Tag Archive: flowers

Lunaria – Honesty – Hardy Biennual

Its April 23rd 2022 and I have sown seeds of purple Honesty. I used to have purple and white growing in the garden but they seem to have disappeared so another sowing was in order. They should take about 20 days to germinate. They are quite old seeds so as they are biannual I have sown more than I normally would incase of failures. They are quite tough plants though so I am hopeful of getting flowers from May/June in 2023. Once again I made the mistake in thinking that these plants would self seed and proliferate around the garden. I really need to concentrate on building up the soil.

Since Adam was poorly and consequently passed away I have let the garden go a bit so need to get some quality into the soil. I have two compost bins that need emptying so that should have been put all over the borders before the start of the growing season. It’s difficult to do when things start to grow because I don’t want to bury new seedlings. I will do what I can little by little and hope that I live long enough to see the results of my labour.

Another attempt at growing climbers from seed 2022

I have just sown four each of Ipomoea Pennata Red; Ipomoea Pearly Gates (white) and Thunbergia Alata Mix. I tried these climbers last year with no success so try try again. I have put them in a root trainer affair which is green and open to the light but sealed to keep in the moisture. They are sitting on the window ledge in as much light as I have available so fingers crossed. From what I can remember germination could take 20 to 30 days so about a month. Its 12th April 2022 today so well into May when the soil should be warming up. Update – 18th April 2022 – two shoots already. Update – 21st April 2022 – six shoots now. These root trainers are good.

I love climbers and as our garden is quite small they allow us to use the fence and various arches to give us more flowers at eye level as well as in the ground and in our myriad of pots.

Thinking about sowing these seeds today has made me take stock of what climbers we have already. We have a basic Ivy that has been with us for years as a dividing screen between our garden and next door. I have a climbing Hydrangea alongside it that is also very old and well established. Clematis have come and gone over the years but the ones that come to mind that are still with us are Montana, Apple Blossom; Hagley Hybrid; Mrs Bateman; Princess Kate; Guernsey Cream and a couple of deep red and purple ones that I’ve forgotten the names of, Warsaw something I think one of them is. I have a Russian Vine that I have had to cut back excessively this year as although it s flowers are beautiful it has taken over a part of the side garden and climbed up into the plum trees so urgent secateur work was required.

I have an old Jasmine that could do with removing too. Tidying up work desperately needed I think. Ours is an old garden and as it is small I can’t let things go.

Warsaw Nike I think
Princess Kate
jasmine
Climbing Rose Shropshire Lad

You can’t have enough climbers can you.

Mirabalis Japala – collected seeds – 2022 – The four ‘o’ clock plant

Today, 28th March 2022, I have sown 14 seeds that I collected the last time I grew these plants. Apparently that was 2018!!!! I wish that I had looked at my old posts first as I had already sown them only to read that I shouldn’t have excluded light as in nature they drop to the ground and germinate in the light.

They are on the windowsill here in my office so the pot has lots of light but I did put a sprinkle of compost over them and put them in a polythene bag. Roll on 40 days which is how long they took to germinate the last time I gave them a try. Update 23rd April 2022 – 8 seedlings already through after only 27 days. Looking good.

“Mirabilis is a genus of plants in the family Nyctaginaceae known as the four-o’clocks or umbrellaworts. The best known species may be Mirabilis jalapa, the plant most commonly called four o’clock. There are several dozen species in the genus, of herbaceous plants, mostly found in the Americas.” Wiki

I have done a search online for Mirabilis and found a picture of the dormant root of this plant. It was a hefty looking root and I fear that maybe I threw mine away in the winter not remembering what was in the pot. Lesson learned I hope. Label the pot and don’t throw any dead looking root into the compost bin. The roots or tubers I think look very much like Dahlia tubers.

