🌼 Container Garden Update

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Coleus spp.
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Hollyhock
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Pelargonia tempra

I tried growing Coleus from seeds this year but they refused to grow beyond the cotyledons and I finally gave up on them a couple of weeks ago. I ordered some plug plants from an eBay seller and they arrived this week. I’m not sure what varieties they are yet, but I understand them to be really fast growers that will also make attractive houseplants during the colder months.

Shout out to my Hollyhock (Alcea chaters spp.) that is growing like the fabled beanstalk! It’s about 5 feet tall now and I’m hoping it will burst into flower any time soon. The ‘Chaters double’ variety - which I think this is - is bred form A. rosea. No idea what colour the flowers are going to be, so I’m looking forward to being surprised. 😁

My Pelargonia are finally flowering! I have ‘Tempra Rose and Tempra Red’ varieties. They’re a type of Geranium I would guess, based on their leaf shapes and flowers (Wikipedia confirms this). You can see there are loads of flower buds scattered amongst them both, so they should be a riot of pink and red pretty soon.

I’ve since seen Gardener’s World 2022 episode 5 and from that I understand that the concensus seems to be that Geranium is reserved for the hardy, wild Geranium varieties, and Pelargonium is used for the indoor varieties.

Generally, everything is ticking along nicely save for the expected increase in watering requirements. The main downside of container gardening is that you really need to keep on top of hydration in the warmer months as evaporation from the warm compost and the growing demands go up.

The containers with the Dianthus are awash with pinks and reds. I don’t think they flowered much last year, but I’ve been feeding everything well recently, and keeping up with watering. That probably makes a huge difference. The wall planters have in them the pansies and violets that are still soldiering on as well as Calibrachoa ‘Black Cherry’ (very /r/PlantGoths!), Petunias ‘Lime’ and Tumbelina. All of them are trailing varieties, so they’re spilling over the containers in a nice cascade.

On the fruit front, gooseberries continue to grow but they’re still too hard to eat yet. They’re about the size of an index fingernail currently. They’ll possibly double in size before they’re ripe. The raspberry canes are doing their thing. I ate over half a dozen raspberries this morning before I remembered to photograph them. No worries, there will be more. The strawberries in the grow bags seem to have finished with the current rash of flowering so maybe they will produce fruit soon. They look very healthy.

Watch this space for more updates.