Friday, September 23

Planting - ornamentals

This year instead of starting my biennial flowers - wallflowers, sweet Williams and sweet rocket in modules and transplanting I decided to go for direct sowing. This worked well for the wallflowers and sweet rocket but in the case of the sweet Williams either the germination was poor or - more likely - the slugs made a meal of freshly emerging seedlings. I bought more seeds and sowed these in modules which I planted out last week.

We had quite a poor showing of sweet Williams in spring this year and so I am hoping that the slugs don't move in and cause a repeat next year.

I felt that the tubs in which our alliums are planted needed some 'ground cover' and so planted some bellis perennis that we had raised from seed earlier.
Due to foraging molluscs the above was all that was left from a tray of seedlings. Let's hope the slugs and snails don't make a meal of the survivors before we can enjoy the flowers.

Last year I popped some primroses into a pot and after flowering they set seed and grew lots of baby plants. These were put aside over summer and had been attacked by leaf miner.
I decided to give the plants a chance anyway and planted them in another pot of alliums.
At the moment they look rather shabby but they may outgrow the miner damage.

We went to a local garden centre for lunch a week or so ago. This may be the last visit this year as already in September the indoor gardening stock is making way for 'festive' products. I refuse to use the 'C' word when autumn is only just moving in.
Whilst we were there we picked up a few heathers to brighten up our patio area over the winter months. I really only needed four plants but they had a 'buy two get one free offer' so I ended up with six. 


The extra two went in another pot  but 'Oh dear, just look at those gaps in the planting."

Not to worry I needed a visit to our local garden centre - one that happily still has the word garden at the centre of things with nothing festive in sight. There I picked up a couple of packets of miniature iris bulbs.

They filled those gaps nicely. I sprinkled a little gravel in the planting holes to aid drainage.


I also picked up a few packets of hardy annual seeds.

I've been experimenting with growing annuals this year - more on that later - as part of that I sowed some seeds a week or so ago to see whether I can have some early flowers. I picked up three packets of annual seeds and found a packet of larkspur which had been in the freezer since spring so I may be a tad optimistic in sowing but nothing ventured etc.


I planted four rows of seeds - one for each packet - in trenches cut in weed control fabric and they are already germinating - more slug fodder?



Left over seed was sprinkled under the pear trees where each year self sown candytuft pops up.



In fact when I scattered the seeds, I noticed some candytuft seedlings had already germinated. We have other self sown annual flowers popping up on the plot so if they can overwinter why not the ones that I sow?

18 comments:

  1. I'm hoping to grow a few more annuals and maybe even a couple of perennials from seed next year. You certainly have a head start - hopefully those slugs don't make a meal of your efforts.

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    1. I will have if it works, Margaret

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  2. Good luck with all your lovely flowers. I've tried the same and have got sweet william, etc., germinated but I think I may have left it a bit late to start them off.

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    1. You never know unless you try, Jayne.

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  3. This year, any plants which I want to germinate more of from seed have been planted near gravel. I get so fed up of weeding unwanted seedlings from gravel, I decided to try to let nature do its thing and to save myself a job. So far, so good. In with the weeds are little plants I actually want. 2016 has been a dreadful year for slugs. Here's hoping that they leave your plants well alone in 2017!

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    1. Maybe the slugs will leave seedlings ion gravel alone, Sarah

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  4. 2016 was supposedly "The Year of the Slug" I wonder what woes 2017 will bring for us gardeners? Wouldn't it be interesting to know what proportion of all the seeds sown actually make it to the flowering stage without being munched to death?

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    1. It would, Mark. Let's hope next year iis the year of the butterfly (except cabbage white).

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  5. I grew some Sweet Williams which flowered this year but I've missed the boat again where sowing's concerned. I'm rubbish at remembering to sow biennials, I'm hoping that I may get some self seeders, but I'm also rubbish at recognising seedlings so I'll probably hoe them out if I do.

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    1. That's a shame. Jo Sweet William seedlings tend to be the same colour as the small plants in my photos.

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  6. Hope you have more luck next year! Slug and snail are biggest enemy! When they grow in numbers, I add snail poison to bring them down. It sound evil but Thats' the only way I can protect my greens!

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    1. Sometimes we have to resort to being evil, Malar

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  7. Hi Sue, congratulations on your refusal to use the 'c' word as yet! Far too early to even contemplate.
    I was interested in your direct sowings as I am far too cowardly to do it , mainly because I know our slugs would be rubbing their hands together in glee ( if, indeed they had any hands!). We have had so many ``HUGE snails this year, plus a few of those massive Spanish slugs.
    I am starting a cutting patch next year so will be reading your posts with great interest!

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    1. I've shunned direct sowing in the past, Jane but may be converting.

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  8. I really struggle sowing direct, I wish they would grow it would be so much easier. Have tried again but nothing there so far, not sure whether greminated and then eaten by slugs or what. I keep saying it on my blog but slugs and snails have really been a problem for me this year. Have resorted to buying some wallflowers bare root and plugs of sweet william this year!

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    1. Slugs and snails are the major concern, Annie - the wallflowers and sweet rocket were left alone - our slugs obviously preferred the taste of sweet Williams,

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  9. It was a banner year for slugs here in the frozen north as well. I found a huge specimen, obviously not one of our typical small slugs, on some imported plants at a home improvement center. I was so disgusted, and afraid he might make a toehold in our gardens here, I scraped him off with a handy nearby stick and dropped him into the sewer drain. You're welcome, Alaska.

    Your pear tree is so unattainable I could cry. Fresh pears, boohoo! And you have reminded me of my love of Sweet Williams, it's been a long time since I grew them, I will keep them in mind for next year.

    Christine in Alaska, not saying the "c word" either for a long time yet

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    1. Maybe it was one of those alien Spanish slugs that are being reported, Christine. So slugs even thrive in your climate - what hope is there?

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