Tag: plants

Kale

This week I planted out 40 Kale plants in the Batty Langley vegetable garden that have been quietly growing along in the greenhouse since September. We are trying three varieties, ‘Red Russian’, ‘Cavolo Nero’ and ‘Borecole – Green Curled Dwarf’.

Kale does well over the colder months, so will hopefully add some interest in the garden over the following darker months. As pigeons take a fancy to stripping the foliage off plants in the Brassica family, the precaution of placing net over the kale plants has been necessary to stop them becoming just tattered stems!

I have used two beds to grow the kale in, with 20 plants in each one, and to create a neat formal look the use of a tape measure was implemented to ensure even spacing.

The botanical name for kale is Brassica oleracea var. acephala, ‘Brassica’ being the genus consisting of cabbages, ‘oleracea’ meaning that the plant can be used as a vegetable and ‘acephala’ meaning ‘without a head’, i.e that the plant is loose leafed rather than with a head as many cultivated cabbages have. Kale has a long history as a food crop, being one of the most important green vegetables in Europe up until the end of the Middle Ages.

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Autumn Harvest: Apples, Potatoes, Vegetables

A day to celebrate all the good things nature has brought us…
Apples, veg and potato displays, excellent food, cake and bread sales, cob-oven cooking, foraging walks, storytelling from the Green Man, dancing with the Glorishears of Brummagem Molly Dancers, snap apple, apple printing and other family craft activities.

Bring a bottle to fill with your own juiced apples. Bring any apples from your own trees or have harvested from trees on common land.
A day of sharing, swopping recipes, sharing cooking secrets and making. 

Our apple harvest hasnt been great this year, but there is still plenty on common land trees. You are welcome to bring apples to share or to crush and take home in your own bottles…
(we cant guarantee your success, but lets have a go)


Join Dr Rob Tilling for a foraging walk around and outside the Gardens and outside the walls (1.30 ish for 40mins).
Food from Change Kitchen, our local jam and cake wizards and more.

Normal entry prices

(RHS and Garden Members £3.50)

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New plants from old

At this time of year a lot of plants are starting to go to seed, so it is a good time to go around and collect some of them so we can grow new plants for next year. Some can be sown straight away (as we are doing so in the greenhouses), others can be stored to be sown in the spring. We are also taking cuttings of some of the plants in the garden, and hopefully by next spring we will have lots of lovely plants to sell or plant back out in the garden.

We are trying seeds collected from plants including Alcea (hollyhock), Lychnis (rose campion), Lupin, Astrantia, Galega (Goat’s Rue), Poppy and Phlomis. Some, such as Lychnis, have already germinated, others we are still eagerly awaiting for signs of life! The interesting thing about seeds is the genetic variation that can occur, so often the resulting plants will show some variation from the parent, especially in the case of the hollyhocks, where the colour of the flowers on each plant will be a surprise!

Cuttings taken include Lavender, Rosemary, Jasmine and Philadelphus. These are all semi-ripe cuttings taken from this year’s growth, so the base is firm but with soft growth still on the tips. They are put in pots together, and then when roots start to show at the base of the pot, they will be separated and given their own pot to grow on. Unlike seeds, cuttings create clones of the parent plant, so you know exactly what you are going to get.

We look forward to seeing how our seeds and cuttings do, and in the meantime they have a trusty guardian to keep an eye on them!

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Cyclamen hederifolium

If you take a walk along the top of the Upper Wilderness to the far end and gaze underneath the large Yew tree, you will see the tiny but perfectly formed Cyclamen hederifolium coming into flower. A mixture of pink and white, the tiny flowers appear before the foliage, which as its name suggests is ivy-shaped (‘hederifolium’ coming from the Latin ‘Hedera’ for ivy, ‘folium’ refering to the leave shape). The common name ‘ivy-leaved cyclamen’ is self-explanatory, but its other common name ‘sowbread’ intrigued me. A bit of research concluded that it comes from the fact that ‘The root resembled a loaf and pigs were believed to enjoy eating it’.1  

Cyclamen coils

This plant originates in the Mediterranean, and was introduced into Britain around 1596, so would have been available in the early 18th century when the gardens were at their peak.

After the flowers have been pollinated, the stem coils around to take the seed heads closer to the ground, forming interesting little corkscrews underneath the flowers that you can see if you look closely. The reason they do this is not clear, but a possible theory is that ants may distribute the seeds further from the parent plant. All in all, a very interesting plant that is worth a closer look!

1. Campbell-Culver, M. 2001. Origins of plants: the people and the plants that shaped Britain. London: Headline Book Publishing.

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Rare Plants Fair

Another visit from some wonderful independent nurseries.

The Rare Plants Fair is organised by Teresa and Ian Moss who have taken the brand into its 23rd season. The seek out the best sources of plants from the many specialist growers and nurseries around the country. Many are based in remote locations, or may not be open regularly (or at all) to the public at their home sites. So the Rare Plant Fairs gather these together and decamp to beautiful gardens for a day of pleasurable buying, and drooling, over plants, grown with love.

We count ourselves blessed to be able to welcome the Fair again this year. Although we have struggled been without a professional Gardener in post for the last few months, our volunteers have been working overtime (if that is an appropriate category for volunteers) to get the Gardens ready for our fellow nursery friends.

Normal entry fees to the Gardens and the chance to buy some amazing well grown and unusual plants…Cafe and shop open as usual.

