Daily Archives: April 5, 2012

Disaster has struck!

I knew it was cold last night as we had a thick white frost this morning and when I checked the temperature at 8am it was -4 degrees!

It never crossed my mind to look inside the greenhouses because, although it was cold, the frost would not get to the plants. However, I have just been out to check everything and I have lost quite a few plants. So far I have lost:

  • All Morning Glory plants – I was worried about these anyway as the leaves were becoming discoloured. All 18 are dead.
  • 68 Cosmos Plants
  • 14 Marigolds
  • 11 Sungold tomatoes
  • 9 Red Cherry tomatoes
  • 9 Moneymaker tomatoes

I am not so worried about the flowers as they all germinate quickly and will catch up. I am gutted about the tomatoes though. I planted them all on 19 February so they had a good head start. I have lost nearly 7 weeks but am going to have to start again.

The problem I have is that where I live in Central Scotland our summers can be mixed and are not famous for wall to wall sunshine. So if I have late tomatoes they will probably not get enough sunshine to ripen. This is why I always plant them so early so they get a head start and get the full benefit of any sunshine.

Now here is what I think I have done wrong. Last night I watered everything at 7pm. It was a clear night so the temperature (which was already low) would have plummeted very quickly. I think that even though the plants were protected from frost, the water must have frozen in the pots and modules and that is what has killed them. So from now on, or at least until there is no more risk of frost, I will water everything in the morning.

Not happy tomatoes

The mystery of blue and white pottery

I have been digging and weeding like a demon trying to get the ground ready for planting – just as soon as spring returns (it is currently -4 degrees!).

Our house is built on the site of an old Victorian greenhouse which was demolished in the late 1980’s. The ground is full of smashed glass which we are always digging up. However, the other thing we keep coming across is bits of blue and white pottery.

the mysterious blue and white pottery

No matter where I have lived this seems to be a common occurrence and I started wondering where does it come from and why?

First port of call for any serious research – Google, of course. However, there is surprisingly little information on the world wide web about this phenomenon.

The only theory I could find is that in Victorian times the willow pattern was produced by every major pottery producer. It was produced on such a mass scale it was affordable to almost every Victorian household.

So how did it end up in gardens? Broken plates would be used as drainage in the bottom of pots in the garden and eventually contents would be tipped into the garden and ultimately buried…only to be dug up again in the 21st Century!

So in true Victorian spirit I will collect all the pieces of pottery I find and use them for drainage in my pots. Extreme recycling!