My little pot garden

A US writer Catherine Newman recently referred to planting as pushing a little hope into the ground, which struck me as a very fitting description of it.

Apart from the last two days the weather’s been a lot colder and the air drier – both play havoc with my skin and mood. So I like that I get to do something that makes me think of spring arriving.

About a month ago our youngest planted some seeds with me, so now we have the seedlings – spinach, radish and thyme. Sugar snap pea baby plants have started entwining their stakes.This weekend I’ll plant some lettuce seeds.

We’ve got a lemon tree, probably root-bound, that has yielded a single unsatisfactory fruit so far this year and a blueberry bush in full flower for which I have better hopes. (Dwarf Eureka and Blueberry Burst for anyone needing to know.)

There’s bay, parsley, rosemary, mint and oregano, which like to be picked and popped into soups, pasta and slow-cooked casseroles.

For flowers we have pansies, a bergonia and geranium, paper daisies, marigolds, peace lillies, gerberas and a hibiscus that needs a sunnier spot because the deep pink flowers are stunning but we only get one or two at a time. Oh and a young magnolia, a recent purchase off the clearance rack at the nursery nearby.

Daffodils and freesias are putting out their strappy green leaves, the more stately hyacinths are rising above their potting mix.

In my green corner of the back verandah I keep my collection of about a dozen leafy plants, ferns, succulents, lillies and ficuses, a bonsai (Port Jackson Fig I think?) and a couple of small orchids.

That sounds a lot when I list it like that, but really, it’s just a few pots and all of them are fairly small plants. But it’s very satisfying to have them.

Most were free or cheap: gifts, tired-looking plants marked down to nearly nothing, or grown from little orphans I pulled out of cracks in the paths while I was out for a walk.

Every time I look at them, I’m reminded of how it will be next spring and summer with everything growing so much faster and putting on their best display.

Do you dread winter – why and what do you do to make yourself feel a bit better about it?

I didn’t know it was possible to grow so unlemony a lemon, but with the addition of ginger, honey and mint it made a nice warming afternoon drink. The lemon for the pie was shop-bought 🙂

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