Friday, November 28

Self sowing in a grand scale

Just in front of the seating area in our plot is a bed in which are planted three pear trees. As it is one of the beds we look at when we are having a well-earned coffee break I like to underplant the trees with flowers.

In spring when the pears are blossoming the trees are surrounded with tulips.
As the pear blossom fades and the tulip petals fall annual seeds provided by previous occupants start to pop up. If you look carefully in the photo below you may be able to pick out some emerging candytuft.
For some reason I have failed to find a photograph of the bed when the candytuft is in full flower but below is a close-up of a patch of flowers.
It's a flower of childhood being one of those plants that are easy enough for the smallest of gardeners to grow. For this reason it took a while for me to accept it into my grown-up gardener's world but gradually it has wormed it's way into my heart. This is just as well.

At the end of August I removed all the spent plants and tidied it up. It looked like this.
A few perennial poppies were left and all the dried up plants removed. Toward the end of October the bed looked like this.
To the untuned eye it may appear that I had let my guard slip and weeds are taking over but let's take a closer look.
Not weeds but self sown young plants. The soil under the pear trees was teeming with candytuft seeds just waiting to spring into growth. What's more in amongst the candytuft are young antirrhinums ...
... and eschscholtzia.
More childhood favourites. I've tried to encourage the self sowing by shaking out seeds from dead cornflowers but as yet there are no signs of them germinating.

These are all hardy annuals so should survive over winter but I'll have to wait and see whether they produce the lovely display that this carpet of infant plants hints at.


22 comments:

  1. Find self sowing plant is so interesting for me especially plant that so difficult to grow. I like your candytuft, I hope I can find the seed here, and I will grow it in my garden. Such a lovely plant.

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    1. These germinated really quickly Endah. One minute bare soil and the mext a carpet of green

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  2. Cor, you have nearly enough to be able to set up a business! This is when plant-recognition skills are important.

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    1. If I don't recognise a seedling as a weed, Mark I usually leave it to see what happens, It's how I ended up with a bird delivered daphne,

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  3. I'd have probably weeded those out, I'm terrible at recognising seedlings. Looks like you're in for a colourful year.

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    1. I think having done lots of hand weeding sitting on the grass over the years has helped, Jo

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  4. I love the candytuft flowers. So pretty.

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    1. Some of the simplest flowers to grow are as pretty as the exotics, Daphne

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  5. Tha'ts just my kind of gardening- in fact you persuade me to get some candytuft for next year

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    1. Go for it, Roger and add some cornflowers too

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  6. This garden is beautiful ! I like this style of decorating the garden !
    Nice to watch your lovely photos !
    Greetings

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  7. Wow, that's quite impressive self sowing, it promises an amazing display next year. I love the idea of having a pretty bed to sit and look out at when you have a break.

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    1. The trouble is that we are often surrounded by tools which spoils the look, CJ

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  8. Fantastic to see them all self seeding the display should look glorious next year.

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    1. I'm wondering whether I will need to thin them to avoid them becoming weaklings Elaine, maybe in spring

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  9. You're going to have a glorious display next year. - that's the antidote to this grey yuckiness that we've got now!

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    1. I hope so FRG it's awful at the moment

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  10. Beautiful Tulips and Candytuft!

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  11. I love those spring tulips and envy you all those seedling....you can't beat self sown. I'm always shaking seeds out but for some strange reason they mainly seed in the veggie patch or lawn!!!xxx

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    1. Contrary things like to grow where they want to grow, Dina

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