January 9

Six on Saturday – Green shoots 09/01/21

I start to get twitchy fingers at this time of year and am desperate to sow seeds but apart from a few peas and beans it just isn’t worth it.  The seedlings get leggy and then cold, or the other way around, and do not produce great plants so I must wait until the middle of February. However, it doesn’t mean that things are not growing all around me.

And don’t think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It’s quiet, but the roots are down there riotous.

Rumi, The Soul of Rumi: A Collection of Ecstatic Poems

This post is part of the wonderful Six on Saturday hosted by The Propagator. Thank you all for the very warm welcome.

My first plant is the hellebore that my Mum collected seeds from in her local Sainsbury’s carpark. When we had to sell her house, I took a few of the plants from her garden and planted them in mine despite the fact that we had completely different soils. They took a little while to acclimatise but once they got going, they were off.  I doubt that they are a fancy variety but they are important to me and they are almost here.

Second are my cuttings from Buddleia colvilei. I bought a plant and put it somewhere where it is completely covered by another large shrub. By the time I realised, it was a bit too big to move so I took some cuttings in the hope that I could create more plants. 3 out of the 4 cuttings have taken and roots are now poking out of the bottom of the pot.  The leaves are felty and grey, like many plants that are relatively drought tolerant, although they lose some of their feltiness as they mature. The flowers are tubular bells, similar to those on a penstemon.

I have a large perennial Cottager’s Kale on the allotment that at this time of year gives many, many leaves. The plant is rather large and a bit of a slug magnet but invaluable. I took these cuttings in September and they are in a sheltered space in front of my greenhouse at home and look to be doing well. I am going to put  couple on the wildlife plot as I need to grow more food on it and then give the rest away to the allotmenteers.  They are a much sort after plant on our site.

I love the flowers on Miscanthus sinensis Morning Light. The plant is at the front, north facing, of the house in the only little bit of heavier soil that I have in the garden and it seems to do fine. The shape of the whole plant is great – like a fountain – and it is prolific enough to split every two years. This means that I have it all over the garden.

Some plants are really tough. Who would have thought that a lettuce would have survived being frozen every night for the last four nights and still look perky and pickable the next morning.  This lettuce is a self-seeded plant growing in the wood chip path of the vegetable beds at home.  It is Rouge Grenobloise but I also have a black-seeded Simpson lettuce in another path.

My Mahonia Charity is just coming into flower. It is full of them and the blackbirds seem to be having a great time picking the flowers off and throwing them around the plant. I sat and watched them this morning but I am not sure why they are doing it. Vandals! The label on the plant says that it is Charity but the flowers do not stick up in the air like the photos on google but droop down. It is one of the few shrubs that I still have that was in the garden before we moved in over 20 years ago. The shrub can be hacked right back and still it sprouts forth. (I’ve just noticed a bramble in the picture growing away quietly through the Mahonia!)

Do you have green shoots in your garden?

 

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Posted January 9, 2021 by alijoy in category january, six on saturday

11 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – Green shoots 09/01/21

  1. Sel Calderbank

    I like that quote from Rumi. I’m just reading about Fungi and underground networks (Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake, so it is apt! I also love Miscanthus, and am impressed by your lettuce, lucky you!

    Reply
    1. alijoy (Post author)

      Would you recommend the book? I am looking for something about the fungi and microrrhyzal connections. I love the idea of a wood wide web.

      Reply
  2. Carolee

    Not much green here in central Indiana other than the evergreens, some bedraggled parsley, and the hellebore leaves (no sign of buds at all) and the bergenia is still reddish green. A few bulb shoots just poking through, but we have lots and lots of winter to go.

    Reply
    1. alijoy (Post author)

      No – in some parts of the world the winter is veeerrry long. I follow some people on a blog that live in Vermont. They can have snow for more than 6 months of the year with a very short, concentrated growing season.

      Reply
  3. Noelle

    Maybe the blackbirds are remembering the lovely fruit from an earlier season, and coming back. That lettuce looks rather good. I would be tempted to pick a couple of the outer leaves to eat.

    Reply
    1. alijoy (Post author)

      We’ve had several off it as it has been there since November. All this mollycoddling I have been doing for my lettuces can stop now. I’ll just grow them hard.

      Reply
  4. Fred

    I also love miscanthus. I have 2 different ones and in winter, when we have frozen nights, the flower spikes give a very nice effect and beautiful photos in the morning. How did you make your kale cuttings? I have never tried other than to sow them…

    Reply
    1. alijoy (Post author)

      I think it might be a bit of luck but cut them with long stalks and just below a leaf node. The stalks are at least 15cm long. Someone with green thumbs on the next allotment to me told me to keep the stalks long. He gave me my first cutting and it was about 50cm and made me make a hole long enough for it in the ground and it worked. 🙂 The cutting took and grew quickly.

      Reply
  5. lindakasmaty

    It’s interesting reading other people’s blogs. I have already sown quite a few seeds and have seedlings in the greenhouse which I hope will romp away when the weather gets warmer. Things like wild carrot and Ammi magus. I think they’ll be tough enough to withstand this weather under cover. My hellebores are very slow to appear.

    Reply
    1. alijoy (Post author)

      I am really envious of your seedlings. I think I could sow some seeds and get a way with it but this cold spell won’t help. I have got a small heated window sill propagator and had some tumeric tubers which I planted and they have done nothing so I am going to put them on it and see if anything happens. Then it should be free for mid-February when I will start sowing seeds.

      Reply

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