Height: 30 inch See Rudbeckia hirta Green Eyes in miruku's Garden here.
Unique, with pointed yellow petals and olive green eye. Well branched, good for cutting. Sowing instructions: Sow at 25-30C in a good seed compost. Sow 1cm deep in soil and keep the soil damp but not wet. Germination usually takes 5-14 days. Place under full sun.
The slender stems and leaves of immature celery plants can be grown as a cutting herb. Use just a few leaves instead of mature celery stems to flavour soups and stews or use in salads and garnishes. Grow some cutting celery on the windowsill for a constant supply of tasty fresh young leaves. Height: 20cm (8"). Spread: 15cm (6").
Sow seeds thinly into drills at a depth of 1cm (½") deep and 15cm (6") apart, on the surface of a free draining, moist seed compost. Germination usually takes up to 21 days. Make regular sowings for a successional harvest.
Water celery plants frequently, particularly during hot dry periods. Harvest sprigs of celery leaves as and when required to flavour soups, stews and salads. Cutting Celery should be cut regularly to promote fresh growth.
See Hollyhock Charter's Double Icicles in miruku's Gardenhere.
A classic cottage Hollyhock. Spectacular, large, crystal white, fully double, powder-puff blooms grace tall strong stems. Adds height and a touch of style to the back of perennial or cottage garden borders. Especially effective when planted in groups.
Sow seeds onto the surface of a good, free-draining, damp, seed compost. Cover with a very fine sprinkling of compost. Germination usually takes 14-21 days. Do not exclude light as this helps germination.
Transplant seedlings when large enough to handle into trays or 7.5cm (3in) pots.
Prefers a well cultivated soil in a sheltered position.
This magnificent strain, with fully double flowers of rich apricot on tall imposing spikes of blooms, gives an air of stately splendour. One of the finest background plants for the border and is equally effective when grown in small groups. Height 1.5-2m (5-6ft).
Sow on the surface of a good seed compost. Make sure the compost is moist but not wet until after germination which usually takes 12-21 days. Do not exclude light which is beneficial to germination.
Transplant when large enough to handle into 7.5cm (3in) pots. Plant out 38cm (15in) apart in well cultivated garden soil and some shelter.
Seeds origin: UK Watermelon 'Blacktail Mountain', each weighing up to 5kgs (11lbs), have dark green skins with juicy, crunchy scarlet flesh. Height and spread: 4m (13'). Sowing instructions: Sow melon seed at a depth of 1cm (½") in free-draining, seed sowing compost. Germination takes 5-7 days. Protect the emerging seedlings from direct sunlight to avoid scorching. Maintain a temperature of 25c (77F) and keep the compost barely moist to avoid stem rot. Growing instructions: Plant in single rows at a distance of 1m (39") apart leaving 2m (6') between rows. Water well after planting until melons are fully established. Aftercare: Watermelon plants should be allowed to spread flat on the ground. Pinch out the growing point after 5 leaves have formed to encourage lateral shoots to develop. Select 4 vigorous laterals and train these to 6 leaf stage, before pinching out each growing tip. Remove any other laterals. Fruiting sub laterals will then form on each stem. Water melon plants regularly, particularly as the flowers develop, and provide a liquid feed every 10-14 days. Shade plants from strong direct sunlight. As the flowers develop, select 4 or 5 female flowers on each plant and hand pollinate them by placing a male flower inside each female bloom. Female melon flowers are identified by a swollen part at the base of the bloom. Once fruit has set remove any further flowers to allow the fruits to develop. Harvest watermelons when they produce a hollow sound when tapped.
Ideal for: Kitchen garden, patio Position: Full sun
Dwarf French Bean 'Purple Teepee' produces 15cm (6") long pods that are stringless and slender, with that special flavoursome zing that many vegetable growers agree only comes from the purple podded types. This superb variety bears its pods above the main foliage for easier picking and less damage from soil splash. Height: 45cm (18"). Spread: 30cm (12").
Sowing instructions: Sow 2 bean seeds per station at a depth of 5cm (2") and a distance of 23cm (9") apart. Plant dwarf beans in rows that are 45cm (18") apart.
