April in the Garden and Greenhouse

What’s hot – and what’s not – in my tiny garden this month.

If you think certain things are missing this year, fear not! I have ongoing and separate posts for tomatoes, potatoes, the allotment, and even loofahs! Yes, this year – along with Monty Don on Gardener’s World – I am attempting to grow loofahs; in my case to use as dish and pan scrubs. I bought my seeds from the internet last year for this very purpose. I’m also growing peas and beans, and new this year, chrysanthemums and dahlias,

Verbena Bonariensis

After germinating and growing just one plant in 2021, I am trying again. With conflicting advice on the internet, I sowed seed onto damp compost and covered it with grit. Suggestions were to put the tray into a polythene bag on a warm windowsill; to cover it with black plastic; to leave it in an unheated greenhouse – which is what I have done. I will not water again until I see seedlings. Fingers crossed.


Sarracenia (Pitcher Plant)

This has FOUR flower stalks! I’ve only had one other flower (November 2019) so I am very excited and will put off splitting it until the flowers are finished. It overwintered in the Tiny Greenhouse but will shortly move outside.


Salads

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Six on Saturday: 26 February 2022

I do like a frosty, sunny morning; not so much when we’re still waiting for a delivery of heating oil that keeps being put back amid claims of a shortage due to events in the Ukraine. While the people of that country have all my sympathy for getting caught up in events not of their own making, that has only really kicked off in the last week – we’ve been waiting for our delivery for three and I’m still drying washing in my Potting Shed. It’s supposed to arrive today, so while I’m waiting, here’s this week’s Six on Saturday.

After Eunice, then Franklin, there was a break in the weather on Monday afternoon, and I spotted these – the dark purple crocuses had appeared almost overnight. They are in the shadier section of the front border and appear to be inching their way towards their paler sisters as there a lot more of them than I ever planted. They are darker than they appear.

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Six on Saturday: 8 January 2022

It was touch and go if I’d be able to publish anything today – not only because of lack of interest in the garden, but because WordPress has been playing up. I could read everyone’s posts on the Reader, I could access my own blog(s), but I couldn’t access the list of published and draft posts. WP Help suggested clearing my cache, cookies and browsing history. It made no difference but the issue resolved overnight so here I am with a rather sad looking Six on Saturday.

Hellebore – I first spotted flowers the week before Christmas (hidden beneath the leaves) and there are plenty of buds waiting to open.

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Six on Saturday: 6 November 2021

Against all expectations, I have scraped together a further Six on Saturday. Not taken this morning as I had my flu jab at 9am and have a two-hour OU Tutorial coming up in a few minutes time.

It’s a grey old day outside, without a hint of a breeze to move the clouds on but the sarracenia adds some colour. It’s still outside, though I should move it undercover, away from falling leaves.

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Six on Saturday: 19 June 2021

Today’s featured image is a Small Magpie Moth, found behind a bin while tidying up last Sunday. It’s apparently quite common around Britain and Ireland but it’s the first I’ve seen. I’m a litle late for The Propagator’s Six on Saturday garden party as I’ve been busy in the Potting Shed and on-call for assistance as Hubby carries out a Top-Secret Project which, as usual creates a lot of noise and mess, and he must be supervised at all times. (I turned my back for 2 seconds and he decided to sharpen a pencil and drop the shavings on the patio – on the basis he’d brush it up later).

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Monthly Round-up: May 2021

This month has been a complete wash-out, literally; and when it wasn’t raining, we had overnight frosts. Everything is weeks behind and the soil is still cold to the touch.

First, a look at the saracennia (pitcher plant). This has been overwintering in the Potting Shed as it needs a couple of months of cold temperatures before it starts its new growth cycle. It’s been re-potted twice (July and November 2020) since I bought it in December 2019, in nothing more than the moss my brother raked from his lawn. Then, at the end of March, my favourite TV gardener said it was time to cut off the old pitchers to allow new ones to grow. So I did.

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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.