garden bits

In the herb bed the first of the chives are pushing through. Buds are breaking on the Black Pear of Worcester, and the flowerbuds on the camellia are slowly opening despite morning frosts. The mahonia isn’t far behind.



pear buds


camellia bloom



sweet peas

The second very grey and chilly day, with a pervasive dampness. I’m struggling to use my hands or walk much.

Nevertheless, I did manage to sow the sweet peas, which are now on the spare room windowsill – some bought seeds (Cupani), and a larger set of saved seeds. That almost clears the backlog of saved toilet-roll and kitchen-roll inner cores.

No: I don’t know why sweet peas are “traditionally” planted in these items! Perhaps it has something to do with encouraging deep root runs. I’m sure that cut-off 2-pint milk containers would probably do, if that’s the reason. Anyway, it’s all good “re-use/re-purpose” and basically Green!

sweet peas in toilet roll cores


Today I pricked out the tomatoes sown on 14th February into individual pots. The Black Russian and the Latah have two large pots and two small pots each (ie two to go out in due course, and two backups, of each variety). This year’s experiments of “Bloody Butcher” and “Pink Brandywine” each have two small pots (backup and “to-go-out”), as I’ll only be planting out one of each … they’ll have to share a grow-bag.

They’re all in the spare bedroom by the window – and I’ve turned the heating on a bit for the time being. Also in the photo are some flat-leaved parsley plants, which came in Sunday’s Ocado delivery as their “windowsill growing plants”. As always from Ocado, they’re desperately leggy, grown far too fast and falling over (and I really prefer curly-leaved parsley, anyway), but they’re worth taking a gamble on, as there’s very little self-sown parsley outside this year.

tomato seedlings by window

garden bits

The daffodils in the front bed are now in full glorious flower. In the back garden, there’s a solitary snowdrop in the small clump I split off last year – the main clump will hopefully follow in due course.

Indoors, I’ve planted Broad Beans – “The Sutton”. One per yoghurt-pot, now on the dining table in the unheated front room.

front daffodils



sowing things

I’m always a bit worried about home-saved seeds, but the tomatoes sown last week had 100% germination.

This week was the turn of cosmos – although I’m sure that I did save seed from last year’s plants, I can’t see any! So I’ve sown from a 3-year-old packet of bought seed … fingers muchly crossed that at least half a dozen germinate! If not, it’s not to late to buy again and re-sow.

3 tubs tomato seedlings, 1 tub just-sown cosmos

garden bits

Finally, an afternoon when it’s mild enough and dry enough to be possible to get out in the garden!

New shears had arrived this morning, so I was able to cut off and remove the dead long grass from the “wildflower bank”, and under the tree seat.

The one solitary yellow crocus that escaped the squirrel depredation of a couple of years ago is nearly in flower, as are the first of the daffodils. First buds are breaking on the Glastonbury Thorn. The winter-flowering clematis continues, with copious blooms, though I’ll have to cut it back savagely once flowering stops, as it’s getting far too big.

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tomatoes in !

The first seeds of 2021 are sown! I always sow tomatoes on Valentines Day (in Victorian times tomatoes were also known as “loveapples”, so it seems appropriate).

Home-saved seed of “Black Russian” and “Latah”, and bought Heritage seeds of “Pink Brandywine” and “Bloody Butcher” as experiments, now sitting on the heated tray, in a south-facing window.

filled tubs and seed-packets


seed pots on propagator tray

garden bits

A frost this morning, making delicate patterns on the cyclamen leaves. The winter-flowering clematis is unaffected of course, but I’m a bit worried for the camelia, as the buds are entering a sensitive stage.

cyclamen leaves


clematis flowers


camellia bud