Blogs

end of June 2017

I'm a simple girl that still loves pansies (ok, I guess some if not all are violas). I see lots of self-seeders as well: verbena bonariensis, agastache, calendula, erigeron karvinskianus, morning glory and an echium vulgare.

violas

I thought the morning glory (self-seeded from last year's flowers) were quite small and I hadn't decided exactly where to put them so was suprised to see flowers.

morning glory

I decided to move that pot of scabious, in front of the globe thistles (still in bud) where there's more sun

scabious blue cushion globe thistles

just to the left of the globe thistles are some sea holly that have survived the slugs, sure there were more but at least I have some and to the left of those, the agapanthus in bud, no idea why one is so tall in comparison with the others

agapanthus buds sea holly

here's another morning glory, very small - and already blooming, climbing up an unknown plant, a handy living stake

morning glory

the sunflowers are blooming, well away from the slugs

sunflowers

sunflowers

close-up of that lower one, they're all different, from a free packet of seeds

sunflower

The chicory is covered with flowers.

chichory

chichory

Difficult to capture all the flowers in my pics.

chicory flowers

my first (possibly only) water lily this year

water lily

that half-barrel is falling apart, I had it from new about 12 years ago

that liner in particular is looking pretty sad, holes in it that prevent it from being filled any more

one of my last passionflowers for this year I guess

passionflower

moving to the other side of the fence, the garden next door, where the passionflower is growing from, it self-seeded between the slabs, now the stem is woody and quite chunky

passionflower stem

close-up of that stem

passionflower stem

at the end of that garden, the self-seeded teasels are looking great and just flowering, pyracantha to the left, snowberry to the right, hydrangea petiolaris behind right, bag of leaves from last year making leaf mould out of the way next to the fence

teasel

and on the other side opposite the teasel

cat on fence with verbascum and hollyhock

cat on fence hollyhock

just to the left along the fence, a rose with a beautiful colour flower (not well-captured with my camera sadly) and a single red stem which I find intriguing, why is one stem red?

rose with red stem

middle of June 2017

my first scabious Blue Cushion in bloom this year

scabious blue cushion

the lesser knapweed in the front is just starting to bloom, in the back, getting less sun, still in bud only

lesser knapweed

veronica flower spikes

veronica longifolia

Each year I have just one flower on my Indian Summer rose.

Indian Summer rose

in marked comparison with the Young Lycidas I bought at the same time which has dozens of flowers and is very tall (I couldn't even get the top in this photo)

Indian Summer and Young Lycidas roses

as those buds from the Young Lycidas above got heavier the branch leaned over

young lycidas rose buds

nasturtiums and calendula in the background

young lycidas rose buds

my cats are just as much stars of my garden as my plants and flowers, on the left are my cornflowers, well off the ground away from the slugs, Victor in the centre on the fence, on the right the sunflowers also well off the ground away from the slugs

cornflowers cat sunflowers

those sunflowers are just starting to bloom (on the pedestal to keep them away from the slugs)

sunflowers

close-up of that first flower (best shot I can get as it's so tall)

sunflower

the next day, I tried again to get a close-up of the bees on the lupin and I managed to take two pics showing the pollen basket on the bee's leg (orange bulge)

lupin with bee with pollen basket

lupin with bee with pollen basket

After seeing how much the bees are loving the lupins I decided I had to try to get my other lupins to flowering. I also have that smaller one shown below that is just blooming. The slugs have eaten some of my small plants but I have a few left. I need to pot them up *somewhere* away from the slugs, especially that large one that may flower this year.

lupin plants

the slugs can completely destroy an entire plant

slug-eaten lupin leaf

I repotted that larger lupin above in the green pot and the medium ones in 3 terracotta pots. That leaves 2 small plants I will repot. They're off the ground now and I hope the slugs will be avoided - and that they flower. I've also tried to go out after dark to collect the slugs and snails - good strategy last year. I wasn't able to do it this year until recently. Hope it's not too late.

lupins

I am running out of room to keep things away from the slugs. With the passionflower and honeysuckle they've reached the top of the greenhouse where I put seed trays. I've had to move those elsewhere. I'm going to try moving them in the evening and put them back in the morning to get some sun.

