3rd April 2021.
I put a bit of thought into my Saturday articles. Some weeks things fall into place easily, while at other times my six items are just that. Six separate items in my garden this week, and that’s perfectly OK too. But I do try to link things up if I can. Writing is an important way for me to make sense of the world. Very soon I’ll have it all figured out, and then it’ll be time to stop.
My thoughts this week relate to switching off the daily news bulletins about Covid, following a corrupt incident in Dublin last week, where surplus doses left over after vaccinations at a private hospital were given to staff of a local private school. Daddy, hospital boss, child, school. Down with that sort of thing.
I’m happier now that the decision is made. The greed and corruption of the upper echelons within society will no longer drag me downwards. I am reminded of the movie The Lion King and in particular the problem-free philosophy that allows us to develop as good humans. It’s called Hakuna Matata, and it means no worries for the rest of our days! That’s something to sing about on this first Saturday of April. Let’s see if I can link it to some garden stuff…
The Broad Beans are flowering but also being nibbled by
something rud éigin. I’ve put up some climbing supports but that will not stop the nibbling. I also planted another row of seeds three weeks ago for a later harvest but nothing has appeared. It’s likely there’s underground nibbling afoot as well, so I’ve resorted to plan B, sowing a batch in modules in the glasshouse, and I’ll plant them out when they get to a about 5-10cm.
Much of society is being nibbled and devoured, day in day out. Nibbling is generally done by those higher up on the food chain. Getting even doesn’t work, but a plan of action for self-care does help.
Saxifrage Peter Pan
This little rockery plant has been in its little spot
for five years le cúig bliain and seems very happy there. At the time I bought three of these, but the other two have not survived. A few days ago, I found out the likely reason. The plant needs sun and partial shade. In other words if it is in full sunshine all day it will struggle. Death by sunstroke! This one is sheltered for part of the day behind an Agapanthus that reaches about 40cm. The two that died had no sun protection.
Who makes up plant variety names? If I produce a new variety can I call it whatever I want? As an aside, I am frequently amused by the names given to horses, for example Call The Beacon or There You Go Now. A further aside is my habit of naming a variety in memory of someone, but perhaps I should go one step further? Any variety whose name I don’t know, I could simply make one up! I’d never be accepted for mention in the horticultural journals, but I’d have a way of distinguishing one variety from another. For example, if I have another unknown Saxifrage I could call it Saxifrage Alum Rock. I have cousins living in the Alum Rock area of Birmingham, and I have a feeling that a name allocated by myself is less likely to be forgotten by myself.
Happy plants can survive the ups and downs of life. Not alone that, but they blossom most beautifully when the time is right! I’m more than happy to be noticing this small miracle than seeing examples of power battles on my news feed. Beauty amid the rubble.
Similar to the Broad Beans, it appears that pea seeds go missing regularly. I’ve come across this little ditty, which seems accurate.
One for the mouse,
One for the crow,
One to rot,
One to grow.
Now I understand why there are enough peas in the packet to feed an army. By the time the select few grow to maturity, there’ll surely be enough for us. We are a small family! This variety is also known to me as Pea Legs 11.
I’m happy to plant forty, in the knowledge that ten will be delicious. Everything else is of no consequence to me. No worries.
Apart from the large Dahlias planted in the ground and in pots, I chose to grow
some lots from seed this year. I’ve got five varieties, and started them in late January. At the moment, they are really pushing on, and are at the point where I will carefully pinch out the central growing tip. This is done in order to get the plant to send out side shoots. Since mid-March, I’ve had a chance to put these outside on warm sunny afternoons but they return to the sheltered environment by night, as they are not frost-hardy. Very importantly also, I do remember to shut the door and window before dusk!
Dahlias remind me that this problem-free philosophy is the way to go. They bring forth the most stunning flowers, yet they are such tender plants, and they have their troubles in life. Problem-free does not mean that I have no work to do. It means I’m happy to care for the plant in order to get enormous satisfaction in return.
Generally, I grow three tomato plants in the glasshouse every year and a few of the tumbling ones outdoors. This year, I’ve gone completely bonkers. There are seven different varieties, and thirty-something plants altogether. However, I’ll be giving most of them away to
friends cairde at the end of April or early May. There are a small few plants still unclaimed, so if you’d like a change from the taste of supermarket tomatoes, let me know. Of course, I don’t want any smartasses. I nearly fell off my stool last week…
“Would you like a few tomato plants?”, I asked.
“Oh, no thank you. You just grow them and I’ll come over to collect the tomatoes when they’re ready.”
Now, if ever there’s a perfect example of a problem-free philosophy, this is it! Everything will be OK. Just wait and see. You know what, when these restrictions are lifted, I’ll be more than happy to have my friend over to share in the tomato harvest! One hundred percent! Be certain though, that overpaid CEO’s won’t get within an asses roar.
This is the last of my Six this week, but in fact after I took this photograph on Wednesday and checked the name on the seed packet, the Lion King and the Hakuna Matata sprang to mind. Mina Lobata. Hakuna Matata. In effect, it was this little seedling that sparked a few neurons in my head. That’s where neurons do their best work.
Mina Lobata is commonly known as Spanish Flag or Exotic Love Vine. It’s a climber and, by all accounts, can reach up to 5-6 metres. I got the seed
free saor in aisce with Amateur Gardening magazine before all that kind of thing stopped. Akin to many of my selected items over the past few weeks, I’ve not grown it before. I sowed it early last month and it is still only at 2cm. Definitely a slow starter! I’ll also sow seeds outside in mid-April and see how both compare. Hopefully, I’ll need to put up a few trellises before long. I love the name Mina Lobata, and I just can’t get the tune from the Lion King out of my head.
What a wonderful phrase
Ain't no passing craze
It means no worries for the rest of your days.
It's our problem-free philosophy.
It’s a Wrap
That’s my six this week and to finish, here’s a short recap video of end-of-March goings-on in the glasshouse.
The video is up there on the YouTube cloud thingy as well. There’s a commentator error towards the end… They are in fact cucumber seedlings, not spinach. Contract renewal negotions may break down.
Getting Very Busy Now
- Gladioli and most of the begonias are planted up.
- Trellis delivered.
- First muggy night and that meant slug patrol.
- Propagator put back to the attic. No not that Propagator!
- About half of the daffodils put away to their summer corner
- Lilies planted.
- Some of the grasses divided and planted up.
- Salad vegetables ready to harvest from now onwards.
- Some of the Sweet Peas planted out.
- Enjoying the scent of wild garlic and furze while cycling. Two very different aromas, both wonderful.
That’s my lot for this week, a cháirde. I’ll be back with more
next Saturday an Satharn seo chugainn. In the meantime, please visit Mr. Propagator’s garden blog where you can find many more Six on Saturday articles from around the world, together with details of how to participate if that’s your thing. I hope you have a great week. Slán go fóill.