Six-on-Saturday – Don’t Look, Ethel.

Make up cucumber hills in the evening. Get up early the next morning and sow the seeds before you speak, and you will have a good crop.

Wednesday was the best day of the year by a country kilometre mile. I spent some time doing small jobs and a lot of time sitting in warm sunshine, resting, admiring, reading and snoozing. I had intended cycling my usual Kilmolash and Glenshelane route, but rested instead. I’m told that improvement in fitness happens between sessions, so it’s a win-win situation. Of course, I made sure to wear my big ugly sun hat. I figured there’s no point in being rested, super fit and sunburned.

Last week you’ll remember I changed things around a bit. On Tuesday I continued, this time in the back garden. The square patio area was the focus of my attention.

However, before I show the progress made, I want to inform you of a shocking alert. It was a Facebook alert. Oh, I do love a shocking FB alert. If it weren’t for FB I’d be completely lost. You see, it’s full of rubbish that cannot be got from other sources. This one was about cucumbers…

Cucumber

I tried growing cucumbers last year and I gave up on them. They germinated but never really got going. I may not have adhered to correct procedures. This year I’ll know better.

My homework for this week brought me to read some of Frank C. Brown’s Collection of North Carolina Folklore. Here’s a short summary…

  • Plant cucumbers during the last quarter of a new moon, preferably on a twin day in April. I think a twin day is 11th or 22nd.
  • Get up early in the morning and sow the seeds before you speak.
  • If cucumbers are planted on a Saturday, they will be bitter.
  • It is bad luck to point your finger at a cucumber bloom, as it will cause it to fall off. It is unclear from the text what falls off. I’d imagine finger. Yes, I’m going with finger, and I’ll be sure not to point it anywhere.

If I’ve helped you in any way, please tell your friends.


Patio

Once again, I’ve changed things around. Normally, we get the table and chairs back outside for the May Bank Holiday weekend, but it’s been so dry this year that they’ve appeared a bit earlier. We also like to put them in a different spot from year to year. Once agreement was reached, I moved plants, pots and troughs around. This time, I’ve combined the two timber planters together as a central feature. I looked upon the fruits of my labour and grinned widely with satisfaction.

Next up…

There’s much here that I like. At the rear, there’s an overpowering scent from the Skimmia, while the Forget-me-nots (myosotis) and Aubretia add an extra touch of colour. My thanks to Steve for the Aubretia. On the left, there’s a small clump of snowdrops given to me by Geraldine. I’m very grateful for any and all offers! There’s also the remains of a fuchsia that I cut out two years ago. It’d be good to find time to remove the stump completely, but my priority will be the cucumbers. Before dawn.

Foliage

Polyanthus, Carex, Feverfew, Arabis and Vinca. Us gardeners sometimes forget that foliage can be very beautiful too!

Vegetables

The cauliflower and kale are finished. I’ve added a layer of fresh home-made compost along the bed and planted out the spring onions that I’d started in the glasshouse. I’ve also put two covers over the soil. These will help warm it up so that seeds will germinate faster. There’s a small space to the left of the spring onions. It’s just a foot wide. The spinach will go here, specifically because it prefers a shady spot. I’m buying shop spinach at the moment but not for much longer. There are a dozen seedlings grown inside that will be ready for their outside adventure very soon.

Gaura

Here’s a look back to early September of last year. The white erect stems with starry flowers is Gaura that I grew from seed last year. I enjoyed it so much that it won the 2021 PdeB Growme Award.

For the record, the Gaura above is just one gaura! It’s a perennial and it’s growing very well again now. Altogether I have four. They got a hard prune back in November and I repotted them into larger pots a few weeks ago, giving them a rich soil with added vermiculite and perlite. Gaura is regarded as one of the longest flowering plants. I cannot wait, but know I must.

Anyway, the upshot of it all is that I’ve grown more this year. There are two different varieties here, and I’ve added several friends to the Gaura Giveaway list. Each will be given two or three. A bird never flew on one wing.


Just one other thing… yes, a short repeat of some cucumber information you may not have taken on board. This is very important tamhachtach!


That’s it for this week, a cháirde. Happy Easter to you all. Until next week, take good care of yourself & others. Slán go fóill. If you’d like to read many other Six-on-Saturday updates, just head over to Jon The Propagator‘s blog.

Pádraig.

Author: Páraig

Changing my mind, one thought at a time. When head is good so is everything, including some fast biking and slow gardening.

26 thoughts on “Six-on-Saturday – Don’t Look, Ethel.”

  1. Oh my gosh, I was thinking of planting cucumbers today, but as it is a Saturday, I shall do it tomorrow after your important planting finds. It will also give me longer to source a willing naked man for the job! Lots of lovely colours in your garden too Pádraig.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve learnt a lot about cucumbers reading that and will never point at a cucumber flower again just in case… I’d never thought of growing Gaura from seed. Tempting and hopefully there are no rituals involved with it like the cucumbers.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Look Pádraig, without photographic proof of you sowing the cucumbers I may begin to doubt your word in future blogs. Why, you could become as unreliable as Facebook!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I also started my cucumbers, they are still waiting in pots for the soil to be warmer outside. I don’t remember if it was a Saturday or a twin number day…?? We’ll see! Have a good weekend

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Is a naked young man planting the cucumbers? I am from very near to North Carolina and have never heard any of this. Though it is funny. I gave up on cucumbers years ago due to squash borers..Glad you are back in the garden.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh I really enjoyed reading your blog and it was just what I needed! Thank God for humor, right? The first year we grew pickling cukes they did fantastic. We canned a bunch of them and so enjoyed the fruits of our labor. (We love dill pickles and we have not found them anywhere in Ireland.) But we didn’t have that beginners luck in subsequent years, unfortunately. Your patio looks great, as does your veggie area! I hope you had a Happy Easter 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, I’m happy that you enjoyed it! Us gardeners can sometimes get a bit too serious! 🤣 so some humour (or even humor) helps.
      Lovely Easter was had here. Onwards now to high summer!

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