Am just emerging from the fuzziness of illness and finally feel like I have some energy again. It’s a good feeling, and the sun has finally come out, and it’s New Year’s day, so it’s high time for another horticultural delve into Six on Saturday.
1 Hellebore. A Christmas rose, a well-chosen Christmas gift from my son. About the only thing looking good on my patio collection of pots right now.
2 Alfalfa sprouts. I do miss my freshly-grown salads, so this is the best substitute for winter. It’s quite fun to grow these and they have such a crunchy, fresh taste – perfect in a cheese sandwich. I use the jar method. It’s as simple as putting a couple of tablespoons of suitable seeds in a jar, covering with muslin cloth, soaking for a few hours, then rinsing them twice daily for a few days, until the seeds germinate and you see the first leaves.
3 Seed stocktaking. New Year feels like the right time to chuck out the old and plan for the new, so an opportune moment to check and rationalise the seed boxes in the shed. A cheeky little mouse managed to get in and nibble into the envelopes – luckily this was a cardboard box of quite old seeds so no great loss, and a little mouse needs to eat. The seeds kept in the wooden wine boxes were fine, much better for storage. I’ve resolved not to buy new seeds this year and use what I have. I expect this will go the way of most New Year’s resolutions!
4 Sarcacocca confusa. The sweet box smells lovely at this time of year, or so I remember. The trouble is, during my Covid-like cold, I lost my sense of smell and it’s only just coming back. So I hope to be able to appreciate this in the coming days! It’s planted along the front path, offering multiple sniffing opportunities.
5 Corylus avellana. The hazel catkins are lengthening and gradually turning from lime green to soft yellow. This is the tree that keeps on giving, from nuts, to catkins, to incredibly useful rods to use in the garden for staking, and also good timber for the stove.
6 Blue-leaved trees. A painting I’ve been working on while recovering. These blue-leaved trees, native to my imagination, would look great contrasted with some oranges and yellows for a vibrant colour scheme. However, they are rarely to be found at local garden centres!
Wishing you all a Happy New Year! And thanks to The Propagator for hosting Six on Saturday.