flowers, Garden design, Plants

Too many seedlings?

…or is there no such thing?!

I am busy trying to pot up some of the seedlings which are getting taller by the day, including about two dozen French Marigolds.


Marigold seedlings – plus a small tomato plant dontated by a friend!

I don’t really know how many seeds you’re ‘supposed’ to sow but I seem to have a lot of marigolds here.  I don’t think they’ll go to waste – I have plenty bedding space for them, or could give a few to family and friends so I’m just growing them all on! I also have a few cosmos and zinnia which need pricked out into bigger pots, but there aren’t as many of these and I kept back some of the seeds so that I could also sow direct into the ground. There are half a dozen sweet pea seedlings too but I’m holding off on planting them out for another week or so when there’s less risk of frost.

In other news today I have managed to clear the side patio, which I’m preparing to transform into an area for pots.  I’ve lifted and potted the herbs which were worth keeping and chucked the ones which were past their best.  Now all I have to do is put down a weed-suppressing membrane, lay some decorative stones on top and begin a collection of pots for this area.  This should make the area fairly easy to maintain, and I’ll be able to chop and change pots depending on mood/season/availability of plants.  There’s also a recently planted rambling rose (New Dawn) close to the wall, which I hope will do what it’s supposed to and ramble all over the place, covering up some of the rather drab grey brickwork.

As well as this I’ve planted two new climbers – a honeysuckle for the corner patio and a passiflora which has gone into a large blue planter with some climbing support.  I love a climber and these two I picked up at Asda for just £2 each.


Passiflora in its new home.  Please also note in the background the gorgeous red rhodedendron which is just emerging and is one of the stars of the back garden!

My husband made himself useful in the garden today, and helped me get rid of a large, unidentified, spiky shrub which I have proclaimed extinct.  He’s cleared it from the back border, along with an old azalea, opening up this area for some colour.  Having put in the Lidl primroses, I realised this corner has the potential to be much more interesting so I’d like to get a few perennials to brighten up the area and make it a bit more pleasing to look at, especially as it’s the main area of view from one of the kitchen windows.


Primroses and a couple of heuchera providing a small burst of colour, but there’s potential for so much more!

So there we have it, today I spent a couple of hours here and there in the garden pottering on a handful of minor jobs but it was still very useful and enjoyable.  As I was re-potting herbs and clearing old plants I realised how even the preparation work in the garden can be satisfying – it’s like you’re moving around the pieces of the puzzle so that you can figure out the best fit and make the overall picture look really good!

My jigsaw might have to go on hold for the next few days though as the weather is due to take a turn for the worse.  I have set a reminder on my phone to remember to bring in the tender plants I’m hardening off (fuschias and geraniums) as the nights are due to be very cold.  Such is the way of Spring I suppose – a few bonnie days can quickly be followed by Winter’s last hurrah…

flowers, Plants

The Thrifty Gardener

Aldi is my friend!  I have been in need of a few bedding plants to fill some spare pots and was very keen to add some bulbs to the garden after a fairly poor showing last year.  However I’m also trying not to overspend after a month which saw a few extra payments leave the account.  So I decided to get down to Aldi, having had a good experience there previously, picking up ten – TEN! – bare root roses for just 90p each! I’ve also had a cherry and two raspberry canes from Lidl and all of these, planted early last winter, seem to be doing ok. And even if they weren’t, I would be safe in the knowledge that I hadn’t wasted my money killing off a pricey plant!

Aldi came up trumps this time too – allowing myself £20 to spend I managed to scoop dozens of bulbs, four trays of bedding plants, 20 packets of seeds (just 19p each!) and two small patio roses, all within my budget.

Here’s the haul in all its glory…


…and here’s the final result.


I spent sunny afternoon potting the bedding plants into an assortment of spare containers, including an old chimney pot (which I think we found at our previous home and subsequently moved it with us!) and an abandoned giant teapot which I found beside a skip at the local dump and ‘reappropriated’ for my garden.  I’m really happy with this mini burst of colour and interest in my fast-fading garden, particularly with the cyclamen – I love these little twirly flowers!