Six on Saturday – 16 March 2019

I am getting stir crazy with this March weather! Apart from visiting the allotment regularly to check everything is intact and not blown away, I’ve not been able to make any progress, but then I am sure I am not alone.

My Six on Saturday is home based. Let me give you a bit of my background. Following retirement, I moved in April 2018 leaving a lovely garden into a small flat with only a patio to its name. All is not lost though, I am very lucky to also have a small allotment plot and a large garden owned by my daughter and son-in-law but this post is about gardening from a flat.

1. Planning and reading

This is my coffee table from where I read garden magazines and allotment books making copious notes in my floral covered notebook from Paperchase. Thanks to Storm Gareth I have spent a lot of time this week planning my cottage garden and veg beds on the allotment, searching planting ideas for my patio summer containers, and not forgetting plants for my daughter’s garden. Whilst writing this post the white hyacinth is filling the room with its fragrance.

2. Window decoration

There are no windowsills in my lounge so I have had to improvise. The little table was full of seedlings, some have been moved outside, more about them later. At the moment the table has peppers and Geums both due to be potted up, and a small tray of leeks. I have my potatoes chitting in front of the patio door making entry and exiting slightly hazardous.

There appear to be a couple of dates in the gardening calendar for planting potatoes. One school of thought is Good Friday, but Easter is a moveable feast which is confusing. The other date is St Patrick’s Day 17th March – tomorrow. We are promised better weather from Monday so I may plant my First and Second Earlies next week.

The dead looking plant below the table is a small orange tree I retrieved from my daughter. It had been left outside believing it to be dead and I am going to try and revive it.

3. My Gardening Corner

I have a shed on my allotment but that is about a 5 minute drive away. When starting off seeds, repotting and nurturing, all that is needed has to be nearby. I do have a brown storage box outside with bags soil, pots and small tools to enable me to tend to my containers but I think the Managing Agents might have something to say if I was to install even a small PVC greenhouse on my patio. This is my overflow garden corner tucked down the side of the sofa.

4. Improvised Greenhouse

Not having the luxury of a greenhouse outside I have copied an idea from Higgledy Garden. Due to his lack of space he uses deep plastic storage boxes, I have used these in past years, and find they are invaluable. The lid goes back on overnight. My sweet peas are thriving outside and have been joined with some small hardy perennials ordered from a company called The Secret Gardening Club which arrived a few days ago. In the back of my car I have a boxed cloche and boxed plastic greenhouse waiting for the winds to die down and they will be erected on the allotment.

5. Seedling update

Now the seed potatoes have been moved to the lounge, my bedroom windowsill is packed with seed trays. The growing of seeds, the daily watch and wait for signs of germination is addictive. I always have a sense of excitement and relief to see tiny signs of life. From left to right my seedlings are:

– Euphorbia ‘Summer Icicle’;

– Echinacea ‘ Pallida’;

– Rudbeckia ‘Cherokee Sunset’.

6. Seed tin

I belong to a flower gardeners’ FaceBook page and it was interesting last week to see what people store their seed packets in. I use an old Quality Street tin, but it is now full to overflowing so I am going to have to buy more sweets to eat!! I’m not sure why I have so many packets, many are freebies from magazines but a lot are ones I’ve seen and thought “I’d like to grow that” but never got around to it.

That is my Six on Saturday, hosted every Saturday on the Propagator Blog. Please take time to pop over and take a look at the very many contributors showing what is happening in their gardening lives this Saturday.

15 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 16 March 2019

  1. Lovely post! I am so excited for the Spring Equinox this week! I have been waiting for my daffodils to bloom after such a long winter here in the Midwest of the US. I could not wait any longer and planted pots of pansies this past weekend! Herb seeds will get sown directly in the bed this weekend in our 3-season greenhouse.

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  2. I plan to plant my spuds next weekend. They are cluttering the place up for a start…!

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  3. Lovely to read and I do admire how you improvise and overcome your lack of outside space. Secret garden website looks marvellous. Will follow that up. Horribly cold and windy here.

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    1. Thank you Julie, it’s amazing what you can do with a small space. My neighbours, none of which are gardeners, just laugh at me, and don’t understand. They will change their mind when they get offerings of vegetables and cut flowers! The plants from the Secret Gardening Club are such good value, my only complaint (and I have made this to them) is that the plants arrived secured into black plastic trays. In the climate of non-plastic I suggested they use cardboard/egg box type packaging instead.

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  4. Mud Cakes and Wine March 16, 2019 — 5:12 pm

    What a lovely post, I do love the idea of the boxes for the seedlings I read the post and think it’s a way forward for me too glad to see it working #sixonsaturday

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    1. I have a couple of boxes and have tried to make them as inconspicuous as possible. Trouble is my flat faces the entrance drive and everyone going in and out either by car or foot can see what is on the patio. I only hope I redeemed myself last summer with a blaze of colour in my pots which was greatly admired. 😄

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  5. Hi Ronnie – I’ve gardened in a flat, terraced house, rented house and now my big spacious house with lovely greenhouse. I love the fact that whatever the situation, plants can be raised. Higgledy Garden’s plastic box idea is fantastic. So simple and would work for anyone – even a little balcony. Inspired!

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    1. Oh how lucky to have a greenhouse! I have downsized over the years and miss not being able to pop outside first thing in the morning to check how everything is going. My daughter and SiL are getting a new shed this summer for the end of their garden with sloping windows on one side and a workbench – just for me! So I can decamp up to them. Whilst it’s ok to grow things on in the cold frame and little plastic greenhouse on the allotment (being built next week!) I don’t want to leave seeds and seedlings up there unattended for more than a day. They are too young to be left alone!

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  6. There is nothing better on a horrid day than sitting and browsing through gardening magazines and books. I have long lists of plants I love, knowing full well that I shall never have them unless I get a bigger garden. And that’s not likely to happen!

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    1. I am a bit of a fair weather gardener, I hate getting cold. YouTube is another source of planing ideas. I have so many seeds germinating, 20 Cosmos and 30 peppers for example there is no way I am going to plant them all, even with my daughter’s garden – so lots of give-aways.

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      1. Well it is nice to share! And you obviously get great enjoyment out of raising seeds.

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  7. The idea of a big tub is a good one…..and oh the seeds. We love to keep them don’t we.

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    1. I have packets of seeds from magazines that I will never use. I hate beetroot and would never grow it. I must find a seed swap somewhere but even then I’ll come back with more packets than I’ve got rid of! Car boot sale syndrome 🤣

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  8. For the orange tree, place it outside if it’s more than -2°C (or 0°C if it’s fruiting, but not yours). I found out that after a dry winter in our homes, citrus fruits prefer to be outside in a wetter area, no matter the temperature. I have done the same for mine for 3 weeks and they are already doing better

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    1. Thank you. The roots look fine but there is no sign of growth but I won’t sign it off as dead just yet. I’ll put it outside and keep a watch.

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