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Welcome to my gardening blog

flowerpot for a pillow

I hope I can share a little of what I've learned - and there is so much more to learn. Let's learn to love dandelions! and all those wildflowers that are so helpful for bees.dandelion

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Victor using a flowerpot for a pillow

 

May 2024

I live for moments like this, a bee on my melancholy thistle

melancholy thistle

a few days later

melancholy thistle

bee on the houndstongue (upper right)

houndstongue

closer view of the bee

houndstongue bee

houndstongue water figwort

I also saw a bee on this aquilegia but didn't have time to snap a photo.

It can take a long time for seed-grown plants to bloom but this is my longest. I sowed Centaurea montana seeds in 2021. I only had 1 seed germinating. It was in the pot for the last 3 years and seemed to expand but never bloomed. I planted it in the ground recently and noticed a bud yesterday.

centaurea montana

 

centaurea montana

centaurea montana

the ladybirds seem to love the giant scabious

ladybird

ladybird

ladybird

ladybird

ladybird on red campion

my first scabious flower

scabious

it's been so hot, the cats have found cool places to stay

Erigeron karvinskianus

erigeron karvinskianus

water figwort buds

water figwort buds

water figwort buds

water figwort buds

Eastern rocket seen on a day back in Camden Town

Eastern rocket Sisymbrium orientale

Eastern rocket Sisymbrium orientale

Eastern rocket Sisymbrium orientale

Eastern rocket Sisymbrium orientale

Eastern rocket (Sisymbrium orientale)

Eastern rocket Sisymbrium orientale

growing from seed

I get enormous satisfaction from plants flowering after I've grown them from seed. It can be difficult though. I've had a lot of failures. A lot of seeds that never germinated and some plants failing after the first year.

My giant scabious has buds. It flowered last year for the first time after seeds being sown 2 years before that. It can be a slow process.

giant scabious (Cephalaria gigantea)

I couldn't decide which photo (above or below) was better so I'm posting both.

giant scabious Cephalaria gigantea

I grew this houndstongue from seed. It was the only surviving plant from 1 packet of seeds, sown 2 years ago? I need to check. I'm hoping those are flowering stems starting in the centre.

houndstongue Cynoglossum officinale

this self-seeder has me confused, I don't know what it is, it's in a pot that I thought had seedlings in it I wanted, I guess I should just repot it and see what happens, patience required! but sometimes I'm impatient

same pot just different views

Danish Scurvygrass (Cochlearia danica)

I saw a lot of Danish scurvygrass this week on a main road near me. I'd not seen it before but once I started looking there was a lot there.

Cochlearia danica danish scurvygrass

Cochlearia danica danish scurvygrass

Cochlearia danica danish scurvygrass

Cochlearia danica danish scurvygrass

Cochlearia danica danish scurvygrass

an ivy-leaved speedwell growing through the scurvygrass and a sow thistle on the right?

Cochlearia danica danish scurvygrass

Cochlearia danica danish scurvygrass

Cochlearia danica danish scurvygrass

Cochlearia danica danish scurvygrass

shining cranesbill (Geranium ludicum) and Danish scurvygrass (Cochlearia danica)

Geranium lucidum Cochlearia danica danish scurvygrass

the environment along the main road there where the Danish scurvygrass is thriving

Cochlearia danica danish scurvygrass

Cochlearia danica danish scurvygrass

beginning of April 2024

I discovered ajuga in my new garden

two small globe thistle seedlings in the navelwort pot below, I was disappointed they were looking so poorly as I thought they were my only globe thistles after moving but I realised I have at least 3 plants in the pots below this one

globe thistle in the pot below right and a small one in the pot below to the left

more dandelions and forget-me-nots in bloom in my garden in a pot

bluebell to the right, geranium to the left

bluebells

white bluebell behind to the right, usual blue / purple bluebell in the front, campanula to the left

campanula, bluebells

houndstongue

end of March 2024

garden in a pot: forget-me-not (blue flower just visible far right), red campion, foxglove, dandelion and selfheal I just found under the plants, probably others, will wait and see

garden in a pot

Identifying seedlings

I have a lot of seedlings / small plants in the pots I brought with me in my move. Some I'm not sure of but will follow them closely.

