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.

Hurtledto60 Plot 52a – The YouTube Channel

Although books are great I am very much a visual/practical learner and have found learning from YouTube a great source of ‘How to Do’ information, as well as ‘How Not to Do’. I spend time watching and learning from YouTube videos and making notes in my trusty notebook. A month ago, on a whim, when at the allotment I thought it a fun idea to take a little video on my iPhone by way of a diary. LINK AT THE BOTTOM! I am now hooked and by no means will it replace my blog, it is another media form to enjoy.

I have subscribed to several Vlogs (to get the correct vernacular) and the ones I watch most often I list below:

Charles Dowding – No Dig Guru

Diary of a UK Gardener – Sean James Cameron

Lovely Greens

Horti Hugh

Lavender and Leeks

I’ve made a few Vlogs and learned to hold the iPhone sideways so I don’t get black lines down the sides, as I did with my first. Wind noise is a problem which I need to overcome. Don’t swing the camera around too fast, as it makes the viewer seasick! I have discovered iMovies, which helps me join several little videos together – there is no pause button on an iPhone. Also I’ve learned how to make a little introductory film.

Much against my better judgment I included myself in the latest one, thinking it would be a good idea for viewers to see who was talking. I held the camera too close and the woman in the video doesn’t look anything how I think I look!

There is still a lot more to learn, it is very much at the beginner stage but if you are interested in how my Plot 52a is looking and have 8 minutes to spare, please make yourself comfortable and watch. You are more than welcome to subscribe, or even comment, nice and constructive comments only please 😄.

LINK! LINK! ➡️ Hurtledto60 – A Diary of Plot 52A