Is anybody in there?

I made a terrible mistake on the weekend.  I was a bit knackered on Sunday and had to have a bit of a lie down.  I fear I may have over done things during the week trying to whip the garden into shape and get things back on time.  The good thing is I’m nearly there.  The tomatoes, peppers, brassicas, boysenberry, gooseberry, spring onions and rocket are in the ground and have bounced back nicely from the transition from pot to soil.    I even took the bold step of giving away my spare tomatoes, peppers and brassicas less than a week after planting them out.

Not such a tall and mighty sunflower.
Not such a tall and mighty sunflower.

So on a lovely blue sky day that had temperatures soaring to 20°C and had the kids jumping in and out of the pool, I put my feet up and did very little.  I must have needed it.  It is important to listen to your body and if it says “stop what you are doing” it pays to heed that warning.  Well in my world it does.  Ignoring the signs can require having a lie down for several days.  But I should have done one simple task or asked someone else to….  Water the seedlings in the greenhouse.  But I didn’t.

I have been terribly unkind to my zinnia seedlings
I have been terribly unkind to my zinnia seedlings. I hope they forgive me.

Going in there this morning I was confronted with a significant number of wilty, crispy seedlings.  Mostly it was the flowers.  They are almost ready to go into the big garden.  But the big garden isn’t ready for them.  So I gave them a big drink of water and hoped for the best.   I desperately rechecked my list to see if the impact of the big dry had reduced the plants ready for my carefully considered plan.   It was touch and go.

I needed a backup plan.  I had a close look at the garden bed.  Considering I couldn’t bring myself to pick any flowers last season, there stood a good chance of it being full of self-seeded flowers and maybe I could complete my list by reclaiming some wild seedlings and taming them for life on the cultivated side.

These nigella aren't to far from being able to fill a vase
These nigella aren’t to far from being able to fill a vase

Apart from a cursory tidy up about a month ago, the flower bed is still in a sorry state and not fit for inhabitation by gentile plants like flowers grown for bringing inside.  There were seedlings all over the surface of the bed.  But the problem is – I’m not all that familiar with flower seedlings.  Give me a bed of half weed half veggie and I’ll have them sorted in no time at all.

Cornflower buds look amazing even before bursting into bloom
Cornflower buds look amazing even before bursting into bloom

The one thing I could use is my weeds.  I know my weeds – I’ve been battling them for years and can ID them in a line up at any stage of their nefarious life.  Well most of them.  I ever so carefully removed the more obvious ones from the garden, so as not to disturb the seedlings emerging nearby lest they be ones I want to keep.    This opened the bed up quite significantly, revealing some nigella, carnations and cornflower on the verge of bursting into bloom and an aquilegia putting out the most beautiful purple blooms.  I may rescue the aquilegia as they are refusing to grow indoors.  These were the easy ones.

Is this a weedling or a seedling?
Is this a weedling or a seedling? Sometimes when you spend to long looking at something, everything starts to look weird in your eyes.

The rest of the new growth creating a lush green covering across the surface of the bed could be anything.  There are some I think could be a weed, and yet I’m not sure.  Is the shape of the leave typical or is it slightly longer and pointer than it should be? Or am I imagining it?  I can’t remember what half these flowers should look like in infancy.  If I had all I needed in the greenhouse it wouldn’t bother me as a weed is a plant in the wrong place and they would all come out because they all be in the wrong place because I have a new plan.

Is there anyone in here that I can use in my flower garden.
Is there anyone in here that I can use in my flower garden.

But now I am wondering are they friend or foe.  Maybe I could nurture the bed for a week or two and see if I can see the wood for the trees.  In that time the greenhouse ones may have recovered and the problem will have gone away.  So long as I remember to continue to water them!

Come again soon – I’m almost up to the tidy up time.

Sarah the Gardener  : o)

19 thoughts on “Is anybody in there?

  1. Could it be Salvia? Or cape gooseberry? Sharing your frustration at lack of energy to do much needed work. Mine isn’t your illness but a crumbling spine that a fusion didn’t fix. Mind willing.. sigh. Rest up. It will be there tomorrow.

    1. Hi Lynne. I have just had several days of enforced rest – which was frustrating. Luckily there was no energy to do anything or I may have pushed on and made things worse. That is the trouble with having a passion for what you do…
      Thank you for your encouragement.
      Cheers Sarah : o)

  2. I’ve done that before to my seedlings .. so easy to do. But they are forgiving. Not sure about your weeds, looks like oregano, tomato and at first glance I thought rocket .. 😀 Good luck

    1. HI Julie. They seem to have bounced back although look a little battered. I only need a few self seeded ones, so I hope they make themselves known soon, because I really have to dig over the soil.
      Cheers Sarah : o)

  3. Well done sarah with all your helpful comments and great photos to illustrate words! We have to await next Spring March / April to catch up with you!! Then it will be Autumn for you! Any suggestions of seeds to sow now in UK inside or outside? Take care … see you soon! PS NZ did well in Rugby World Cup!!!

    1. Thanks Barry. Micro Greens are a great inside crop that take such a short time to grow and packed full of nutrients. If you sow a new batch every week you will feel like you are gardening all winter long.
      We do love our All Blacks down here!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

  4. I have difficulty recognising friend from foe, too. Hence, pulled up plenty of what I would have liked to grow.

    Glad you’ve got your energy back now.

    1. Hi Helen. I’m generally ok with vegies, but flowers are a whole new ball game. Even the seeds look a bit weird!
      I’m slowly gathering back my health. It is great that gardens are such healing places.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

        1. Thanks Helen. I’m starting to grow fond of flowers. Not that I was one of those “don’t grow it if you can’t eat it” types – it is just the veggies can keep me quite busy. I’m slowly getting back on my feet, which is good as my garden is beginning to really need me!
          Cheers Sarah : o )

  5. I would keep at least some of what you have in those pictures. The first picture for sure looks like a real plant. The second looks more like what I thought a cover crop last year that really was an invasive weed, but easy enough to take out later if needed. Good luck, and seedling do bounce back with a drink unless they are keeled over the side and brown.

    1. Hi Lucinda. I think most of it is weed, as I foolishly allowed the bed to overgrow last year. Many of the seedlings have bounced back, but I may need to look for alternatives for a couple – unless they make a late appearance in the weeds.
      Cheers Sarah : o)

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