It's vewy, vewy quiet here in the plant creche I call Amateur Land at the moment, but some of the babies are stirring while others are still sleeping.
It took four weeks snoozing underground before the curly parsley seeds 'hatched' and now about three weeks later they are adorable toddlers. They're getting on with the business of growing, helped along with some smelly organic liquid plant food. I think this is perfectly appropriate, as toddlers and pongs are natural companions. I hear it builds up their immune systems, or so they say.
The cruelty is over. For the last few weeks I have been pinching out every aspiring poppy bloom-ette, telling the precocious plants that there will be plenty of time for blooming later on, and that they ought to just get on with the business of growing roots and leaves, thank you very much, Class of 2010. Of course they all squeal "But we want to party now" but I revel in my role of party pooper. You can read all about the art of poppy pinching here. Works a treat, every time. This morning I gave them a dose of flower-boosting fertiliser, and in the next couple of weeks Pammy should see her first poppies of the year.
The baby spinach isn't in the ideal spot, but I am afraid that is its bad luck, as I have nowhere else to plant it! However, so far so good, they've sprouted and grown well, and once the shortest day of the year is over in a few days' time the spinach should start enjoying something closer to the amount of sunshine it needs and should belt along.
Finally, babies of an altogether more experimental kind. If this works properly (and we'll know that in about three months' time) I'll bore you silly with a step-by-step posting, but for the meantime I'll just add in this pot of baby Japonica cuttings, to complete the Creche theme for this posting.
Japonicas also also known as flowering quinces. They're deciduous plants which bear simple, red or pink flowers on bare stems in late winter (before the leaves reappear). They're also spindly and thorny (a bit nasty to bear near in fact) but unfortunately for me Pam likes them, of course for the pretty winter flowers in particular.
In fact Pam especially likes the plant I took the cuttings from because it's one from her childhood. The cuttings are from the plant at her mum's place, and as her mum is selling her house and moving on (after almost 50 years there), Pam asked me to strike her a plant from the original. Couldn't say no to a request like that, could I?
I have read that Japonicas can make nice bonsai plants, and so that's my five-year-plan (sounds a bit Stalinist, that?). Hopefully I'll be able to slowly turn one or two japonicas into a mini thicket of them in a pot for Pam. At the moment they are just sleeping babies, and I have my fingers crossed that at least one of them will come good, hopefully a few more than that.