Day 16 - the kitchen
Wednesday, 15 September 2010
Before we start I've two exciting things to tell you about my weekend just gone:
1. My very dear friends Ruth and Matt got engaged, and I'm thrilled for them. Also weddings are just about my most favourite type of social engagement, so I'm delighted to have one in the pipeline. Here are Ruth and Matt looking all lovely and glamorous:
2. My choir
(yes, Gemma and I are in a choir) sang at The Essex Country Show
on Sunday, which was rather good (both the choir and the show). I've no pictures of that.
Sorry if you're not interested in Ruth, Matt or my choir (which I'm guessing lots of you aren't), but they are highlights of my week. And it is my blog.
Right, down to business. I've found myself in the kitchen a great deal since I've been at home looking after Ida (which I guess is par for the course), and I've spotted a couple of things that are most certainly of interest to us gardeners. Yes, we've got all the normal paraphernalia
in our kitchen, but I feel these two lovely specimens are worth some discussion:
The first picture shows 'Ida's' sunflower which has been growing on the windowsill. Gemma and Ida were given the seed in spring by the nice ladies at messy church (*1) with a view to growing it and reporting its eventual height round about now (I have no idea what growing a sunflower has to do with church). The seed was for a Russian Giant
, which on average reach around 10 feet tall, and I was charged with growing a cracker. Can you see the problem? How on this earth have I managed to grow one that's only the height of a wine bottle?
I suspect it's largely to do with neglect. I kept on forgetting to pot the sunflower on, or indeed plant it outside, and I regularly let the compost dry out . But even still, surely it should have reached more than 18 inches tall? Am I the first gardener to bonsai a sunflower? Perhaps I should rename it Russian Dwarf. Whatever, Ida's certainly not going to win any prizes for this one, which is a little unfortunate. Also, the nice ladies at messy church had high hopes for Ida's sunflower as 'Daddy's into gardening' - let's hope they forget all about it.
I think the subject of the second picture is also the result of a little neglect. While rummaging around in our pull-put larder (*2 ) I discovered this sprouting sweet potato and, I have to say, I'm quite excited about it. Yes, I often find a forgotten regular potato sending out a sprout, but never a sweet one. So, I've got some questions:
- I've got a vague recollection that sweet potatoes make lovely foliage plants - is this the case?
- Is it too late in the year to pot it on? Should I forget about it and bung it on the compost?
- If I do pot it on, will it work as a house plant through the winter?
- Could I over-winter it in a frost-free greenhouse?
- What should I do with the plant next year? Are they short lived?
- If I compost the potato, at what point next year should I try to sprout another one?
Any sweet potato advice will be greatly received, and I promise to show you a picture if the grand experiment works.
Until next time...
*1 Messy church is a kid/baby craft group which also does a bit on all things Christian for good measure - start 'em young and all that
*2 Gemma likes to call it a pull-out larder to make us sound posh, when really it's just a big cupboard that slides in and out.