Abbey Gardens viewed from the Webcam

Seed Sunday

Coming along nicely Aquilegia
Coming along nicely Aquilegia

We made a very productive start to the Harvest Garden year on Sunday with the support of Chiltern Seeds who very kindly provided us with masses of free veg. and flower seeds. The list below barely made a dent on our supplies SO if you would like to bring on some seedlings at home to plant out in our Harvest Garden early June email us your address and I'll post you some out ... most requests can probably be supplied.

Also big thanks to Louise Joly for all her help and advice with the planting ... she's very worried about lots of 'leggy' seedlings coming back so email support may be available for the concerned!

Whilst waiting for our lovely new WWTHB website and plant data-base I will have to make do with blogging a list of our efforts. More pictures for the curious on Flickr.

Cath French: Chrysanthemum, Annual carinatum 'Merry Mixture'

Torange Khonsari: Clarkia elegans Variety
Rudbeckia hirta ‘Goldilocks’,
Courgette ‘Black Beauty Dark Fog’
Pumpkin 'Rouge Vif d'Etampes' (Heirloom Variety)

Ali & Ozzadeh Tajalli:
Leek 'Musselburgh' (Heirloom Variety)
Sweet corn Northern Xtra Sweet
Dwarf French Beans
Beetroot 'Golden'
Parsley 'Champion Moss Curled'

Tim French: Kale or Borecole 'Dwarf Green Curled' (Heirloom Variety)

Dasha French: (Kohl Rabi apparently v. big in CZ!)
Kohl Rabi 'Delicacy Purple'
Kohl Rabi 'Delicacy White'

Liugi Callegari: Calendula officinalis 'Pacific Beauty' Mixed

Louis French: Broccoli 'Early Romanesco' (Heirloom Variety)

Jack Wyer & Chris Crook: Nigella damascena flore pleno Full Double, Mixed Colours

Nikki Fowler:
Rhubarb Chard/Ruby Chard
Courgette 'All Green Bush'

Andreas Lang:
Bean, Dwarf French ‘Golden Teepee’
Cosmos bipinnatus 'Dazzler'
Cosmos sulphureus 'Crest Lemon'
Beetroot Leaf (Bull's Blood) 'Blood Red'

Mr & Mrs Duke (Cath’s Mum & Dad):
Basil 'Fino Verde'
Basil 'Spicy Globe'
Rudbeckia hirta 'Irish Eyes'
Kale or Borecole ‘Nero de Toscana’ (Heirloom Variety)
Scabiosa Mixed Giant Hybrids
Nicotiana affinis
Lavatera trimestris 'Mont Blanc'

Helen Dickinson:
Broccoli 'Nine Star Perennial' (Heirloom Variety)
Vegetable Spaghetti Heirloom Variety

Helena price:
Beetroot 'Boltardy'
Pumpkin ‘Atlantic Giant’

Lydia Thornley:
Basil, Lemon
Gourd ‘Jack be Little’
Salvia farinacea 'Victoria Blue'

Jim Stone: Tropaeolum majus 'Glorious Gleam' Double hybrids
Callendula officinalis

Ashley McCormick & Alex:
Cosmos (Lidl finest!)
More Sweetcorn
Squash (type TBC)

Also potted up Aquilegia (mixed unknown - lots of) Brussels Sprout 'Evesham special' & Cauliflower 'All year round' as seen opposite.

Start of the season ...

Lawrence & his seeds ...
Lawrence & his seeds ...

Apparently he keeps watching the tray!

We had an good meeting to sow some seeds at the site last weekend, followed by an excellent walk around the Three Mills Loop (thanks Gordon). It would be great to see more new potential members for the Friends of Abbey Gardens at our next meet up, so if you're in the East End of London and fancy cultivating part of an amazing new plot do come along:

Become a Friend of Abbey Gardens

FOAG (Friends of Abbey Gardens) will meet onsite on Sunday 26 April from 11.30am.

This meeting will begin with a progress update from me (!) and a chance to learn about gardening at Abbey Gardens. Information about the history of the site and the activities at the garden over the coming months will be covered. This will be followed by a hands on session planting trays of seeds to grow on at home and bring back to the garden in June.
Weather permitting the meeting will be followed by a picnic. Feel free to bring some food along, refreshments will be available.

New members are very welcome to join the group at this session. Abbey Gardens is directly opposite Bakers Row, E15 3NF.

This event has been supported by “Chiltern Seeds”.

RIP Apple Tree?

Emergency apple tree package
Emergency apple tree package

There is currently one remaining apple tree on the site, and although it's not a fancy variety (it's a dark red form of JONAGOLD probably the form known as JONAGORED) everyone locally (including us!) has become very fond of it. Sadly through the remediation report for the site we've been advised not to eat the fruit as the tree's roots go down into the soil on site which has been found to be polluted.

As the cost of testing the actual fruit will be about £2000 this seems to much to risk (as we may well be told not to eat the apples) and it seems very likely that the tree will have to be removed when the site is remediated next month.

HOWEVER in a last minute dash to try and create something of a 'family legacy' for the tree Karen and I contacted Brogdale (the fruit tree experts) to see if it was too late to try and graft some scions from our apple onto new root stock and make some new trees for the garden. Having thought we might try this 'at home' we were advised by the super helpful David Morris that grafting this late in the year is quite an art and that we should immediately package up the scions we'd cut (which we were keeping in my fridge to hold growth back!) and send them to Brogdale where he would try to work with them.

So fingers crossed, they arrived last week and David thinks they might still work ... all may not be lost!

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