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Heated propagator

I’m not sure the courier delivery people that visit my home understand the levels of excitement that greet them. The other day I felt the need to explain what was in the parcel to justify my reaction. Strangely when I told the delivery man it was a heated propagator he still didn’t seem to get why I should be grinning so much. I did start to tell him about the benefits it was going to bring but, as he started to inch away from the door, I realised he wasn’t a gardener.

It’s funny how I just assume everyone is as into plants as I am. For me it’s such a fundamental thing. I look at gardens that are just bare lawn, or worse, and simply cannot understand why you wouldn’t want to run out and fill it with as many plants as possible at the first opportunity. Then there are the times when I’m at a party and I start chatting about plants and I can see eyes start to glaze over. I’ve recognised they haven’t got the bug before they then say something along the lines of, “I don’t do gardens”.

Fortunately though I discovered blogging; a little late, admittedly, since some of you out there have been at it for 5 years now. At least here I can rabbit away about plants and gardens and know there are people out there that understand why I would get so excited about a heated propagator turning up on my doorstep.

I have toyed with the idea for a while now but wasn’t sure how much use I would get from it. But, after a difficult spring last year trying to get some seed to germinate I decided to go for it. Window sills can get quite warm, even at this time of year when the sun is shining on them, the problem is it isn’t a constant temperature. Whilst a lot of seeds, particularly hardy annuals, don’t really need much heat to germinate, half-hardy annuals such as tomatoes and chillies prefer a constant temperature of around 20˚c to spring into life. They also require a long growing season if they are to fruit successfully in our climate and need to be sown in February. It’s not impossible to grow these plants from seed if you don’t have a heated propagator but it does help.

It’ll be interesting to see, over the course of the next couple of months, how much of a difference the propagator will make to germination rates and the choice of plants I can grow.

Peace Lily

On a completely unrelated subject but which caused a similar amount of excitement was the discovery that my peace lily has produced a flower. I bought the plant 5 years ago, and apart from the flowers that were on it at the time, it hasn’t flowered since. I can’t say I’ve done anything differently recently that might have triggered it to finally produce a bloom. In fact, after years of TLC producing nothing remotely flower-like I resorted to a level of care just above neglect. Maybe that’s the key, perhaps I have to treat this peace lily a little bit mean.

I bought my propagator from a company called Two Wests and Elliott. It was recommended to me by my college tutor a few years ago. We were all intrigued by the name when she told us about them. The company was established by husband and wife, Christopher and Josephine West; Elliott was their dog.