Six on Saturday – Floral Fireworks !

Feu d’artifice de fleurs by Niko Paladino was a brilliant way to start 2021.  If you didn’t catch a viewing of this short video, then I’d encourage you to click on the link below for a ~30 second spirit-raiser. Happy New Year to you!

I am joining Jon and his SOSers in sharing six topical gardening things today, although I now have to admit that the rest of this post is possibly less sparkling than the start. 

1 Gold Lace Primulas

I split a patch of these a couple of months back with the intention of moving them across the driveway, so that they get a little more light and are more visible. However, their destination needs a little work (ground elder removal), so they were placed in pots while they await transfer. This week I noticed that some of them are flowering already:

polyanthus4

2 Tomatillo seeds for 2021

We didn’t get a big crop from our tomatillo plants this year, probably because they’d been allowed to self-seed, which meant that they germinated and set fruit late in the season. Well, they seem to have produced enough seed for the new season nevertheless, since I have discovered their skeletonised pods gathering in various sheltered corners of the raised beds.

tomatillo3

I have collected a few husks for the seeds and will sow them earlier this time around.

3 Crocus Failure

I bought some of those lovely, large white ‘Jeanne d’ Arc’ crocuses in the sales. They were planted up in pots, covered in chicken wire and placed in the greenhouse to get going asap. Sadly, the mouse in the house is good at limbo dancing and has squeezed under the wire to enjoy a meal of corms, leaving the emerging flower spikes and fibrous husks on top of the compost.

crocuses 5

4 Italian Parsley

I don’t know whether the Italian, flat-leaved kind is hardier than English curly parsley, but I still have tons of this wonderful herb growing in the garden to use in salsas and general cooking. In fact, I’ve got too much. To prevent a winter shortage, in the summer I froze plenty of leaves in ice cubes and pureed a whole load more as a green salsa (which was also frozen). I’ve not had to touch either of those though, because there is still such a good fresh supply:

parsley1

I am not complaining about the fresh supply, but I can’t see myself bothering to freeze it in the future!

5 Winter Aconites

My first Winter Aconite is out. This is always such a cheerful point in the gardening year, as it flags the start of the New Year’s flowers:

aconite2

6 Sale Seed Arrival

At some point in November the seed supplier Mr Fothergill’s puts a lot of vegetable and flower seeds up for sale for £1 a packet, to clear their decks I suppose, and I usually take advantage of the offer. This year, with their new Covid-safe work practices, they have taken a long time to dispatch the items. So it was good to finally receive a large packet from them just before New Year:

basic seeds6

Spreading them out like this I’ve finally noticed that I forgot to order any broad beans! Oops.

That’s my six. However, I’d like to share one more thing. It was one of our Christmas presents and it seems especially charming … and floral. It brings us full circle with the floral fireworks at the start of the post, albeit at a slower rate. If you fancy a nice cup of tea, then Flower Bombs are a fun option:

tea 7

They start out as tightly packed ~2cm spheres or bombs, but the hand-tied bunches of marigolds, jasmine leaves, rose, roselle etc. gradually unfurl in the pot (a glass one is obviously best) infusing their flavours into the tea. Fun, fun, fun!

Best wishes for 2021. Keep safe!

About Frogend_dweller

Living in the damp middle of nowhere
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30 Responses to Six on Saturday – Floral Fireworks !

  1. fredgardener says:

    Happy New Year Allison! This photo of skeletonized pods with the seeds visible is really amazing. I love it…
    Very pretty primrose also. Finally, the floral firework display is a great time to watch. My wife showed me this last night on her phone.

  2. I love those flower bombs, what a great gift. Do you know where you can get them? I am very jealous of your parsley. We are big fans of tabouleh in this house – and I am certain it’s the reason we rarely catch colds in winter – so I buy a bunch every week. I have grown the curly variety, but prefer the flat one for tabouleh, it’s better. I haven’t had much success growing it. Any tips?

    • You can get the flower bombs from most big tea emporiums I think. I bought these for my son from a London firm:- https://www.theteamakers.co.uk/flowering-tea.html
      Curly parsley is prettier than the flat kind, but also less strong I find. Yum to tabouleh. I’m inspired now, I don’t make it enough. My only advice re parsley is a trick that my Dad taught me (which never seems to fail): Sow the seeds, cover and then pour boiling (or very hot) water over them. They germinate pretty quickly.

  3. Paddy Tobin says:

    The aconites are such beautiful plants!

  4. what a wonderful video. thanks for sharing. 🙂 I have tried to grow parsley here and I’ve had very little success. Do you grow yours in sun or shade?

  5. Eliza Waters says:

    A great six this week, Allison. My friend emailed me that floral fireworks, a beautiful piece. I loved your little tomatillo seed baskets, how perfect is that? 🙂
    I’ve been raided by mice before, too. Argh, so annoying. I now invert slightly larger clay pots over my bulb pots and that seems to work.
    Love your floral tea bombs, so fun! Have a great week.

    • Thank you Eliza. Tomatillo seed cases are a bit like lobster pots, especially with that indent at the stalk. I will look out some clay pots I think, but don’t the little blighters get through the drainage hole? Rather sweetly, my son said that the floral tea bombs were his favourite present!!

      • Eliza Waters says:

        So far they have not got in through the hole, but I suppose if large, it could be corked up somehow?
        Before C-19, there was a Japanese restaurant here that served chrysanthemum tea like that. A fun novelty.

  6. Cathy says:

    Those tomatillo husks are wonderful, and that was interesting to read about the parsley as I didn’t know what the difference was – flat leaved seems to be the better one to go for. What an intriguing idea those flower bombs are, reminding me of a paper (non drinkable!) version that I haven’t come across for years. Thanks for sharing

    • Oh I remember those too, tightly scrolled coloured paper? And the other thing like it were those litmus paper trees encrusted with salts so that when they absorbed water crystals grew/bloomed all over them. Fun times!

  7. croftgarden says:

    Interesting discussion about parsley. I grow both types in the vegetable garden and an insurance crop in the greenhouse. Both do well, but the flat-leaved is better outdoors provided it is sheltered from the wind. I also let some sslf-seed, so a hunt around the veg patch will usually locate a bunch in a hidden corner.

    • That’s a good idea. I’ve been cutting the flowering spikes off! The two types of parsley do seem to have completely different uses and over time I’ve realised that I need both. I find odd bunches of chives in hidden corners!

  8. Flighty says:

    Wonderful video. Thanks, and for you too. xx

  9. Noelle says:

    I could do with a round the year supply of parsley, I just can’t get enough of the stuff, so will look out Italian Parsley seeds. Yes, I got some flower bombs, they are such fun: but can you imagine the work that goes into making one? Happy New Year.

    • Happy New Year to you too! Yes, I can imagine that you must have very nimble fingers to make them. I’d like to know how they squash them into bombs though. 😉 Do give flat parsley a try for a long, copious cropping season. They plants are bigger and more prolific, but the taste is also stronger.

  10. Nate says:

    That video is wonderful!! Thank you for posting it!

  11. Cathy says:

    Best wishes for the New Year! I am envious of your parsley. Mine was frozen in the flower bed! 😉

  12. susurrus says:

    I have never seen anything like those floral tea bags. That was a great present. Mind you, they look like you perhaps need a bigger cup!

  13. Pádraig says:

    A dreamy collection of seeds. Happy planting, a, chara.

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