So the frosts have finally arrived. My optimistic broad beans that were standing tall are huddled to the ground and the early daffodils are in a state of shock. The only consolation is that some of the overwintering bugs will have bitten the dust at last.
Over a year ago I took some cuttings of a fabulous blue flowering shrub growing in Tanya’s garden on Cross Keys Road. I recognised it as an abutilon but I was amazed at its size, the colour of its flowers and the fact that it seemed to keep its leaves all winter. Abutilons I thought were half hardy, deciduous and usually orange or red. This one I think must be a variety called Suntense.
I did some research on the internet and found that one plant had survived the Scottish winter and had reached a height of 15 feet!
Despite the frosts I now have three thriving plants -already some 3 to 4 feet tall. Not only that but I have also taken cuttings from my cuttings and have 5 healthy looking plants in pots. Tanya’s original plant seems to have disappeared so…do you want a replacement Tanya?
If you have a greenhouse, a propagator or just a nice warm window-ledge now is the time to start off your tomato plants. My daughter’s mother-in-law has successfully grown tomato plants from tomato seeds out of a tin!
I planted some sweet pea seeds that I had saved from last year in pots in the propagator in the greenhouse earlier in February. Amazingly they all seem to have germinated and are now 3 to 4 inches tall. The secret is to keep pinching out the growing points to ensure vigorous many stemmed growth before planting them out after the frosts in well manured ground
You can also grow your own pot of basil -to save buying it from the supermarket. Just sprinkle a few seeds on some soil in a pot, cover it lightly, water with slightly warm water and keep it on your window ledge in a clear plastic bag.