Seeds on a Saturday, 12.5.18

Tempting as it is to revel in the glorious technicolour wonder of May, I have decided to bore you this week with a seedling update. I was excited to get  NGS and HPS seed deliveries early in the year. I sowed a lot in February. Quite a few did well, especially Eryngium and Matthiola incana. Yet, it is the ones that don’t or are slow or tricky which fascinate me. Why aren’t you growing? Hurry up! Come on! But they don’t, they take their own sweet time.

  1. Pulsatilla vulgaris. A lovely plant that I want a lot more of. You may remember that back in Feb when I got this seed, I sowed one tray “tails on” and one “tails off” as you are advised to do. Guess what? In this experiment the “tails off” tray won 5-1. They know what they are on about these experts with their advice.That is still a very poor germination rate though. The trays were inside throughout Feb and half of March, then outside.


2. Seeds collected from Piet Oudolf’s garden at the Hauser and Wirth gallery in Somerset. I only collected seed which came from plants which looked like they seeded a bit anyway, had a few seedlings around them. Don’t know what they are, just threw them in some potting mix and left them outside. There are two small seedlings. If nothing else, it will be a nice reminder of my visit.



3. See that little nubbin of green? That’s Baptisia australis, that is! And what a journey to get to this stage it has been! Sowed in Feb, indoors. Nothing. Read a bit more about them and found the seed should be soaked overnight before sowing. Resowed with the rest of the seed in March. Nothing. Took them outside and plonked them in a shady corner and left them to it. This week: seven little sprouts. I really really want to grow this in my churchyard bed, so I am going to give them full attention now.


4. Common or garden Snapdragon, given to me by someone. Scattered in a tray (too thickly) a couple of weeks ago. They are up like a rash. Some seeds are just so easy and reliable and I should reign in my dismissive tone. They will fill a load of gaps soon.


5. Never grown Cleome before. Apparently they like heat. They were behind the sofa next to the radiator for ages, doing nothing. I moved them above the radiator in the front room in full sun as soon as there was space. Five have germinated. Not a great return. Maybe it was still too cold or variable for them.


6. This came free from the HPS. Nicotiana mutabilis. Never heard of em. I put them in a tray and left them in the front room, next to the Cleome . About three weeks ago they started as minuscule sproutlings. Now there are hundreds of them. Intrigued, I read about them. They are Argentine, apparently and as an annual can get to five feet high! That is some impressive growth. I will be pleased with one or two feet. The mutabilis is because the flowers change colour from pink to white to mauve or some combination of those colours. They flower til the frosts profusely. I am now officially excited at the prospect. Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is why we grow seeds.

15 thoughts on “Seeds on a Saturday, 12.5.18

  1. I’m a fan of Piet Oudolf’s gardening style, so it will be interesting to see what those seeds turn out to be. Actually it will be fascinating to see all the seeds grow.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How long did your cleome seeds need to emerge? I’m still waiting for mine sown a few weeks ago at the same time as Nicotiana (funny to see that we have the same 😃)


    1. The Cleome were sown at the beginning of March, but did nothing for ages. They only came about two weeks ago. Now they are about 7cm high. I will pot them on and try to get good plants out of them before planting in June. Maybe I sowed too early?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t think so, they need a hot weather to sprout. Keep us posted of them because they are pretty flowers! (I sowed 3 different colors … a pity they don’t appear but I think I’ll wait a little longer before sowing again)


  3. Nicotiana fascinate me with their rate of growth. They start as the tiniest seedlings, but then seem to double every day. Mine are looking monstrous next to the more petite cosmos, borage and scabious raised-bed mates. Snapdragons too are tiny, aren’t they? I would really like mine to start bulking up now. I failed to germinate any baptisia a few years ago, and it is on my blacklist. Funny how we punish certain plants for failing to comply.

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  4. My cleome self seeds. When it is 6″ tall or so I thin like crazy and move a few to bare spots. It is in a full sun location that doesn’t get much water. The get 3-4′ tall and are white, pink, purple.

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  5. I often wonder if seed-sowing falls within the definition of masochism. We sow and then worry ourselves silly until something green pops its head up. I had a disastrous first sowing this year. Of 17 varieties of seeds, only three did anything. And mine were in a heated propagator under growing lights, cosseted layabouts! I’ve held off a second round until next week.

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  6. No need to apologize for showing seedlings, I think the trials are interesting. I tried some rosemary with no luck at all, yet I’ve read that it is possible to grow them from seed. I think the moisture level must be important. I am too liberal with the watering.

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  7. Nicotiana can naturalize in some gardens. When I grew it years ago, the seed came from a plant in a neighbor’s garden. I was not sure I wanted to try it because the only other nicotiana I was familiar with at the time was the wild Indian tobacco that I dislike so. The nicotiana bloomed very nicely, and was all white!


  8. If I’d known there were seeds I’d have stopped by sooner! Some are fickle, I was more organised this year with which need what treatment. Even so I have pots with no action. I’m going to park them in a corner of the cold frame, see what happens. Lots of fun.


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