Tag Archive: seeds

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

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

Ammi Majus – Queen Anne’s Lace

This year I decided to buy a few more seeds of Ammi Majus but unfortunately I had put the seed packet in my jumper pocket and it ended up in the wash. Disaster. I have put them in a bit of compost but an pretty certain that I have ruined them. I think if I can get just one plant to grow I shall be happy. I last sowed these in 2017 and thought that they would be popping up every year but not much survives in my garden, not even plants like this tough weed-like specimen.

Bishop’s flower, Ammi majus is a superb annual bearing delicate white lacy flowers and attractive ferny foliage. They look good in a mixed herbaceous border. These tall plants do best in well drained soil in sun to partial shade. As Ammi is an annual collect seeds to sow the following year but leave some for the goldfinches which like to eat them in winter.

Ammi Majus

Ammi majus, commonly called bishop’s flower, bullwort, greater ammi, lady’s lace, false Queen Anne’s lace, or laceflower, is a member of the carrot family Apiaceae. The plant is native to the Nile River Valley. Wikipedia

Warning: These plants can cause skin irritation.

Nicotiana Sylvestris – Only The Lonely

I have sown seeds of The Tobacco Plant, Nicotiana today. The seeds were from Seekay Horticultural Supplies. I prepared a deepish box of warm, moist compost and scattered the dust like seed on the top. No need to cover with more compost as it just settles into the soil being so fine. Unbelievably small seeds when you know how large the final plants are. I hope that the seedlings wont mind being transferred into the garden. I may try sowing some directly into the garden when the soil warms up a bit.

  • A Very tall variety of Nicotiana that bears white pendulous scented flowers well above the foliage..
  • Sow from Feb – April.
  • Do not cover the seed.
  • Germination will take between 7 and 20 days
  • When all risk of frost has passed plant out the plants at 3′ apart in a Sunny free draining site
  • info from Seekay.

Growing Snakeshead Fritillaria From Seed

I have planted bulbs of Snakeshead before several times to no avail. Last year I bought another bag of bulbs from Wilko. Only one flower popped up last year. which was encouraging, so we left it in the same large pot and this year we were blessed with about five flowers which have now gone to seed and all but two had popped and cast their seeds to the wind. The remaining seed heads had many seeds inside so Laura has sown some in a tray and I have kept a few in order to research how to grow these beautiful and endangered wildflowers from seed.

grasslike seedlings

We are hoping that this years plants, having already scattered their seed to the wind, will grow on for us next Spring so as with all gardening its a waiting game now. The undisturbed bulbs should multiply too so fingers crossed.

Fritillaria seed ripens in mid to late summer and is best sown as soon as ripe or soon after in autumn. While older seed may still be viable it develops germination inhibitors that can make late sowings germinate erratically. In the wild Fritillaria spreads its seed by wind dispersal and seeds germinates on the surface of the ground. When sowing at home it is best to sow the seed on the surface of gritty compost and not bury it.

Water the seeds and place in a cool, sheltered place out of doors such as in a cold frame. Fritillaria seed requires a period of cold to stratify before germination so the pots can be left outdoors through the winter until they germinate which is usually in the Spring. Check the seed regularly for any germination and remove immediately to a bright place.

Once germinated keep the pot in a sunny position and keep watered throughout the growing season until the seedlings start to die down for their summer dormancy. By the end of the first year the baby bulbs will be small and difficult to handle so it’s better not to pot them on until the end of their second year. A typical Fritillaria will probably take 5 to 6 years from sowing to flowering.

Snakeshead Fritillaria

https://www.citychickens.co.uk/?s=snake+in+the+grass&searchsubmithttps://www.citychickens.co.uk/?s=snake+in+the+grass&searchsubmit

The snake’s head fritillary is one of the most exquisite jewels in the treasure house of British wildflowers with a long list of common names which include Checkered Daffodil, Chess Flower, Frog-cup, Leper lily and Guinea-hen Flower. The bell-shaped flowers are unmistakable for their nodding heads, sometimes of pure white, or more frequently marked with a delicate chequerboard pattern in shades of purple. This rare British wildflower is now protected in its native meadows, but will always attract attention in a woodland garden, rockery, or naturalised in grass .

The white form of this rare British native is rarely found in the wild. It flowers from March to May growing to between 15 and 40 cm in height. In the wild it is commonly found growing in grasslands in damp soils and river meadows and can be found at altitudes up to 800 metres, although it takes readily to garden culture where it makes a superb border plant.

.https://www.plant-world-seeds.com/store/view_seed_item/2315

White Snakeshead
Seedheads

Success 2022 – Spring

We have Snakeshead flowers plus grasslike seedlings appearing here and there in the garden. It was so exciting spotting fully formed plants and has been well worth the wait. I think they have to be my favourite plant for this year. At present we have red checkered flowers and I am looking for seeds of the white variety.

Herbs – Parsley, Sage and Thyme

Inspired by Gardeners World I have sown a pot of mixed herbs. Just one large pot. The lady on TV had plenty of ready grown herbs and was potting them up into a large container. Expensive, instant herb garden. I only had a ten-inch pot and a few old seed packets plus a new bag of multi-purpose compost. I have searched through my seedbox and I don’t have any Rosemary seeds to make up the foursome.

The seeds are sown and now on the window ledge. I have watered them and enclosed the pot in a polythene bag to preserve the moisture. I estimate that germination should take place between two and four weeks.

Sage Broad Leaved

The perennial broad leaved variety of Sage that I have sown takes a little longer to germinate. I have grown this variety before at the allotment and as I remember it formed a beautiful shrubby bush with downy grey-green leaves and purple flowers. The taste is strong and distinctive and the aroma is wonderful. I will be happy if I manage to get one bush for the garden as the seeds are quite old.

The leaves of this herb are usually mixed with onion and breadcrumbs to make a delicious stuffing for pork or chicken. However, its unique taste and aroma enhance the flavour of many dishes.

Sage

Only seven days have passed and already many green shoots have appeared.

Parsley Italian Giant

Parsley comes in two main types, flat leaved and curly leaved. The seeds I had are of a flat-leaved variety and are the ones I prefer to use in cooking. The variety that I have sown is Italian Giant. This parsley has a distinctive flavour and is good with fish, salads and soups. It is easy to grow indoors or outdoors, as it is very hardy with good frost resistance.

Flat Parsley

Thyme English Winter

The variety of Thyme I have sown is English Winter. Thymus Vulgaris is a hardy evergreen perennial with dark green leaves that are followed by clusters of small pink flowers. This herb hails from the Mediterranean and can be picked all year round. The active ingredient in the leaves is Thymol which lends the herb its strong flavour and antiseptic properties. Thyme is used in cooking to flavour meat and stews. It is the classic herb used in bouquet garni and enhances the taste of most meats.

Thyme

In addition to livening up the flavour of food, the thyme plant is also the source of thyme essential oil. Thyme oil has antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. It is commonly used as a preservative in foods, cosmetics, and toiletries.