You’ll be bowled over by this lettuce variety

Lovely leaves to contribute to your seven a day.
Lovely leaves to contribute to your seven a day.
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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I am delighted to read that Southsea Greenhouse is working with the city council organizing the city entry into South and South East in Bloom.

Portsmouth won Britain In Bloom in the year 2000 and it would be wonderful to win again.

When we won I was over the moon because it was my life-long ambition and I will never forget the presentation of the trophy at Durham Cathedral when Roger Young and I were praised by the Duchess of Northumberland. I was so excited, I kissed her!

Britain In Bloom was all about flowers in those days but things have changed. 
Organizers, the Royal Horticultural Society, are interested in much more.

For example, wild flowers, sustainable planting, community effort, no litter, no fly tipping and vegetables, which in my mind represent the sustainable requirement.

I hope you are still reading this because we can all take part in Britain In Bloom. Keep an eye out for the entry forms in The News.

Let’s give the judges a bit of a surprise when they visit your garden!

Instead of using lobelia, dwarf French marigolds or ageratum as an edging to the flower border, why not grow some quick growing plants that are edible?

Crazy idea, but everyone I know loves fresh vegetables and salads which are great if you need to keep slim and active.

Have a go at this...

Alongside the path or lawn at the edge of the flower bed, plant a single plant of lettuce Salad Bowl, then plant another a foot away. 
Repeat this all along the edge of the border.

The leaves of this lettuce are curly and as they grow, a colander is taken out into the garden and a few leaves are cut off each plant. Put into the colander, wash them and they’re ready to be eaten all summer.

The space between the lettuces will be used to grow beetroot. These are sown four inches apart, planting three or four seeds all along the border in between the lettuces.

The leaves are beautiful, dark green with deep red veins.

The leaves are cut off for salad using scissors, a few here and there, and the beetroots themselves are thinned out once the roots are the size of a two pence piece, leaving others to swell.

Once they are the size of a golf ball it will be autumn and they will provide a 
welcome vegetable for winter.

Have you tried them as part of a roast?

No, you haven’t lived!