Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Everywhere you look...

The house is awash with seed trays. Chris was away at the weekend and I got very busy with my seed packets, I am a secret seed planter, actually I'm just quite messy so it's best he doesn't see. I don't know where all these seeds have come from really:)
 This weekend I've planted peas, beans, sweetcorn, kale, broccoli including Romanesco which I'm worryingly excited about (ever since they had those lampshades in Habitat years ago I've had a bit of a thing for them...do you remember them? they were beautiful) cabbages, red and savoy types. I've planted asparagus peas and Babington's leeks which I've been really curious about so I'm really hoping that they come up ok.

I first saw Babington's leeks on Mark Diacono's lovely website  but I couldn't really justify the cost of getting the bulbs from him sadly, so when I found them as bulbils (is that the name for baby bulbs?) at Chiltern seeds I was really happy, I might end up regretting the risk of being cheap but we'll see. I really want to get some chervil root and parsley root seeds from Otter farm instead though:)

 I love the Otter farm website and Mark Diacono's blog, I got his book, A Year at Otter Farm for Christmas and it's so beautifully written (quite like the look of his new one too). His philosophy for growing more unusual things is one that I hope to be able to follow eventually, I don't really see the point in filling my small space with things that are cheap, easily available and taste much the same as the produce in the shops. But I'm on a learning curve and perhaps growing a few 'usual' things is like learning with stabilisers before going free cycle.

 I went to art college about a thousand years ago and I still remember a particular project we were set which I deeply resented at the time in my arrogant 'I know it all' teenage way. We  were given a number of 'Masters' to copy, we had to make as much of a faithful reproduction of them as possible...what on earth for? it seemed like such a waste of our time! Most of us failed miserably of course, some because we just weren't Rembrandt and never would be, some because our arrogance (strangely enough I wasn't the only arrogant art student!) deemed that we had to make the paintings 'ours' in some way, completely missing the point. One of us managed to do it beautifully, it was like a photocopy of the original, we were jealous of his talent secretly but muttered under our breath about how he had no individuality. What he actually had was an understanding of what we were actually being taught...to look at the paintings properly to understand how they were created, to go back to basics and learn from masters how to paint because before you can create great paintings of your own, you have to learn to...paint...to draw. So I will grow potatoes and onions, the things that don't tick the 'more unusual' boxes until I have learnt properly how things grow, the basics. I will take that art lesson from all those years ago and finally get the point!

Rembrandt self portrait...the face he would have had, had he ever seen our drawings!

I also got myself some root trainers for the beans, peas and sweetcorn so they have room for their long roots. I wanted to find out if they make a huge difference to the plants, I've never used them before. Unfortunately root trainers  are quite big and I couldn't find anywhere else to put them but on our bedroom windowsill...Chris spotted them immediately when he came home not surprisingly. He was (sort of) smiling as he made some comment about being taken over...but I'm a bit worried about how he'll take all the flower seeds I've still got to plant not to mention the squash, cucumber, courgettes...ah and the cucamelon...Where on earth am I going to put them all?!

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Comments are always welcome, nice kind ones at least! Any advice for a complete novice would also be gratefully received:) Thanks.