It is a factory of seedlings. Overseen by a fluffy non-mousing elderly cat. He is happy for now as the spring sunshine is hitting the clear polycarbonate roof at the perfect temperature. Warming old bones and germinating my seedlings. Waking my overwintered pelargoniums from dormancy.
I’m showing off. But I do love sowing season.
And cat. He is happy for now as I am still leaving him benchspace to snooze. In a few weeks time he will be plaintive and wailing as all the pricked out vegetable and flower seedlings will cover every surface. Including his favourite sun spots. He starts out on the north side of the benches and then staggers round to the south side for his later afternoon sun with breeze as I open the giant windows to get the seedlings swaying and toughening up.
He will exact revenge, as he does every year, by sleeping on said seedlings and making me shriek. I profer eveidence from last year.
But that’s fine. In this year of bereavement I am all for a bit of constancy.
Just cut, plonk in slightly damp well drained soil in a pot (I add vermiculite to old compost) and wait four weeks. Sometimes only three. And roots shoot out of the bottom of the cut plant and off you go.
But this year I’m actually having a go at balotta. Pause while I check. Two l’s or two t’s? Ballota. I always get that the wrong way round.
It’s a brilliant plant; one of my favourites in this mountain mediterranean garden. It has pale grey long leaves that are soft and hairy – brilliant for flower arranging – and there are even tiny purple flowers in spring.
If you look in my Farm Tour section of this website in the Barn Garden you will see my largest balotta shrub right up against the stone wall of the barn, near the white lavender.
And having recovered from the shock of investing in the 12 new Filippi lavenders for the step garden bed, I’ve decided to grow my own.
Does anyone else marvel how you can get plants for free by just cutting off bits, shoving in the right compost, waiting for root growth and planting out? I find it miraculous.
And it must make plant nursery staff gnash their teeth.
Well, miraculous if it works. I’ve never tried ballota from cuttings before. Here they are in the pots of well drained compost. I’ll mist them a few times a day with my handy mister (cools the cat too).
And I have taken more cuttings from the santolina primrose gem. A stinky little plant, but good dark green evergreen colour and it even has flowers that don’t make you wince.
Now excuse me while I twinkle up to the potting shed and see if those sunflowers have germinated. They were just poking their heads above the soil when I closed up last night.