Hello! Long time no see, although that doesn’t mean I haven’t been diligently working away on the garden; no windowsill is safe from seedlings at the moment:
(I can’t recommend B&Q’s basic seed tray and lids highly enough, by the way- really excellent quality for a total of £3 and feel way more expensive than they are. Worth a try if you’re growing stuff on the cheap!) I currently have sweet peas and scabious ‘Blue Cushion’ romping away, peas are just starting to appear, although in contrast my mondara ‘Bergamo’ and snapdragons are doing their thing agonisingly slowly. Please remind me next year to either not bother or to buy plug plants, because they’re taking up space I could use for something else… I also have chives and tomatoes, which are taking their time to appear, but as it’s only been seven days I imagine it’s my own impatience that’s my own undoing. The first lot of potatoes are in their bag and doing nothing, but that’s their prerogative.
I spent today outside, hands in soil (I don’t like to use gloves, unless I’m dealing with brambles and roses. I can recommend Crabtree and Evelyn’s Gardener’s Hand Care range for dealing with the aftermath). It was quite a productive morning, especially considering I’m usually a five minute gardener: I did a bit of weeding, cleared away some hated red robin shrubs (two smaller ones, in the ground, so I could make a raspberry patch and a larger, very unhappy tree in a giant pot that is now home to rhubarb I accidentally bought yesterday), planted a few favourite things (hydrangea, raspberries, nasturtium seeds and wild flower seed bombs given to me by a friend). There was low swearing and a bit of sweating, trying to pull the bloody tree out of its pot.
However, I was aided in my valiant effort with my fancy new trowel from Implementations. If you follow me on social media, you’ll know that I had a piece published by the Washington Post recently. One of the things I promised myself was that, as I couldn’t quite believe it had happened, if it got published I’d buy two things: 1) a ridiculously fancy trowel and 2) a new rose for the garden.
I now own a ridiculously fancy trowel and I planted Emily Bronte in the garden last week (a rose named after a Yorkshire writer to celebrate me being… a Yorkshire writer? Or something.) The trowel feels especially relevant; it arrived on the day I finished working with a counsellor to help with my anxiety. She had encouraged me to buy the trowel as the garden is the place I go to in order to deal with my issues and all my other garden tools are hand-me-downs or non-existent.
For now, though, I’ll keep plodding on and hoping that the frosts pass quickly so I can start freeing up space on the windowsills- more of a problem than anticipated because of the cat breaking the cold frame on Christmas Eve, thank goodness it wasn’t glass! I’m growing everything as environmentally friendly a way as possible and hopefully will sell surplus plants to locals to raise money for conservation charities. Otherwise, I have a feeling my garden will look like its been taken over by triffids…