Now that I’ve got LOTS more space to grow things, growing has started with a vengeance. Or just lots of enthusiasm – however you like to look at it. Although I like the idea of a garden diary I’m not quite there yet with it so this will just have to do for now…
Earlier in the year I got some nasturtiums started on a Lancashire window ledge – the irony being that having then uplifted them to Scotland and rather glibly set them outside (on the basis that, surely, it wouldn’t be any colder than my window ledges…) they’re now at pretty much the same stage of development as some seeds of the same varieties I planted out about a month ago. The varieties I started with are Tom Thumb, Empress of India, Trailing and Glorious Gleam – there’s definite evidence that some varieties did better than others as the second sowing has some pots definitely lacking in growth but at this point I’ve lost track of which are which: perhaps when the flowers appear I’ll be in a position to say! Having seen nasturtiums be the kind of plant that’s great at coming back each year, as well as a great source of salad in the leaves and flowers, I’m thinking of planting them out in a couple of ceramic troughs by the front door and keeping my fingers crossed for returns in the years to come. We shall see!
Next up come the lavender plugs (swiftly followed by the perennial plugs, but I’ll get to those). I’m a big fan of lavender and having bought some plugs for Northumberland Street a few years back they’re now getting to the point of being Proper Plants. So it made sense to get some lavender plugs in and start them growing. I still have no idea where in the garden they’ll go, but with the number I got (*cough* 36 *cough*) I’ve got lots of options. Ellegance Sky, Hidcote and Munstead are the varieties – it might not be this year, but I’ll look forward to harvesting the flowers for tea. Yum!
So, the perennial plugs. While buying the lavender plugs I succumbed to the savvy marketing and ended up with lots of perennial flower plugs in my order as well. I can’t remember the exact figure but it wasn’t far off 100 in the end. Anyways, these many little flowering perennials are now merrily growing on outside our kitchen window in anticipation of larger pots and, of course, the big wide soil further down the line. Which bit of big wide soil is still a complete mystery, but there’s plenty of potting on to be done before then. Coreopsis Golden Joy, Digitalis (Foxglove) Dalmation Mixed, Echinacea Pink Parasol, Armeria Ballerina Mixed, Verbena Bonariensis, Scabiosa Blue Jeans, Aquilegia Swan Mixed, Delphinium Pacific Giants (although these suffered and there’s now one stalk remaining which may or may not make it), Carnation Hardy Everbloom Mix, Geum Double Blazing Sunset and Erigeron Stallone. I’m getting there on identifying some of them but in truth the plants, and indeed the flowers, of each of these will be a surprise and delight when they come around. I’m imagining little perennial flower clusters in various spots around the land but time will tell – and planting out is a while off yet…
Next up came some herbs – at the same time as buying the nasturtium seeds I bought a random selection of other plants (including a “fruit salad” selection of alpine strawberries, honeydew and cantaloupe melons and kiwi fruits. The idea of growing all those lovely fruits really appealed – the reality is that I’ve held off on planting those this year as I don’t think we’ve got the right set up yet) Of a selection of 6 herbs, three are now merrily growing – some chives, parsley and thyme. They’re taking their time to establish themselves, even in the greenhouse, but are making headway. Lots of tlc methinks – I’d love to have lots of merry clumps of chives around the place.
At the weekend we were fortunate enough to be given two types of tomato plants (the plants already being about 6 inches tall) which are now settling into the greenhouse, along with some flower seedlings, borage, a squash-type plant (probably a cucumber…it was all a bit of a blur) and some chard which is now keeping the tree nursery company. The chard in particular is now benefitting from some homemade cloches (for that read plastic bottles with their bottoms cut off and their lids removed) in an attempt to get the plants strong enough to withstand the local rabbit population.
And with the year pressing on, a couple of days ago I got a bunch of very old seeds and chucked them in soil on the offchance some of the seeds were still viable. Spring onions, more chives, basil, spinach and oregano, plus apple mint, Good King Henry and Babington’s Leek – I couldn’t bring myself to throw the seeds away on the offchance there was life left in them but it was time to get them in the soil or be done…so in the soil they went.
So for now, that’s pretty much it for my very ad hoc growing – apart from some lettuce seeds on “grow tapes”. Hopefully they’ll get in the ground in the next day or two. There’s plenty of discussion going on about where in the garden we want beds (both for annuals and perennials), rotations, trees that could come down and all the other delights of having land to play with but my verdict is anything edible we can coax from the surrounds this year is a bonus – the focus is really very much on the house. We’re both still really keen to get a big map of the land on the wall so we can play with planning and shuffling things around but the time hasn’t come for that. Yet.