Six on Saturday: 24 April 2021

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.

Continue reading “Six on Saturday: 24 April 2021”

Planning Ahead for 2021

I’ve waited a week to open my seed order!

A heady mix (I don’t get out much) of leafy staples (salad leaves and chard); exotics (round cucumbers, cucamelons and Florence Fennel); herbs (Greek basil sage and cumin), and a trio of unusual onions. Thanks to Paddy (An Irish Gardener) for recommending the ‘Welsh’ onions.

Has anyone grown tomatillos? I’m considering giving them a try.

Continue reading “Planning Ahead for 2021”

An Experiment Works

Towards the end of May, rushing to get everything planted before I took a holiday, I wrote that I’d used plastic drinking straws to sow seeds – placing short pieces of the straws in the ground and dropping one seed in each – as a way of preventing cats fouling what would have appeared as bare earth.

I tried it with leeks and parsley – and two weeks later, this is the parsley.  You can see how effective it is in the lower right quarter of this image.

20190614 (11)

I didn’t always manager to get the seed INSIDE the drinking straw, and there appears to be a courgette growing in the middle of this section – not planted by me.

20190614 (12)

But I count this as a success.  Not every seed germinated, but that would have happened straws or no straws.  And I can re-use the straws I removed from this bed elsewhere.

I hope the leeks will do just as well!