Belated Birthday Present

pottingI spent a happy afternoon in the greenhouse today, pricking out and potting on most of the seedlings which were still in trays, restricting myself to 10 of each plant and wondering whether I could bring myself to compost the remainder. I have no idea if 10 will be enough to make an impact in the borders and the cutting bed, but it seemed logical to have two rows of each in the 5 x 8 pot trays that they were being potted into. The afternoon’s activity, whilst providing shelter from the thundery rain which saw off the morning’s sunshine, left a dilemma – the nice narrow trays which comfortably housed the half and quarter seed trays on the upper shelves could no longer house the repotted seedlings and left some of these larger trays with no sensible home.

I have a few of the little 9 or 6 hole trays that came with bedding plants at some stage, and it seems a sensible plan to consciously collect more of these to enable some potted on seedlings to sit on the upper shelf, otherwise these will become temporarily redundant. The other option is more gravel trays of a size that will take perhaps two of the 5 x 8 pot trays – so I have been busy with the tape measure and hopefully in due course the greenhouses will both be making more efficient use of the space! At least I am up to date with potting on the seedlings though – a useful afternoon.

IMG_1721The belated birthday present? Well, I had an HTA gardening voucher for my birthday way back in December, and although I have obviously bought plants since then there was nothing I felt I wanted to say was my ‘birthday present’ – not from anywhere that took the vouchers, that is. We had a voucher in our local paper last week for a half-price plant at our other local garden centre – unlike other customers who were mostly buying bedding plants and the like with their voucher to me it is logical to buy a bigger and more expensive plant at half price. I had in mind another red rhododendron but caught sight of what I could see were witch hazels, this being the garden centre that had some labelled ‘red’ and ‘orange’ and ‘yellow’ when I looked a couple of months ago.

I should not have dismissed them as unnamed varieties at the time, as they were also sporting a separate label with their named variety, and not just the more common named varieties either. My birthday present was therefore Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Magic Fire’ – a snip at half of £29.99. Now, that was March’s voucher I used – I have another voucher for a half price plant in April…….


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15 Responses to Belated Birthday Present

  1. Chloris says:

    That is the difficult part; composting your cherished seedlings that you have lavished so much love and care on. I was wondering what you would do when they were all ready to be pricked out. Your greenhouse looks wonderfully well organised.
    Another witch hazel? How many do have now? (I know, you can never have too many.)

    • Cathy says:

      The greenhouse isn’t really tidy, Chloris, but now I have done this pricking out, etc, I am going to blitz the rubbish under the staging – and at least with the half greenhouse too I now have more space to try and be organised! How many witch hazels? Sssshhhh…..ten…..

  2. Pauline says:

    You are more organised with pricking out your seedlings than I am! Your greenhouse is certainly full of lovely little plants. How many witch hazels does a girl need?! Your garden is going to look wonderful next January, a National Collection in the making!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Pauiline – I am well chuffed with my seedlings and this year it really is a bit of an experiment with when to prick out and pot on and how many to grow. All good fun! And do we ‘need’ any of the plants in our gardens?! For our health and well being I think we do…

  3. bittster says:

    The greenhouse looks as wonderfully organized and well cared for as usual. You say the mess is tucked away, but I can’t imagine there being much in the first place.
    Good for you to hold a line against pricking out too many seedlings, that’s my weakness and I almost have to take them out back and clip off their heads rather than toss them on the compost with all the common weeds. I feel like I’m throwing away money!

    • Cathy says:

      Oh there was mess all right – but I have tidied it now. I shan’t recognise it soon 🙂 Re the seeds, I could do with lining up friends who would like some of the spares!

  4. gs114 says:

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  5. Christina says:

    I have great problems composting the seedlings, I lot of wean them out. Always keeping twice as many as I think I need for any one stage and only being really ruthless at planting time. I think I may have mentioned before that I thought you were after National Collection status with your witch hazels!

    • Cathy says:

      It’s part of my learning curve, Christina – I may find I need to keep more next year. And yes, the suggestion of a national collection was heard from your lips first…. 🙂 I am realistic enough, however, to know that I haven’t the appropriate space/location for other than an odd one or two more!!

  6. Annette says:

    I googled it and it seems quite rare (and beautiful), so well chosen. You’re terribly well organized with your seedlings and I look forward to find out what they are. Christina makes me smile ’cause I had the same suspicion about NC… 😉

    • Cathy says:

      Coincidentally Magic Fire was one of the ones I was going to look out for at Bluebell Nurseries but they had sold out. This really is a ‘first’ for me with the seedlings – but let’s get to flowering stage before I really pat myself on the back!

  7. Anna says:

    Oh that greenhouse is looking most impressive Cathy!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Anna – but perhaps I have sown things too early? My autumn sown sweet peas are really champing at the bit but I don’t think I can risk planting them out yet – have put them outside during the day for the last few days though..

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