I’m hoping Kahlil Gibran, writer, poet and artist, is right about the above! As you can imagine there hasn’t been a lot of gardening going on since my last blog in November, in which I wrote about gardening teaching me to be patient. I did do a bit of tidying up out there a couple of weekends ago while the sun was shining. It was so cold though – my fingers and toes were numb!
At this time of year I do have to remind myself to be patient because I am itching to start planting seeds. Of course for a lot of seeds you need to wait a few months yet. However I have started some off indoors in my mini propagators – they are seeds that can be sown indoors from January including strawberry, cosmos, mexican daisy and cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens’.
I was inspired to plant the cerinthe seeds by my wonderful writing group tutor who introduced us to a poem by Linda France called “Bernard and Cerinthe“. France talks about what inspired the poem: ‘I remember very particularly the day I wrote this poem, actually. I went to visit a friend of mine who has the most beautiful garden. It was the end of August and there was a plant I’d never seen before: Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens’, and I was just astonished by it. It’s a very intense blue and the leaves are a silvery green… they’re quite thick, almost waxy, fleshy. That’s one of the things I’m drawn to about plants, they express this tremendous “Otherness”, but they just stay there and let you respond to them, unlike a bird or animal that disappears….’
I really hope mine turn out as she describes!
I’ve also had a third go at growing seed I collected from a verbena bonariensis plant in my garden – they add height to the garden but you can still see other plants behind them through the gaps between their long stems. Most importantly they’re much loved by butterflies and bees. I’m hoping they will germinate this time – they will be as in the photo below if successful. After 4 days the cosmos seeds are sprouting, as are some white snapdragon seeds, also donated by Victoria. Nothing else has made an appearance yet – I keep peeking but it’s a bit like a watched pot!
I bought myself an amaryllis bulb before Christmas and it is magnificent at the moment. Aren’t the colours and the double flowers beautiful? At the same time I bought one for my friend of over 50 years for Christmas. When she opened it on Christmas Day she phoned me to tell me she had bought me one too! She only managed to deliver it to me last week. When I opened it, it had started to grow inside the box and the stem and flower head that had emerged were very anaemic and almost horizontal as they were searching for the light through the opening in the front of the box. Anyway everything is now looking a lot healthier and straighter, so hopefully as my first one starts to go over, I will have another to replace it. It’s fascinating watching them grow – they do it so quickly – so not toomuch patience needed!
Another job I did in early Autumn was to repot some orchids – they had finished flowering and were looking a bit sorry for themselves – just leaves and a few dead looking twigs between them. I left them in my utility room, which isn’t very warm. Nothing seemed to be happening so I moved them into my daughter’s bedroom – sadly for me she won’t be visiting any time soon due to lockdown, but a bonus for the orchids. Within a couple of weeks I spotted the signs of new flower stems appearing. Orchids do require patience though – once they flower they can last for months, but once the flowers drop it can be months before they get their act together.
Hopefully in my next blog I will be able to show you that Kahlil Gibran is right and all of the above are progressing well.