For a full list of visiting nurseries see here http://www.rareplantfair.co.uk/our-fairs/2017-castle-bromwich-hall-gardens/

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Invasion of the Giant Flowers – half term activities

Did you shrink or did the flowers just grow?

Wander amongst our beautiful towering plants over 4 metres tall – they’re crocheted!

This May half term join in the festival atmosphere with our Alice in Wonderland sized installation… All week from Bank Holiday Monday (29th May) through to Friday (June 2nd) we’ll also running family friendly activities around our flower theme.

Add a pompom flower to our woolly field and make some pom pom bees to fly amongst them.

Help us build giant bug hotel and learn how to make your own mini-beastie hotel at home. And why not construct a giant birds nest for the little ones to snuggle up in.

Little green fingers can also help us plant up our Jack and the Giant Beanstalk runner bean tunnel… plant now and come back to play in the tunnel over summer.

The giant flowers are here all week and weekend, the family activities are Monday to Friday.

Family Friendly sessions + entry to the Gardens £2 (for anyone over 5 years old)

Family Activities Annual Pass holders: FREE

NB Normal entry prices for non-family groups

 

Family Activities 12- 3pm Monday to Friday

Gardens open Saturday 27th – Sunday 4th

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Invasion of the Giant Flowers – half term activities

Did you shrink or did the flowers just grow?

Wander amongst our beautiful towering plants over 4 metres tall – they’re crocheted!

This May half term join in the festival atmosphere with our Alice in Wonderland sized installation… All week from Bank Holiday Monday (29th May) through to Friday (June 2nd) we’ll also running family friendly activities around our flower theme.

Add a pompom flower to our woolly field and make some pom pom bees to fly amongst them.

Help us build giant bug hotel and learn how to make your own mini-beastie hotel at home. And why not construct a giant birds nest for the little ones to snuggle up in.

Little green fingers can also help us plant up our Jack and the Giant Beanstalk runner bean tunnel… plant now and come back to play in the tunnel over summer.

The giant flowers are here all week and weekend, the family activities are Monday to Friday.

Family Friendly sessions + entry to the Gardens £2 (for anyone over 5 years old)

Family Activities Annual Pass holders: FREE

NB Normal entry prices for non-family groups

 

Family Activities 12- 3pm Monday to Friday

Gardens open Saturday 27th – Sunday 4th

Share

Invasion of the Giant Flowers – half term activities

Did you shrink or did the flowers just grow?

Wander amongst our beautiful towering plants over 4 metres tall – they’re crocheted!

This May half term join in the festival atmosphere with our Alice in Wonderland sized installation… All week from Bank Holiday Monday (29th May) through to Friday (June 2nd) we’ll also running family friendly activities around our flower theme.

Add a pompom flower to our woolly field and make some pom pom bees to fly amongst them.

Help us build giant bug hotel and learn how to make your own mini-beastie hotel at home. And why not construct a giant birds nest for the little ones to snuggle up in.

Little green fingers can also help us plant up our Jack and the Giant Beanstalk runner bean tunnel… plant now and come back to play in the tunnel over summer.

The giant flowers are here all week and weekend, the family activities are Monday to Friday.

Family Friendly sessions + entry to the Gardens £2 (for anyone over 5 years old)

Family Activities Annual Pass holders: FREE

NB Normal entry prices for non-family groups

 

Family Activities 12- 3pm Monday to Friday

Gardens open Saturday 27th – Sunday 4th

Share

Invasion of the Giant Flowers – half term activities

Did you shrink or did the flowers just grow?

Wander amongst our beautiful towering plants over 4 metres tall – they’re crocheted!

This May half term join in the festival atmosphere with our Alice in Wonderland sized installation… All week from Bank Holiday Monday (29th May) through to Friday (June 2nd) we’ll also running family friendly activities around our flower theme.

Add a pompom flower to our woolly field and make some pom pom bees to fly amongst them.

Help us build giant bug hotel and learn how to make your own mini-beastie hotel at home. And why not construct a giant birds nest for the little ones to snuggle up in.

Little green fingers can also help us plant up our Jack and the Giant Beanstalk runner bean tunnel… plant now and come back to play in the tunnel over summer.

The giant flowers are here all week and weekend, the family activities are Monday to Friday.

Family Friendly sessions + entry to the Gardens £2 (for anyone over 5 years old)

Family Activities Annual Pass holders: FREE

NB Normal entry prices for non-family groups

 

Family Activities 12- 3pm Monday to Friday

Gardens open Saturday 27th – Sunday 4th

Share

Invasion of the Giant Flowers – half term activities

Did you shrink or did the flowers just grow?

Wander amongst our beautiful towering plants over 4 metres tall – they’re crocheted!

This May half term join in the festival atmosphere with our Alice in Wonderland sized installation… All week from Bank Holiday Monday (29th May) through to Friday (June 2nd) we’ll also running family friendly activities around our flower theme.

Add a pompom flower to our woolly field and make some pom pom bees to fly amongst them.

Help us build giant bug hotel and learn how to make your own mini-beastie hotel at home. And why not construct a giant birds nest for the little ones to snuggle up in.

Little green fingers can also help us plant up our Jack and the Giant Beanstalk runner bean tunnel… plant now and come back to play in the tunnel over summer.

The giant flowers are here all week and weekend, the family activities are Monday to Friday.

Family Friendly sessions + entry to the Gardens £2 (for anyone over 5 years old)

Family Activities Annual Pass holders: FREE

NB Normal entry prices for non-family groups

 

Family Activities 12- 3pm Monday to Friday

Gardens open Saturday 27th – Sunday 4th

Share