of sheer chance combined with a stroke of genius. Present-day olive trees are apparently descended from a wild tree of Greek origin. The first such individual must have been the result of a chance mutation, some time as far back as 3000 B.C., and all the olive trees raised nowadays are its offspring, multiplied by man.

Most aromatic, however, are the plants that grow on the sunny limestone hillsides of southern Italy. No doubt this is the result not only of suitable soil and climate but also of natural selection which came up with the right variety, for this species includes a great many forms.

Its delicate aroma and flavour have made parsley the most widely-used culinary herb which can be added to practically all dishes that are not sweet. The finely chopped leaves are used either fresh or dried. It can be combined well with other kitchen herbs.

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