16 May

Home education has brought to me a real awareness and appreciation of the seasons. In the past, the only notice I took of the changing seasons was, ‘It’s finally warming up,’ and ‘Oh, no, it’s starting to cool down…time to pull out the echinacea.’ Spring has become a real season for me, rather than that windy, rainy bit between winter and summer. And autumn is no longer that windy, rainy bit between summer and winter. I notice things now, things that were all around but I never stopped long enough to observe.

I’ve also become addicted to sprouting seeds. You take this tiny brown thing, put it in wet dirt, keep it warm, and a living thing begins to grow. I find that so incredible. How can it be? And the fact that one seed produces a plant which begets many seeds…exponents in nature. Fascinating.

Here are our tomato and thyme shoots:

A tiny corn stalk:

Lily of the Valley: wonky, but beautiful:

Is that going to become a strawberry?

I wonder what colour this lily will be?

A vegetable patch to be:

A promise of delicate beauty:

Those flowers that Stiggy gave me?

When these pink ones began to wilt, I pulled out the petals with the intention of doing something with them (a craft, potpourri…something). I placed them in a bowl and forgot about them for several days. When I had a peek about a week later, here is what I saw (click to enlarge):

They’ve grown those little wispy brushes that dandelions get when they go to seed. And at the tip…it looks like a seed. I know so little about plants. I don’t know if they’re seeds or not, but Stiggy and I have planted some of them in the propagator. We shall see.

We went to a nursery in Manchester and got some great plants. While there, I discovered wisteria. I’d heard of it before, but had never noticed it. There was a beautiful wisteria plant, trained into a tree. I wanted it. £120. No way that was going to happen. On our way out, I saw a smaller one for £40. Still a lot, but I was sorely tempted. Once home, I had a look at the Thompson and Morgan website and saw a small wisteria for £10. Now that was doable. I was planning to order it within a few days (along with a Bleeding Heart), when I happened to be at Morrison’s looking for a Jasmine plant. My husband was claiming he’d seen one for £1.79. While crouching down on the floor, rooting shamelessly through the plants clumped together, I saw a tiny wisteria. £1.79. I shouted outloud to Stiggy who also did a little happy dance. I also found a Jasmine. Here they are:



Not the healthiest specimens I’ve seen; the wisteria is shedding its leaves. But at £1.79 I thought they were good to experiment with. We’ve not re-potted them yet as we’re waiting for some better weather (it’s quite windy these days). If anyone has any advice for growing these plants, please, please, I beg you, leave a comment.

Since taking these photos a week or so ago, the corn has been re-potted, plus 2 more shoots came up which have been re-potted, a pumpkin seed has sprouted, there are more tomato shoots, 2 echinacea seeds have sprouted, 2 sunflowers are growing rampantly, and a sweet pea shoot is coming up (finally!).

Here is that corn now:

Oh, the Osteos that I propagated in ice cube trays and a Ziplock? They’ve moved up to yoghurt pots:

And Stiggy is also developing a passion for plants, seeds, gardening…the lot. His idea of a fun day out is a trip to the garden centre (seriously). Everytime he goes outside, he shrieks with excitement over the progress our plants have made…or frowns and calls me over if something is looking less than lush. I never had this as a child. My step father was an avid gardener, but I never once expressed an interest. This may be because I was never included in the gardening. I enjoyed looking at the tulips, roses, poppies, and bleeding heart; and I enjoyed eating the tomatoes, strawberries, and rhubarb, but I was never part of the process. I’m so pleased to be giving this gift to Stiggy at such a tender age.

Now…if I can just keep everything alive.


3 responses to “Awakenings

  1. Henry Cate

    May 17, 2009 at 1:08 am

    “Home education has brought to me a real awareness and appreciation of the seasons.”

    I’ve noticed that as we learn with our children, we often learn again and deeper.

    Consider submitting something to the Carnival of Homeschooling some time.

  2. Misti

    May 17, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    Ice cube trays and a ziploc! That’s brilliant!

    I have been trying to figure out how to keep things warmer for our seedlings as they sprout, because our home is quite cool — until it’s oven like in high summer.

    I’ll have to try this — thanks!

  3. Lynn

    May 17, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    Wisteria is gorgeous! well done to you all…lots of lovely veg to look forward to as well 🙂


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