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Growing Pains

March 11, 2014

I knew it was far too early for sowing seeds but I couldn’t resist and started with courgettes. The plan was to put the pots in the heated propagator and to catch them just as soon as they emerged through the soil. Then I would keep them indoors in the warm and light for the next six weeks. This below was the stage I had hoped to catch them at…


…but when I returned from four days away four of the seedlings had shot up to an ungainly 20cms.  They are all now in the cold frame sheltered in a porch and sitting on bubble wrap where I hope the growth will slow down and the root systems will steadily increase but I may well have to start again.DSCN2485

It’s so tempting in this warm weather to try to get ahead yet it’s essential to wait another six weeks before sowing most seeds. Hardy annuals are the exception and a row of French Marigolds are now sown direct in the soil on the allotment next to the broad beans.  Another pot of broad beans has just come through in the propagator and these will be planted next week with the marigolds growing between the two rows.

I keep picking my lovely crop of flat leaf parsley sown last September and that and the rocket have made a trip to the allotment each week worthwhile over the last three months. I have put a reminder in my journal to sow both again in early September this year.


This inspiring book by Louise Curley, with lovely photographs by Jason Ingram, has just arrived and after a 30 minute read I am so excited and I can’t wait to get sowing.  I started to clear a patch on the allotment on Sunday inspired by her article in the Guardian Weekend which opened with a lovely statement ‘ Flowers make us feel better’.  I know this to be true and I share her reluctance to buy imported when it’s possible to grow them in the UK for most of the year.


The Helleborus argutifolius are looking lovely in the garden here …


I sowed seeds from this plant last Autumn from a crisp brown seedhead and they sat quietly in the cold frame all Winter until a month ago when they began to grow a pace.


This week I pricked them out into individual pots and placed them in the cold frame to establish some sturdy roots. I want to increase all my hellebores especially the ones below with double flowers,  these emerge every year in almost total shade and there’s room for more.


One Comment leave one →
  1. March 18, 2014 2:43 pm

    Oh we’ve all been there and sowed a tad too early. It is so tempting though. 😉 I tend to do it with French beans. I always seem to forget how quickly they grow and then I’m left trying to manage them because it’s too early to plant them out. Ooooo! you’ve got my book. I’m so pleased to hear it has inspired you. Hope you like it. Love those hellebores.

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