Sunday, 5 November 2006

B IS FOR ....................................

We have had our Bougainvillea for a few years now. It has always been a sad little thing sitting on the window sill and shedding every leaf if it was moved.
This year I decided "do or die" and popped it into a hanging basket and put it outside.

Sure enough every leaf dropped off and I was ready to send to plant heaven. I am so glad I didn't because suddenly new healthy leaves appeared and it has flourished ever since and flowered. I will have to bring it back in for the winter but I KNOW it will drop all its leaves again.

Our bottlebrush was new last year and I tucked it away in the shed last winter as I was not convinced of its hardiness. It has done quite well this with good brushes.

I must admit it is one of the plants that I would love to actually put in the ground but we just don't have the space so I am afraid it will have to continue living in a pot. I'm going to put it in a sheltered position this winter and see if it will come through the winter outside. With all the cannas I have to stow away shed space is at a premium and so will have to take a few risks.

Bidens is a fantastic hanging basket plant. It flowers and flowers, and if it starts to get a bit leggy just hack it back, give it a feed and it will soon be flowering away again.

Our Black Grass ( not really a grass, part of the lily family I think) is starting to outgrow its container so I have now moved it to the front garden and planted it direct into the soil. It's much sunnier out the front and hopefully next year we will have some flowers.

Begonias in baskets, begonias in tubs, begonias in the ground. They are so accommodating with a colour and form for every situation. Our hanging basket corms started out a few years ago about the size of a small doughnut. Now, after carefully drying them off and storing them frost free over the winter, I can JUST fit them into our 16" baskets. I have a feeling that next year I will have to try cutting them in half, giving them a good dusting of yellow sulphur and seeing how they do . I've never cut up begonia corms before so it will be a first.

The Lucky Bamboo we bought this year from one of the local DIY stores when we had one of our (alas too infrequent) outings. I know it will not be hardy enough to put outside but I am trying to slowly wean it off of plain water and getting some soil round the roots. So far so good!

Bacopa is another good basket plant. It seems to withstand quite cold temperatures and I'm going to have a go at overwintering this one n the shed this year. We usually have white ones but this year found this pale pink one. Very pretty it is to

We don't have enough room for more than one buddleia but if we had more space I would love to have 3 or 4 in different colours. This one has a slight scent and is a butterflies heaven. This year especially it has been smothered with butterflies and moths and with regularly deadheading and a bit of pruning. it has continued flowering all summer without getting too big for the garden.

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