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Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Plants for Presents and Fruit Baskets

i am getting fidgety - I want to get growing things, my hands have a life of their own and yet still I have not been able to indulge them.  This weekend I intend to get some violas from Waitrose I anticipate getting a couple of trays as I have some small black cauldron planters to sort out to give a bit of colour to the herb section of the garden and also to fill some small hanging baskets.  It is probably because the evenings are getting lighter I want to get on with stuff.  In the lighter months we tend to get stuck in and work until it gets dark.  In the winter months we yearn for the lighter nights so that we can get more done rather than vegetate in front of the TV (not that there has been much of that taking place here).

If you have green fingers and know what you are doing in a garden you can take your own cuttings of plants and bits and bobs and throughout the year in effect provide presents for friends and relatives for next to nothing.  If times are hard this can make a lovely present for the recipient at reasonable if any cost to yourself.  Swap cuttings with your friends and seeds that way you both get the benefit.


You can source cheap baskets from the Charity shop, often they will want 50p a basket and you can tart it up with some fabric, ribbon and lace.  The baskets can also be used as a base for a fruit basket and with cellophane and ribbon also made to look nice.  If you have grown some of the fruit yourself like apples, pears and plums or soft fruit or even if you haven't or even to house a plant.  If I had the room I would have my own cutting garden that way round you would be able to give a bunch of flowers to family or friends on special occasions or just for the giving of.

I intend to buy some new herb plants and take cuttings from them as well as grow them from seed.  You always need the plants to get a march on so that you have herbs early on to pick whilst your seedlings play catch up. Herbs are always a welcome addition to anyone's garden and I intend to build on the success I had with them last year.

I am after a couple of Aloe Vera plants for their healing properties more than anything else for the house.  I am forever catching myself on the oven doors and have found that the Aloe Vera is very soothing and helps the burn heal so they are definitely on the list.  I also intend to have a look around for bulbs and reduced plants.  If you have a plant you can always take cuttings and get further plants on the go so in effect plants for free.  Plants that set themselves are obviously happy with their surroundings so take advantage of those too.

My blackcurrant bushes that I brought on last year from just twigs I intend to take some cuttings of those to increase my stock.  I aim to have a proper fruit garden in what is the jungle at the present.  Just need a day of warmer weather and preferably some sun so I can make a start in tidying the garden and getting it ready for sorting out.  I need to do this before OH starts his fishing again.

I am also choosing my gardening magazines.  I particularly like the Kitchen Garden and Grow your Own magazines but I have been buying for the past couple of weeks Garden News and I have Foxglove, (which I know are poisonous i.e. digitalis but they are very elegant plants, Canterbury Bells, Nicotiana, Petunia, Sweet pea and Snapdragon.  I have also found some very useful information in the magazines as well. I am starting a scrap book on how to grow things. Although not a novice at gardening I am a bit rusty!  When we first moved here for many years we used to grow a lot of our own vegetables just the basics but the taste was marvellous.  That is why I want to do it again but this time in the style of a potager so I get the prettiness of flowers with food to eat. The flowers I am thinking of planting like the violas, Nasturtiums, pansies can all be eaten in any event.  There is nearly always a culinary bent to whatever I do.  I would like to crystallise some pansies and violas for birthday cakes during the year.  The Nasturtiums can be used in salads and stuffed and dipped in tempura batter and eaten and I intend to do some tubs of carrots and spinach as well as setting dried peas to sprout and then eating the shoots fresh.

Just need a day to get the herb garden sorted, and the polyanthus in the tubs and the violas in the cauldrons. I still have some potting compost left over from last year.  I also need to get some stain on the fence between the nosy neighbour and ourselves.  This is just the top part of the garden and as long as that is tidy and the shed is tidy the rest can be sorted out a bit at a time.  Once the lighter nights kick in I can get more done.  Here's fingers crossed it will happen soon.

Upwards and onwards.

Catch you soon.

Pattypan

x


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