Tuesday, 19 May 2015
If feet could purr mine would be doing so now after a visit to my lovely podiatrist. Hopefully the niggling pain that has been making me draw sharp breaths for a couple of weeks or more is sorted. I've definitely been feeling rather out of sorts, even grumpy you might say, but I positively bounded home this afternoon in time to catch television coverage of the RHS Chelsea Show and then to do some potting up in the greenhouse. All most soothing.
At long last the state of affairs is moving to that crescendo of the greenhouse shuttle. Sowing started late here this year, it has been staggered and there has been less of it. This was a deliberate decision which I thought would cause me some regrets. Strangely enough I've found it rather liberating, as for the first time in twenty five years or so I feel that I have a measure of control rather than pots of seedlings shouting the odds. The greenhouse may be untidy but there are no unlabelled pots or a queue of seedlings screaming at me to move to them to a bigger home ..... well not yet anyway. I'm not sure what will happen next year yet but will decide come the autumn and the new batches of seed catalogues.
There have been the odd disappointments - four lots of seeds that have failed to germinate at all. Two lots of perennials from the same supplier and two lots of vegetable seedlings from the same source (but different to the perennials). I've come to the conclusion though that I've sowed lettuce long enough to know what I'm doing. I'm watching a tray of lunaria rediviva keeping fingers crossed that the one solitary seedling in there has some companions to keep it company soon. I'm taking some comfort in the fact that they can be slow to germinate.
I'm most excited about the appearance of hablitzia tamnoides or the Caucasian spinach vine. I've been searching for seeds since I heard a talk by Alys Fowler on unusual edibles at the 2012 Southport Flower Show. This is a shade loving deciduous climbing perennial. It can be used as an ornamental plant to cover a pergola, has heart shaped leaves and produces small green flowers. The young shoots are edible. Alys advised at the time that it could be a difficult plant to get hold of and she was quite correct. My seed came from Thomas Etty Esq. The seedlings are much to small yet to move to the big outdoor world of the allotment and will probably stay closer to home for a year or so, before I expose them to that environment. Maybe next year I will be able to have a nibble and report back. Is there anything that you are particularly pleased to have sown from seed so far this year?