Green fingers and thumbs and toes, oh my


I managed to do some planting over the weekend! It was lovely and sunny on Saturday, and I got out my box o’ seeds and decided what I wanted to grow. I had a look back, and I’m two weeks ahead of when I planted things last March, yay!

In one of my big raised beds (the ones I made last year), I put radish, two kinds of carrot, and some rocket. There’s two of last year’s late-planted carrots and a sad excuse for purple sprouting broccoli that have survived the winter in that box, so I left them alone. The carrot packet in the photo is dated ‘for planting year 2001’. They’ll still grow, I promise!


For veg, I have a dearth of good things, it seems. I gave up on cauliflower (blecch, anyway) and regular broccoli a few years ago. They are related to cabbages, and probably because cabbage is so common, this country has every insect and disease known to horticulture ready and waiting to attack members of the brassica family. I never knew cauliflower could turn bright yellow and go slimy. Hubby never ate the heads I managed to save, anyway. And it stinks like the inside of a cow’s intestine. I’m not a fan, can you tell?

I always grow basil and it always looks great and then turns black. Sigh. Got some red cherry tomatoes, some kind of supposedly edible gourd, bell peppers, courgette (zucchini) and broad beans. I really want to try to grow corn but I have low-to-no hopes for it surviving here. I don’t have any seed, either.

I have three definite colours of iDJ’s favourite, the cornflower – red white and blue! Also a mix, in the hopes that I get some pink ones.

His other favourite, cosmos, is also in three colours, white, white with a pink edge, and a mixed selection that also has funky double petals. I didn’t grow the pink/white ‘candy stripe’ last year, and I missed it, so it’s back.

His last year’s favourite, rudbeckia, did not survive the winter here (despite the advert on the packet, hmm) so I’ve got it on the go again, too. You would not believe how TINY rudbeckia seeds are! I’m going to surprise him, hopefully, with a new bloom, gaillardia. The aquilegia (what I call columbine) and the coleus are for me, taking me back to a good flower garden I had in Ohio.

I’ve also got two kinds of red sunflowers for him, with no clue where I’m meant to put them in my garden. According to the packet as they grow 6 to 9 feet (1.8 to 2.7m) tall, yikes! I have some violas and dianthus (a different variety of dianthus than what I’ve had growing out front for years). I think I tried to grow both last year with no germination. Oh well, the seeds are free!

I put out a lot of garlic that had gone well past its use-by date, as in it was mostly dried up or had a long green shoot coming out of each clove (or both). I find it grows amazingly well here. Easy and no maintenance to speak of. Shove it in dirt, water when dry, dig up when the greenery dies back. In a few months, one sorry-ass clove becomes a good sized garlic bulb. It tastes wonderful fresh.

My back didn’t appreciate the work, and our weather is meant to be very cold and windy but dry until the end of the month. Nevertheless, I’ve got everyone snug inside their propagators, and we move them from sunny morning windowsill to sunny evening windowsill daily. I dreamt last night that they had already begun to sprout – so I had a look when I got home tonight to see if I was right.

I was! The early birds are the gaillardia, all of the cosmos except the white, the mixed cornflower, and the ‘velvet queen’ sunflower. I’m so excited!

16 responses »

  1. I love seed packet covers – so pretty, so full of promise!
    You must take pictures of the progress now and then.
    Summers are when I miss my dad who grew amazing things in the garden – always plenty to give away to family and neighbors.
    Me growing veggies? Might as well toss money out of a moving car (sad face)
    Thank goodness for farmer’s markets

    • I love growing from seed – something for nothing! Really nothing in my case, nearly all of these were free with magazines. My mother in law works at a newsagent and when the magazine doesn’t sell and goes back as a discard, she saves the seeds for me!
      I don’t have much luck with veg here either, too cold and dark. I suppose it’s too hot and dry for you!

      • Most people have tomatoes growing now (covered last night as it was in 40’s – much to cool for normal) My dad had a big backyard garden here before he moved – but he could grow anything…I forget to water potted veggies – and most al of them roast and die July-Aug.(you have to put up shade cloth as it gets hot) But talented people can replant and have a fall garden, too – long growing season…if you remember to water

  2. I remember when you said you had planted some California poppies in your garden. They’re one of my favorite flowers and I love seeing them explode like crazy everywhere in people’s yards. But I think of you all the way in Ireland when I see them, and feel happy they are wild out here!

Thoughts? Gardening tips? Cocktail recipes? Don't just like and leave, please - I can talk for Ireland and would love to prove it!

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