A friend of mine, quite keen on gardening, but a recent convert to properly growing due to the current situation, recently sent me a photograph of some seedlings she had received via mail order and which she had pricked out into trays. She was very proud of herself! For some reason, pricking out of seedlings I find one of the most relaxing gardening tasks. I am sure that this will differ from person to person, but there is something about the orderliness of this basic task which I find very rewarding. It also has a clearly defined beginning and end and does not require huge amounts of effort.
Some gardening jobs such as cutting back buddleia or reducing the size of an overgrown phormium can seem overwhelming by comparison. At the moment I am looking at a fig (Brown Turkey) which began life in a pot and was then moved into the part of my garden where I grow salad vegetables. It has taken off here and is clearly in its element. However, it is really getting much too big and is a complete bully, threatening to overwhelm everything else. It needs to come out. I have also realised why they do so well at the roadsides in Italy and France: there is a network of roots that stretches out well beyond the plant itself , creating a dense mat just below the surface of the soil and making it difficult for anything else to survive. While I consider precisely how I am going to remove the fig, I opt to prick out more seedlings…
“Tomatoes and Cyclamen” was painted in 1935 by Eric Ravilious.
Like the pricking out of seedlings and potting on, this painting of arrayed pots in a greenhouse brings immense satisfaction. The beauty and neatness remind me of the greenhouses at West Dean. It is something I will never achieve and can only aspire to!
What gardening tasks do you find most relaxing? Let us know! firstname.lastname@example.org