Snow and a rainforest

The winter weather here continues to tease. It has been so much milder than the  mid-Wales winters we are used to but unusually wet, then just as spring seemed to be calling we have had several days of heavy snow this week. Our neighbours tell me this is not a normal Mayennais winter! I am desperate to carry on digging and preparing the veg patch – we need it to be much bigger than the ‘emergency’ patch we dug last summer – but the melting snow has left the ground saturated again. I will have to be patient.

The snow is melting but the ground is too soggy to dig. Come on, spring!

Instead, I’ve been propagator gardening. My first lesson in food growing has been that every tomato seed planted germinates: I have six different varieties and far too many plants! I’m moving them in stages out of the heated propagator, into an unheated one and then onto the kitchen windowsill.

Tomato seedlings jostle for space on the kitchen windowsill.

The heated propagator fascinates me. It is like a mini rainforest, the peppers, chilli peppers and aubergines are romping away so quickly, I can almost watch them grow. I’ve popped in courgettes, cucumbers, butternut squash and pumpkin to take the place of the evicted tomato seedlings. 

Aubergines ‘Black beauty’, sweet peppers ‘Long Red Marconi’ and chilli peppers ‘Bulgarian Carrot’ bask in the warmth of the heated propagator.

I’ve also pricked out my geranium seedlings and moved them into the polytunnel. I’ve never grown them from seed before and plan to plant them in window boxes for a splash of summer colour at the front of the house – very French. They will replace the pansies, violas and wallflowers (raised from seed last summer) which are putting on a brave face despite the weather.

Pots along the ‘sun’ terrace.



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