Wednesday, 27 June 2012

When the frugal left hand doesn't know what the frugal right hand is doing!

Can you guess what those twiggy things are that are in the terracotta pot in the foreground?  They're blueberry plants!  Until the weekend, I didn't know that either!  Husband bought them in Poundland several weeks ago without me knowing, and planted them in the stoneware pot that's behind the terracotta one.  At the weekend I saw what I thought were twiggy weeds in that stoneware pot, removed them and planted a lovely pink Osteospermum in it instead.  And another Osteospermum in a nearby pot.  And a lovely little Lavender bush.

Then I called Husband to come and see how nice my miniature patio looked, and wasn't it great that the whole thing could be considered a frugal gardening success because I had persuaded our friendly local greengrocer to do me a discount for buying several plants?  (Who needs to visit a big garden centre that sucks you into buying more than you need to?  Not me!)

Husband looked a bit crestfallen.  Where had his frugal gardening success, the blueberry bushes, gone?

Despite nearly 17 years together, the communication in our relationship clearly needs a bit of work.  I had no idea that he had been nurturing a fruit bush nursery right outside our back door for the past month or so.  He may have been atoning for the time that he accidentally strimmed over some blueberry bushes in the allotment.  (They had been a thoughtful present from my sister (sorry Sister!), and were just about reaching maturity and were probably about to start providing punnets full of fresh blueberries.  (*Sighs!*) )

Thankfully, I was able to rescue the infant blueberry twigs which have survived being cruelly abandoned for an afternoon.  Phew!

May they take heart from our Acer.  It was bought 9 years ago, as another tiny twiggy thing, from the aforementioned greengrocer's bargain 'plant's* that are about to die' section, for £1.50 by Granny.  So far it has weathered Husband's rigorous strimming, and any marital miscommunications, to become a big, beautiful, healthy specimen.

Do you have any more frugal gardening tips for people like me, who are a bit behind, this season?!

*That is a greengrocers' apostrophe , not mine!


  1. I have these sorry little cucumber seedlings that I started indoors about 8 weeks ago. They began as 9, 2 got eaten by who knows what, 3 died a miserable cold death in the very cold rain this month. I brought the remaining 4 indoors, and put into larger pots.

    1 got knocked over, unbeknownst to me. i put him back in his dirty little home. But he perished two days later. I have 3 very small seedlings, 2 look healthy, the 3rd keeps getting kicked over, by my daughter over the weekend, by my father-in-law this morning.

    I've moved them off the floor for now. My question, if anyone has any clue what I should do, as obviously I have not, can cucumbers be grown in pots, successfully? I'm now afraid to even plant them in the garden, as I'm sure they would make a delicious midnight feast for the slug population I appear to be raising. My thumb is anything but green.

    I do have one tip for your blueberry pots, scatter your coffee grounds over the top of the soil. Coffee is acidic, and blueberries lika an acid soil. If you haven't any coffee grounds, Starbucks gives them away for free. You just stop in and ask if they have any coffee grounds to carry away? The Starbucks in the US that are free-standing coffee houses offer this, but not the Starbucks inside of the grocery stores. My guess is other coffee house also give away their used grounds.

    By the way, best of luck with the blueberries!

  2. We've not had much success with cucumbers; 2 years ago we had loads on the allotment - they looked great, but had a foul after-taste, so pots might be the way to looks like it should be possible. Our favourite reference book, the Self Sufficientish Bible, says so. Try for some tips! Thanks for the coffee grounds tip for the blueberries. I've given up coffee this year, but we have plenty of coffee drinking neighbours!

    1. Thanks, Sarah. I'll check that site. I think that I am so late that containers might be the only way to salvage my cucumber planting.

    2. Hi Sarah,
      I checked out that URL (thanks by the way) and it turns out you're not supposed to plant out cucumbers until the outdoor temps are consistently at 70 degrees F or above. That would explain a lot, as it had only been at about 60 for the month of June, here. I'm definitely going to do the remaining plants in a large planter on our deck, and trellis them as the article suggested, and just hope for the best. These are pickling cukes, and we didn't get any last year, so would really like some this year.
      Any sign of life on your blueberry twigs?

    3. I couldn't work out how to put a link direct into the comments, so glad you could cut and paste! I'm sure cucumbers probably do best in greenhouses in the UK. The blueberry twigs are still alive, but it'll be a while before we are generating enough blueberries for creativesavv style blueberry vinegar!