A cool start again this morning and I was greeted with a Facebook post from 2019 showing my pink clematis montana in full bloom. Not so this year, but nearly. With the weather continuing dry, sunny and coolish, I’ve made a start hardening off some of my seedlings. The sweetpeas went outside for four hours yesterday; the dwarf raspberry has been outside each morning for a week.

Yesterday, I spent 90 minutes in the back garden sweeping up dead leaves, bird seed husks, twigs and other rubbish blow into the garden from elsewhere. This involved moving pots about (dragging not lifting) and, for my final effort, I got the hosepipe out – ostensibly to ‘powerwash’ the patio, but really to give everything a good watering. After adding temporary waterbutts earlier in the week (linking them by short lengths of spare hosepipe) all four are now half-full (as opposed to two being almost full); this means the water level in the one I dip my watering can into is below the level that a 5 foot 3 inch woman with short arms can comfortably reach without falling in. If I had, I wouldn’t be here to look at all your Sixes on Saturday!

I also had the pleasure of watching two goldfinches hopping around Compost Corner and pecking at insects on the wall, so I have moved the feeder with the niger seeds to that area in the hope they might finally eat some. My brother told me that painting the top of the feeder bright yellow would attract them. I will try that next, seeing as a pale yellow post-it note sellotaped to the top doesn’t work!

One. These ‘blue’ pots have given me so much pleasure over the last six weeks. The crocus ‘Pickwick’ were okay, though went over far too soon. But the muscari and anemone ‘Blanda Bleu’ worked well together; the colours more intense than captured here and they’ve lasted for ages.

Two I finally got round to moving my surviving heucheras from the front border to the small border I made last year next to the compost bins – ‘Marmalade’ on the left, ‘Berry Smoothie’ on the right. They’ll have dappled shade most of the day and a burst of sunlight later afternoon, and they’ll cheer up my view from the kitchen window. And after just three days, ‘Marmalade’ has perked up and has flower buds – the first since I bought them in 2018.

Three Alliums or Nectaroscordum?

Four A last blaze of glory from the primulas. It’s time to remove them and split them into separate pots to grow on.

The Iris pot

Five Sweetpea Cupani. I’ve pinched them out four times so far, and fed them twice. They are desperate to go in the ground but it’s still too cold of a night. After months of nurturing them, I’m not going to risk it yet.

Sweet Pea ‘Cupani’

Six Pots of herbs doing well. Either I forgot to plant the red welsh onion seeds or they didn’t germinate, but I’ve sown some more since I took this photo and they are starting to germinate.

left to right: Greek Basil, Black Cumin, Sage, Red Welsh Onions, White Welsh Onions

After last year when I had many more tomato seedlings than I needed and far to many climbing beans scrambling up the arched and the fence, I have restricted the number of seeds I plant for many of the veg. For those that take up a lot of space or are very prolific, I have only planted four or six seeds in trays or modules. I’m limiting my brassicas and staggered seed sowing. Most are going to the allotment, but I’ll grow cavello nero at home.