Its week elventyillion of lockdown.
Me and my assistant, Henry the Hoover, have been removing a minor infestation of flies from the utility room. I sometimes catch them on the wing, using Henry’s hose to suck them to oblivion, making me feel like some kind of domestic ghostbuster.
I vacuumed a spider to eat all the flies in the hoover bag, which I’m sure was perfectly rational, and not even slightly odd. Like I said, it’s week elventyillion of lockdown.
Anyhoop. Here’s six garden things to share with the Propagator and his global gang of gardeners.
- Peonies. At the end of last summer, a single pink peony popped out of the overgrowth. It was about 6 foot tall, and had somehow managed to clamber up to the light through a big green blob of wild rose, bramble, fig and fushia. This year I cleared some space around the peony, gave it some support, and now have lots more of these beautiful blooms to enjoy.
2. Next up, a bright red begonia. This is a cracker, a pop of colour from the supermarket that I was honestly just going to look at, but then I touched it and so was compelled to buy it by covid safety conventions. Honest. It’s lovely, and I’m tempted take a few cuttings so there can be more of this colour popping around the garden. Begonia’s are fab. They maybe considered a bit old school, perhaps basic and unsophisticated, but if you like colourful flowers that just keep on blooming, then you’d probably like begonias.
3. Highlight three is these tomato seedlings, which I’ve pricked out into loo roll tube planters (see my previous post on how to make an upcycled mini-greenhouse). These are experimental. I just squeezed some tomato seeds from some ‘heritage’ tomatoes, and it will be interesting to see what kind of fruit emerges.
The Propagator mentioned ‘F1’ seedlings, which I’ve looked up here; https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=710
The gist of it seems to be that F1 describes ‘hybrid’ plants that won’t produce offspring that is ‘true’ to their parent plant. My baby plum tomato seedling might not produce a plum tomato. These tomatoes might be super tasty but there’s no certainty that they’ll be anything like the tomatoes that the seeds came from.
The experiment continues and I’ll keep you posted on fruitfulness and deliciousness, if these little seedlings produce fruit later this year.
4. Some of the tiny succulents displayed on the garden table are starting to flower. Some of these are cuttings from my collections in past gardens, and some are from the market at Wells. A stall holder at the market sells tiny pots of gorgeous little flowering succulents. They look super smart on the patio table as they’re coming into flower, enhanced by a little stone sculpture of bird that my parents gave us for Christmas.
5. The sweetpea seedlings that I planted out a couple of weeks ago are beginning to grow. The bindweed is much quicker up the willow supports that I made for the sweetpeas to climb, but I’m battling it. I hope that with a bit of TLC these sweetpeas might put on a late summer show of flowers. I was much later sowing and planting sweet peas this year than would have been ideal, but hey-ho, there we go. There might be a few blooms from these if I’m lucky…
6. Is the potato patch (again). Husband began earthing up the spuds, which provides the cat with a new snoozing spot. So thankfully, she’s no longer squashing the pea shoots under the pea teepee, so there may yet be hope for a handful of peas later this year…
Well, I’m off to join Henry the Hoover on a search and destroy mission to take on the unwanted invertebrates. I don’t believe in using pesticides in the garden, and I like to attract bees and butterflies to the garden, but any fruit flies in the pantry will be shown no mercy.