Six on Saturday: 28.3.20

Well, it’s been an interesting week. I’ve worked potting on hundreds, into thousands of dahlias, marigolds, and petunias. We’ve been the only garden centre open in the area but it came as no surprise when I got a call yesterday to say I was no longer needed. I’ve enjoyed my short time as a grower despite everything going on. But I can know help at home and stay safer. It’s been a hard strain on Amy as a teacher, teaching from home and looking after a three-year-old at the same time. So still plenty of positives. Plus it was my birthday this week. A bit of a cake shortage but I got a few nice presents.

1. Frost

We’ve had a good few nights of frost this week. The hydrangeas are looking like their leaves may have suffered a bit and the camellia looks like its flowers will suffer a bit when they open. That said, it does look pretty on many of the plant’s first thing in the morning. I’ve held off some of the veg sowings in the new raised bed until after the weekend when the temperature is gradually going to rise again.

2. Acer-Going green

The Acers have foolishly started opening their leaves. So far they seem to be doing alright but I won’t be surprised if they get some frost damage. Here is going green bought last year. The bright green is a welcome sight in spring and more so currently.

3. Daffodil-Sealing wax

These were bought from the bargain trolley at the start of January. We each choose a pack of bulbs and these were Amy’s choice. They are about the only variety I know the name of as the rest have been bought as part of cheap mixed bags.

4. Forget-me-nots

The forget-me-nots are coming into flower for the first time this year. They self-seed themselves around the garden. They bring little bursts of cheer and various insects enjoy visiting.

5. Mini-greenhouse

It was my birthday last Tuesday and I got a mini-greenhouse from Amy and Alice. This is now filled mainly with sweetpeas and lupins. I would like to have a sift around so I can get it up against the warmth of the house and on the sunnier side but I wanted it tucked in for now as it has been windy. I should be able to put the sweet peas out soon. I’ll plant most up next week and keep a few back in case they die off. The lupins will be fine out but I’ve got the space so they can sit there for now. The tall plant sticking out is one of the passionflowers I grew from seed last year.

6. Direct sow

I’ve been giving Alice packs of seeds that can be direct sown to keep her occupied. So far she’s done some nasturtiums and here she was sowing a pretty dark red double cornflower. She has gone quite heavy in one corner so I may need to do some thinning if any of them grow.

So, a strange week. But I am more fortunate than many out there right now. I’m looking at my work dismissal more in terms of keeping me and my family safe than as a lost opportunity. I’ve got plenty to keep me busy. Manure to go down on the raised bed and seeds to sow. A bit of weeding to do and some potting on that needs doing. I hope you are all managing alright through this crisis and finding reasons to be cheerful.

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41 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: 28.3.20”

    1. I knew it was coming so not like it was a shock. In some ways it’s more of a relief to be able to stay at home and limit mine and my families exposure but couldn’t walk out of the job.
      The greenhouse is nice and adding a bit more routine to the day opening and closing the vents. Hoping to pot a few bits on today and maybe sow a few new bits.

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  1. Are you going to be able to go back to the garden centre when this is all over? I hope so. Happy birthday! And what a brilliant birthday present. I remember you buying and planting the daffs, they are lovely. Stay safe and well. x

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  2. Here also the hydrangeas are their leaves slightly affected by the night frosts, they are a little crumpled but not grilled. Everything should recover. Your acer is a little bit ahead of mine, the leaves are just starting to come out of the buds. Nice mini greenhouse near Alice’s kitchen !

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  3. I hope you can return to your job later in the year. (I hesitate to say when things get back to normal). Alice has started on her summer wardrobe by the looks of her pretty dress. Are you going to have a sign saying “Dad’s Greenhouse? Happy birthday.

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    1. It was only a temp job so doubt they’ll need be back as the growing season will be well underway by the time lockdown finishes . But while it will be competitive after this I think they’ll be a lot of jobs going as many places laid off staff before the government aid was announced. Alice is happy with all the family time she’s getting.

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  4. Early sowing going on here – I hope Alice isn’t disappointed if they don’t grow, she does look very happy in her costume! Sad to hear about the job but I imagine there will be lots of jobs available in the horticultural world eventually and meanwhile you are probably safest at home. As you say you can help with Alice. Happy belated birthday 🎈 nice present!
    Take care xx

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      1. New alliums? I left last years in the ground and planted some new sphaerocephalon as I (and the bees) like those. I can see leaves so I might be surprised to have flowers too!

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      2. Should still have been lots alliums still in the ground but I really went to town planting more. Got over 100 from Sarah Raven for about a tenner. 80 sphaerocephalon, more nigrum and a new variety Caméléon. Bees should be swarming if most come up.

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  5. Oh not good about the job loss mate. I think it is going to be tough for a lot of people and I really have a bad feeling about my job. Welcome to the Small Greenhouse club. I have 2 and soon will have 3 ad no room for a big one in my garden. As people have said that daffodil is nice. Belated birthday greetings mate…

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    1. There will be lots of jobs after all this as so many people have been dismissed. Will be tough but I’ll find something. The mini-greenhouse seems to be doing a good job. Sweet peas coming on alright in it. Not a very exciting birthday but going to be a lot of celebrations after all this.

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  6. Sorry to hear about your job. Better safe at home than out in the virus ridden world. Be thankful your little family is healthy and that you will never be bored as long as you can garden. We’re all going to come out of this with the best gardens ever!

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  7. Really sorry to hear about your job – but you have good experience now, and as someone says above, there will be other jobs. Alice is so lucky to be starting that young. We all seem to treasure our first gardening experiences, don’t we? Happy belated birthday and enjoy your greenhouse!

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  8. It’s lovely to see Alice grow and take part in your gardening progress. Happy birthday – I think that’s a great present. Losing your job though, is not, especially as you sounded as though you were enjoying it. I’m glad you have plenty to keep you busy….thank goodness for gardens.

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    1. They’ll be other jobs come after all this is over. But if I was to make someone else ill through not having isolated I can’t take that back. So I’m happy to stay home and enjoy the family time. Plenty of gardening to get on with and offered to sort neighbours front garden to keep me busy.

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  9. A birthday & a lay off. What a week as you say. I’m glad that you felt like celebrating your bday, though – that green house is great. Hopefully you’ll get to go back to the job when the dust settles. Your garden’s looking good. Love how the acer’s in front of the wood pile. Shows off the green nicely. The photos of Alice make it look like summer!

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  10. Belated Happy Birthday from me too. The mini greenhouse looks good and will no doubt be very useful. It’s good to see that your daffodils have not suffered from their late planting despite the gardening books saying they should be planted asap. The Heidi (?) costume is very cute.

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    1. Cheers. The greenhouse filled up fast, though should be able to move a lot out soon ready for tender plants. The daffs and tulips planted late don’t seem to have suffered for it. Alice is dressed as Little Red Riding Hood. She’s not going to like it when things return to normal and she has to wear normal clothes.

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