Garden writing lifts me up.

Six-on-Saturday – Hakuna Matata

Happy plants can survive the ups and downs of life. Not alone that, but they blossom most beautifully when the time is right.

I put a bit of thought into my Saturday articles. Some weeks things fall into place easily, while at other times my six items are just that. Six separate items in my garden this week, and that’s perfectly OK too. But I do try to link things up if I can. Writing is an important way for me to make sense of the world. Very soon I’ll have it all figured out, and then it’ll be time to stop.

My thoughts this week relate to switching off the daily news bulletins about Covid, following a corrupt incident in Dublin last week, where surplus doses left over after vaccinations at a private hospital were given to staff of a local private school. Daddy, hospital boss, child, school. Down with that sort of thing.

I’m happier now that the decision is made. The greed and corruption of the upper echelons within society will no longer drag me downwards. I am reminded of the movie The Lion King and in particular the problem-free philosophy that allows us to develop as good humans. It’s called Hakuna Matata, and it means no worries for the rest of our days! That’s something to sing about on this first Saturday of April. Let’s see if I can link it to some garden stuff…

Broad Beans

Broad Bean Super Aquadulce

The Broad Beans are flowering but also being nibbled by something rud éigin. I’ve put up some climbing supports but that will not stop the nibbling. I also planted another row of seeds three weeks ago for a later harvest but nothing has appeared. It’s likely there’s underground nibbling afoot as well, so I’ve resorted to plan B, sowing a batch in modules in the glasshouse, and I’ll plant them out when they get to a about 5-10cm.

Happy Easter.

Much of society is being nibbled and devoured, day in day out. Nibbling is generally done by those higher up on the food chain. Getting even doesn’t work, but a plan of action for self-care does help.

Saxifrage Peter Pan

This little rockery plant has been in its little spot for five years le cúig bliain and seems very happy there. At the time I bought three of these, but the other two have not survived. A few days ago, I found out the likely reason. The plant needs sun and partial shade. In other words if it is in full sunshine all day it will struggle. Death by sunstroke! This one is sheltered for part of the day behind an Agapanthus that reaches about 40cm. The two that died had no sun protection.

Problem-free philosophy.

Who makes up plant variety names? If I produce a new variety can I call it whatever I want? As an aside, I am frequently amused by the names given to horses, for example Call The Beacon or There You Go Now. A further aside is my habit of naming a variety in memory of someone, but perhaps I should go one step further? Any variety whose name I don’t know, I could simply make one up! I’d never be accepted for mention in the horticultural journals, but I’d have a way of distinguishing one variety from another. For example, if I have another unknown Saxifrage I could call it Saxifrage Alum Rock. I have cousins living in the Alum Rock area of Birmingham, and I have a feeling that a name allocated by myself is less likely to be forgotten by myself.

Happy plants can survive the ups and downs of life. Not alone that, but they blossom most beautifully when the time is right! I’m more than happy to be noticing this small miracle than seeing examples of power battles on my news feed. Beauty amid the rubble.


Pea Onward 13/03/21

Similar to the Broad Beans, it appears that pea seeds go missing regularly. I’ve come across this little ditty, which seems accurate.

One for the mouse,
One for the crow,
One to rot,
One to grow.

Now I understand why there are enough peas in the packet to feed an army. By the time the select few grow to maturity, there’ll surely be enough for us. We are a small family! This variety is also known to me as Pea Legs 11.

Enough for everyone.

I’m happy to plant forty, in the knowledge that ten will be delicious. Everything else is of no consequence to me. No worries.


Dahlia Disco Dancer.

Apart from the large Dahlias planted in the ground and in pots, I chose to grow some lots from seed this year. I’ve got five varieties, and started them in late January. At the moment, they are really pushing on, and are at the point where I will carefully pinch out the central growing tip. This is done in order to get the plant to send out side shoots. Since mid-March, I’ve had a chance to put these outside on warm sunny afternoons but they return to the sheltered environment by night, as they are not frost-hardy. Very importantly also, I do remember to shut the door and window before dusk!

