What a difference a day makes Twenty-four little hours Brought the sun and the flowers Where there used to be rain.*
So sang Dinah Washington, The Temptations, Jamie Cullum, Tony Bennett and all day yesterday, me!
Yes the sun was shining and I embarked on my flower planting marathon which will continue all weekend and probably well into next week. I am keeping a note of how many of each flower I am planting and I think you will all be truly impressed!
However, the reason I am blogging about a day making a difference is that my Jekyll and Hyde personalities (ie my legal brain and my common sense brain) have been wrestling with each other this week about, would you believe, the timing of sowing seeds.
I was passing the garden centre on Wednesday (30 May) and popped in to check there was nothing else I could grow this summer and also to pick up some winter flowering pansy seeds which I read should be sown around now.
I have been reading lots of other gardening blogs and recently many people were talking about harvesting purple sprouting broccoli which had been over-wintered. I thought I would give it a try and looked for the seeds. There were lots to choose from but when reading the instructions a common theme was developing… “sow April to May”. That only left me one more day!
You see this is where my mental tussle began. To my legal brain, used to 20 years of sticking to time limits and deadlines, I only had until midnight on 31 May to sow these seeds.
Thursday 31 May dawned. It was so wet, even the slugs had umbrellas. I checked the weather forecast. It was due to dry up around 4pm. Perfect, still plenty of time. 4pm came and went and it was still torrential, getting even heavier. The fire, the lights and the television went on. I kept wandering over to the window and gazing out. No change.
Eventually, Mr Mac asked what was wrong with me. I told him I only had until midnight to sow my purple sprouting broccoli seeds. As soon as the words were out of my mouth I realised how totally stupid they sounded. My legal brain had clocked off for the evening and common sense brain was on the backshift – they just hadn’t told me.
Anyway, I can’t publish Mr Mac’s response but it was along the lines of “don’t be so silly, darling, one more day won’t make a difference”. This is from the man who believes sell by dates are a conspiracy and is often heard muttering at an open fridge, “it says ‘best before’, not ‘will kill you’ after”.
So yesterday, Friday 1 June was a beautiful sunny day and guess what? I still didn’t sow my purple sprouting broccoli seeds. I was so busy trying to catch up with flower planting I did not get round to it. Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow? (That’s the Irish side of my family!).
Then this morning my copy of Amateur Gardening magazine arrived and I eagerly ripped it open to see what free seeds were included (schizanthus, in case you’re interested) and what I should be doing this week. I turned to page 40 to read all about the free seeds and was horrified to read the following:
“Plants from a March sowing can be in flower as early as late May, but, of course, we’re into June now and we’ve missed the sowing deadline for summer flowers this year”.
*Lyrics by Stanley Adams; Maria Grever
Mr Mac sounds just like my husband 🙂
Remember that you live in Scotland you can add at least two weeks on. I spent last weekend watching the Chelsea Flower Show and they stated that there was still plenty time to get stuff sown….. Go for it. My purple sprouting broccoli will not be getting done till tomorrow. I will being keeping it in the greenhouse for a bit.
I sowed my plants early last year…all by March…and most of them didn’t make it when I planted them out. So this year I have sowed them late, and will be putting my beans, tomatoes, lettuce and cucumber into the ground by the end of June. I’m not rushing. I think it’s trial and error and depends on climate and region.