This weeks Six on Saturday highlights what’s new in the garden as well as some of my favourites.
1 – Cyphomandra corymbiflora
The hardy tamarillo (I’m yet to test this) belongs to the Solanaceae family and can apparently withstand temperatures as low as -10°C. The flowers are just starting to open and should be followed by edible fruits.
2 – French Bean ‘Cobra’
Sown in late June and planted out in a newly created raised bed, I’ve been really impressed with the speed of growth of these beans which are now over 2m tall and have reached the tops of the canes. The first flowers have opened this week and I’m already looking forward to my first harvest
3 – Sunflower ‘Soraya’
I’ve always loved sunflowers and enjoy trying out new varieties. Helianthus annuus ‘Soraya’ is a branching sunflower that produces tangerine-orange flowers up to 15cm across. The first flowers are just starting to open and are ideal for cutting though I’m planning on leaving them for the bees to enjoy.
4 – Antirrhinum
Sometimes it’s not the species or variety that’s important but rather the provenance of a plant. In this case I grew these Antirrhinum from the seeds of plants that grew in my partner’s parent’s back garden, so for that reason alone they are special and will hopefully be with us for many years to come.
5 – Birdhouse Gourd
When I saw mention of these on Twitter I just had to try my hand at growing them. In my usual fashion I had no idea where I was going to plant them and so this, the only plant to have germinated is still in the greenhouse and taking it over at an alarming rate. The delicate looking male flowers are an attractive white rather than the usual yellow of curcubits, I missed the females, they opened and closed whilst I was out, I did however intervene just to be sure that they had the best chance of being fertilised and fingers-crossed it’s worked.
6 – Nicotiana glauca
My first introduction to the Tree Tobacco was in Greece where it has become naturalised and grows wild by roadsides and in dried up riverbeds. When I returned to the UK I grew it for several years before losing it one winter. This plant is from Ulting Wick and hopefully I will be able to get it through a couple more winters and see it achieve 2m or more.