The Potting Bench Diaries

The Potting Bench Diaries – 29th June 2022

What I’m Doing This Week: After a week away, I’m back with another update on our garden! I’m not sure what its been like near you but we’ve had ALL weathers this week – except for snow I think. It’s been upto about 25°C on some days but then really wet on others, but this has really done some crazy things with the garden. That mixture of heat and rain has given some plants what they really need to get going and some others its really knocked about. The foxgloves are now towering about the plants around them but that heavy rain has sadly snapped some of them – its all part and parcel being a gardener though I suppose!

I’m absolutely in love with salvias at the moment and the aforementioned weather has brought them on in leaps and bounds. All of the highly scented ‘lips’ varieties are my favourite but the real winner has to be Amethyst Lips which gives off a strong blackcurrant tinged scent – especially after rainfall.

There are so many salvias to choose from and they all do different things but these scented varieties are incredible value for money and work well in almost any garden – plus, they seem to be very on trend at the moment! We’ve had some in our garden for a few years and the collection keeps on growing as they’re usually only about a tenner at the garden centre and they’ll come back better and better every year.

Elsewhere our tiny rose collection is also doing quite well. The main centrepiece is a bright white Iceberg climber which, again, is improving year on year and continues to scrabble up the side of the potting shed. I’ve made more effort in recent years to try and prune a bit more effectively and actually pay attention to what I’m doing with it and it does seem to be paying off.


The latest new addition to collection is a Bathsheba from David Austin, a subtle orange climber which sits at the back of the purple and white border. I’m hoping that the contrast between the orange and purple will really work – again, another trend that seems to have popped up this year!

Last time I was here I showed you our first potato harvest of the year and I’m back again, a few weeks later, with our last of the first earlies. I forget the variety but the second cropping has given us double the amount that we had in the first – which just goes to show that sometimes it’s worth waiting those couple more weeks with potatoes.

Spuds have been great fun to grow with the girls this year and the absolute joy on our eldest’s face when that first golden potato is found is a real sight to behold. It’s like trying to find buried treasure in a sea of compost – definitely doing them again next year and I won’t bother chitting as its made no difference at all! This second batch were the unchitted ones and look how they’ve turned out!

In other news…? There are TWO episodes of the podcast to tell you about this week…


Last week saw the release of a mini episode that I recorded with the wonderful Joe Swift at Gardener’s World Live at the NEC in Birmingham. We compared GW Live with the likes of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and Hampton Court…


…and then in this week’s full episode I spoke to Five Minute Mum, Daisy Upton about her three children’s activity books and how she gardens with (or without…) her children! Two episodes for the price of one!!

That’s it from me, have a great week and I’ll be back next week with more.

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