Roots of 'Wandering Jew' plant (c) Rianne Mason

April garden journal

It has been a strange month with my usual schedule thrown out of wack, but there’s always something to be sown or divided at this time of year!

Failing at growing wheat grass

Wheatgrass seeds (c) Rianne Mason
Soaking wheat grass seeds (c) Rianne Mason

I really got into growing ‘micro greens’ this month but unfortunately my experiment with wheat grass didn’t work. I tried sowing it directly onto soil but nothing happened and the seeds looked far too dry. So, I soaked them, and drained them, and soaked them, and drained them… and they ended up going kind of gloopy.

I think I may have soaked them too long, but to be honest I haven’t tried again – I’m not majorly excited about wheat grass.

Growing baby ‘String of Pearls’ plants

String of pearls (c) Rianne Mason
‘String of Pearls’ plants (c) Rianne Mason

I’ve had a beautiful mature ‘String of Pearls’ plant on my window sill for a while now and I decided to multiply it because I love it so much. The genius of this plant is that it grows ‘anchor roots’ from its stem and this allows you to simply plant one of the stems in soil whilst it’s still attached, and then cut it from it’s parent plant when it’s happy in its new home.

This was a little fiddly, I found the trick is to layer many of them on top of each other and curl them round.

Sowing and then dividing Telekia speciosa and Galega X hartlandii

Telekia Speciosa (c) Rianne Mason
Galega x hartlandii seedlings (c) Rianne Mason

I got these seeds free from the RHS seed bank last year, which is why I only know them by the botanical name. I figured it was time to give them a go and they took off really well. I’ve since divided them and given a few away to friends. My next job is to find somewhere in the garden for them (probably should have thought of that first…)

Sowing bonsai trees, lemongrass and holy basil

Lemongrass seedlings (c) Rianne Mason
Lemongrass seedlings (c) Rianne Mason

These are also a bit of an experiment. I got the bonsai trees as gift for my birthday back in February and the process of sowing and stratification (a period of cold) took so long I’m only now putting them in warmth to germinate. Still nothing has happened and it could take a while. Trees live in a very different time dimension to us and I respect that.

The holy basil and lemon grass are inspiration from my trip to Thailand where I did a cookery course. I love Thai food sooo much! The lemongrass looks very cute (literally tiny blades of grass). I don’t think growing it from seed is the most efficient way of doing it but never mind.

Discovering yellow spider nests

Yellow spiders (c) Rianne Mason
Baby yellow spiders (c) Rianne Mason

So I initially got a bit freaked out when I walked into the greenhouse to find a load of these baby spider clusters, but then I remembered they might be great for natural pest control! So I Googled them I think/hope/pray these are the good kind. I gave them a bit of time to scatter and find homes before invading their space (space that they stole from me).

Dividing basil

Basil plants (c) Rianne Mason
Basil plants (c) Rianne Mason

During this pandemic I have been doing everything I can to extend the shelf life of food, this one basil plant is a great example. It came from a supermarket as one plant and once I’d used some of the leaves I trimmed it down and divided it up into more pots. I counted 21 plants in there!

They look a bit sad in this picture because they had been slightly overwatered and were suffocating, but I can report that they’re much happier now.

Re-potting a ‘Wandering Jew’

Roots of 'Wandering Jew' plant (c) Rianne Mason
The roots of a ‘Wandering Jew’ plant (c) Rianne Mason

Another plant that I’ve been enjoying on my window sill is this ‘Wandering Jew’ or ‘Purple Heart’. It was getting a bit cramped in its pot and when I took it out to go in a bigger one I was a bit taken aback by the root system. I believe this is what is known as ‘pot bound’. In this case the plant has pretty much formed its own pot. I think this Jew has been trying to wander for a reeeeeaaaallly long time.

It’s now in the next size up, needless to say I think I’ll be re-potting it again soon.

Enjoying the apple blossom

Apple blossom (c) Rianne Mason
Apple blossom with a bee (c) Rianne Mason

I can’t stop harping on about how beautiful nature is right now. I think the extra time to sit and appreciate it has turned me even more into a wild flower child. I’ve found myself staring at birds drinking and taking a bath A LOT. When the blossom was out I was amazed at how many bees it was attracting.

Those bees, I bloomin’ love ’em. Buzzing around, minding their own business and pollinating all of our flowers without a second thought… incredible!

I hope you’ve all had the chance to sit and ‘smell the roses’ whilst navigating a new schedule and lifestyle.

Take care everyone x

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