Dig for Victory | Love The Garden

Dig for Victory

John Clowes's picture
By John Clowes, Gardening Guru



Flower Magic for All

Recently Jane Hartley arranged for schools to receive samples of the new Miracle-Gro Flower Magic seeds to try.

For best results you need to wait until the weather warms up a bit and in our trials we found that sowing in April or May gave the best results. So wait until after the Easter holidays and get sprinkling onto weed-free ground. Just a light scatter will result in a glorious flower border of mixed annuals that promise to bloom all summer. We would love to receive news and pictures of you sowing, watering and of course admiring the flowers when they are in full bloom.



Dig for victoryPupils of Flore Primary School, Northampton are producing a model of an Anderson shelter 1.5ft x 1.5ft for display at the front of the 1940’s Dig-For-Victory stand and a booklet showing how pupils have got involved in these Chelsea gardens.

For the 1970’s garden pupils of Holtspur Primary, Beaconsfield are having fun using a platform-sole boot painted in white and entitled ‘Smelly Feet’ because it will be growing  garlic and onions. Stinky! Another unusual planting from Holtspur will be a guitar with coloured strings and planted with geraniums and rocket with a title of ‘Rocking Rocket’ to link in with the music of that generation. 


Hobletts Manor Garden Club
Hobletts Manor Garden Club with Stephen Wallis and John Clowes

Last week I was at Hobletts Manor Primary School in Hemel Hempstead where a delivery of Miracle-Gro composts was received and I spoke to an assembly of the whole school about our plans for our Miracle-Gro’wers Chelsea gardens. Pupils of the Garden Club set up pots of the five rose varieties we hope to display at Chelsea in their heated greenhouse. With warmth and good light they should be growing strongly in just a few weeks. The varieties supplied by our friends at  Britain’s leading wholesale rose grower, Wharton’s Nurseries in Norfolk are appropriately dated 1913 ‘Ophelia’, 1940’s ‘Peace’, 1970’s Arthur Bell and for 2013 the new Rose of the Year called ‘You’re Beautiful’. Hobletts Manor is mainly growing for the 2013 garden and pupils have volunteered to produce cardboard solar panels for the technology section. Their potatoes Sarpo Mira are sending out strong new shoots and will soon be ready for planting in Miracle-Gro Potato Gro Sacs.


A selected number of schools have also received some strawberry runners for Chelsea. Once again we have obtained appropriate varieties to mark the 100 years of growing with  Royal Sovereign (1913), Cambridge Favourite (1940’s) and Elsanta (1970’s).  For the show we are also hoping to have a totally new strawberry called Malling Centenary that will mark the 100th year of the establishment of East Malling, one of Britain’s best fruit research stations.


Flower Magic seeds growing
Flower magic Blue & White mix grown by pupils of East Bergholt Primary

Heritage varieties of sweet peas are being grown by pupils of East Bergholt Primary School, Suffolk who have been given seeds of a 1913 variety called Unique to compare with a 2013 variety called ‘Susan Thomas’. We are hoping that when grown in Tomorite Giant Planters and cared for in Hozelock new Waterers, the newest variety completely outshines the heritage one. It’s a fantastic test of plant breeding and modern care.


A big thank you to all the staff who will be looking after your precious plants over the Easter holidays, making sure they are watered well and protected from the cold. Let’s all pray for some mild spring weather for a change.


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