Aftercare: When growing beans, hoe between plants often and water regularly. Provide a compost mulch around the base of bean plants to combat dry periods. For the best crops harvest beans regularly while the pods are still young.
Carrot 'Nantes 2' produces blunt tipped, medium length roots of about 15cm (6") long. This virtually coreless variety has a rich orange colour and sweet crunchy taste. Height: 30cm (12"). Spread: 15cm (6"). Sowing instructions: Sow carrot seeds thinly at a depth of 1cm (½in) in drills 30cm (12") apart. Germination will take 10 to 20 days. When large enough to handle, thin out the seedlings within each row to 10cm (4in) apart. Where space is limited, growing carrots in containers will also produce a worthwhile crop. Aftercare: Water well to encourage germination. Once germinated, carrots should be watered only when necessary to keep the soil moist as excessive water may encourage leaf growth instead of roots. During growth, the carrot roots may be earthed up to prevent green crowns developing.
Height: 50cm See Purple Gomphrena in miruku's Gardenhere.
Also known as Globe Amaranth, Globe Flower.
Compact and colourful, Gomphrena produces globular flower heads that brighten the garden and are great for fresh-cut and dried flora arrangements. Excellent choice for dry and sunny locations.
Sowing instructions: Cover seed with a layer of 1-2 cm soil and water. Germination takes 10-14 days. Aftercare: Transplant seedlings when large enough to handle into bigger pot. They will bloom continuously if cut regularly.
Seeds origin: miruku's Garden Germination: Easy Aftercare: Easy Ideal for: Borders, containers Height: 3-4 feet See more Cosmos Brightness Mixed in miruku's Garden here and here. Possibly the most free-flowering cosmos of this type. Plants are covered with flowers in a delightful mixture of gold, lemon and orange. Spectacular when planted towards the front of annual borders or in containers. Sowing instructions: Sow seeds 2 cm deep in a good, free-draining, damp, seed compost. Place at a temperature of 25-30. Germination usually takes 7-14 days. Growing instructions: Full sun. Deadhead for continuous blooming.
Seeds origin: miruku's Garden Special features: Produce cotton Ideal for: Children Sun exposure: Full sun Height: 90cm Spread: 30cm See school kids' visit to see cotton plant in miruku's Garden here. Wonderful and fun plant to grow. This plant is quite a "movie"! The first flowers that appear are white, then they change to yellow-ish, then to a slight-pink. Once pollinated you'll witness the closed boll, which is green, and as it ripens it'll turn dark. Soon, the cotton itself will declare and pop, or puff(!), from the boll. A wonderful plant to watch through all it's stages! Sowing instruction: Soak seeds overnight before sowing in a good compost, 1" deep. Can be grown directly in the ground or in containers. Do not exclude light as this helps germination. Germination takes 7-14 days. Aftercare: Place under full sun and water the plant well. Need stake to support once boll is developed.
Height: 6 feet See Morning Glory Lazy Luxe in miruku's Garden here.
Possibly the best-ever mixture of Morning Glory! Ten fabulous colours especially selected to all flower at a similar time, creating an eye-catching summer display. An easy-to-grow and vigorous climber, flowering all year long.
Soak seeds overnight in tepid water before sowing. Sow seed, 6mm (1/8in) deep in pots or trays of soil-based potting mix and cover seeds with a layer of compost or vermiculite. Keep at a temperature between 20-25C (68-77F). After sowing, do not exclude light as this helps germination. Keep the surface of the compost moist but not waterlogged; germination will usually take 7-30 days.
When large enough to handle, transplant seedlings into 7.5cm (3in) pots or trays.
Height: 6 feet See Morning Glory Carnevale di Venezia in miruku's Garden here.
A vigorous climber producing masses of spectacular, striped blue and pink blooms with intricate markings, as if painted individually. Flowers all summer, transforming your garden with all the dazzling colours of the Venice Carnival. Twining climber to 2m (6ft).
Sow seed on the surface of a free-draining, damp, seed compost and cover with a layer of compost, 6mm deep. Place at a temperature of 20-25C (68-77F) until after germination which takes 10-21 days. Do not exclude light as this helps germination.
Transplant seedlings when large enough to handle 30cm (12in) apart. For pot plants, plant into loam-based soil in 20cm (8in) pots. Grow on with plenty of light, but shade from direct sun.
