Sunday, 19 July 2009

Cobra Lilies & Avocado Stones!

Along with harvesting edible vegetables that I've managed to grow from seed, one of the most satisfying things about the London Vegetable Garden is the array of great urban gardeners I've met along the way.

I spent this morning down in Columbia Road with @grumblemouse, of GrumbleGarden fame (do check out his blog – very inspiring) looking at plants and digressing over urban gardening in the capital.

Along with several cups of coffee and a lively debate concerning the differences between our various tomato plants, we stumbled across a flower stall selling bulbs and both decided to purchase the fascinating looking 'cobra lily' bulb, 'Darlingtonia Californica'.

Although not a vegetable, these plants were too interesting to ignore! These carnivorous plants trap and digest insects to supplement the nutrients they get from the soil – a fantastic opportunity for companion planting next to the whitefly-prone tomato plants.

These fascinating lilies get their name from their snake-like resemblance; the 'hood' similar to that of a cobra, complete with a forked red leaf resembling a tongue – the only species in their genus. Clearly an intriguing plant, Grumblemouse and myself both purchased a bulb for the princely sum of £1.50 and are now having a race to see whose cobra lily flowers first!

I have also decided to plant the stone from an avocado plant (pictured above), purely as an experiment to see what grows... Watch this space for updates on both of these new additions to the London Vegetable Garden!

(Grumblemouse is a fellow London balcony gardener with an impressive array of tomatoes, chillies, peppers and lettuce growing on his urban plot – visit the GrumbleGarden for yourself by clicking here.)

1 comment:

  1. We managed to get an avocado to grow from a seed - takes a while. Actually had forgotten what I had planted in that pot when it started growing! It grew and it grew and it grew... until it was nearly as tall as I am. And then what? Trouble is that avocados are tropical trees which grow very very tall. Like 20 m. Sadly my house does not have that sort of space, so there had to be some tree euthanasia. Which made me feel very unhappy and very guilty.

    Not wanting to dampen your enthusiasm, just be careful what you wish for!



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