Six on Saturday – Armchair Edition

Last Monday the overnight temperature dropped to 3.5C and we had our first light frost on the roof of the car. However, while we were away at the hospital in Coimbra neighbours reported on Facebook that temperatures plummeted to  -4C. This is the lowest (in our area) in over a decade so hopefully my plants have not suffered too much.

My six this Saturday is conducted from my garden armchair (due to knee op). Photographs come courtesy of  my husband whose mission is  to report back what is happening around the garden while I have limited mobility. I feel nervous and we already have a disclaimer I won’t complain if anything dies.

1.YaY, Brussel Sprouts!!

When I bought the seedling plugs from the market at the beginning of August I was doubtful they would survive the usual onslaught of slugs and snails, yet alone produce any brussels. This is my first attempt so you can imagine our delight when against all the odds we were rewarded with our first feed on Thursday. Next year I will be more optimistic and plant more.

Brussel Sprouts - Jan 2019
Brussel Sprouts – Jan 2019

Yes, I am easily pleased.

Our first feed of brussel sprouts
Our first feed of brussel sprouts

2. Armchair Gardening – Planning My Herb Garden

I am deliberating what herbs to grow and where to grow them. Do I plant in pots so I can more easily pamper to their individual watering and sunlight needs, or do I just continue with my wild herb bed and let them grow at will? The herb bed does need weeding and reorganising and is on my Husband’s ‘To Do’ list. (Which is on hold until I can walk again).

At the moment I am planning to grow
Basil,Parsley (curly), Coriander, Chives, Dill, Garlic, Marjoram/Oregano, Sage, Thyme and Lemon Thyme, Rosemary and Mint. Some plants I have already, others I will need to plant some seeds. Maybe the seed planting can be done from the armchair so I can still connect with the earth.

I have eight pots of Lemon grass waiting to be rehomed. I’ve never used it in about six years so now’s the time to be ruthless and it will be a few less mouths to water and pots to weed.

3. Aeoniums in Flower

I have several varieties of Aeoniums in my collection and at some point I must take a moment to identify them beyond genus. The first was a cutting the second I planted directly in the ground as an established plant. Both enjoy the full sun.

Aeonium in Flower
Aeonium in flower

I am unsure if the leaf drop is due to the fall in overnight temperature to just above freezing or the lack of water. I don’t think we have had any rain since November but then again I read that I should not water succulents during the winter months.

Aeonium in flower - Jan 2019
Aeonium in flower – Jan 2019

4. Hibiscus

I notice from my perch on the garden sofa there are several hibiscus in flower at the moment. Remember my poorly Hibiscus with yellow leaves and brown veins? I fed it with magnesium sulphate and it is slowly recovering.

Hibiscus flowering in January
Hibiscus flowering in January

It needs some more feed but for now it will have to wait. Hubby has enough to do cooking and feeding me.

Hibiscus flowering in January
Hibiscus flowering in January

5. Hungarian Hot Wax Chilli Seedlings

This is a fun challenge. Out of ten seeds only six germinated, one died and five are fighting for survival. We don’t have a sunny windowsill or greenhouse so the seedlings are placed outside during the day and brought in at night.

Hungarian Wax Chilli Seedlings
Hungarian Wax Chilli Seedlings

In the past when I have attempted to grow plants from seed, I just mixed some sandy soil with traditional multi-purpose compost and it worked fine. However, on this occasion, I did invest in  seed compost as an experiment and if I’m honest I don’t think it’s made any difference.

6. Crassula ovata – Jade Plant (Money Tree)

My Jade plant started flowering in mid December and is still flowering its little heart out into the second week of January.

Crassula ovata - Jade Plant
Crassula ovata – Jade Plant

So folks, this is my Six on Saturday for this week. Please check out The Propagator’s Blog to link up with other gardeners.

29 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – Armchair Edition

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  1. We are sweating over in Australia, 38 Celsius today, with the heatwave expected for the rest of the week. Watering the garden is the best time of day, and everything’s hanging in there.
    I love your armchair edition. Your husband is doing a great job, although I do love the disclaimer in place; that made me chuckle.
    I hope you can get back to your lovely garden soon 😊

    Liked by 1 person

          1. I had to giggle. I was busted by a workman next door the other morning, going out to the lounge room in nothing but my knickers to close the sliding glass door and curtains.
            Closing up the house certainly makes a difference.


  2. Nice work outsourcing the photos! Your chillies might be getting a bit chilly outside in winter. Depends what your daytime temperatures are like. They like it nice and warm, 20-30 degrees. I have my seedling in a heated room on a sunnyish windowsill.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The daytime temps are around 20+ where I place them on the covered terrace in the full sun. Probably warmer than it is in the house as we don’t have central heating.

      My roving reporter will be snapping for several weeks to come 🙂


  3. Like Jude, my crassula has not bloomed yet … and my aeonium either. I’m happy to see how it works for yours and I’m sure the Portuguese weather is doing it justice.
    Your husband did a good job taking these pictures.
    Good recovery and in a few (days?) weeks you can take the photos yourself while walking in the garden !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fred, I wonder how much winter sunlight and minimum temp they need to flower. I was given some Aeoniums several years ago and they’ve always flowered. To be honest, I just ignored them and if the leaves fell off I just shrugged my shoulders. Now I am trying to build my succulent collection perhaps I’m killing my plants with over-attention.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The blooming stems of aeoniums naturally defoliate as bloom progresses. However, the stems that are not blooming should not be defoliating. Mine defoliate through the warm and dry part of summer, and then get quite lush as soon as the rain starts and the weather gets more humid.
    The hibiscus may continue to recover slowly until warmer weather. It just goes slower while vascular activity is inhibited by cool weather.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Piglet, hope you make a swift recovery and that the hubby keeps your plants happy! I bring my Aeoniums indoors to a cold conservatory during the winter as they dislike the wet. Not sure how hardy they are either, but you could wrap them in fleece or bubble wrap if the temperature falls below freezing. They always drop leaves in winter and my black ones go green! I also have a large Jade plant but it has yet to flower! It might need more heat than we get to do that. Good luck with the chillies and the herb garden – I need to reorganise my herb garden this year as it has grown quite unruly!! Always things to do in a garden 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jude, I think they are fairly hardy given our normal winter climate (above freezing). Whoever told me succulents are easy to grow must be pulling my chain. I’ve just found a brilliant article
      on keeping them.

      Reading the article I’ve just discovered summer is their dormant time. There is sooo much to learn and so many diagnosis options to choose from.

      Do you grow your herbs in the ground or containers?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My Aeoniums definitely grow in the summer months! As for the herbs they are in a raised bed, though I have parsley self-seeded in several plant pots and I also have oregano in a pot. I have some hexagonal pots that currently have spring bulbs growing in, but I might use them for some herbs on the patio this year as then I won’t have so far to pick them when I am cooking!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes hardy enough. Mine survived beast from East outside last year but did suffer. I brought it in this year. Initially suffered from lack of light then lack of water. They don’t need much water in Winter I believe but I’d completely starved mine in its growing period. I’m going to keep it going through Winter then take cuttings to try and establish a happier plant.


  6. Re your Aeoniun.
    Once they flower they tend to die off, or so I read.
    We have them and they flowered for the first time this year! It was quite a surprise.
    I stand under correction, but they are one of the few plants that actually grow during winter!

    It’s 17:00 down here and Liverpool are about to kick off. The current temp here is 31|

    Hope you are feeling better soon and keeping warm.

    Liked by 1 person

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