Thursday, April 19

Forgotten seedlings

Snakeshead fritillaries have featured on a few of my favourite blogs recently. I bought a snakeshead fritillary over four years ago in fact it turned out to be a good buy as when it/they flowered I ended up with two different plants one white and one chequered. 
The fritillaries are planted by what I call the puddle - it's a very small fibreglass pond, literally more of a puddle. To call it a pond would be deceptive as, although it has some plants in,  it was really originally meant to provided birds with an additional water supply. It really needs sorting out as there is hardly any room for water - in fact if you didn't know what it was you wouldn't guess there was water there! 
Anyway I guess the splashing must provide sufficient moisture to keep the fritillaries happy.
Each year the flower heads produce masses of seeds so I have always expected it to produce lots of babies but although the clumps have grown a little they don't appear to have self sown freely. As a result I tried to see if I could help matters along a little and sprinkled some seed into a seed tray.  I think this was in 2010. Nothing happened for quite a while and then - I think it was around February of the following year - some seedlings started to appear. The whole process has taken so long that I am ashamed to say that I  haven't really kept track - to be honest I'd given up on them! I do remember pricking some seedlings out into pots and popping them in a tray behind the greenhouse where I more or less forgot about them. Not that's not quite accurate - I DID forget about them!

Until that is last week when I was surprised to find some new shoots in sodden compost, some being smothered with weeds. Far worse than than in the following photo. 
I probably should have just left them but the weed roots were a thick mass and taking up most of the space in the pot so I decided to risk tidying them up and putting them in fresh compost. Each blade of grass-like growth had a tiny white baby bulb which you may be able to just make out.
I decided to pop them back in the tray behind the greenhouse as they seemed to quite like the soggy conditions there. Time will tell whether I've done the right thing but any new plants will be a bonus.
After all in many ways gardening is a bit of a lottery isn't it?



20 comments:

  1. I hope mine will self-propagate, though I'm a bit dubious about their chances of success since the soil in my garden is very sandy and "free-draining" aka dry. Perhaps I shall have to create a Puddle!
    Actually, I had never thought about Fritillaries producing seeds - I assumed they would propagate by division of the bulbs, so thanks for the tip.

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  2. I love snakeshead fritillaries, I have a couple in my garden which are in flower now. In fact, mine are around my tiny pond too, which looks smaller than your puddle, so I don't know what mine is, a splash?

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    1. Maybe my puddle just look bigger in the photo Jo. If it wasn't ppouring down I'd go and measure it!

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  3. A bit of a lottery at times, but so much more rewarding and higher returns (than buying weekly tickets). :)

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    1. The trouble is it's daily tickets now isn't it Kelly. We stopped buying them when they started mid week draws.

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  4. Snakeshead fritillaries flowers look so cute!
    We don't have this at my place.....
    Really a big lottery!

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  5. I think all of gardening is like a lottery. It amazes me how we can 'molly-coddle' our seedlings and tubers/bulbs and try our hardest and get nothing...and then nature which at times can be so cruel thrives so well and flowers and veggies pop up all over the like weeds courtesy of mother nature....sometimes I wonder if we take a little too much care of things so they don't become strong enough. Anyway here's hoping you get lots of new bulbs flourishing...they are very pretty!

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    1. It's always a surprise to see volunteer seeds of things you don't expect Tanya - last year it was coriander!

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    2. YUCKY...I really don't like coriander!!

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  6. I used to have some round our wildlife pond but they disappeared - maybe next year I will try some in pots and see what happens.

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    1. I don't know why I haven't millions of them considering how many seeds they have Elaine. I just wonder whether they are accidentally weeded as they seem to take so long to develop into any sort of decent size

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  7. Good luck with these, I guess they just need patience. Do you remember I thought the primrose seed you sent me had not germinated but now I have half a dozen pots with tiny little seedlings in? That's taken 12 months and at the rate they are growing it will be at least another couple of years before they are big enough to plant out.

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    1. I don't think it took as long as two years when we grew primroses from seed BW. I think once they get going they'll come on much quicker

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  8. I was just thinking the other day to buy some bulbs for the chequered ones. But the catalog does not say it can grow in the tropics or not for my mom. Cos I can't grow it in my dry garden. Since it needs a lot of moisture. What did the seeds look like? I was really tempted to buy the bulbs.

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    1. The seeds are fairly small and black - if I remember rightly Diana. Could you grow some in a tub of some sort.

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  9. Maybe but I probably have to locate the plant in partial shade.

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  10. My plants seems to be in a funny mode lately. My polyanthus in shade was blooming in summer, although the bloom size were half the usual size.Jonquail some poking out now.

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    1. Spring seems to have arrived with you early , Diana just as with us it doesn't seem to want to come - weather wise.

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