Evening school – learning new things – sowing for the cut flower garden

An evening sewing - root trainers, pots and trays
An evening sewing – root trainers, pots and trays

Tonight was part self-education and part catching up.  The pile of seed packets that I needed to sow with the passing of every week wasn’t getting any smaller and within that pile there was nothing familiar.

Last year I self-taught myself about sowing vegetables and became a little bit wiser.  This year I am continuing my education and trying to learn about cut flowers for additional credit.

I started confidently, filled the various root trainers, pots and trays with Grochar Seed Compost opened the first packets and boom . . . what the hell.  Everything was different.  Gone is the familiarity of vegetable seeds, the simplicity of one seed one mini pot then pot on etc.  Now I was faced with what looked like dust, kernels and alien spawn.  I was not set up for this.

So day 1 of Cut Flowers 101 I realised that I need a few new approaches, I am going to learn a lot and I may have to add vermiculite to what feels like a ever growing science lab in the shed..



Dahlias in small spaces and how Sarah Raven is becoming the third person in our marriage

If you believe what you read, though several people at the moment urge you not to, now is the time to pot up your dahlia tubers.

This morning, six tubers arrived from Sarah Raven’s  online shop (three each of Karma Choc and Cafe au Lait).  I then read Sarah Raven’s section on Dahlias in The Bold and Brilliant Garden at the library (never forget that libraries gave us power), watched Sarah Raven’s video on potting tubers while actually potting the tubers up in the bathtub.  Finally, I watered the tubers using an old tonic water bottle and a bottle top waterer purchased last year (the bottle top not the tonic water) from . . . you guessed it . . . Sarah Raven’s online shop.    Therefore, It is hard to argue with C. that Sarah is not becoming the third person in our marriage.

However, other than the advice I gathered from Sarah, in her many forms, what I takeaway from it is how a passion for growing plants and / or vegetables engenders a passion for not only trying to do things right but also a passion for improvisation and making things work whatever the circumstances.  Heath Robinson contraptions which would never appear in a RHS publication become perfectly reasonable approaches to problems faced in the mind of an intrepid gardener.  A potting bench is replaced by the bathtub, a long flower bench in a polytunnel is replaced by a plank of wood across two Ikea chairs in front of the window.  Gardening has such a power that it makes you get round problems and not give up when the ideal scenario is not in front of you.

The bottle top waterer is a way that suppliers are helping the space deprived modern gardener.  The bottle top waterer is becoming an indispensable piece of kit for me as more indoor space is taken up by assorted pots, trays and propagators.  If I keep the watering can indoors it is only another thing to trip over.  The old plastic bottle with waterer top has become such a go to that if I went to a garden centre and were shown to the watering cans I’d be surprised not to see a range of old plastic bottles taken out of the recycling bin.

Gardening has the power to change not only your mind but how you approach the everyday.  I hope Sarah agrees.