Six-on-Saturday – Failure Is Part Of Success

We bought this about fifteen years ago, but never connected an electricity supply. A few years later it became more difficult when our dog Jessie chewed through the cables.

During this prolonged lockdown, it’s very easy to see the glass half empty. Things are pretty difficult for so many people. I am aware of some for whom life is unbearable. In my case, no matter how difficult things become, I feel that looking at the glass half full will help me through. There have been times when I have been unable to think this way, but I’ve I’ve got a good handle on what I now allow myself to think. That’s a lot of thinking!

In a very small sense, my gardening during the week brought setback and success side by side. It was a week that allowed me to celebrate the successes and be philosophical about occasional setbacks.

With that said, here we go once again. It’s Saturday and that means Six-on-Saturday. Six things, in my garden, on this fourth January Saturday, hosted by Jon Propagator across the Irish Sea, active also on Twitter @cavershamjj if you still have an account in good standing.

A success

Most of the cuttings taken last year have rooted and I am very pleased. I had put three in each pot. In about half of them, all three have rooted, others have two and some have one. I have moved them from the cold frame to the glasshouse, where they will stay until I run out of shelving space. A few pots failed to produce even one cutting. I shook my head several times but refused to let it become more than a minor issue. No use crying over a half empty glass of milk. Shaking my head didn’t help at all.

Birdbath

We bought this about fifteen years ago, but never connected an electricity supply. A few years later it became impossible more difficult when our dog Jessie chewed through the cables. Now it’s just a three-storey bird-bath. I think I will move it between idir the Skimmia and the Camellia, and plant a shrub in its place. I will likely report on the situation on a future Saturday.

Setback

I wrote about a Sudden Shocking Seedling Setback during the week. I suppose it should hot have come as a shock because the Snow Lady warned of very severe sub-zero temperatures. But guess what? There’s a silver lining. My significant other bean chéile has granted me temporary use of the utility room to keep my next batch of seedlings alive. The contract runs until Valentine’s Day, at which point an extension may be granted. Terms and conditions apply. What have I learned from this sad setback? Never mind the milk. I’ve learned that the half-full glass has a silver lining.

Compost

Here’s another success. It’s a work in progress, but definitely well on the way. I took the lid off the compost heap yesterday to see what’s going on, and was thrilled with what I saw. There’s very active decomposition. As it were, from death comes new life. I allowed the heap to breathe for a few hours, gave the top a gentle mix with a hand hoe, and proceeded to add a layer of Amazon cardboard for insulation. It does its second job well, provided the bits of sellotape and gluey labels are removed.

Question for curious honours level students: Where are the glasshouse bits kept?

Begonias

Box of sand

It may look like a box of sand, and in fact it is a box of sand. However, underneath the sand are the Begonias I stored last autumn. Here they are, with sand removed…

All looking good.

I checked them to be sure that there’s no mould and there wasn’t. If there were, it could possibly spread to others nearby because there’s no plant distancing. Happy with my investigation, I replaced the sand and sealed the box again. This will remain sealed until mid March, whereupon the process of starting them into growth will commence. I shall report on this in a future Saturday update.

Favourites

As soon as the cold frame was emptied of 2020 cuttings, I put the pelargoniums in there to make more space in the glasshouse. They will remain there until my main crop potatoes need to be planted. The cold frame will be removed and stored somewhere out of sight until October, having done its job. You’ll notice that I cut a length of fleece and it remains at the ready for cold nights ahead. Very sensibly, if I may say so, I used the utility room to do the cutting. If the glass is half full, might as well fill it right up to the brim!

Sin a bhfuil uaimse don seachtain seo. I’ll be back again next week with another Six-on-Saturday. Thank you for reading; I hope you have a good week ahead and that your glass may be at the very least half full. Slán go fóill.

Pádraig

Happy Wife Policy

Thursday, 8th October 2020

Until I retired in 2013 I had lost interest in my garden. The love of gardening that was there 30 years ago vanished amid the stress of work.
Now, I’m back in full flow and loving the time I get to spend a few hours pottering. Some days I’ve got a plan in my head but most days it’s a case of seamlessly moving on to what I notice needs doing. Of course, there’s also a helluva lot more time to relax, have a coffee or take a nap.

In all this, my good (best) wife Marion leaves me to my own devices. She sees the satisfaction it brings me and likes what she sees. She did have two long-term requests: a water fountain and a Budda. So, in line with my Happy Wife Policy (Rule 1.1.2b), we added both during Covid-19 lockdown. We are happy together.

Link to the YouTube video.

Pádraig.

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