Seeds origin: UK Germination: Easy Aftercare: Easy Ideal for: Basket, bedding, borders, children, containers Special features: Edible flowers Height: 8 feet See Nasturtium Climbing Mixed in miruku's Garden here. These long-flowering vigorous climbing plants look spectacular when trained over walls, fences and hedges. They lack tendrils, but will scramble happily over trellis work, sheds, fences etc. Sowing instructions: Sow outdoors where they are to flower. Prepare the ground well and rake to a fine tilth before sowing. Sow 20mm (¾in) deep, in rows 30cm (12in) apart. 20-29C (68-86F). Growing instructions: They flower most freely in poor dryish soils. Kitchen notes: The leaves taste like watercress, the flowers add a spicy touch to salads and the green seeds can be chopped and used with parsley as a garnish or made into a substitute for capers.
Seeds origin: UK Germination: Easy Aftercare: Easy Ideal for: Basket, bedding, borders, children, containers Special features: Edible flowers Height: 9 inches Deep velvety crimson flowers against dark foliage. Sowing instructions: Sow outdoors where they are to flower. Prepare the ground well and rake to a fine tilth before sowing. Sow 20mm (¾in) deep, in rows 30cm (12in) apart. 20-29C (68-86F). Growing instructions: Thin out to 6in (15cm) apart when the seedlings are large enough to handle. Kitchen notes: The leaves taste like watercress, the flowers add a spicy touch to salads and the green seeds can be chopped and used with parsley as a garnish or made into a substitute for capers.
This cordon variety produces blocky, firm, thick walled, shiny yellow fruits, each weighing up to 200g (7oz). The central core is easily removed making this one of the best beefsteak tomato varieties for stuffing and baking. Fruits of Tomato 'Yellow Stuffer' will keep up to 4 weeks in the refrigerator. An outstanding variety that is well suited to both indoor and outdoor cultivation. Height: 200cm (79"). Spread: 50cm (20").
Sow seeds on the surface of a good, free-draining, damp, seed sowing mix and cover with a fine sprinkling of compost or vermiculite. Germination takes 7-14 days. When seedlings gain 2 true leaves, transplant into individual 7.5cm (3") pots of compost.
Choose a sheltered position in full sun on fertile, reliably moist, well drained soil, and transplant at a distance of 60cm (24") apart. Drive a (5') cane into the soil adjacent to each plant to support them as they grow, and tie each main stem to its support with soft garden twine.
Water tomato plants frequently, to keep the compost evenly moist. Feed tomatoes regularly with a high potash plant food once the first truss of fruit has formed. Companion planting: Try growing tomatoes with French marigolds to deter whitefly, and basil, chivesa or mint to deter aphids and other pests.
Seeds origin: Australia Vegetable Crops in: 70-75 days See Cucumber Long White in miruku's Garden here and here. Not just a novelty cucumber. The non bitter, tender skin of Cucumber Long White is very thin and means peeling is not necessary. The firm flesh Is sweet and juicy, with a pleasant tang. Cucumber Long White is a good cropper which will add colour to your salads. Sowing instructions: Germinate at 20-30C (68-86F) on the surface of a good free draining, damp seed compost. Aftercare: Train along wire, allowing the main shoot to reach the tip. Pinch out growing point and allow two shoots to trail downwards. Keep moist but not wet. Apply shading as required and provide a humid atmosphere by regularly spraying or damping down pathways. Regular picking will encourage further fruiting.
Crisp, crunchy, mild and sweet. Radish French Breakfast 3 is ideal for decoration - make small uneven cuts around the outside of the radish, place in iced water and it will open up into floral shapes.
Radishes grow well in most soils, but prefer rich, moist free draining soils. Sow seeds very thinly 1cm (½in) deep in drills 15cm (6in) apart.
Thin out the seedlings to 3-5cm apart.
Water during dry spells. As radishes grow so fast and use less of the soil's goodness, use them totally as a catch crop with other slower maturing produce. Harvest as soon as the roots reach reasonable size, if left too long they will become hot and woody.
Radishes are rich in Vitamin C and potassium and contain sulphur compounds.