Vegetables – The pleasures of Spring

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April 20, 2009

Vegetables – The pleasures of Spring

Oh, the pleasures of Spring if you’re a gardener!

Oh, the pleasures of Spring if you’re a gardener!

Every windowsill in my house has seed trays, little pots and all sorts of things just beginning to show green leaves above the dark brown of the seed compost. I don’t have a greenhouse right now so all my salads vegetables and flowers start their life on bedroom and bathroom windowsills – at least it means you don’t even have to go out of the house to check on progress!
It’s odd how time changes – when as a child I was given beans to sprout on a piece of damp cotton, and was told ‘you’ll see, they will come up in no time’ they seemed to take forever. Now, of course, having a thousand other things to think about, every time I pass their seed trays they seem to be inches taller and demanding to be potted on to bigger pots.
One of England’s great and famous gardeners – Vita Sackville West – wrote once that one of life’s truly innocent pleasures was walking through leaves in the fall (or autumn, depending on which country you live in). She was right, but I would add to that, the pleasures of seed sowing and propagation.
We had a fierce winter here. Although the real cold only lasted for a few weeks it was likened to winters seventy years ago, and many of the plants we had had for ever died. Fortunately, I had taken cuttings of many, so recovery may take a while, but nice new plants will grace the garden in due course. The only kitchen perennials outside, the herbs, seem to have survived surprisingly well – and so I am starting off trays and pots of this year’s salads and vegetables.
I used to sow seeds early and then worry when poor straggly little creatures fought the last of the winter to get going, now I find that if I sow seeds a little late they seem very willing to grow up fast and well. Hence the crowds on the windowsills. This year I am going to try all the exotic varieties of salads that are now available well into Fall/Autumn – so I will report on the various triumphs and disasters as I go along.
If there are any odd and interesting vegetables that you know about, or would like to know about – please let us know, we’re always happy to hear from you.
As always,
happy horticulture,
Diana