Mirabilis flower
Mirabilis Seed

Alchemilla Mollis – Irish Silk – Lady’s Mantle

I bought seeds of this Alchemilla Mollis, commonly known as Lady’s Mantle and today, 25th March, I have scattered them around my very established Erysimum Bowles Mauve. The perennial wallflower had gone quite woody but the head of it is covered in purple flowers for most of the season. I thought that this plant might be a good companion and form a clump around the base. We shall see. That’s the excitement of gardening. You never know what might work.

The variety is Irish Silk but the plant is originally a native of southern Europe. Its chartreuse yellow flowers grow above a mound of large leaved fresh green foliage. This deciduous perennial has gained the RHS award of garden merit. Apparently these plants are said to become invasive as they self seed. They will be challenged in my garden as no matter how much i care for it it often kills off my favourite plants. They propagate by forming large rhizomes so they sound as though once established they should survive. However, I have only sown seeds and seed to rhizome will take a year or two I bet.

Alchemilla – perennial ground cover plant.

Cerinthe Major Purpurascens – sowing and growing

Back in 2017 I sowed some of these Cerinthe seeds thinking that they would self seed everywhere but alas there is no sign of them in my garden today. I collected seeds from the couple of plants that did grow and I came across them today and have decided to give them another go. Obviously they are old but they look good so I have first put them to soak a little and intend to start them indoors. I think I shall put the plants in to a large pot rather than directly into the garden this year. Update 28th March 2022 – I put the seeds into a pot of multi purpose compost today so fingers crossed for germination. Update 2nd April 2022 – Four of these seeds germinated at 5 days. Looking good and strong.

The common name of these majestic plants is Honeywort or the blue shrimp plant. They are much loved by bees and flower arrangers alike. I remember the plant as having beautiful blue green foliage and brilliant deep blue/purple flowers, as its name implies. Seeds are sold as hardy annuals and said to self seed easily. However, the seeds have a coat of armour that benefits from a little soaking in tepid water before sowing. Once established they will flower all summer but this time I shall save more seeds rather than leaving them to their own devices.

Wallflower Vulcan

I have quite a few of these Wallflowers grown from seed last year. They have overwintered outside really well and I potted them on into 9″ pots last week. At present they are in the porch until I decide on their permanent position in the garden. I am looking forward to seeing them in flower. They are described as being rich crimson and deep red shades by the lady from Country Garden UK, where I bought the seeds. Its a lovely site and all the seeds that I had from there were fresh and good value. Her site is well worth a visit and you can find her at www.countrygardenuk.com

This lovely red Wallflower produces clusters of scented flowers on long strong stems. Each flower head is made up of many individual flowers which gives them a most attractive appearance. Blooms are produced early in the year at the same time that Tulips flower from March to the end of May. Vulcan has deep purple buds opening to crimson red flowers. Gill from country garden.

Spring 2022 – Asarina Scandens Climber

It has been a long, long year since I wrote on my diary/blog. Mainly, I think, because I have been very depressed and not feeling very well either. I have no idea why, this morning, I feel the urge to write. Maybe its the signs of Spring in the garden; the green shoots peeping through the ground; hopefully it is because I am really feeling better in myself. I hope so.

The pandemic is no longer raging on more creeping amongst us and we are having to live with it. We are all more familiar with our enemy these days and have become knowledgeable about viruses in general and how to keep safe from infection. Public health has become the responsibility of the global population.

Then: just as we were thinking it was safe to go into the water: War in Europe!! The Russian army, once again, under orders from Vladimir Putin, have invaded Ukraine. I don’t intend to relate stories of the war on this blog, but as this is, in effect, my diary I feel I have to mention it as a marker in my life.

I intend to make the main thrust of my blog the daily activities that happen in my home and garden. I have added the Amazon affiliate function again as an experiment.

Asarina, The Snap Dragon Vine.

On March 13th 2021 I sowed a few seeds of this climber and one plant has survived the Winter. Today I transplanted a strong looking root into a deeper pot. I have yet to see a flower but am hopeful that I shall see some this year. I had another look online for information about this climber which I had thought was a delicate creature only to find that it eventually grows into quite a tough woody plant once it becomes established. Other knowledgeable people say that its best to start each year from seed. However, I have searched through my seed stash box and find that I must have sown all of the seeds that I had last year. Fingers crossed for success this year.

