The Potting Bench Diaries – 29th March 2023

This week, for a slight change – I thought I’d give you an idea of what’s going on in the greenhouse – warts and all (and there are some warts this week…). Since we got the greenhouse a few weeks ago, its completely changed how I garden going forward and it mainly means that my windowsills arent as full as they previously once were. But it also means we can get so much more done…but you’ll have to read right to the end for the most exciting thing!

I remember last year, once our Cobaea got to a certain size – it was like having a couple of little trees in our kitchen. Until the frosts had passed they had to stay indoors but now I’ve got this greenhouse I’ve been able to move them outdoors and into there.

Although germination wasn’t amazing, I’ve got two good plants forming and that will be more than enough for the space we’ve got. Each of these two are now around 10 inches tall and doing well – complete with some short bamboo canes for them to cling on to as they grow. Thankfully it wont be long until they can go outside properly…

I’ve mentioned about my bare roots this year (purchased from The Rose Press Garden) and about how I absolutely love them so I’m glad to see that they’re springing into life now.

I potted these up about a month or so ago and the Salvia ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ is showing signs of new growth and I’m sure the other two wont be far behind either. Alongside these are a couple of Salvia Amistad I got from Sarah Raven (not bare root) as some of my cuttings didn’t make it through the last cold snap sadly. This is the brilliant thing about gardening isn’t it, things can always (generally) be replaced if needed

And now to the aforementioned warts… Last week I potted on our chillies and tomatoes and in hindsight, I did it too early and I think I’ve shocked a few of them in the process.

Unfortunately I’ve lost quite a few of them so I think I’ll likely be sowing some more this weekend. Not ideal, because they really do need a long growing season but there should just about be enough time to still get a good crop from a fresh batch. Not glamorous but I’ve always said that its important to share the rough with the smooth when it comes to gardening.

But, following that disaster, thankfully I’ve got the most exciting thing to share. Ages ago I sowed some Meconopsis ‘Lingholm’ otherwise known as the Himalayan Blue Poppy – notoriously had to get to germinate as they’re quite fussy buggers. However, as you might have now guessed, some of ours have germinated and before long they’ll be ready to pot on.

They love a cold, moist environment to germinate in our small cold frame provided just what they needed. This is the first time growing them so I’d love to know any tips you’ve got?

And finally, another podcast episode is now live and this week I’m talking with Lee Burkhill, perhaps know better as Garden Ninja Lee.

Lee is a garden designer and presenter who you will have have seen on BBC 1’s ‘Garden Rescue’. Lee talks to me here about the different roles of design within gardening and how he made his mark on the digital world with social media, YouTube and his website community.

You can listen to the episode here now!

Lee has really made me appreciate the community of people that I’ve built around me online too and hopefully you’re one of those people!

See you again next week,

Disclaimer: Burgon & Ball National Trust Secateurs were kindly sent to me from Burgon & Ball. There was no payment received and no obligation to post about them, however – I have now used them and enjoyed them so I am sharing with honesty and clarity.

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