Sunday, 10 March 2013

Green fingers

It was July 2007 that we moved from a damp rented flat to a damp mortgaged house. This was before having kids and I remember sitting in the front of the van we'd hired to move everything, holding my beloved orchid that had re-bloomed with big pinky-red flowers. After a few days in the new house all the flowers had withered and dropped off leaving me with a stick rather than a plant. And who could blame it? The place was a depressing sight.

I kept it regardless and had an epiphany in Ikea in the form of an elderly Chinese lady who chatted to me and K while I was eyeing up the orchids. She told me to only water them every two weeks with rainwater, never water them after midnight*, let them drain well and prune them right back when the flowers dropped. And it works. My other two orchid plants have flowered again and again but the original plant just remained a stick with a couple of leaves. Until today. Finally after 5 years there is this, and just in time for Mother's Day...

I've got an abundance of strawberry plants in the garden gone wild so I was looking for some kind of tower or hanging basket to plant them in. Last year we got a pathetic harvest of two strawberries as the rest had either rotted or become a slug snack. I searched on Ebay and OH MY GOD the weird stuff you can find there. The garden category is a whole world of kitsch and strangeness. Here are a few of my personal favourites (and this is coming from someone who has a gnome in their garden).

The dungaree planter (seriously, WTF?) Yours for only £69.98

Yes your plants SHALL go to the ball... in this planter carriage £19.99

The handmade logman, who look like he's been interrupted dropping a log. 'The perfect gift' (for someone you dislike) just £29.99

*she didn't really say that

Any tips for strawberry plants? I'm sure I saw a TV show where they planted them in an old welly?

Happy Mother's day! I hope all the mummies are having a relaxing day. Mine is already an improvement on last year when I woke up to Mr puking after an all-dayer for the Six Nations.


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