Planting peas by light of the silvery lantern

Escape to the greenhouse and garden by lantern.
Escape to the greenhouse and garden by lantern.
he South East In Bloom judges visited the Fareham area where they concluded their tour with a visit to Ferneham Hall. From left: Fiona Phillips, Stuart Lees and The Mayor of Fareham Councillor Geoff Fazackarley     
Picture Ian Hargreaves  (170760-1)

South East in Bloom judges praise standard of gardens in Fareham area

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Christmas is over and we need to take things a little bit easy, but there are a few things we can do in the greenhouse: have a good clear-out, pick over dead leaves and have a good sweep up.

It’s also a good idea to get out of the house for a while.

Did you remember to sow some early pea seeds in cells?

I remembered but didn’t have time to do it so I am going to do this during the next few days, well, it will be during the evening with a lantern in the greenhouse at the allotment.

I have decided to go back to the pea variety called Feltham First.

Half fill insert cells with universal potting compost and put just two pea seeds in each of the cells. Cover with the compost and give the trays a shake. This will settle the compost.

Water the compost and the seedlings will emerge in about three or four weeks. Protect them from mice which love pea seeds.

Allow the seedling roots to fill the cells and then they can be planted into the garden or allotment.

Wow! We will be picking peas at the end of May.

Can’t be bothered? OK, get the frozen variety!

I had a walk around the garden this morning. The snowdrops are emerging, the camellia buds are going to split open in about three weeks, but the daphne odora is already filling the garden with perfume.

The polyanthus looked as if they were drowning. Just a quick fork around with a garden fork and they perked up really well.

And it was good to see the birds were happy on the feeders, especially the woodpecker. I always say to Pam: ‘The woodpecker says nip round to Pam’s for a good feed.’

One of the most pleasing plants at this time of year are the winter flowering heathers. They are so hardy, even after being almost flooded. They were literally under water for about a week.

Now they are in full flower and when the sun is out, you would think it was mid-summer.

Add to this a background of beautiful golden leaves of elaeagnus maculata aurea and the bold red bottle shapes on the berries of aucuba the garden looks great.

Trouble is that the grass is too wet to gather the remaining leaves.

Never mind, only three or four weeks and the snowdrops will be in bloom, and it will be light at 5pm on the last day of this month.

I wish you all a very happy new year.

TIP OF THE WEEK

Try to keep a gardening diary this year and make important notes such as when the first snowdrops appear and when the first crocus opens. In addition to this, make a note of when you spray plants to control pests or diseases or when a particularly awful disease such as potato blight strikes. If you do this it will help you prevent problems next year.