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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)