Teddy Bear Sunflower
Teddy Bear Sunflower

These Teddy Bear sunflowers have done really well this year. We have already taken at least four cuttings from the 4 or 5 plants we have. It seems the more you pick, the more flower heads follow on.

They work well mixed with one or two other varieties of sunflower.

They certainly add a really bright cheer to any dull corner.

tomato costoluto fiorentino
Tomato Costoluto Fiorentino

Of all the dozen or more varieties of tomatoes we have grown this year at Garden Posts, my favourite by far in terms of looks, is definitely the Costoluto Fiorentino. Whilst it may not have the deepest flavour, it just looks fantastic both on the plant and in any dish.

brown beetle
Beetle – Donacia Genus (see comment below)

We saw this large golden brown beetle sat on some cow parsley alongside the River Thames yesterday.

I’m not entirely sure which particular species it is but I am guessing it’s a Agonum Marginatum beetle. Edit: I have subsequent been informed (see comments below) it’s more likely to be one of the Donacia genus as Agonum are ground runners.

mayfly on bridge

Mayflies along the River Thames

On a stroll along the River Thames between Shiplake and Wargrave today, the mayflies were out in force. Doing thier thing of hovering up, dropping back down and repeating non stop, no doubt in search of a mate to complete their short life cycle.

mayfly river thames


sun flower growing competitionline

..and so the annual Garden Posts Sunflower growing competition commences.

Who will grow the tallest Sunflower this year?

cow parsley
Cow Parsley – Anthriscus Sylvestris

Cow Parsley growing in the dappled sunshine in the hedgerows of England at this time of year is as good as any cultivated flower in my opinion.

bean shoot eaten

An uninvited guest has been eating bean shoots in my greenhouse shortly after the seeds have germinated.

This is the third case of the missing shoot and the culprit has yet to be identified, however, as soon as he or she is caught in the act, justice will be served swiftly.

bee on wild strawberries


Here we are on a relativity cold and damp May day and the bees are busying away preparing the wild strawberries.

Judging by the number of flowers, I think we could be in for a bumper crop this year.

Here’s to thinking of a bowl full of wild strawberries and cream and maybe even a glass of something fizzy.

bees on wild strawberries


Tomatillio – Physalis Philadelphica

Last year I had some great results growing cucamelon which were seeds from the James Wong’s Homegrown Revolution seed collection, so I thought I would try some more of his unusual seeds this year.

This is a first for me – growing Tomatillo. I sowed the seeds in individual seed pods using John Innes seed compost and popped them in a heated propagator in the greenhouse.

As you can see, the seeds all germinated nicely, however, I suspect I was a little slow in getting them out of the propagator and into more natural light. They have shot a little tall, searching out more light, than I would have liked.

My plan is to do what I would do with normal tomatoes and plant them deep when I plant them on.

Wish me luck.

cape gooseberry
Growing Cape Gooseberry (Physalis Peruviana)

Cape Gooseberry is the fruit of the Physalis Peruviana plant. The fruit is sometimes called Inca Berry, Aztec Berry, Golden Berry and a number of other things around the world.

I sowed the seeds back in early March, about 10mm deep using John Innes Seed Compost in individual pods, then placed them in a heated propagator in the greenhouse.

cape gooseberry seedlings
Cape Gooseberry Seeds & Seedlings

Every seed germinated nicely and have been growing nicely in the greenhouse ever since.

cape gooseberry seedlings 2
Cape Gooseberry Seedlings

As the seedlings are now about 3 – 4 inches tall, I decided it was time to pot them on.

I potted them on into individual pots using John Innes No.1 and they are back in the unheated greenhouse growing nicely.

potted on cape gooseberry
Physalis Peruviana Plants

I anticipate planting them out into grow bags or individual 30cm pots later in May.