I’m back after a lovely trip to Spa last weekend, where, like Victorians of old, we took the waters. A genteel town nestled in a wooded valley in the Ardennes, with thermal baths housed in a beautiful building among the trees. Like a mix of Japanese forest bathing, and actual bathing; inspired. But onto more practical matters for this week’s Six on Saturday:
1 Houseplant maintenance. Before things get too busy outdoors, I turn my attention to getting my houseplants in good shape for the coming season. This sounds virtuous, but as you can see from the state of my Calathea triostar with its escaping roots, I’ve been somewhat neglectful. The tips of its leaves were dying off, a sign of water shortage (many of the roots weren’t getting any water as they weren’t in the compost) so I decided I had to repot, and repot fast. Which brings me to a burning question: how often do you repot your houseplants? Mine seem to outgrow their pots every year, and clamour like a tribe of noisy and annoying children for my attention. And like children, they get big, and need more space, and want new toys (well, pretty new outer pots which get more expensive the bigger they get). They wear me out, I tell you.
2 Grapevine. Pruned, waiting in anticipation of a better season than last year, so less humidity please, Yee Weather Gods, if you are listening.
3 Bamboo boo-hoo. A job I’m dreading but really can’t put off much longer. Like Russian troops on the Ukrainian border, next door’s bamboo is threatening to invade sovereign territory. I dig the spreading rhizomes up as best I can, trying not to damage neighbouring plants.
4 Sedum, the old and the new. Hylotelephium spectabile if you keep up with new names or are an RHS examiner. The old seed heads have kept their form nicely, they add some great structure to the front path planting, and it’s cheering to see the new growth peeping through already.
5 Bergenia ‘Flirt’. These miniature bergenias have never really bowled me over in flower, they have been moved to a less shady part of the front path border so hopefully they’ll do better. Nice burgundy foliage in any case.
6 Egg-laying. You know spring isn’t far off when the chickens start laying in earnest again. We’ve had five eggs this week. On Friday, one was rather oddly laid right at the entrance to their coop, while another was where it should be, in the nest box. Time for an omelette, me thinks.
Well, this weekend I really should get round to washing the seed trays and modules, possibly my least favourite gardening job as it reminds me of housework. But if I want to get my chilli and tomato seeds sown, it’s gotta get done. That’s all for now, thanks to The Propagator for unfailingly hosting Six on Saturday every week, and thanks for reading.