Sow indoors in spring in good light with some warmth. Germination can be erratic. Pot up seedlings individually and pinch back when out 10cm. Do not overwater. Grow on until frosts have passed, then plant outside in the border or large containers. Sarah Raven https://www.sarahraven.com/products/asarina-scandens-mystic-rose

Fuchsia Hawkshead and Blackie

Fuchsia Hawkshead White Hardy

I’ve had this hardy bush type Fuchsia on my wish list for some time and this year I managed to acquire six very healthy looking plugs of both White Hawkshead and Blackie. I have potted them on into small pots of multi purpose compost for now. The Hawkshead is a free flowering small deciduous shrub producing small pure white single flowers subtly flushed green at the base against mid green leaves. Flowering from early summer to first frost in autumn. I really hope I can get these going. I have a couple of large flowering Fuchsia but apparently the smaller flowering varieties are more hardy.

Hawkshead

Fuchsia Blackie

I bought these plugs along with Hawkshead. They are a half-hardy Perennial and one of the darkest fuchsia’s there is. It has double petals of dark, almost black , A bush fuchsia that has a slightly lax habit so often used in hanging baskets. Needs protection from frost. https://southeasternhorticultural.co.uk/product/fuchsia

Blackie

Veronica Repens – Creeping Speedwell

This strong healthy little Veronica Repens (Creeping Speedwell) plant was bought as an impulse buy when out shopping for gravel. I had never come across it before but after a bit of research I was pleased with my purchase. Apparently some gardeners grow this between their slabs as an alternative to lawn. I have started it off in a mixed pot with Lobelia and nasturtium but think maybe I will try it amongst the gravel later.

Veronica repens - Creeping Speedwell
Veronica Repens
Veronica repens or Creeping Speedwell is an evergreen carpeting plant. This pretty groundcover plant is studded with tiny white flowers during late spring. Ideal for growing between paving stones or as an underplanting idea over a small area. Doesn’t do well in extreme drought but otherwise tough and versatile. A good cover for early spring-blooming bulbs. Easily divided by ripping apart into small pieces in spring or early fall. Tolerates moderate foot traffic. perennials.com

Clematis Cartmanii Early Sensation

Early on in the Spring Laura arrived with a beautiful Clematis with no label. We potted it on and popped it at the front of the house, which gets the early sun. It is now covered in beautiful white flowers and we have realised that it is Early Sensation. The Clematis variety Early Sensation is an evergreen clematis and can grow up to 9ft tall. It has finely divided leaves which emerge bronze when young and mature to a dark green. In spring this cultivar bears a profusion of scented, white, cup-shaped flowers each with a greenish-yellow centre. It belongs to the family Ranunculaceae. We are both excited and nervous. We love it but are afraid to lose it so lots of research needs to be done. No routine pruning is necessary apparently.

If the spread of the plant needs to be restricted prune immediately after flowering, cutting back overlong shoots to healthy buds. Apply a slow release balanced fertiliser and a mulch of well-rotted garden compost around the base of the plant in early spring.

RHS
Clematis Cartmanii Early Sensation

Early Sensation and its cultivars originate from species native to New Zealand. It flowers prolifically and has attractive evergreen foliage which is non-clinging. This group of clematis is dioecious producing either male or female flowers. It is an early season clematis from pruning Group 1 so flowers early in the year on shoots produced in the previous summer.

This group of clematis is semi hardy and requires a warm sheltered position with a very free-draining soil in sun or partial shade. It is well suited to growing in pots using a well-drained gritty compost which can be brought into the protection of a cold glasshouse or conservatory in winter; it also makes a lovely subject for the alpine house. Plant your new clematis with the crown 2–3″ deep to encourage new shoots to grow from below ground level and keep it well watered during its first Spring and Summer. Clematis are greedy feeders and benefit from regular feeding.