Monthly Roundup – December 2021

The only green in my garden is the parsley in the Potting Shed!

The spring bulbs continue to push through in the ‘Blue’ pots.

Hmm? Snakeshead fritillery and snowdrops in these two – planted at the same time, but only one is showing signs of growth.

How difficult can it be?

One of the problems of a December birthday during a pandemic is what present do you buy? This year, my friend Vannessa solved the problem by giving me a grow-your-own kit of narcissi Minnow.

Stage 1 – prepare your compost by soaking the block in 300 ml of luke-warm water.

Stage 2 – plant bulbs, water, place in a cool dark place (7-9’c) and wait for shoots to appear. As the pot has no drainage holes, I’ve used a plastic pot that fits inside and left it inside the cupboard in the Potting Shed.

Stage 3 – will be to move the planter to a warm light place (18-20’c), so that means the windowsill in my study. Fingers crossed!

Six on Saturday: 27 March 2021

After a night of mixed weather (cold, hail, frost), the sun may be out but the wind is cold. Not a day to potter outside, so I’ll be getting on with my end-of-module writing and dipping in and out of other Sixes on Saturday for a bit of light relief.

I finally moved the pots of Pickwick crocus, anemone Blanda Bleu and muscari to a lighter and brighter area of the patio, and the extra light has already made a difference. After a week, the crocus are coming to an end, the anemones are flowering, and the muscari have emerged.

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Six on Saturday: 20 March 2021

After a grey but dry start to the morning the sun has broken through the cloud cover. If it hangs around long enough, I might be tempted out to the front garden to remove some dead foliage.

I’ve been watching sparrows collecting dried Mexican feather grass, one had so many rammed into its beak it could hardly take off. Despite plenty of interest, I don’t think we have any blue tits nesting in the bird box, which is a shame. This time last year, we were building the Tiny Greenhouse and they were in and out of the nest box all day long.

Never mind, there is always plenty of wildlife to see in other Six on Saturday posts, hosted by The Propagator. I’ll be popping in from time to time to have a look between study activities.

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This pot of mizuna mix is now supplementing our salads. It’s a shame it couldn’t do the same over the winter months as intended! I have a tray of the same leaves in the Potting Shed, and some new lettuce seedlings are making an effort.

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Six on Saturday: 13 March 2021

I prepared this week’s SoS early as I’m having my Covid jab at 8.30 am, so by the time you read this, the deed should be done! I mentioned last week that hubbie had had his jab the day before; my (younger) brother had his on Monday and slept from 4.30 pm until 5.30am the next morning – so it may be sometime before I get round to reading everyone’s contributions to The Propagator’s Six on Saturday weekly international virtual event.

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On my brother’s advice, I went ahead and snipped out the growing tips of the ‘Cupani’ sweet peas. By quite a lot.

My sarracenia pitcher plant has been enjoying a winter holiday, first in the cold conservatory, now in the potting shed. The older ‘pitchers’ are dying back – as they are supposed to – and will eventually be snipped off. It will need repotting when the weather warms up and it starts growing again, though there are tiny pitchers appearing already. Hopefully, I should be able to divide it at the same time.

The first ‘Pickwick’ crocus and the first anemone ‘Blanda Bleu’ have appeared in my galvanised pots; and the muscari have buds forming. I’m looking forward to seeing these pots in full bloom.

My brother made me this gadget for pressing down compost in seed trays: I’m sure it has an official name. What do you call yours?

Apparently it’s called a tray tamper or a press board!

I’ve given up using my smallest module trays for sowing vegetable seeds; it’s too difficult to extract the seedlings without wrecking them or the small cells. Instead I’ve treated myself to these – 2 packs, 40 pots in all.

And with my hanging basket liners literally hanging by a thread, I’ve invested in this sheet of liner material so I can cut my own.

Six on Saturday: 27 February 2021

Nearly a week of sunny dry days and cold frosty nights, and my garden doesn’t know where it is. I am itching to get stuck into tidying the raised beds but I’m holding off until well into March or even later. Instead, I am content to scatter a few vegetable seeds in modules and pots in the hope I can not only produce an early crop of edibles, but play the long game with crops for the allotment bed. I haven’t even begun to chit my potatoes – another job for next month.

Look what popped up when I wasn’t looking. They are darker and brighter than the photograph shows, but I’m still missing several clumps of yellow and all the creamy-white crocus in the middle section of the front border.

One snowdrop does not a galanthophile make!

Cyclamen disaster after the snow and ice.

I make no apologies for showing iris reticulata ‘Joyce’ each week, as it just gets better and better.

Alliums! These are from 2018, but the ones I planted in the front border have also poked their noses above the soil, so fingers crossed.

I shared the image on the left last week, but am using it as a comparison with this weeks to show the growth spurt.

So that’s my six for this week. Pop over to The Progagator’s blog for other sixes from around the globe, and share your own six items, from the garden, on a Saturday.

Six on Saturday: 20 February 2021

Rain stops play – again – though it didn’t stop the window cleaner yesterday! I managed to sow some leek and tomato seeds in modules in the Potting Shed on Wednesday; because I think it is still a little early, weatherwise, for us, I’ve only used packets that were already opened – leeks and tomatoes (both will feature in their own posts if and when they germinate).

With warmer weather on Monday, I popped out to see what damage has been done by the recent freezing temperatures. Along with the pale purple crocus that have been flowering for two weeks or more, these pale yellow ones have appeared. I planted them in colour blocks right to left along the front border – pale purple, yellow, deep purple, white – and they come out in succession, never at the same time. You’d think I planned it that way! I didn’t.

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