I think these are giant scabious (Cephalaria gigantea) ? maybe small teasel (Dipsacus pilosus) ?

these look a bit different from those above so not sure

self-seeding from the seedhead, not absolutely certain which but will go back and look at my photos

giant scabious seedlings

small leaves look like wood avens but that larger leaf in the centre looks possibly common hogweed, will see how it develops

various things here, green alkanet, small teasel or giant scabious, honesty

teasel, verbena bonariensis, a couple unknown

closer view of those unknown bottom right

willowherb, I'm guessing great hairy willowherb (Epilobium hirsutum) ? as I think I had it in my last garden but not sure, will have to check my photos

willowherb

lots of willowherb, red deadnettle in the centre, oxeye daisy to the right, speedwell bottom right

willowherb

chickweed in flower and navelwort

chickweed navelwort

closer view of those chickweed flowers

chickweed navelwort

navelwort, 2 small globe thistle seedlings

globe thistle, forget-me-not, scabious

globe thistle

globe thistle, small teasel

globe thistle, foxglove, and?

artichoke, wilting but I hope it will revive

acquilegia, forget-me-not, scabious

selfheal, cleavers, speedwell

sawwort

I had lots of passionflower in my last garden. I potted up one of the seedlings to bring with me. It was looking good but it has died back. How quickly we forget! I can't remember if they all died back during winter in my last garden. I will see if this one comes back to life. I very much hope it does.

passionflower

hardy geraniums and new products to review

hardy geranium (bloody cranesbill / Geranium sanguineum ??)

hardy geranium bloody cranesbill

Geranium sanguineum

Geranium sanguineum

Geranium sanguineum

In my new garden I have at least 8 different hardy geranium plants, some possibly the same kind but I need to see when they bloom. This one is the only one currently in bloom.

geranium

geranium under the choisya

geranium

geranium

geranium

geranium

geranium

geranium

geranium under bluebells

geranium bluebells

 

Two Tins from The Flower Shop at M&S

I can't resist new products to try out, especially if they include bee-friendly seeds and if they are easy to buy from Ocado. I'm going to start them this week (w/c 25-3-2024). Will report progress.

The Flower Shop at M&S Pollinator Flowers Bee Attracting Selection

Flower Shopp at M&S Pollinator Flowers Bee Attracting Selection

The Flower Shop at M&S Pollinator Flowers Bee Attracting Selection

The Flower Shop at M&S Pollinator Flowers Bee Attracting Selection

inside is the compost and seed packet

The instructions inside are the same for both.

The Flower Shop at M&S Pollinator Flowers Bee Attracting Selection

The Flower Shop at M&S Cornflower Bee Attracting Mix

The Flower Shop at M&S Cornflower Bee Attracting Mix

The Flower Shop at M&S Cornflower Bee Attracting Selection

The Flower Shop at M&S Cornflower Bee Attracting Selection

inside is the compost and seed packet

The Flower Shop at M&S Cornflower Bee Attracting Selection

28-3-2024 I started the seeds:  compost into the tins, watered, seeds added

the M&S Flower Shop Pollinator Flowers Cornflower Bee Attracting

beaked hawk's-beard (Crepis vesicaria) rosettes - March 2024

now is the time for Crepis vesicaria rosettes, two in this photo, common field speedwell on the right

beaked hawk's-beard Crepis vesicaria

2 more rosettes with common field speedwell at the top

beaked hawk's-beard Crepis vesicaria

3 rosettes in this photo

beaked hawk's-beard Crepis vesicaria

the level of hairiness is variable, this one looks quite hairy inthe centre

beaked hawk's-beard Crepis vesicaria

hairy in the centre, yarrow surrounding

beaked hawk's-beard Crepis vesicaria

beaked hawk's-beard Crepis vesicaria

beaked hawk's-beard Crepis vesicaria

this one is even hairier

beaked hawk's-beard Crepis vesicaria

rosette surrounded by Geranium molle? or possibly another geranium

beaked hawk's-beard Crepis vesicaria

red deadnettle at the top, hoary mustard rosette just peaking out bottom right

beaked hawk's-beard Crepis vesicaria

beaked hawk's-beard Crepis vesicaria

March 2024

 
this tree was full of bees today, I think it's a cherry
 
 
The seedheads left on the sawwort are quite attractive. I'm not sure why I only have one plant worth but maybe I cut them down, I can't remember.
 
sawwort seedheads
 
I used to be up on all my seedlings but new plants, new seedlings have been challenging. I think these might be giant scabious but I will have to wait and see.
 
giant scabious Cephalaria gigantea seedlings
 
the Veronica peduncularis continues to make a great show
 
Veronica peduncularis
 
Veronica peduncularis
 
my pot-bound agapanthus which seemed to suffer in the cold weather has shown signs of life I am relieved to see, I must repot it
 
agapanthus
 
I had so many aquilegias in my last garden. I am happy to see I have one in one of the pots I brought with me, along with forget-me-nots and a small scabious. Melancholy thistle in the pot to the right. 
 
