Thursday, 24 February 2011

Frankenstein's Laboratory or the Ballad of Coffee-Go-Mad

One cup of coffee is all it takes to make me go crazy. I am wrested in this almost dread energy, where I'm doing several things at once, but feeling like I'm doing nothing at all. Does anyone else get that? Maybe it's this brand of coffee (strength 4 Asda speciality). Anyway, let's talk gardening not coffee! Although coffee was the catalyst for much of the story that follows. My studio has become a full time lab now. The sunflowers are comingon a big cakey dream, although I am loath to transplant them to larger pots as they hate being moved. I was surprised by how long the first root was in each seed, it's the same for the sweet peas, a big long pale tendril, that really burrows down, thereafter smaller roots establishing horizontally. As we don't have tonnes of really open sunny spots in the garden I will be doing a combo of potted and direct planting in the ground, with some going down to the allotment where I hope they will become monsters. Thrown into the mix are later blooming sunflowers - Autumn Beauty, Red Sun, Ruby Eclipse and Chocolat. Massively excited about these. The variety in the seeds alone tells me great things are coming, the pointier, almost black ruby eclipse offsets the golden mottled colours of the red sun and the pallid birds egg quality of the autumn beauty.
I've bought a huge trough for the sweetpeas from Poundstretcher, really that place should be called SUPERQUID. The gardening stuff they have is wicked and cheap. Additionally I have purchased a thirty pot propagator, some Dutch Iris bulbs (now planted around the apple tree), and some peat pots (these are good for sunflowers as you pot them direct in the soil and the roots smoosh through like big super hunks - oh dear). I have put the white sunflowers in these as they are much smaller and thinner than their rowdy orange cousins. Let's see what happens.
Joining the crew are the Pinellia Tripartita; there is a frustrating lack of information on the intercrap, so I'm not even sure whether this is the right time to plant them. If they grow, I will become an authority on them!
Echinacea Bravado has it's own propagator, as do the very saucy French Marigold pinwheels. These seeds are so weird. They look like little shards of hay dipped in ink. I love them! Lastly I have potted thirty Malva Zebrina seeds which look like grape nuts. These are a cousin to the hollyhocks, which I'm hoping will grow up nice and tall this year.

P.s I have also grown some cat grass for Tad to chew on. Tried to get him to have a sniff the other day but he was too busy spraying the ivy bushes, properly marking his territory, the fiend. Catmint is growing. Very. Slowly. Also, I sowed some Poblano chile pepper seeds. They are said to turn '...a red so dark as to be nearly black.' My heart fills to bursting.

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