Saturday, 6 April 2013

Potting On

What glorious weather St Ives has had over the past couple of days. It's even been warm!

For the past couple of months, I have been sowing seeds in the greenhouse. This recent spell of sunny weather have seen them go mad, and I am in real danger of being overwhelmed with seedlings that need to be potted on. I've also been busy planting out some new perennials in the garden and potting up the Dahlias that have been over-wintering in a bag for life. I have also prepared the vegetable bed and the cutting bed, and planted shallots and a gooseberry plant.

Last year I had a fledgling garden. There was no real plan, apart from an attempt to involve Olly in the process, and fill the garden with pollinator friendly plants. I was so chuffed with the overall success of my project. I was amazed at what could be achieved with a little knowledge, a small budget and a lot of bravado.

This year I have a little more knowledge, and a clearer idea of how I would like the garden to look. I still have a limited budget, but the ethos of filling it with pollinators still remains. I got such a buzz (ahem, sorry) from watching all the different insects that visited the garden last summer. I loved the fact that I was in some small way helping these little creatures survive and flourish.

This year I also want to fill the air with perfume, so have been researching flowers that have both scent and insect appeal. I have a lust list of plants to put into the garden. I hanker after rambling roses scrambling along the fences. Wouldn't that be lovely!

If I've learnt anything from my foray into gardening it is that things take time. Patience is a virtue when it comes to long-term gardening. Yes you can pack the garden to the gills with annuals (and I shall be getting my fair share of them in the next couple of months), but I want longevity. I want to grow a garden that matures slowly and elegantly. I want established shrubs and perennials. I want my fences covered in clematis and roses. I want a garden in bloom from the beginning of Spring to the end of Autumn.

Gardening is a slow process. I spent the best part of three hours yesterday potting on the sweet peas that had been sown at the beginning of the year. Ok it was interrupted with the usual household chores and toddler requirements. But the actual process of preparing a wigwam support, lifting the seedling, making sure that the long tap-root is carefully rooted into it's new home, tying the plants to the support and watering them in is a slow and deliberate one.

This is why I enjoy gardening so. I have to slow down. I have to tune in to the process. I love getting my hands dirty. I find the whole process fascinating. I mean you pop a seed into some soil. You give it warmth and shelter. You water occasionally and this amazing thing happens. This little seed splits open, and it anchors itself into the ground. It draws nutrients and water from it's root system and sends a little shoot above ground to say hello!

I find the whole process an emotional one too. That has surprised me. It's not just the pride I feel and the pleasure I get from the overall effect of a garden in bloom. It's not just preparing and cooking veg that I have grown from scratch. It's a connection to something. Sometimes I can feel so disconnected to the world. So de-sensitized by what is going on around me. Do you know the feeling? Head down, rushing along. Do this, do that, to do lists, chores, bills, petty irritations. No time to slow down and just enjoy the moment. To be caught up in an act of doing.

Perhaps that's why I love reading craft books and crafty blogs. The process of making something from scratch must give the same kind of feeling. The same kind of emotional pleasure. The same pride in the finished article.

Tomorrow I shall be sowing radishes and spring onions. And hopefully I will be able to pay a visit to the 'Plant Man' at Hayle carboot sale. I plan to sneak out early and grab a bargain!!

Leanne xx

potting on broad beans

I put the pew from the garden by the greenhouse. A nice place to have a cuppa.

sweet pea root system

Aster seedlings ready to pot on.

The greenhouse is filling up

Skarloey asleep on the pew

Daisies in the grass

Camellias in Penlee Park, Penzance

Grape Hyacinths near Karen's


I'm sure Marc will label this a twee post. Ha ha I don't care!!!!


  1. How nice to have a greenhouse. Your garden will be lovely. You had nice weather for the potting! I love that your cat is named Skarloey. :)

  2. He was named by Sam, who was five at the time. It's a train from Thomas The Tank Engine. It suits him though!

  3. Skarloey is a ratter. Which is handy as it turns out. I'm sure Leanne won't want me sharing that with the world but i don't care. Ha ha ;-) Marc x

  4. I love twee ,... Especially yours :)

  5. I wish I had a greenhouse to bring plants on! Yours look so healthy. Skarloey looks as if he is enjoying that sun!
    Sarah x

  6. You're so organized with your gardening - I need to get some things started . . . if only I had a greenhouse. My windowsills fill up fast.
    Happy growing.

    1. Thanks Jenny.

      I'm very lucky to have the greenhouse. It was a very romantic gesture from my husband a few years ago!

      Leanne xx

  7. I like what you said about gardening. Some call is mindfulness, the art of being completely in the moment. Kids are great at mindfulness. And I read somewhere that you should garden for next year, not this year. Which is hopeless for me as I am very impatient.

    Your garden looks really lovely, by the way. x

    1. Gillian,

      Annuals were propagated for the impatient!!

      Chuck some Cosmos into your garden. You wont be disappointed.

      Leanne xx

  8. Hello Leanne, thank you for your lovely comment over on my blog. I cant believe how much your cat looks like our marmalade!!
    P.S. Yes, that is my garden.