Thursday, 15 May 2014

Current obsession: Gardening

Mixed lettuces grown from seed. I don't know which are weeds and which are edible, so I can't thin them out... might just leave 'em and see what happens. I planted them in clay which has loads of weeds in it...
My zest for gardening is back, as my wallet and stiff back will tell you. For weeks I've been planning on potting out the plants that grew from seed, and I only got around to buying compost yesterday. Today was a gorgeous still, warm day, and I spent most of it replanting, or potting out, or whatever you call it. (My wallet took a hit because I bought lots of non-essentials in the gardening shop, like a sandwich tray (?!), a small glass carafe (wine...), 4 glass mugs (...whatever), cheese slicer and various other bits and bobs which added 60 euro to the bill. Oh, there was a big tub of masonry paint too, so that's ok. Anyway, to show you what I've been up to...

This is not such a success story. Out of a packet of 3 rhubarb crowns, this is the only one which survived a slimy death. Charlie surrounded it with broken eggshells so maybe they'll save it from the snails.

14 months ago I planted 2 avocado stones to see what would happen, this is one of them.

Left-right: Honeysuckle vine re-potted into a bigger pot. It's about 8' tall, and I think I bought it last year. There are violets at the base, they turn up everywhere! 
Brown pot: a garlic clove I planted, now an 18" high plant, hopefully keeping greenfly off the...
Blue middle pot: Courgette plant gifted from a green-fingered friend, better keep this one alive
Pink pot: Another garlic clove/plant
Blue pot: Another courgette
Behind courgette is another garlic clove/plant
I think having garlic in the vicinity of the courgettes will keep the greenfly away. I hope.

These are pumpkin plants grown from seed, they sat on our kitchen windowsill for the last few months now, but are now in their "forever homes". I want a HUGE pumpkin patch this year, all down the side passage, so we'll move these once they start to overcrowd. Pretty impressed with my home-made pots, used grocery/compost bags and an old paint bucket and wastepaper bin with holes poked in the bases for drainage.

Our potato patch is growing up well, the peas and spinach all got eaten by birds I figure, I never put netting down. I'll know for next year. I keep thinking when I see all these plants, planted on the same day, but with different growth rates, how nature has its own schedule and we shouldn't be worrying and comparing plants... or children...

This was one of our most beloved teapots, pre-dating our marriage and children, and house. It dates back to 2003 or so when we lived in a tiny bedsit and I began my passion for hoarding collecting china. RIP teapot, we had some fun times. I haven't a clue what's growing in it, if you do, please let me know.

Last year our elderly neighbour took pity on our balding lawn and gave us this jar of grass seeds to fill in the gaps. I never did, but the jar got left out in the rain and started sprouting. This is the result. True story.

Top: Mixed lettuces. Bottom: Pumpkin runt, planted at the same time as the others. The plate under the lettuces was my ultimate favourite, it had 2 x 3D cupcakes in china, and never chipped in about 8 years... until it did. RIP plate. At least it can hang around another while under a plant. Though the chips annoy me.

A motley crew. Top left: the second avocado plant. Pretty scabby-looking but it might rally now the pot it's in has a drainage hole. Centre: Pineapple top which we put in water about 6 weeks ago and it's growing from the centre, see the little green shoots in the middle? Dunno what'll happen, but we'll see. Top right: 2 garlic cloves and some grass. Bottom pots: Mixed lettuces. I pulled out the dying sunflower seedlings. I don't know what went wrong, they got to about 8" long and then withered a bit. I staked them and all...

This just proves that I kill every plant I buy. I bought this tomato plant in a full flush of health, it had flowers and a couple of fruits. Now the leaves are turning brown and yes, it's got more fruits but it looks sad and dreepy. I only fed it with tomato feed today though, think I was a bit late with that. Carrot peelings around its base in a vain attempt to give it some nutrients.

The boys come and go, helping a little, asking questions while bouncing on the trampoline, I think all these "experiments" in gardening are a great education for them, and me. They certainly know where food comes from, and they are learning how to tend plants, be patient, appreciate nature and all the rest that comes with it. 

Next on my list is to tackle the overgrown front garden. The grass needs cutting (*cough*) and I need to weed around the strawberry plants, cut back the dead tulips and figure out which weeds/wild flowers to keep and which to leave in the flowerbeds. And then trim the hedge. And bin the trimmings, and then scrape off the peeling paint from the gate pillars, and paint them. It'll take a few days, but then I'll be walking up the front path with a proud smile, instead of a cringing glance.

What's going on in your garden at the moment?
Nee x

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