Plant-it-ary Disaster


I know it is meant to get very cold this weekend, below freezing. It might not happen, just like the last big snowstorm went right over us on the Atlantic coast and dropped on the west coast instead. Pooooooor Dublin.

Me, surprised to be feeling positive in spring, decided to get some seeds going. First I had to sort through the massive, and I mean massive, quantity of seeds that I have. Hubby needs to stop buying me magazines with free seeds!

Nearly every pile has more than one variety – for example, seven kinds of poppies, eleven types of sunflowers. I had other piles of that I definitely wanted to plant, might want to plant, two groups for himself to choose from, and a discard pile. These are just the flowers; I didn’t get into the veg seeds yet (zipper bag still in the shoebox).

I’d already set up a mini greenhouse a few days earlier. Brand new, but had been boxed and unused for a couple of years. I had new seed trays, new soil – not for seedlings, unfortunately – and a sunny day to enjoy.

I’m not gonna list everything I planted now. It was a lot, and quite a few ‘best before 2014’ ones I planted for the hell of it. All carefully planted according to depth, needing a cover of light soil or none, and labelled with species and number of cells planted with each variety.

I’m not going to list them because it doesn’t matter.

I no longer have the faintest idea of what seeds are in which cell. The whole greenhouse went face-down yesterday in wind that wasn’t there…until it was.

Couldn’t even get to the front zippers. This happened when I left the house for 15 minutes. I rushed home from the shop because I accidentally locked us out of our bank card, found this, and started to cry.

Hubby tried to help me over the phone with the card, and told me to go sort out my plants until he called me back…I couldn’t, it was pouring rain! Then when I tried, one of the important plastic bits on the greenhouse shattered in my hands. I screamed bad words and threw greenhouse parts at the innocent grass.

Phone call from himself let’s me know that I have to drive to another town to sort out the bank card…bank closes at five, it’s ten to four now… deep breaths and make sure the car has enough petrol to get there as it is low, and we have no cash. As soon as the downpour stops, I go out to see if I can make it.

Rain stops. Out to the car and see that I left the windows and sunroof open as I was in a panic sweat that needed cooling when the bank card didn’t work. Back inside for towels to hopefully save the electronics. Drive to other town. Realise on the way that it is late on Tuesday and I needed to do something pretty important on Monday, but forgot. Struggled for parking, more panic sweats.

The bank closed at 4! Defeated, I went back home (on petrol fumes) to try to salvage my seeds. I had to take the greenhouse apart bit by bit and carefully try to poke dirt and seeds back where they came from. Not so bad for two trays on the lower levels. Very bad for the upper two – the ones I really wanted to grow!

My only hope for one tray is that as I used a seed packet, I turned it upside down on a pile. One label stick remained in place, so I can get it right one direction or the other, hopefully?

On the plus side: years ago I found some seeds on the ground at a local, beautiful, garden and they are growing. Not all is lost.

13 responses »

  1. I wasn’t going to comment as I couldn’t think of anything much to say, so I liked, but then thought … that’s not a nice story so I better leave a comment.

    The ”fun” of gardening.

    What about setting up a few narrow seed boxes on a window ledge indoors?

    I know that some seeds germinate without light so they should do alright inside.
    Just a thought.
    It’ll soon be getting nippy out here and I have already moved some chilli and tomato seedlings inside the shed. It’s got windows so there’s enough light and they’ve done okay in previous years.

    • Main reason is The Cat. My precious seeds were in a windowsill box, but an teenage Bengal can do a lot of damage when you aren’t looking! I have the bathroom window which is full up with orchids and gerbera daisies. And the box room, which is so full of my junk I can barely get in there. My hoarding fault. It’s on my list of things to do, at least clear a path to the windowsill!

  2. Oh, mercy, I hope you didn’t plant all the seed of each of your ‘definitely want’, so you can redo them! Might I also suggest that you plan for something a bit sturdier, next year? My mom used old windows – you can get ideas here: & if you like the idea as well as have a place to put something a bit more permanent, you have months to find what you need. 2 more things: 1) if you build the hot box, make sure the dirt is low enough for the plants to grow; 2) on hot days, prop the windows open a bit so you don’t ‘cook’ your plants.

    Lastly, might I suggest that you store seeds in your freezer? It’s cat-proof and they tend to last longer in there.

    • Dry seeds are safe, it’s the fun of smelly dirt to play in that attracts the Bengal Jerk. I did plant all I had for some types, as they were quite old! The others… well. It will be a mystery, if they come up at all! Down to very cold temps the next few days, it seems.
      I have a bunch of stuff to make a sturdy house, but not much room to do it in. Sigh.

      • I can identify with your situation of having a feline gardening assistant… Purrseidon was born feral, so we have no idea what her genealogy is, but she LOVES playing in water (and I think half the reason she insists on assisting us in the garden is that she gets dirty and must then have a bath)… The dark portions of her fur look a lot like Hamlet’s and he is a marbled bengal, who also loves water. BTW, if you want to see Purrseidon, she and Mr. M (also found feral) share a blog at

  3. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. By now, you should be able to lift the car over your head… As I read this I felt like I was watching a train wreck happen. I’m so sorry about all your lovely seeds. Does it help to think of it as natural selection? What comes up will be the strongest and most able to withstand the rough love of nature?

  4. Wow when bad luck comes it really piles on. Gardening is said to relieve stress, but I can see it added a bunch of stress to your afternoon. I hope things get better soon. Hugs

  5. What a terrible horrible very bad day!
    Shivering that it’s still very much winter there.
    We had a loud all animals jumping into the bed storm last night, but the weather today is mild (and with less pollen in the air).My neighbor’s giant sunflowers are about 3 inches tall in their outside flowerbed. Somehow she’s the sunflower wizard. I’m hopeless with seed, but the birds and squirrels help out a great bit – always interesting to see what appears.
    Is the greenhouse frame salvageable? Maybe some heavier plastic with tie down straps? (Reminds me of our old house with a large overhang protected back deck corner – as the first winter front moved in, I was always up on ladder with staple gun and miles of plastic sheeting trying to create shelter for tropical plants and outdoor neighborhood cats. Wind is never a greenhouse’s friend.
    Hope today is sunnier even if not warmer.

    • I was caught off guard. What makes it worse is that where I had it, it was actually leaning backward somewhat! Grr.
      Yeah I had an old piece from a previous ‘house, needing to be thrown out, that did the trick. Thankfully I’m a slob, eh? Only one hole in the plastic cover, at least. Also my fault!
      We had a few hours of snow this morning! Later on it got warm enough and sunny enough to put the seeds back in there. Still haven’t sorted the messy one, as I had to do some shopping and then made myself a fabulous but time consuming lunch.

  6. I hope lots germinate for you despite the falling over, and even if you don’t know what is what, you will end up with a lovely colourful garden, with all the flowers mixed up.

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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