Thursday, 27 August 2009

Acorn Gathering

Its a good time of the year to go and gather some acorns. Got to get there early or the squirrels with munch them all.

I need another 2 oaks for the collection. Ive tried to select acorns from the trees with the smaller leaves - as i have noticed a huge variation in leaf size of wild tree and with some luck i will get a smaller one.

I noticed some strange "things" hanging off the oaks. Turns out to be Knopper gall - a pest to oak trees that arrived in the 60's. A gall wasp lays an egg in the acorns and the critters causes them to deform.

There is also a nice stand of Scots pines there so i may go back in the winter when the brambles have died down and see if there are any little ones i can gather.

I'm hoping the Scots pine i have develops this lovely orange bark.

Thursday, 20 August 2009


Not a very native or English plant - but it does have a long history of cultivation in England as orangeries were built and citrus ( and other exotic species ) were grown as a symbol of prestige. And lets not forget who likes marmalade the most. They are sold at most of the local nurseries with fruit on them and are very pretty little things. I bought this one cause it looked cute 3 years ago. They aren't locally grown stock either - but are grafts from dutch suppliers.

Quite hard to grow as well. The cold winter here can really set them back a long way - definitely a conservatory plant. They feed heavily during the summer so it gets full strength citrus fertiliser once a week.

The poor thing really didn't like the cold much - as u can tell from the color.

I took a bit of a risk and repotted it while it was dormant and in poor shape. Its in an Akadama and bark mix. It seems very comfortable in this soil and once the roots had made themselves at home it has gone a lovely deep green again and put out a lot of new growth.

As with most plants - it has taken many months to get comfortable in the new pot. Id estimate 6 months before it became really vigorous.

They are fantastic in a Gin & Tonic - well worth cultivating.