The Potting Bench Diaries – 22nd February 2023

This week I’m (or we’re…) bringing you a special family edition of the diaries! I’ve mentioned it once of twice on here (and more over on Instagram) but more often than not I’m joined by either one or two little guests in the garden, in the form of my daughters. Gardening is something that I’m clearly passing down to the next generation and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it!

Most, if not all, of my gardening happens at the weekends, so it’s the perfect opportunity to get everyone outdoors. This past weekend our eldest was out with me – feeding the birds, checking the bulbs and watering the pots – the latter being something that we all love doing.

Even though watering doesn’t feel like a high priority at the moment, with the cold weather – your pots will largely have sat there for months now and will welcome a good drink. It’s a little secret of mine but watering bulbs, is the key to long stems and gorgeous blooms – as soon as they’re poking through the surface, make sure they get a drink once a week or so. Once they’re in bloom then keep the water coming!

Something else we’ve done this week is continue with a project to make some more bug hotels for the garden. We’re always on the lookout for creepiest of all the crawlies and creating dedicated small havens for them is one way to ensure there will be more of them around for us to see.

Bug hotels are extremely simple to make and you can knock one together with a few scraps of wood you’ve got lying around and some simple tools – no special skills required. Would you all like to know how I make mine so you can make one too?

Between watering and hammering, we also did some garden crafts with a few simple bits and pieces that you’ve probably got at home too. I’ve always found that the things that really engage children outside are those that aren’t overly complicated or planned out. Sometimes those moments of real engagement and connection with nature happen when things aren’t over-thought?

Most of the time we’ll go outside without a plan or a without anything in mind and we always find something to do.

This time we went out and started looking at all the textures in our garden – some soft, some rough – and then we decided to take some wax crayon rubbings of all the things we found.

It’s as easy as popping your objects (in this case leaves) under some paper and gently swiping across a chunky wax crayon. You’ll be surprised just how much detail you’ll capture! We might even try to make something with our rubbings, more on that soon perhaps!

And finally, it would be awful of me not to mention the latest podcast guest and this is one for all you no-diggers out there as I’m joined by no-dig homesteader….Stephanie Hafferty!

Steph is an absolute FOUNTAIN of knowledge when it comes to sustainable, organic and natural growing so I just know you’re all going to love this episode and it might even make you think again about the way you grow. You can click here to listen now!

This is the second conversation I’ve had so far this season, which focuses on real and honest grow-your-own and I hope for more like this as the season goes on.

These conversations fill me with absolute joy and I hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoy making them. If you do, then please do take a couple of minutes to leave me a review (only possible on Apple and Spotify) as it helps more and more green-thumbed friends find out about it.

Have a fantastic week ahead and I’ll see you very soon!

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