Gardening Magazine

Rotten Luck and Quick Results.

By Tuckshopgardener @tuckshopgardenr
I've just had a poke in the blank, undisturbed pots which house my anemone corms.  I'd had them in the cellar to try to force them into slightly earlier sprouting, but having seen no signs of life, moved most of them into the greenhouse.  Still nothing.  However, one little pot in the porch has started to show stirrings in the compost during the last couple of days.
The lack of activity in its blank-faced contemporaries led me to conduct investigations.  Using a pen as my probe, I firked around the compost until I met with the little truffley nuggets which are the swollen corms of the anemones.  I uprooted one to investigate, and found that despite it maintaining its shape, it had turned into a splodge, rather than a nugget, and oozed whitely when poked.  Oh dear. That's not going to grow.  The lesson to learn from this is that I MUST remember to make a really sharply drained potting mix next time I plant them and perhaps water more sparingly to boot.
But for every tragedy there is a triumph.  Sowed seeds of achillea 'Ptarmica' a few days ago and read with a heavy heart that 'germination may take between one and three months'.  Spotted a fleck of green on the surface of the seed tray when peering through the condensation of the propagator lid, pulled it out of the fuggy warmth, and found a whole downy crop of sprouters populating the surface of the compost.  Yippee!  Result! So for my 12 deceased anemones, I have about 200 achilleas....
Gardening in my view is muck, magic and learning lessons.  Like British football teams in Europe, a lot of what we sow doesn't make it to the finals.  But if something fails, just sow something else. There are lots of seeds in a packet and the law of averages tells me that if I keep going, I'm bound to get something to grow.  It seems to have worked so far!
British cut flowers, Birmingham.  Tuckshop FlowersLast year's pink achillea  - this year's will be white.

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