Mother and baby.

Dahlias remind me that this problem-free philosophy is the way to go. They bring forth the most stunning flowers, yet they are such tender plants, and they have their troubles in life. Problem-free does not mean that I have no work to do. It means I’m happy to care for the plant in order to get enormous satisfaction in return.


Tomato Tumbler

Generally, I grow three tomato plants in the glasshouse every year and a few of the tumbling ones outdoors. This year, I’ve gone completely bonkers. There are seven different varieties, and thirty-something plants altogether. However, I’ll be giving most of them away to friends cairde at the end of April or early May. There are a small few plants still unclaimed, so if you’d like a change from the taste of supermarket tomatoes, let me know. Of course, I don’t want any smartasses. I nearly fell off my stool last week…

“Would you like a few tomato plants?”, I asked.

“Oh, no thank you. You just grow them and I’ll come over to collect the tomatoes when they’re ready.”

Joyeuses Pâques.

Now, if ever there’s a perfect example of a problem-free philosophy, this is it! Everything will be OK. Just wait and see. You know what, when these restrictions are lifted, I’ll be more than happy to have my friend over to share in the tomato harvest! One hundred percent! Be certain though, that overpaid CEO’s won’t get within an asses roar.

Mina Lobata

Unusual leaf shape.

This is the last of my Six this week, but in fact after I took this photograph on Wednesday and checked the name on the seed packet, the Lion King and the Hakuna Matata sprang to mind. Mina Lobata. Hakuna Matata. In effect, it was this little seedling that sparked a few neurons in my head. That’s where neurons do their best work.

Spectacular for months.

Mina Lobata is commonly known as Spanish Flag or Exotic Love Vine. It’s a climber and, by all accounts, can reach up to 5-6 metres. I got the seed free saor in aisce with Amateur Gardening magazine before all that kind of thing stopped. Akin to many of my selected items over the past few weeks, I’ve not grown it before. I sowed it early last month and it is still only at 2cm. Definitely a slow starter! I’ll also sow seeds outside in mid-April and see how both compare. Hopefully, I’ll need to put up a few trellises before long. I love the name Mina Lobata, and I just can’t get the tune from the Lion King out of my head.

Hakuna Matata!
What a wonderful phrase
Hakuna Matata!
Ain't no passing craze
It means no worries for the rest of your days.
It's our problem-free philosophy.
Hakuna Matata!
Best Belgian chocolate.

It’s a Wrap

That’s my six this week and to finish, here’s a short recap video of end-of-March goings-on in the glasshouse.

Lots happening now.

The video is up there on the YouTube cloud thingy as well. There’s a commentator error towards the end… They are in fact cucumber seedlings, not spinach. Contract renewal negotions may break down.

Getting Very Busy Now

  • Gladioli and most of the begonias are planted up.
  • Trellis delivered.
  • First muggy night and that meant slug patrol.
  • Propagator put back to the attic. No not that Propagator!
  • About half of the daffodils put away to their summer corner
  • Lilies planted.
  • Some of the grasses divided and planted up.
  • Salad vegetables ready to harvest from now onwards.
  • Some of the Sweet Peas planted out.
  • Enjoying the scent of wild garlic and furze while cycling. Two very different aromas, both wonderful.

That’s my lot for this week, a cháirde. I’ll be back with more next Saturday an Satharn seo chugainn. In the meantime, please visit Mr. Propagator’s garden blog where you can find many more Six on Saturday articles from around the world, together with details of how to participante if that’s your thing. I hope you have a great week. Slán go fóill.

Happy Easter,


37 thoughts on “Six-on-Saturday – Hakuna Matata”

  1. A great read, yet again Pat. I now have the Lion King song in my head, lol. Happy Easter, Hakuna Matata 🎶🎶

  2. I certainly feel Alum Rock needs more plant varieties named after it. I too have plants I have renamed – Derbyshire Daisy being a case in point. I have no idea what it’s real name is, but I know the person I got it off got it in Derbyshire!

