Gentle Reader, there is no such thing as doing a 'bit' of gardening. The addiction of pulling "just one more weed" takes hold, and before you know it you have worked long past the hour you planned to spend in the garden before tea, and the hour of tea is upon you and nothing is prepared. The garden, however, will be looking better for your time, even though only a few adjustments are achieved, and your flagging spirits will be revived.
Today, I did not feel up to doing too much, there is a keen wind blowing right into my potting corner and my back is not happy if I am standing in the cold for too long, but when the sun suddenly put in an appearance late in the afternoon, I could not resist the opportunity to do a few small jobs outside.
A couple of weeks ago, I was given an amazing bouquet of hot orange and red flowers. They looked stunning against the green foliage that arrived with them, and for two weeks now they delighted me sitting happily in my living room. Today, sadly, they are jaded and past their best so I decided to dispatch them to the compost. When I removed the stems, three of the deep red roses have leaf shoots springing from all along the stems! I cannot resist the challenge, so I donned my heavy fleece, put on my brimmed gardening hat with ties (quite the fashion statement) and out I went.
I have trimmed the bottoms of two stems and dipped them into organic rooting compound before plunging them in to a pot of compost. The other stem I cut into three sections and did the same thing. Time will tell. I suppose they have two chances, and if I am lucky then they will take and I will have some free rose plants for my garden. They do not look like much, but I really have nothing to lose and everything to gain with this experiment. I will keep you updated.
As I said, there is no such thing as doing a 'bit' of gardening, so while I was out there at the potting bench (which is really a very solid, old wooden work bench that belonged to my father) I found two four inch pots with tiny cuttings taken last year of Moroccan Mint. Last year, the ants greedily devoured the mint, and this is what I managed to salvage . . some tiny cuttings that have rooted over the winter, but not put on any noticable growth.
Moroccan mint makes one of my favourite teas, just a few leaves torn
up and infused in boiling water for about five minutes, strained and
sweetened with honey if liked, is superior beyond words to any bought teabag. I also like it steeped in water and chilled for a cooling summer drink, and it is such a bright green it
is perfect for sitting on top of fresh fruit salad or berries as a
quick garnish. I hope there will be plenty to dry for
the winter months too.
I love terracotta, it has a warmth that you don't get with plastic pots of the same colour, and I love how it weathers with spots of lichen giving it character and depth.
A small pot holding a couple of thyme cuttings and a clump of chives was next, so they too are now in their own little pots and already looking much happier than when all crammed jammed into one small pot.
I love to sprinkle thyme into potatoes and onions as they fry in my
heavy, cast iron pan, or over vegetables roasting in the oven . . just a
few minutes before the cooking time is up so you get the full flavour
and the herb does not burn to a cinder. I will nibble on chives when I'm gardening, and the purple flowers are pretty in salads. I dead head chives regularly to ensure a prolonged growing season.
It was but a few minutes out there today, but even these few small and simple jobs have lifted my spirits and there will be herbs to harvest for the kitchen, mint for tea, and a few more things rescued and tidied up.