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The highs and lows of gardening

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Karen Miller Karen Miller | 15:10 UK time, Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Helen Needham, senior producer of both the Beechgrove Potting Shed and Out of Doors, sent us this update on the Beechgrove Potting Shed allotment:

As we've previously blogged, the Beechgrove Potting Shed patio garden is fully under way. The ideally situated window sills here at the BBC in Aberdeen - southwest facing, lots of glass and the added bonus of a heater blasting away underneath - has meant that all our beloved seedlings have been enjoying a comfortable start to life. But with Spring supposedly upon us, it's time to toughen them up and introduce the plants to the vagaries of the outside world.

Beechgrove Potting Shed patio plants

Growing up is never easy, especially when you've got unexpected sub zero temperatures in May to deal with, and the bizarre addition of pea sized hailstones over the past couple of days! So the courgettes and runner beans have been carried in and out of the building with great regularity as we try to keep up with the weather. But today, there's a welcome break in the clouds and some sunshine, so fingers crossed.

Just as the weather was starting to bring us amateur gardeners down, I was thrilled to discover that my carrot seeds are starting to come through. It's just amazing how a simple thing like growing vegetables can delight even the most cynical of hacks in this building. Our vexations over this most unpredictable of climates, however, will sharply be put into context on this week's edition of the Beechgrove Potting Shed when Mark Stephen visits a garden in Shetland where one lady experiments with various varieties of plants which are hardy enough to flourish in a salty, windy and cold environment. The reason he's in Shetland is because Out of Doors on Saturday morning is coming live from the cliff tops at Sumburgh Head, where at 6.30 in the morning, we'll be hoping to spot a puffin or two. But before we head off, I'm going to plant some more seeds - basil and french beans we received with our free BBC Dig In pack. This gardening lark is becoming an obsession!



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