Tidying up the patio

This year I decided I want to grow some tomatoes and French beans – we used to grow amazing tomatoes in the last house we lived in, because the patio area by the French windows was such a suntrap, and tomato plants loved it.  But I hadn’t managed to find a comparable spot in this house, even though we’ve been here over 10 years now (having three growing kids might have had something to do with it!).  The house faces south so the front gets the morning sun, but the back, where the patio is, faces north.    Besides this, the patio was a bit overgrown a week or so ago…

patio

This is it halfway through being cleared!   Most of the pots are now empty because they were full of weeds. 

What I decided to do about the tomatoes was to take photos of the various possible areas hourly throughout the day to see which bit got the most sun. 

This is the bit that won… trouble is, that was a tad overgrown too…

overgrown patio

That is the garden path you can see in the foreground, so I had to clear that and reclaim a couple of feet against the wall so I could put two growbags there.  And what a difference!

cleared patio!

I took this before I’d cleared all the debris… but that’s all gone now so I’ll give it till the end of May for the weather to do its worst and plant them to see how the tomatoes fare there.

While I’m on the subject of gardens, I would like to draw on your expertise … in the front garden, we have some mystery plants which come up every spring.  I think they belong to the onion family because they smell of onions when you rub them, and I’d love to identify them to see if they are edible.  These are the leaves… an untidy mass of droopy plants.  I’m pretty sure they’re bulbs.

mystery onion plant

Here is a photo of them over the wall:

mystery onion plant

They have a small white flower, about an inch in size.  I couldn’t get a very good photo of it, unfortunately – I did pick one and tried to take a close up but it didn’t seem to have enough contrast to focus properly. 

mystery white onion type flower

Can anyone shed any light on this?  I did look it up in my wild flower book and wondered if it was something like ramsons but they have wider leaves and clusters of small flowers, but I think it is similar.

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7 Responses to Tidying up the patio

  1. anna May 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm #

    I think It is a form of wild onion – I have loads of wild garlic which is very much the same.

  2. Simon May 17, 2009 at 4:38 pm #

    Allium family (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium) for sure. I have some too in the garden of my farmhouse. Edible? I ouldn’t like to guess.

  3. carol May 17, 2009 at 4:38 pm #

    Hi Liz, sounds like Wild Garlic,

  4. Jennifer Rose May 17, 2009 at 9:08 pm #

    is it wrong that I like the wall before it was cleaned lol I like the messy garden look :D

  5. marty mason May 17, 2009 at 10:22 pm #

    Yes, I think garlic. And the flower is quite attractive when it finally bursts out from its skin. I have the giant garlic and its flower is very similar…on a long stalk. Fun to watch it each day…it curls this way and that following the movement of the sun.

  6. Liz May 21, 2009 at 7:14 pm #

    Thanks everyone! I don’t think it’s the usual kind of wild garlic but maybe a variation?

    And Jennifer, once the tomatoes get going it’ll be back to its usual messy state:) I like it messy too and so do the birds, but this was just a bit ridiculous!!

  7. Carol June 9, 2009 at 3:19 am #

    Hi Liz, I found you through your interesting article in the NSW Guild of Bookbinders journal ‘Morocco Bound’. I may be wrong of course but your allium plant looks very much like what we in Australia (or at least Sydney) call onion weed. It may behave quite differently in the UK but here it is a dreadful weed, really hard to get rid of. It smells like onions, has a very similar flower and leaf – but I realise that what is a weed here may be a delight in another country. In my garden garlic has a flower like a little ball and giant garlic has a huge ball shaped flower. You’ve tapped into my favourite interests – book binding and gardening. Good to find you.