Gardening geekery

So, I’m just back from an utterly immense holiday (which I’m still getting my head around – including my final week in a veritable Cornish luscious paradise of wonderment) and have a list of delightful things to get stuck into but first on the list was: give my poor neglected plants some love!


My gardening inclinations when I’m at home are rather sporadic (inherently, I’m much more motivated by big spaces filled with brambles that need clearing than clever planting and compact use of space which is what I’ve got in Morecambe) but even I knew that abandoning my little baby seedlings for nigh on 3 weeks without any watering was Neglectus Maximus. Amazingly I came back to discover they’re still hanging in there (whoop!) and in an attempt to have a (very occasional) gardener’s diary of my growing successes and failures I’m writing this blog post…


So. The failures. I ordered a bunch of seeds earlier in the year and planted a whole variety. In rather imperfect conditions (I’m still working out my best “green house” window ledges) which, among other things, were probably far too cold for some of the poor little seeds. The ones that didn’t make it this year included:


* Peppermint

* Siberian pea tree

* Yellow day lilies

* Mock Strawberry

* Lemon balm


Given the sketchiness of my planting this doesn’t surprise me and I seem to remember I only planted about half of the seeds of each that I got so may well give them another try when I’ve developed some better propagation systems.


But! The successes! I have 4 merry little Babington’s Leek plants which not only grew but survived my neglect and, with any luck, will be getting settled into their new home (at my office – 2015 update: failed to read the existing wisdom and planted them out about a year too early and they didn’t make it. Ho hum – lesson learned!) later on today after I saw some mature ones in situ at Martin’s forest garden in Dartington. The apple mint I planted has also survived and is now potted on so they can grow into merry little plants before being flung out into the wild (and yes, Da, I’ve got a bundle with your name on: the nettle-out-competing-challenge is On!) Three sets of seeds that have been merrily stratifying in my fridge for somewhat longer than is strictly necessary (ramsons, aquilegia and strawberries) are now in soil (and not the fridge) and the Siberian purslane I sowed outside at home is either growing or something else is.


I also succumbed to some fuschia plants just before I went away (I love¬†fuschias) and have latterly been reminded that you can eat their flowers and (depending on the variety) the berries they produce. They have also survived remarkably well in my absence and I’m now plotting where I want to have them (at home / at the office etc.)


And the “usuals” at home are continuing to do well: the oregano is going bonkers (just need to dry it now), the perpetual spinach is trying to flower because I keep leaving it to bolt but, with any luck, will be brought back under control with some harsh picking, this year’s tomato plants are thriving (and I’m even organised enough to have given them stakes to grow up this year – go me!), the mint is doing it’s usual trick of being minty and never dying and, of course, the infamous spider plants are continuing to survive through any neglect and mistreatment I throw at them. Which is all rather fun.


Oh! And my purple sprouting broccoli beast is continuing to grow like a good ‘un (it’s now about 150cm tall) – it’s started flowering but is still producing lots of little stalks for me to munch on so today it will likely get a severe harvesting and with any luck will continue to feed me for many moons to come. Yum yum yum.

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