Monday, 5 October 2009

Spiraclimb at the National Trust

Last month was an exciting one for Spiraclimb as we made our first delivery since becoming approved suppliers for the National Trust. This means that hopefully in 2010, Spiraclimb will be much more widely available through their national chain of plant shops.

Appropriately enough it was a local garden, Trelissick, that placed the first National Trust order and the regional paper, the Western Morning News, sent a reporter along to record the event. The plant center manager, John Gallagher, very helpfully planted up a tall planter using the sample we had sent him so that the photographer had a plant on a Spiraclimb to photograph!

In addition, as you can see, he took some pictures of the Spiraclimb in its packaging.

The delivery represents a new and exciting phase for the company. As a small Cornish company with a single product, to be able to supply a national chain (and in doing so raise money for the National Trust's valuable work) is an excellent opportunity and we hope that in doing so more gardeners will discover and enjoy growing with Spiraclimb.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Getting some winter colour

As I find my feet in the new garden, the first job has been to get some winter colour into some new tubs. For this autumn/winter I have gone for a mix of flower and foliage which I hope will see me through and bring a touch of colour as the days become grayer - and shorter.

I picked up a lovely Forsythia bush in our local town fair and this warranted the purchase of a "Long Tom" Terracotta pot from the local garden center to set it off. This will bring a burst of colour in the spring but until then some very attractive violas have been added around the base.

In the round tubs I went for a matching display of a lively green small evergreen with cyclamen (nice variegated foliage when the flowers go) and winter pansies.

To draw the eye away from a long drain grill I have set out a row of window boxes combining violas, pansies and two variegated ivies. When the summer annuals finally die off other tubs will be replanted with bulbs underneath and something creative on top - possibly an evergreen tub and at that point I may look into some winter Spiraclimb cover.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Spiraclimb on Bonanzle

Readers in the USA can now order Spiraclimb via Bonanzle.

Visit Spiraclimb on Bonanzle

Monday, 14 September 2009

The New Garden

After nearly a month and despite quite a bit of "inside the house" stuff to sort out, the new garden is looking very nice. We managed to salvage quite a few bedding plants and transfer them into tubs where they have flourished. The Spiraclimb plants suffered terribly in the old location and so did not make the move. The Spiraclimb have been put into storage until the spring when the greenhouse will hopefully begin to produce a new range and selection of climbers which will be added to the patio tubs in due course.

Picture (above) shows some of the old garden's bedding plants which, after being transferred to a planter with reservoir seem to have flourished.

Meantime, the new garden comprises of a courtyard style garden at the front of the property, and an enclosed rear garden which is half lawn and half pebbles (the latter being termed the "Zen Garden" due to its artistically placed elements by us from day one!).

The "Zen Garden" (above) With curly Hazel tree and Chimnea.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Spiraclimb on the move

Sad news from the Spiraclimb Garden! Due to a house move the garden as we have come to know it here will cease to exist by the end of the month. The small plot I have been using is being turned over to a large brood of chickens - who I am sure will enjoy the slugs more then I have!

With all the organisation behind the move and the spell of bad weather the slugs have managed to get the upper hand and destroyed almost everything that was planted on and off the Spiraclimb so there is less to move then I would like.

However, not to be put off, this blog, and my gardening exploits, will continue in a slightly different form. The new focus due to constraints of the property will be pot and tub-grown plants which are ideal for the Spiraclimb. Patio tubs and containers offer an ideal location for the Spiraclimb support as they are compact and by using Spiraclimb you can grow climbers in pots where you could not before.

So keep your eyes peeled as the Spiraclimb Garden moves into a new and exciting phase and style - pics to follow soon.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Love at first sight!

One way to protect against slugs and snails is to plant marigolds in beds nearby to your precious vegetables and maybe even your sunflowers - which they just LOVE to reduce to smile-covered stalks! Marigolds, it seems, are plants with which slugs and snails have a particular affinity. It's love at first sight - or sniff!

The golden blooms and the fragranced oh-so-tasty foliage seem to call to the very soul of any creature that slides along the ground on a cushion of slime. They travel for miles, overcoming natural barriers and a veritable maze of cunningly placed slug pellets in order to reach their amour and to taste her sweet green flesh.

The result of this almost certainly one-sided love affair, of course, is a ravaged marigold bed but maybe, just maybe, this is why the runner beans remain as yet unassailed! I wonder whether planting marigolds alongside lettuce would have a similar result. My guess is that in a worse case scenario they would be so torn between the two that they would pause, dazzled by the choice in front of them, long enough that passing hungry birds or frogs would gobble them up! For now, my marigolds continue to "take one for the team".

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

How tall can you go with Spiraclimb?

This is a common question we receive by email and telephone. The canes pictured in my garden are just under 1m. Scientific experiments in controlled conditions (my colleague Dave, me, a Spiraclimb and a tape measure to be precise) have shown the Spiraclimb will go to just under 1.5m tall provided you have a fairly stout cane to mount it on.

Its worth remembering, though, that Spiraclimb is made from galvanised steel, as opposed to elastic, and so the height of the cane doesn't really change much beyond the visual style. A tall cane will draw the spirals in closer to the cane for a taller, narrower spiral whilst a shorter cane, as I opted for, produces wider more shallow spirals.

A consideration for me in selecting the height of the cane was the effect that the hoped-for crop of beans would have and I was seeking to avoid creating more weight then my cane could comfortably support.

With any cane height you can still support much the same length of lateral plant growth and, of course, when the plant reaches the top it can be trained back down again!

Click on the link for additional Spiraclimb growing tips.