Lupin surprise

The last couple of days have actually been dry though still excessively dull, with just a few short glimpses of the sun. Still time to get into the garden and do some clearing, well the polytunnel, greenhouse and bee flower garden at least. The vegetable plot is too soggy to even attempt any kind of work.

Still it felt great to clear out the polytunnel. I cut back the broccoli plants but left what I could as they are still producing some small spears. I dug around where last summer I had planted a sweet potato plant that was supposed to be suited to our climate. I found one thumb sized tuber! So not great success there but the cool summer we experienced was probably a large factor. I’ve potted the tuber up in a pot to see what happens.

In the flower garden, I was cutting back the lupins. There is already new growth and I do worry that we’ll get a few nights of sharp frost and they will suffer. But this is what else I found:

It’s so mild the lupin seeds have actually started to germinate while still in their pods! I took the best of them and potted them up. I don’t know if they will grow – but it’s free plants if they do so who’s complaining. Lupins are also great bee plants and I want to get more bee and butterfly friendly plants into the garden as I can. What’s more if I have too many plants I can always give them away and that is more bee-friendly plants in other peoples gardens too!

Hopefully I will be seeing more of this in the summer of 2016!

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26 thoughts on “Lupin surprise

    1. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

      Last year was their first year – they grow with fence behind them and are in relative sheltered part of garden, so had no trouble with wind.

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      1. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

        Great and I’ll do same. I want to do a more comprehensive wildlife list for the garden too – I’m pretty good at recording the pollinators but need to improve recording of other species too.

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  1. Jane

    So lupins it is – for bees & nitrogen-fixing – and what an amazing picture. Do hope they continue to grow. Yes, really want to plant more bee-friendly plants this year so will see how you & all on this blog fare. Lovely.

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  2. Melissa Shaw-Smith

    I love the photos of the germinating lupins–don’t know that I’ve ever seen that before. Lucky bees! It feels great to have extra plants to give away. This Christmas my gifts to friends and family were sachets of herb tea, seasoning and potpourri from my garden. Labour intensive, yes. But meaningful and useful!

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    1. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

      …and a hand-crafted gift is so special I think. It means someone has taken the time to make something for you. Lovely:)

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  3. bettylouise31

    I love lupines and it is amazing to see the pods starting germinate. Our native one are mostly blue. I need to do a post showing our native plants and birds. I love seeing other species. You can find pink lupines here in gardens. Do you have any penstemons in your garden? Bees and hummingbirds love them.

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    1. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

      I love the blue lupins too and did plant some last year – they were late going out so didn’t flower but hopefully they will this year. Thanks for tip about penstemons. I’ve just looked them up – they are lovely and have long flowering season so looks like they would be great addition.

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  4. gaiainaction

    How cool is that, Lupin seedlings inside the pods! Never seen anything like that and I hope they survive for you, lupins are great to have in the garden, lovely to attract the bees. Like you I am also highly aware of the fact that the bees need to be fed, so going to grow plenty of bee flowers for them too. I see you have snow covering where you are. Here still very mild, but rain and wind making it impossible to garden for the moment.

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    1. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

      The snow only lasted a day a couple of weeks – back to wind and rain tonight! But I agree the more flowers we can have the better for all our pollinators!

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  5. aranislandgirl

    What a nice reward for getting out and tending the garden. I must check my lupins now that you’ve made me curious. Intending to prune roses soon as Gerry Daly recommends doing this month. Our garden is pretty spongy right now too.

    You are better than I as I likely would just put the entire budding/former flower head under ground and let the strong survive.

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