 
The forget-me-nots self-seed like mad. I discovered some in my houndstongue which I removed and quickly put into the ground, some grass I'd turned over. Not sure how they'll grow but not too bothered.
 
forget-me-not
 
Growing from seed (and growing plants) is so unpredictable. I brought pots from my old garden and a number had seedlings. I didn't seem to have any teasel - so disappointing. I had so many teasel seedlings in my last garden, every time I sowed seeds I had some teasel seedlings. I finally gave in and bought a packet of teasel seeds and before they arrived, I see teasel seedlings in a couple pots.
 
teasel seedlings
 
teasel seedlings
 
So many packets of seeds do not grow so I was surprised to get a few navelwort seedlings and a couple are doing very well. The seeds I bought from that company at the same time did not grow at all.
navelwort seedling
 
I had a globe thistle seedling but it started to wilt - all this rain? Maybe it was drowining. I took the pot out of the seed tray for it to dry out and notice a second seedling. Maybe there's hope. I left all my globe thistle plants in my last garden.
 
navelwort seedling
 
 

 

giant scabious (Cephalaria gigantea) self-seeder from my last garden

giant scabious Cephalaria gigantea

sycamore seedling - so easy to identify a seedling when the seed is still present

sycamore seedling

I love thistles. This is melancholy thistle (Cirsium heterophyllum), from seeds and shared plants)

melancholy thistle Cirsium heterophyllum

suddenly this year, the differently edged plant bottom right has appeared

Cirsium heterophyllum melancholy thistle

My one surviving houndstongue (Cynoglossum officinale) plant from an entire packet of seeds. Hasn't flowered yet but hope it will this summer. Is that a cheeky forget-me-not self-seeded amongst it?

houndstongue Cynoglossum officinale

I love nepeta as do some of the cats. I have different types, this is a smaller (dwarf?) one I don't know exactly, happy to see it has lots of buds

nepeta

nepeta

nepeta

red campion I brought from my last garden where it self-seeded a lot so not sure if it was wise to bring it but I did so will watch developments

red campion Silene dioica

still awaiting developments on these plants, thought they were from Centaurea montana I grew from seed but only got 1 plant and it's never bloomed, this seems to be more than 1 plant but must look carefully and I guess plant in the ground

centaurea montana

coltsfoot and London rocket on Tower Hill

My yearly visit to Tower Hill to see the coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) a stone's throw from the Tower of London and  London rocket (Sisymbrium irio).

Tussilago farfara coltsfoot Byward Street

coltsfoot Tussilago farfara Byward Street

coltsfoot Tussilago farfara Byward Street

Tussilago farfara coltsfoot Byward Street

coltsfoot Tussilago farfara Byward Street

Tussilago farfara coltsfoot Byward Street

the coltsfoot is growing by the steps down to the disused Mark Lane tube station

coltsfoot Byward Street All-Hallows-by-the-Tower Tussilago farfara

entrance to the old disused Mark Lane tube station across the road

Mark Lane tube station entrance

London rocket was quite disappointing as only some small shoots but I did manage to speak to the gardener there and ask him to let it grow and flower. It was great last year. Also emailed City of London parks to let the London rocket grow in Tower Hill Garden near the piece of London Wall but I don't hold out much hope.

London rocket at the base of the piece of Roman London Wall in Tower Hill Garden.

London rocket Sisymbrium irio

near the Tower of London

london rocket Sisymbrium irio tower hill

London rocket (Sisymbrium irio)

London rocket Sisymbrium irio

London rocket Sisymbrium irio

I also saw some London rocket in Shadwell

London rocket Sisymbrium irio

London rocket Sisymbrium irio

London rocket Sisymbrium irio

London rocket Sisymbrium irio

London rocket Sisymbrium irio

London rocket Sisymbrium irio

London rocket Sisymbrium irio

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