Seeds of Promise

Late February / early March brings the opportunity to start the growing season – indoors only – my garden is still far too cold and wet!  I did check using the ‘squeeze test’ and, yep, the soil forms a soggy mud ball in my hand!

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I’ve invested in a windowsill propagator so I’m hoping that the seeds will be kept warm and moist – perfect for germination!

I’m only sowing a few to begin with…sweet peas and tomatoes.  Sowing now should allow the plants to reach a decent size before planting out after the last frost, which should be around the end of April in my area of Wales.

  • Sweet Peas ‘Spanish Dancer’ – highly fragranced and an unusual tri-colour plus a packet of mixed tall sweet peas that were free on the front of a gardening magazine ūüôā
  • Rosella tomatoes – part of James Wong’s collection (Sutton Seeds).  I grew them last year and I can honestly say that they were the sweetest tomatoes I’ve ever tasted!  I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to grow this tasty fruit however because they’re a hybrid. In my experience hybrids tend to be offered by seed growers for a few years, then disappear ūüė¶

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Early sowing of peas, broad beans and runner beans are next on my list but I think that’ll try to wait another week ūüôā

 

 

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Gardd Mamgu (Grandma’s Garden)

‘At the bottom of the garden there lives a little gnome’

I love my garden.¬†¬† I’ve always appreciated the beauty of a lovely garden buzzing with wildlife and I hope that I’ve managed to pass on that love of nature to my¬†children.¬†However as a grandparent I’m taking ‘gardening’ to another level by trying to create a little magic…

There’s a little gnome house in the old tree stump:-)

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‘Tiddler A’¬†loves stories about fairies and gnomes.¬†A few¬†strategically placed items seem to¬†light up¬†her imagination and keep her interested in the garden as a whole.

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I truly believe that we shouldn’t be precious about our gardens…so what if it’s kitsch?!

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I always¬†have watering cans ‘dotted’ about the place and ‘Tiddler A’ regularly fills up¬†from the garden tap before helping¬† me with the watering – she¬†knows how plants grow.¬† ‘Tiddler A’ has planted seeds of most vegetables and nurtured her chosen flowers seedlings with joy but sadly she is the only child in her class that understands the process of gardening.¬† None of the other children had ever sown a seed, watered a flower, dug up a home-grown potato or even made rose petal perfume! Sad, very sad!!

My garden is the perfect and most natural place for¬†the ‘Tiddlers’¬†to play and learn.¬† Why, oh why, is gardening¬†generally ‘discovered’ later in life?!¬† We have a responsibility to be sharing gardening skills with our grandchildren…if necessary with a little sprinkle of fairy dust!

‘What we sow in their minds today will reap a priceless harvest tomorrow.’

 

 

 

 

 

 

Books, Copper and Red Noses!

I’ve treated myself to a few books by Charles Dowding as recommended by fellow bloggers plot34 and LisaSpooner.¬† Thank you both!

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I’m also following this brilliant organic gardener via his website http://www.charlesdowding.co.uk/

As I explained in earlier blogs, I’m currently managing a nasty injury to my foot.¬† This has pushed me to look at alternative gardening methods.¬† I’ve always been passionate about organic gardening but I’m also very keen to learn more…

During my ‘wanderings’ through various blogs, books, webpages and articles about ‘The no-dig method’, I’ve stumbled across a growing use of copper tools.¬† Gardeners who use them claim that copper tools have properties that deter slugs and snails!¬† The idea is that each time you use a copper garden tool in the soil, you leave a little copper residue in the soil – this can¬†reduce the damage done by¬†those nasty ‘mini beasts’!¬† I’ve yet to be convinced on this point having tested copper¬† bands and actually seeing a slug lying happily across a copper strip, munching my newly planted lettuce!

Well respected gardeners have flagged up a few more practical reasons for using copper gardening tools such as, they¬†don’t rust, the copper edges stay sharp and they slice into the soil with ease!

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Photograph:  www.permaculture.co.uk

One more little point…they look stunning!!!¬† I’ll¬†add them to¬†my wish list. Perhaps Mr D will pop one in my Christmas stocking this year ūüôā

My latest gardening gift…. ok, technically Comic Relief Noses (2017) but I think they make great cane toppers and they survived storm Doris!!!

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