The project is going well. Even on the days when I don't get time to document what I am doing I am managing to do something, somehow, somewhere in the Garden.
Today I have been admiring the way the sweet cicely has chosen to sow itself in amongst the peony. They are such a happy partnership. I have also been potting on my seedlings from Sarah Raven.
I decided that the answer to my cutting garden conumdrum this year would be to buy in some annual seedlings for the squares which I haven't yet filled. I have twenty seedlings of four different varieties of cosmos: Dazzler and Double Click Cranberry, both carmine pink, one single flowered, one double, and Purity and Psyche White, both white, again one single and one semi double. As usual I have bought far too many so these will do my cutting garden, the gaps in the side garden and should still leave a few left over for my daughter in law who is starting a brand new garden in their new house.
I also bought sweetpea seedlings: Lord Nelson, Prince Edward of York and Matucana. These are all very strongly scented and seem to do ok up here if the place where they grow is richly composted or manured.
I have bought these as seedlings from Sarah Raven before and they are generally sturdy and well grown. I have also grown all of these from seed myself but I have left it too late this year, again! Long experience of our conditions up here on our hillside has taught me that they will all fare best if potted on and allowed to get quite big as they harden off before they go out. They will then withstand the depredations of slugs and snails much better. Potting things on is one of those jobs which needs to be approached in the right frame of mind. If I am in a rush it always annoys me that it takes far longer to do properly than I think it should. Going at it too quickly I am not careful enough to tuck the plants in, I rush with the watering, missing some and drowning others and I often skip labelling the pots in the totally mistaken belief that this year I will remember what I have put where. Why do I think this? I am always wrong.
Today I have taken it slowly, potting on gently, labelling carefully, watering thoroughly and even taking out my gardening diary to record what I have been doing. Again it took far longer than I had thought it would, more than an hour as against my predicted half an hour, but I enjoyed it more and focussed on it more, disciplining myself to ignore the weeds poking their heads up in the herb beds. Perhaps this is one of the results of the 100 day project: finding myself able to take my time instead of crashing about trying to tick things off a mental or real to do list.
And then I took my cup of coffee down to the kitchen garden to admire the delicate froth of the sweet cicely again and to roll its leaves in my fingers and smell the faint, sweet scent of it. It goes very well with rhubarb but we don't have enough rhubarb just yet so I will just have to love it sitting in the sunshine.