Oslo Garden

A blog about gardening in Oslo, Norway


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August’s new discoveries

Oslo enjoyed a bit of an Indian summer in August after an unusually cool and wet one, and it was nice to be greeted to warm weather returning to the city after a trip away. Unfortunately the weather took its toll on some of my garden plants which were looking a bit weary and water deprived. 20150818_122222As I performed emergency watering and general maintenance procedures, I made a few discoveries…

Slugs love peas! My pea plants had been absolutely ravaged and pretty much decimated. I found two of the critters lurking in the pots and was amazed to see how small they were. How much damage even modest sized slugs can make to a crop is incredible!! I had become a bit complacent about my vegetables but I will have to think up more cunning ways to stop the slugs from traversing my pots next year…20150818_121826Sometimes carrots go straight to flower. I hadn’t even ever seen a carrot flower before. And despite it being a rather lovely flower, it unfortunately meant there wasn’t a substantial carrot at the other end of it.

The purple carrot wins the prize for most delicious taste but funniest shape! I pulled up three lovely carrots that more than made up for losing one and coincidentally there was one from each of the three varieties I’d sown: Purple Haze, Atomic Red and Milan. Purple Haze’s incredible colouration, along with its incredible flavour, made it the coolest of the three.

A flying saucer has landed. The summer squash Patty Pan ‘Sunbeam’ with its fluted edges was a lovely surprise hiding beneath the big squash leaves. It had fared much better than the Golden squash courgettes, which unfortunately were shrivelled to only finger size possibly due to lack of water.

Chard and kale are machines. Well not literally, but they are stalwarts and grow fantastically well. The rainbow chard in particular looks good with its vibrant yellow stems.

Climbing beans need more protection. Even in a relatively sheltered position facing south-west the climbing bean plants didn’t produce a large harvest so back to the drawing board for next year. In the meantime, I picked the mature pods and ditched the tired looking plants from one pot and will wait to see what the other batch will produce.

The lilac blue Geranium is still flowering profusely alongside the bright yellow Coreopsis and new colours are coming through from the Dahlias. How lovely it is to see them emerge. But do Dahlias grow into monster plants or what?!  They are enormous! I hadn’t factored on how big they would become. They rather take over the space and as it turns out they also need a lot of support. Had I staked them properly there wouldn’t be so many wayward stems splaying out in all directions. It will make any attempts of flower arranging very interesting indeed…

Finally, some of the annual flowers I sowed late are beginning to take shape and blossom. The lovely velvety deep red petals of the Antirrhinum majus (Løvemunn) are beginning to shine. The Cosmos has produced nice bushy foliage and I’m just waiting to see what colour their flowers will turn out to be….

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All seedlings go in

This morning I planted the last of the vegetable seedlings into the school beds. I’d been raising them in root trainers which has produced some reasonably strong root systems, so hopefully they’ll do well. So far I like using the root trainers.

The sweet pea, Lathyrus odoratus, will go in next to the edible peas and will add some lovely colour and fragrance to the beds. Plus they’ll help to attract pollinators. I had intended to grow more beans in this spot that would have intertwined with the Lathyrus but I’ve decided to grow the rest of the batch in a pot at home instead so that I can compare how they turn out in each position. My pots sit against a south-west facing wall, which I think has it’s own little warm sheltered micro climate (though it wasn’t immune to the fierce winds we had lately) so it’ll be interesting to see how the beans fair there compared to these on this site. Here are the school ones with signs of new leaf growth so they’re still holding on…just! The end of the relentless wind and arrival of warmer weather has no doubt helped.P1010850The edible peas are thriving and have not been adversely affected by any lashing rain or cooler temperatures recently.P1010852Chard, carrot and lettuce all growing well.

A picture of the how the school kitchen garden looks overall today.P1010853