Wednesday, 21 August 2013



Cardinal Climber

I have tried several seed varieties sourced from the USA, both the West Coast and the East Coast. 
Its fun to get seeds from other countries, if you can. although of course there are restrictions of actually bringing in plants, except from countries in the EU

Mortgage Lifter


The most successful tomato plant I have this year is called Mortgage Lifter (Burpee Heirlooms).  It is huge, and bears a lot of fruit - it tastes yummy as well, a beefsteak variety.  Also I like the yellow one in the photograph (probably Golden Sunburst) and the long green sausage-shaped (Green Sausage) one is nice and juicy but not very sweet.  

Some Heritage tomatoes

I also grew Chocolate Cherry, (see the photograph) but it is just the same as the British 'Small Chocolate Cherry' which I also grew.  Nice though, and again, lots of fruit on them.

Although Bloody Butcher (I liked the name) also Burpee Heirloom, is a good plain red, it is nothing out of this world flavour-wise.


The flower is called Cardinal Climber, and though not very 'showy' it has a certain shy charm!  It is about 1 inch across, or less.  It cannot be said to be very impressive in its impact, but I like the pretty leaves too.

Cardinal Climber

I grow it up a shrub, sharing space with Morning Glory, which at this time has refused to flower, although the Morning Glory flowers in another part of the garden.  According to some info I read 'humming birds can't leave it alone', so there you go, you humming bird lovers!  

I have not noticed much interest from local insect life, or from birds, come to that.


The climbing bean plants are still producing lots of lovely beans.  A triumph is the long purple ones, with an Italian name, Trionfo Violetto (Burpee Heirlooms).  They seem to do OK despite the heat and lack of sun, while my best-of-British runner beans have got the sulks.


What a mouthfull!

Cucuzzi Caravazzi

Do you see these cucuzzi!?  Seeds from The Chase C Hart Seed C. I have got some huge summer squash  on my three plants.  The Cucuzzi Caravazzi  plants themselves are pretty gigantic and climbing, with long tendrils and with small white flowers unlike courgette (zucchini).  It is apparently of the same family though. They cook up nicely and I mix them in the pan with ordinary courgette (zuccini).

The snails like browsing on the outside of the cucuzzi, so I cannot get a good, unblemished example to put in the next Annual Flower Show, at my Allotment Society (MAGA), which is  on Saturday, 7 September.  Pity, as I thought there might be a class for unusual vegetables.


My best basil plants have been consistently from Italian packs of seeds, and you get a huge quantity of seeds which seem to last for years.  First, though, go to Italy. Or here in the UK you can often buy  seeds, with the name of Franchi, or Seeds of Italy though they work out much more expensive than buying them in their home territory.  

Lidl sells seeds, which may or may not come from Europe.  I am trying their gherkins this year.  If you miss one, you get a sort of gherkin marrow.


My dill from my pack of Dill 'Mammoth'  (Livingston Seeds) was a bit of a flop, or at least less of a mammoth - The seeds did not grow very big plants, but maybe I did not give them enough TLC.  Very disappointing.


A big disappointment was Radish Watermelon (The Chase C Hart Seed Co.)  The radish I grew next to them was a British one, called Annabel, and that was excellent, but poor old Watermelon did not manage one white-with-pink-inside radish.  A flop.

I grew some plants of Armenian Cucumber (Livingston Seed Co) but nothing doing - one plant germinated and when planted out,  it kicked up its heels and died on me.

Also disappointing was Squash Genovese, (bush habit), the plants died after producing just a couple of squash, and the Early Prolific Straightneck, which is yellow and still producing, is far from prolific, and a lot of the squashes have rotten ends.


The local garden centre is now selling all their varieties of seeds for half-price. That means I have to be very firm with myself and not buy a whole lot more!  I have got lots left over as it is.

And if you wait even longer, they sell seeds for 50p a packet. That's a huge saving especially on F1 seeds, which can be £3 a pack, more or less.

Seeds can usually be sent to the UK from abroad.  Also plants bought on trips to the EU are now permitted into the country.  A friendly neighbour on the allotments regularly brings in lovely healthy plants from Slovenia, where his family live.  You should see the size of his kohl rabi this year!

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