Thursday, May 27, 2010


Gardening: I am determined that this year the difficult corners I started work on twenty-three years ago shall take some shape, similar in idea, to my original intentions.  There were several reasons why the creations lay dormant all this time, the main ones being, life getting in the way and someone else's ideas being superimposed.  I never expected to find my early terracing design under all the unkempt grasses, leaves and healthy large weeds. But, yes, there it was, with little wall intact.

What now: so far I have planted herbs from seed,  (last week when we had a mild three days) together with young herb plants.  The latest additions are, a variety of mints that are very definitely residing in their pots, they will even be constrained in them.  I am expecting an apple mint to join the other varieties soon.  I threw some radish seeds in to the ground, let's hope they're not too old to respond.  It's worth a try.

My hopes for colourful, peppery and interesting salads lie in nasturtiums, they make lovely vibrant colours with their joyful flowers.  They don't attract aphids and behave like a weed here.  They can and do in milder climates. Marigolds were next on the agenda.  I planted the wrong ones for salad, but they'll break up the green leaf food brigade with some pretty flowers.  When I realised my mistake, I did set some of the right seeds in little pots on the kitchen windowsill.  With any luck, I shall still get a short term supply of edible marigolds.

Of course, most of these plans and wishes depend on the weather warming up encouraging my little crops to grow.  It's nearly June, the weather forecasters have warned of night frosts in some areas. I'm left wondering if I have been a bit too enthusiastic planting herb crops out in late May.


Anonymous said...

i do hope you succeed in your endeavours as i also harbour dreams of my own herb garden one of these days.

why can't all plants grow as furiously as the weeds do?

ZACL said...

What a wonderful thought Ax. I would have kept some chickweed had it been around when I was involved in clearing the corners. That would have been the sum total of weed. Thistles would definitely have to be carefully handled with chain mail gloves, if making soup.

Your climate would be easier for growing herbs, even in a number of pots. I would be cautious about nasturtiums where you are, for reasons mentioned in my post.

Thanks for your good wishes.

Vincent said...

Ah ZACL, there are elements of your post which closely resemble the post I woke up this morning determined to write. Something on the lines of "What we have, what exists in the world, is a small subset of all the plans and efforts started but not completed. It might have been entitled "What Might Have Been".

By edible marigolds, you mean Calendula? You mention various plants which have interested me: mints, nasturtiums. Yes I have discovered that mints need to be constrained. Nasturtiums can't seed themselves really because in our temperate zone the season is too short. Calendula comes up late too by this method.

My garden is almost random in the sense that I hardly impose order upon it. I rejoice in what comes up, try to keep on top of the most strangling weeds, give thanks for the wild life of all kinds which condescends to live in it, or pass through.

I enjoyed your post greatly.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure that I commented here yesterday! Never mind...
You've plenty of time to grow more herbs if need be. I like nasturtiums and pot marigolds and have sown lots on the plot.
Happy gardening! xx

ZACL said...

I'm waiting to see if my Calendula spout in good time on the windowsill. Not sure about the nasturtiums though. I can still obtain some 'plantlings' to be on the safe side.

Our season is very much shorter than yours Mr F. Thanks though for the reassuring words.

BTW, I was amazed at the flourishing peony bush with lots of buds. If you remember, I thought I'd undertaken a peony massacre earlier this year when I was weeding etc.


ZACL said...

Thank you Vincent, I am glad you enjoyed my gardening attempts.

I have planted some calendula seeds indoors, and if they take off, they will join the salad leaves that are in the fish box.

When I lived in London, nasturtiums were a real problem plant in the ground, they self-seeded and returned like weeds, as bad as mint to get rid of, though mint did not attract aphids. Here, where I live now, nasturtiums don't always regenerate without help. It is conditional on where they are planted in a garden and level of exposure to the elements.

Pretty gardening, if that's what is wanted, doesn't really happen here, except with a lot of hard work for short-term gain. There are lots of wind-break measures. Finding plants that will bush is one way of separating up gardens and protecting plants. Of course, there are the hardy Alpine plants and heathers.

Our house is not sited quite as well as it could have been for maximum sun benefits for growing things. We are also quite high up and exposed to winds and wind chill. Finding edible plants that will grow, together with a few colourful ones, edible or not, appeals to me in this setting.

Good to hear from you, hope you are all well and relaxing after your very interesting journey to the Caribbean.