It has been a really long time (admittedly since last Summer) since I have done a Six on Saturday post, in fact any blog post whatsoever. I can’t really put my finger on why I have fallen out of the blogging habit, but I feel a fresh determination to get back on the horse. So I thought what better way of getting back into the blogging habit than to join in with the ever-popular and inspiring Six on Saturday. I do apologise to anyone who follows me on Instagram @perennialnerd as I have used some of these pics on there this week, but there remains so many more of you who will be seeing them with fresh eyes and I hope you enjoy them.
I love these African marigold seeds (Tagetes erecta) and these particular ones are Garland Orange. At the moment I am spending hours of my time sowing countless varieties of both flower and vegetable seeds at home and at work. So I have found myself becoming a bit obsessed with studying the beauty of different seeds, and these are some of my favourite. Seeds are so interesting and I love how, for example, these African marigold seeds are so different to French marigold seeds. These are thick and yellow, while the French ones are so spindly and black and white. Seed sowing and propagation in general is one of my favourite past-times and it is in full swing for me at the moment.
I picked the first batch of forced rhubarb this week. We are lucky enough at work to have an old mushroom house which makes the perfect space in which to force rhubarb in the dark. These plants are dug up from the walled garden in winter, left for the frost to penetrate the roots, then planted in the mushroom house where they romp on and grow stems incredibly quickly. I enjoy checking in on their progress and was delighted to be able to take the first harvest. Apparently the kitchen is turning it into rhubarb and orange muffins, so I look forward to getting some of those (fingers crossed) in exchange for regular deliveries of the forced, and tasty, stems.
At home I am enjoying growing a variety of micro greens, and currently I have a really good bounty of pea shoots. I am admittedly running a variety of trials on micro greens, testing types of growing medium and varieties, to see what is the best ways to grow efficiently at home. There has been some success and some failures, more of the latter to be honest. However, currently it is the pea shoots that are coming on really strong and I look forward to a good harvest of these over the coming weeks. I have been, shamefully, watching a lot of Masterchef in recent weeks and see pea shoots being used on so many of their dishes, so will be following suit and adding these tasty and nutritious shoots to a variety of plates.
The weather has been glorious recently and it means the bulbs around the parterre at work are looking resplendent. This ‘ribbon border’ is packed full of hyacinths, daffodils and tulips and currently the former two are in great form with the tulips set to follow in the coming weeks. Visitors are raving about how good it looks and, though I am slightly biased, I do have to agree. Our ‘ribbon border’ is unique and packed with almost 5000 bulbs, a regimented and placed out pattern of 45 bulbs copied over 100 times around the upper level of the parterre. It has real historical precedence and I believe we are maybe one of the last, if not the last, gardens to follow this reciprocal system.
A picture which I could not resist sharing is this one. I was doing a lot of turf lifting and moving and was astonished to see a robin sit on my turfing iron. I was expecting him to fly away, however he simply sat there and was so friendly. You can’t help but smile.
Finally, I simply adore this bloom on the Geranium maderense. It is a glorious and exotic plant native to Maderia, with light magenta flowers sitting elegantly on strong structural stems, however it is not hardy and needs to be kept inside over winter. It does self seed very easily and can be grown from these if collected. I potted up some of the seedlings myself last year and they were no problem to grow on. I think it is a wonderful sight.