Menu

  • The Pleasure of Pottering

    4th April 2009Timely AdviceStephanie Donaldson

    What a difference the light evenings make. From now on the garden is no longer a weekend affair, I’m out there every evening. It makes a huge difference – effectively 10 more hours a week to get things done. Instead of whizzing round like a top, I have time to enjoy the ritual of the routine tasks, plan and potter. I’m a great fan of pottering – I’ve just looked it up in the dictionary, which defines it as a particularly British pastime, meaning ‘to be busy in a pleasant but aimless way.’ I think pottering is good for the soul. An example of pottering activity this week – I have an old galvanised water tank topped with a slab of slate which can be seen from the bedroom window. To brighten it up, I collected some of the prettiest pots of spring flowers and arranged them on it and I can now admire them every time I look out of the window.

    Pottering aside, sowing and planting is progressing well – so much so that the greenhouse is beginning to burst at the seams. It is a truth universally acknowledged that a greenhouse is NEVER big enough. I am limited by the steeply sloping site and it actually took 10 years to work out where in the garden I could possibly find a suitable space, so my small, but perfectly formed greenhouse is currently as tightly packed as a rush hour train. I think the time has come to pull up the salads that we have harvested through the winter (mizuna, red mustard, landcress, lamb’s lettuce, rocket) and use the border for the trays of seedlings, until they can move to the coldframe or go outside.

    Seed sown in the greenhouse:
    In Rootrainers :sweetcorn, parsnips ( a bit of an experiment, they are so slow/reluctant to germinate in open ground) and more spinach.
    In small pots: dwarf French beans to provide an early crop while we wait for the climbing beans.

    The heated propagator:
    Is having a bit of a rest this week – I plan to do some more sowing over Easter. Delaying may mean that crops are a bit later, but it does avoid even more congestion in the greenhouse.

    The Allotment:
    Andrew planted the 2nd early potatoes and prepared the ground for the first gutter of peas to get planted next weekend.

    Looking Good in the Garden

    Chaenomoles 'nivalis'

    Chaenomoles ‘nivalis’ – These are shaping up to be a good hedge against the north facing fence. Regular pruning of sideshoots encourages it to thicken out and flower well.

    Primula Gold Lace

    Primula Gold Lace – An old-fashioned favourite that flowers reliably each spring. After flowering I will divide it, repot and leave it in a cool spot for the summer.

    Lily of the Valley - I love the appearance of the young shoots as they erupt from the ground with their promise of delicious fragrance in the weeks to come.

    Lily of the Valley – I love the appearance of the young shoots as they erupt from the ground with their promise of delicious fragrance.

    Brunnera macrophyllaPG - At its loveliest at this time of year - needs cutting back after flowering when its charms are less obvious.

    Brunnera macrophyllaPG – At its loveliest at this time of year – needs cutting back after flowering when its charms are less obvious.

    Helleborus orientalis - Hellebores love  growing on the shady bank next to the path that leads down to the greenhouse.

    Helleborus orientalis – Hellebores love growing on the shady bank next to the path that leads down to the greenhouse.

    Tulipa turkestanica - With its lax habit, this tulip either needs twiggy support, or to be viewed at table top level.

    Tulipa turkestanica – With its lax habit, this tulip either needs twiggy support, or to be viewed at table top level.

    Tulipa turkestanica - This delicate species tulip has a prime position on my table top display.

    Tulipa turkestanica – This delicate species tulip has a prime position on my table top display.

    Tulip Fur Elise

    Tulip Fur Elise- This beautiful species of tulip has a prime position with my garden.

Similar Articles

x