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Beechgrove Potting Shed patio garden update

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Helen Needham | 15:36 UK time, Thursday, 1 July 2010

Our humble Beechgrove Potting Shed Patio Garden has been the butt of many jokes here at the BBC in Aberdeen. Indeed, as I stepped outside to take pictures for the blog entry, my rather cynical colleagues in News guffawed when I told them what I was doing - 'A Lesson in Neglect', they laughed.

Ok, we admit it, our plants aren't in the best of shape but this does go to give a realistic picture of how a busy person's patio garden may turn out. Erratic watering and late feeding may have taken its toll but appearances don't count for everything. As you can see from the pictures, we have a courgette and some tomatoes, despite the plant looking like it's on its last legs.

tomatoes and courgettes

Our beans are flowering and the basil on the windowsill next to my desk is almost ready for people to help themselves to at lunchtimes. Hidden away at the side of the car park, our tatties housed in old tyres are coming along nicely too. Because we've been so busy dotting around the country with Out of Doors and the Beechgrove Potting Shed lately - Fort William to Mallaig train journey, Gardening Scotland, Royal Highland Show etc - some of the more caring and green fingered BBC staff here have started getting involved in looking after the Patio Garden, largely because they feel sorry for it!

The big dread though for us amateurs every week is when our professional gardeners come here on a Sunday for the live broadcast of the BPS and take a look at our efforts. This week, Jim McColl's going to be using the Patio Garden as an example to illustrate his advice on Summer watering - I feel a blush coming on as I'm reduced to naughty school girl status again. The greatest pleasure I derive from the whole process is not only seeing things grow, but observing even the most hard-nosed of colleagues being drawn to our little collection of pots at the front door, despite their disdainful utterings.


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