Monday, July 28, 2014


One of the unblogged adventures of 2013 was my tomato plants. We got a Heinz Tomato Ketchup-themed Christmas present that included a couple of little pots and a packet of tomato seeds. Having a less than stellar track record with novelty-gift plants, we didn't expect anything to actually grow. We just figured that there was nothing to lose by putting them in soil and seeing what happened.

small red plant pots with Heinz tags

Amazingly, they grew. In fact they grew beyond all expectation, despite snow and frost and neglect. My PA brought over some of her spare plant pots and some compost so that I could pot them on and they could carry on growing. I feared that the act of breaking them apart from their clumps in the tiny pots would kill them... no, they not only survived, but they continued to grow to the point when they got too big again and my lovely neighbour gave me a few more plant pots, plus some bamboo canes and plant ties to hold them up. I ended up with about 14 plants that grew about 50 decent-sized tomatoes between them, the only slight downside being that for some reason they didn't turn red until October, and ended up becoming soup rather than salads.

Once I had not just harvested but also disposed of the tomato plants, I realised that having the soil and the empty pots was a bit sad, so I went to a garden centre to get bulbs which require a level of wintertime maintenance that I can totally deal with, ie, none. Leaving the pots alone for a few cold, wet months resulted in snowdrops, crocuses, and then daffodils this spring.


The daffodils were followed by alliums and then that was it for the bulbs. The yard was bare again.

A day came, about a month ago, when I didn't have any particular tasks that needed doing and had planned to go have a day out somewhere new with my PA. Unfortunately I really wasn't feeling too well at all so I adjusted the activity level down to: go to a garden centre, find a nice little flowering shrub or something already in a pot to brighten up the yard again with minimal effort. Have a cup of tea and some cake at the garden centre cafe, and then come home. Small quiet excursion that is better than staring at four walls.

Unfortunately it was one of those days when even that was too much. I could barely push from the car park to the cafe. I looked at all the cakes and decided that no, I did not want cake (which is not like me). We got the tea for form's sake but I only managed to drink half of it before I absolutely had to go home. Plants didn't really seem like a priority.

My PA was understandably hesitant to leave me all on my own for the rest of the day. Instead she made sure I was safe and comfortable for a nap, and then went to fetch from her own greenhouse the excess plants that she hadn't planted in her garden. While I slept, she filled my pots with all sorts of plants. I was really touched by the gesture, and as the weeks have gone by, the flowers have bloomed into an ever more colourful display.

pots filled with brightly-coloured flowers

There's some white ones starting to open on the big plants at the back, and a few tiny blue ones hiding in the gaps between the pots. There's also scented ones mixed in... I don't know what any of them are called, but having them there to look at is making me so happy.

1 comment:

Maggie said...

You've got some petunias and begonias in there for sure. Not sure of the rest - may be easier to tell when they flower. What a lovely surprise for you! :-)