Saturday, December 11

First trawl of the seed catalogues!

What with the weather keeping us indoors where we have had to keep out of the way of heating engineers and try to keep warm despite most of our heating being out of commission, this week seemed an ideal time to browse the seed catalogues.

I've made a start by choosing flower and herb seeds. We grow cut flowers on the plot and also like to have flowers growing amongst our fruit bushes. We spend a lot of our time on the allotment and the flowers brighten the place up. I've added links just in case you want to have a peep at what the flowers SHOULD look like!

This photo is alongside the paved area outside the shed where we sit for a coffee break and shows what it looked like last year. I am ordering more nemesia - Carnival Mixed which provided a great display and another variety of rudbeckia - Marmalade. I'm hoping the poppies will have seeded themselves. The sunflowers provide a bit of privacy and may also seed themselves but just in case I am ordering a packet of Prado yellow. The birds, bees and other insects wouldn't forgive me if I didn't have any sunflowers.

Flowers amongst the fruit also bring in the bees and other pollinators although it has to be said most of the fruit bushes bloom before the flowers. We still have some marigold seeds - Disco and Naughty Marietta so I am ordering some Tagetes - Starfire for a change to mix amongst them. Instead of annual chrysanthemum I am ordering zinnia - Oklahoma which should also provide cut flowers. Again the cosmos should self seed but I'm ordering some cosmos - Sensation just in case.

To create a boundary along the edge of our plot we have an ornamental border with shrubs roses, perennails etc. We already have some foxgloves -Foxy  and  Excelsior Hybrids growing on to be planted in this border in spring (the bees love them)  and I have also ordered some larkspur - Giant Imperial mixed and Gazania - Splendens Mixed to add to the mix. One lot of seeds that I know will self seed very freely here are the poached egg plants so I won't need to buy any more of those seeds - they are the type of seeds that you only buy once!

Regular visitors will already know that we grow dahlias on the plot too but we have ended up with quite a lot of similar colours and I've decided to try growing some more from seed rather than tubers so I am ordering a variety called Giant Hybrids.

We usually grow sweet peas for cutting and have been pleased with the performance of the varieties we have grown in the past - Perfume Delight and Spencer Waved and so will be growing them again next year. The mixed varieties are much cheaper and ideal if - like me - all you want is to cut the flowers for a vase. I do want the flowers to smell like sweet peas though so these are chosen for their perfume and fairly long stems.

Last year we grew outdoors cucumbers up the other side of the cane arch.

I've also decided to try the short sweet peas so am ordering Snoopea just for interest.

Some of the plants grown will be planted in the garden but I am also ordering some seeds specially for the garden.

Under the bird bath is an ideal position for plants the love damp conditions. Last year I planted some mimulus and they did really well so this year I am ordering more seeds. The variety was Mystic which had a good mix of colours and quite large flowers. Again they may self seed but I don't want to risk it.

I tried nemesia in tubs last year but these didn't do as well as the ones planted on the plot in the ground so this year I'm going to try some osteospernum which I know you can buy as mature plants but I'm going to try growing some  Giant Mixed from seed. I'm also going to try some Bellis - Pomponette but mainly for my sister as she likes them.
I've mentioned that I like cyclamen and we have loads of hardy cyclamen - Neopolitanum which have self seeded everwhere including gaps in paving. They cross pollinated from just one white and one pink plant and we now have all sorts of shades of white and pink. There is another hardy cyclamen called coum which flowers at a different time so I'm going to have a go at growing some from seed. The Neopolitanum grow fairly easily from collected seed so I just hope that the coum ones are as easy. I guess it depends on whether they grow better from freshly harvested seed as some plants such as primroses seem to. Just to be even more adventurous I'm going to have a go at growing some indoor cyclamen too. The variety Lazer claims to be the easiest to grow from seed so I'm ordering that variety - but how easy is easy and why do they feel the need to claim that it is the easiest to grow from seed - does it mean that it is just less difficult. If anyone has grown cyclamen from seed and has any tips I'd be really grateful.

Now just the herbs and vegetables to decide on!


  1. you brave girl! we have the lottie and the 2 new gardens to think of this year but to be honest I can't even bare to think about it at all. Andrew knows what we need in his head :) I have a tummy bug - I need all my energy to get back to my usual beautiful self, hahaha

  2. Hi, this is my first visit to your blog and those pictures of your flowers are a sight for sore eyes - just the pick up I needed in these wintery days. Thank you.

    I've been wondering about growing more flowers in amongst my veg, especially at the edges of beds.
    Do you think the flowers compete much with the veg when you do that?

    I bet that it helps ward of pests... and it looks fantastic.

  3. I like you dahlia, I made a mistake buying a smaller one this year because my lack of knowledge about them. My hands are itching to take a look at the seed catalogue for autumn planting. But so much work in the garden at the moment.

  4. You've chosen a good selection. Nemesia are one of my favourite flowers, so delicate, and Rudbeckia are gorgeous and flower all summer and into autumn too. Hope your heating is all finished now, we've got icy roads and pavements this morning.

  5. Hi Carrie - sorry to hear about your tummy bug - get better (and beautiful)soon.

    Welcome Jay - we haven't had flowers actually mixed in amongst the veg although I may try a bed like that this year. The flowers are close by unless they self seed in amongst the vegetable plants. The secret is not to grow anything that will overshadow or have very strong roots otherwise. We do have flowers in amongst the fruit and it hasn't been a problem. The flowers are always alive with bees and hornets etc. We also have some shrubs dotted about including buddleias at the ends of vegetable beds.

    Hi Diana, There were lots of the smaller bedding plants in the catalogues and not many of the taller ones - just look for where it states the height that they grow. Not much for us to do in a soggy garden at the moment

    The heating is all done Jo and we are nice and toasty. It was icy when we came in last night too but at least the snow has gone - for now!

  6. Lovely flowers, I shall be extending the Dahlia patch this year.

  7. Are you growing from seed Damo or going for named variety tubers?

  8. Your flowers are too beautiful. It's like what I see in catalogs but know that my garden will never look like this.

  9. The flowers aren't given any special treatment Vrtlarica if anything they have to fend for themselves once planted I guess the secret is that they are all easy to grow and are packed together.

  10. The garden looks absolutely gorgeous!
    I am sure the seeds you get will develop to beautiful plants and flowers. Just have to wait a little for the season.
    I am also considering about seeds right now, I have a lot of flowers that are about to give out some seeds, and I dont know If I should keep them because I know there won't be much space in the garden next year. I will probably give them away

  11. The top photos are our allotment which is in the next small town which is what gives us more space.

    With limited space you do need to be really selective don't you?

  12. I do, but just trowing the plants or the seeds seems very wrong somehow. I think I might save them for some guerrilla gardening.

  13. We find it very difficult to throw things that are growing away too Fer


Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment - it is great to hear from you and know that there are people out there actually reading what I write! Come back soon.
(By the way any comments just to promote a commercial site, or any comments not directly linked to the theme of my blog, will be deleted)
I am getting quite a lot of spam. It is not published and is just deleted. I have stopped sifting through it and just delete any that ends up in my spam folder in one go so I am sorry if one of your messages is deleted accidentally.
Comments to posts over five days old are all moderated.