Everyone loves a freebie, yes? Gardeners are no exception and gardening offers plenty of opportunities for freebies - saved seeds, cuttings, dividing plants all give us freebies. I grew this wonderful Rosemary plant currently flowering in the polytunnel from a cutting - it was a freebie. There is another freebie type I love and one that particularly favours the not too tidy gardener i.e. me!!
I am lucky enough to have a large vegetable garden and large polytunnel but whilst that is great for keeping us in veg through the year, it does mean a lot of work, so fairly often things slip and the weeds may just get a bit of a hold. With the arrival of Spring and warmer weather weeds have been having a jolly good go at dominating in the polytunnel and with fair weather outside I have been loathe to work ndercover. "So what does this have to do with freebies," I hear you ask? Ah well, many weeds when just germinated are fairly difficult to identify and much less easy to separate out from the masses. Leave them to grow a bit bigger and ID becomes easier which is the point that you realise that so called weed is in fact not a weed at all - it is just a good plant in the wrong place!
That explains why, if you look at my patch of overwintering onions, you will see 2 potatoes slap bang in the middle and a gorgeous little viola flowering away quite happily. The viola is self-sown and the potatoes are growing from tubers I left in the ground after harvesting last year.
Further up the polytunnel there is a veritable selection of self seeded plants - a large chard, a dill, some English marigolds, some tomatoes and the ones I am most pleased with - several physalis plants sometimes better known as Cape Gooseberries. These are very tender and normally I cannot overwinter them and they are hard to germinate in a seed tray. Several plants though are growing quite happily and with such a head start I could be in for a very handsome crop later in the year. And have you seen the price of cape Gooseberries in the shops? Exorbitant doesn't get anywhere near it!
Now a tidy gardener may have whipped these plants out. But I am not a tidy gardening and for that I shall be reaping the benefits.
As for things I have actually sown, it is the peas I am most pleased with this week - lots of little pods are starting to swell and soon I will be sat doing one of my favourite jobs - podding peas.
|Young pea pods|
Do you have a job you really like doing in the garden? Or what freebies has your garden given you? Have you got yourself some free plants or discovered something unknown and of value lurking in the deepest depths of the garden? Please do let me know in the comments below.
For further gardening stories pop over to Annie's blog, Mammasaurus, and read some of the blogs joining in with the How Does Your Garden Grow linky.