    The greenhouse/glasshouse looks pleasantly full! I like the look of the Mina lobata seedlings.

    Happy Easter!

  3. And a very happy Easter to you too! What I would like to know is, are they the same eggs and bunnies moving around the garden, or are there lots and lots of different ones? All coming on very nicely with your seedlings and I am loving your philosophy. Down with the baddies, up with the goodies! Have a lovely weekend.

    1. It’s a set of three. I didn’t think anyone would notice. The large one if for my dear wife, the smaller is my daughter’s ans the tiniest of all is mine.
      Looming forward to your Six later. I’ll be on my bike so I won’t read it until I’m finished.

  4. I’ve also started sowing of Mina lobata a few weeks ago and they are at the same stage. Sadly the cold days that are coming back slow them down a bit … happy Easter and don’t leave the chocolate in there unattended for too long … eat it!

  5. I love the Easter theme flowing through the blog……and your Hakuna Matata one too! Your seedlings are looking very healthy, and it’s a good start to a successful harvest! I love the colour of the Saxifrage; what a beauty! Wishing you a Happy Easter!

    1. Thank you, Chris. Yes they will form a tuber before end of growing season. Any plant whose flower I really like will be kept, others composted. I just like growing from seed because it starts my gardening season two months earlier!

  6. Very impressive Pádraig! You have so much growing! I like the way you had your Easter goodies in the garden for us, how thoughtful! If you’re giving out the bunnies I would like one please! Now, about your neighbor/friend and the tomato plant……that was a good one! AND I’ve quit the news altogether! I prefer my own little world of friends! Cady

    1. Bunnies have been consumed and lovely they were too! Remind me in advance for 2022. 😀
      No TV news is good news, and I’ve enough positive vibes from friends and from my writing.

  7. As both a gardener and a human being, I really appreciate this sentiment: “It means I’m happy to care for the plant in order to get enormous satisfaction in return.” Yes. The care is worthwhile. Our gardens teach us this and patience and flexibility and sharing and resilience. Your seedlings are looking fantastic.

    1. The glasshouse will become dangerously hot for seedlings from now onwards, so they will need to be taken out to fresh air. Not ready to plant out until early May after danger of frost. Therefore its going to mean more care and patience bringing them out and back in by night.
      Thank you for your lovely comment.

  8. That Saxifrage Peter Pan is such a delightful shade of pink. It looks amazing in your rockery. Is that a plant which can be propagated by division, or must it be started from seed? Oh, and the Easter bunny can drop those Cadbury Eggs in my garden too…they are my absolute favorite Easter candy. I always look forward to seeing what’s going on in your garden – thanks for sharing each week.

    1. I see what’s happening! You’re here in another guise looking for more chocolate. Mmmm….
      Sot sure about the Saxifrage. I’d imaging growing from seed would work if done properly but plants may not come true. I’m reluctant to divide it because it seems to delicately cling to rock, and new plants are merely a few euro to buy.

      1. Ha! Well, it’s Easter Sunday here and it would appear that the Easter bunny missed my garden.

        I don’t know if I have ever seen Saxifrage here, but I’m going to look for it.

  9. The incident with the vaccines in Dublin was galling but I was inclined to wonder if it was better to make use of the extras than have them go to waste – though I’m not at all sure if they would have gone to waste; that they could simply have been used for other patients in the queue on a following day. Whichever, it was a breach of the protocol and should not have happened – I simply think that it may have been without malice.

    Re the Mini Lobata: I have found they flower very late in the year; taking a long time to reach flowering size and in danger of being frosted before flowering – but then, Abbeyside is a mild spot.

    1. The vaccines would have been allocated to vulnerable people, Paddy. Clear example in my view of I’ll-scratch-your-back.
      The slow growth so far would indicate you are right! I live in hope.

  10. So your bunnies don’t nibble your plants? Oh they are made of chocolate! Your turn to nibble them. I rather like your attitude but I thought you might have been also reading Julia of Norwich.

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