Positive finish, positive start

This title might seem back-to-front. It’s about finishing the year by planting – and looking forward to the results in the new year.

On Christmas Day my sister and brother-in-law gave me an intriguing present.

I spent a while trying to guess what it could be. It turned out to be this:

It was a thoughtful gift to allow me to grow things in the hope of keeping them safe from the hens. Before they went on holiday, the family dropped around to put it up for me.

Over the last few days I’ve been thinking about what to plant in it. Today I felt ready, but even when driving to the nearest garden centre I changed my mind, went to the supermarket first and then to a different garden outlet. I often surprise myself with a change of plan. While I was there, my sister rang and we discussed what could be planted. I went home with more than could fit in the planter. Once again, more seems possible than is actually the case. That could be a positive trait. In the end, this is what the planter looks like:

There are snow peas at the top (blown sideways by the north easterly), kale and spinach in the middle and rocket at the bottom. The idea is that these are a-leaf(or pod)-at-a-time picking plants. It’s possible I might have to plant them in the garden under a protective dome if they grow too big.

The gourmet lettuce mix and the pepper plant were squeezed into the greenhouse.

The lettuces will probably grow too big for that pot, but I like those ready-planted lettuce bowls they have at the garden centre. I’ve just made my own.

I did more in the garden than I’d planned: tidied one side of the garden shed and replanted two hanging baskets – with new linings.

I love gardening programmes. Often, in the background, you can see little pots on stakes. Why? I wondered. Are they bug traps? Nearly poking my eye out on a stake and inadvertently stabbing myself in the ribs on another were all it took for the penny to drop. Now I have a rather fetching selection of ‘potted stakes’ too.

In this photo you can see several attempts made to protect plants from my free ranging hens. Ever persistent, ever hopeful applies to both me and the chooks! So, a positive end and a positive outlook.

Happy New Year!