Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Anxious moments

Anyone who has been a father will understand what I mean when I say that my feelings in relation to seeds sown in my garden are very like those of an expectant father... worry, worry, worry, relief!

It is with a big sense of relief that I see that some of my Carrot seeds are finally germinating:

The ones in the photo above are in the wooden planter outside our kitchen window, but there are also some showing through in the big raised bed in the veg plot too. Still no sign of the Parsnips (but I expect it will be Twins in the end, if you follow me).

I am also concerned about my Cotinus tree. In 2014 I thought it had died, but it recovered last year - or at least most of it did. One large section didn't produce any new leaf shoots, so I am anxiously waiting to see what happens this year. The tree produced quite a lot of new shoots from low down on the main trunk, so maybe some clever surgery will be required in order to maximise their effect, whilst possibly having to cut out some dead wood elsewhere. We'll see... The remainder of the tree is slowly coming back to life.

During the Winter many of the woody herbs look all-but-dead, and you start thinking "This is never going to survive", like this Purple Sage:

However they usually do come back OK. This one is beginning to send out new leaves, so I'm confident that it has pulled through.

Likewise this green Sage:

My green Sage had gone very straggly, so last year I took lots of cuttings and tried to start off some new plants. Only two of them survived the Winter, and currently look like little more than bare sticks unless you look very closely indeed. This is one of them - just a little bit of green showing on the stem at the left.

There's no doubt about this young Hypericum though. It's a volunteer, probably self-seeded from the bigger bush growing about two metres away.

Plenty of life in the Raspberries too. I the Autumn I pulled up about half of my Raspberry plants because I had concluded they were diseased, so I only have about 8 left. If they don't do well this year, they're coming up too!

Ample evidence, if you needed any, to prove the saying that a garden is never finished, it just evolves!

P.S. Here in the UK it's National Gardening Week. Guess what I'll be doing...


  1. I replace my sages when they get too woody. The object after all is the leaves. But the woody stems are nice tossed on the BBQ coals to add some sage smoke to the meat.

  2. Not many signs of life yet in my garden, but with a good warmup coming this weekend, I should be seeing a lot more green by next week (hopefully!).

    I know what you mean about the woody herbs - they usually look pretty dead at the start of the season. Patience is key - I was too busy to pull my "dead" mint last year (I know - dead mint? Impossible!) and it did end up making it, but it was one of the last to put on new growth.

    Good idea from David on the sage stems - had't thought of that.

  3. This year I'm making a serious attempt at growing carrots.They have never germinated in my heavy clay plot before so I've prepared a couple of the built up areas ,being careful not to use any new manure.Followed the gardenfocused guide and sowed a couple of days ago in "2nd week of April".It adjusts for the Lancaster climate but I might be a week later here ,up the hill a bit but still overlooking Morecambe Bay.Have also invested in a couple of fine mesh hoop tunnels to ward off carrot fly.All defences at the ready!
    Tried parsnips before and generally ok if the soil is loosened up but gardenfocused is telling me to hold off from sowing until last week in April.
    My summer raspberries seem to have root rot but the Autumn ones appear to be more vigorous ,touch wood.

  4. I am worried about my sage as well. It currently shows no sign of surviving winter. I didn't start any plants from seed, so I'll have to purchase a few transplants if it doesn't show signs of life soon. I also worry about my strawberries...Maybe perennials are not good for my health :)

  5. that satisfaction feeling cant be define... =) at least that's what I felt when look at my mini garden blooming

  6. I know how you feel. A lot of my herbs are looking threadbare at the moment, so I'm waiting expectantly for those green shoots!

  7. I totally agree waiting for seeds to germinate is comparable with awaiting the birth of a child. I suppose it's because in both cases we are helpless and have to wait on nature to do its thing. I sowed some carrots in a large pot in my unheated greenhouse and they took three weeks to show through, three long, agonising weeks.


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