Today, I invested a little time in tomorrow.
I’ve been meaning to plant some seeds for ages and I know I am a little
behind - but there has been quite a lot going on in our lives just lately. I’ve been busy up to now nurturing Mr B rather than coaxing seeds to grow into seedlings but today I found a suitable windowsill, an old plastic party tablecloth (decorated with
butterflies which seemed very appropriate), three seed trays, a bag of compost and several packets of seeds, including some rather special ones which were a Christmas present from our god-daughter, the Lovely Pip.
Reading the instructions on the back of some of the packets, I discovered that the seeds therein were to be planted directly where they were intended to flower. Before I can plant them, I need to prepare
the ground, ensuring it is the right tilth. Which is obviously a problem as I have no idea what a tilth is, whether right or, indeed, wrong. Google, my Best Friend Forever, tells me it is the state of tilled ground which, to be honest, isn’t a great
deal of help. I try singing “We plough the fields and scatter / the good seed on the ground…” but where’s your plough, when you need it?
four packets of seeds were apparently best planted indoors or under glass so the windowsill of the smallest bedroom seemed perfect for the purpose. I had to move the first baby photographs of my Tremendous Ten grandchildren off this windowsill and onto another
in my bedroom; hopefully the photos will be back in their rightful place before any of The Ten come to visit, though this does rather depend on my success in raising my seeds.
I have planted sunflowers, sweet peas, antirrhinums and cosmos. The first two I have had success with in previous years but I have never planted antirrhinums (“introduce a retro effect into your garden” advises the blurb on the back of the
packet) or cosmos which is called a “cut and come again” flower and was apparently voted the Flower of 2016, though I’m not sure who by.
regular readers know, Mr B and I indulge in a Sunflower Growing Competition every year - this year will be no exception, always providing my seeds germinate. I have my giant plant pots in their place out on the patio
ready to receive the tiny plants at the start of the contest. Mr B, as usual, will profess himself completely uninterested unless and until my plant looks as if it is going to win the race when he will come up with
all kinds of nefarious reasons why this might be. The ball tampering furore currently enveloping the Australian cricket team will be nothing on Mr B’s Sunflower Related displeasure.
Having planted my seeds, I need to make sure I give them every encouragement to grow - and in this I may have to recruit the help of a Plant Whisperer. Yes, you heard aright, a Plant Whisperer - what’s more, we have one in our
very own family. The Middle of the Darling Daughters sends me the sweetest of videos of Faris the Rascal exhorting his tiny sunflower plant in a breathy whisper to “grow, little seed, grow!” It is his morning routine, his mother tells me, and it
is bearing fruit - or, if not fruit, at least two small but healthy-looking leaves. It appears he is having rather more success than any of his school friends in Reception Class - “It’s all down to the whispering,” says his mother, proudly.
So, I am planning to take a leaf out of The Rascal’s book and will be talking to my seeds every morning and every evening. “Grow, little seeds, grow!” I
will exhort them first thing in the morning and last thing at night. It is fortunate, indeed, that there will be nobody around to hear me and decide that I have, as they always feared, finally turned into a Mad Old Bat.
If all else fails, then there’s only one thing for it.
I will have to put in a call to Our
Rascal - Plant Whisperer Extraordinaire.