I do have that small table on the right but it's too small for much. I should get a longer narrow table to go on there. There's a table at the end of the garden but it doesn't get much sun but maybe for at-risk seedlings and small plants it may be worth it.

unlike the other veronicas I've bought in the past, this one has survived the winter and is blooming

veronica longifolia

on the far right the nepeta with the larger leaves is nepeta cataria (catnip) grown from seed, smaller leaved nepeta with purple flowers are nepeta fassennii bought mail order and some from the garden centre

brightly-coloured snapdragons in the middle, anemones to the left, few ranunculus including yellow ones

moving to the left echium Blue Bedder pots with echium vulgare/viper's bugloss between them, sea holly at the back in the middle, globe thistle in the back on the right

close-up of the echium Blue Bedder

echium Blue Bedder

the bees are regularly visiting the lupin, one just visible on the right of the flower spike, Victor asleep in the flowerbed, using a brick for a pillow

another view with a bee on the left side of the lupin

Scarecrow with the lupin

I had another lupin with green buds and was hoping it would be purple as well (I tried to only collect the purple seeds last year but was worried some pink ones got in) and it's just starting to colour - happy to see it's purple.

lupin buds

moving to the left of the flower bed, knautia in shades of pink, clump of lesser knapweed to the left, not in bloom yet, globe thistle to the right also not in bloom yet, green alkanet throughout, one rosebud right in the middle on a small rose that has never grown any larger and generally only has one flower on it each year

the borage is huge in the repotted "garden in a pot" with masses of buds which are just opening, nasturtium just blooming, small deadnettle in bloom, very small honesty and morning glory also in the pot

borage

my one peony in the front garden

peony

end of May/beginning of June 2017

I have so many flowers on the zantedeschia this year. Dividing it last year seems to have made it stronger than ever. There is a small pond down there which it is sitting in.

a few days later the echium Blue Bedder is looking fab with more buds opening

echium Blue Bedder

Coincidentally the self-seeded suspected echium vulgare/viper's bugloss has started blooming as well and is indeed as suspected/hoped, leaving the big question, where did it come from? I planted seeds years ago and only got 1 plant. I find it hard to believe the seeds could have been hanging around that long and where? or did it blow in, got carried in? However it got here, I am delighted but would quite like consistent results from seed sowing. In gardening that is not to be.

echium vulgare viper's bugloss

the lupin buds are opening from the bottom up, great colour

purple lupin

finally the green alkanet is dying back so other plants will have a chance, especially these fox and cubs seedlings in the centre, now uncovered (only 1 visible in this pic)

fox and cubs seedlings

I also discovered a fox and cubs seedling in a pot so I have 3 this year. (also in the pot honesty and morning glory)

fox and cubs seedlings

the echium Blue Bedder buds have started to open today (2-6-2017), gorgeous colour

echium Blue Bedder

the lupin buds are just starting to colour at the bottom

lupin buds

I love foxgloves and have a few in my garden. Knautia macedonia in the background, one in bloom and a few green pincushion buds.

foxglove

more knautia, one with a bee, that one in the back with the longer leaves around the buds must be a scabious? not a knautia as I'd been thinking - update - just saw a knautia in the background on Gardener's World (from 2-6-2017) with a bee

knautia with bee

yes, that is a scabious, looks like House's Novelty, supposedly a mix of 4 colours but disappointingly all mine have been white

House's Novelty scabious

the passionflower is blooming, first year I have flowers after it self-seeded a couple years ago, honeysuckle below it

passionflowers

The ranunculus flowers have been hit and miss. This one looks ok, in situ below.

ranunculus

as the red poppy petals have fallen I see there are indeed some Pink Fizz poppies left there

the red poppy petals falling have left the seed heads, 3 Pink Fizz poppies

pink fizz poppies

close-up of the Pink Fizz poppies

pink fizz poppies

I moved the pot so I could see all the poppies and seed heads more clearly

pink fizz poppies

a month ago, at the end of April, I potted some jasmine stems in an effort to propagate some new plants, one has sprouted some leaves and looks well on the way to being a new plant

sprouting jasmine

most of the delphinium stems have buds that are opening; although the stems at the back were so dark, the flowers all look quite similar

delphiniums

the foxgloves, visible in the background above and below, blooming well

foxgloves

some of those foxgloves I wasn't sure at first they were foxgloves, the leaves did not have the usual foxglove leaves (a week before):

foxglove buds

another foxglove not looking definitely foxglove-like

foxglove buds

and a week later when it started to bloom:

foxglove

lots of zantedeschia buds, echinops (globe thistle) at the back, snapdragons to the right, green alkanet throughout

zantedeschia buds

green alkanet starting to die back, this will give other plants a chance

green alkanet dying back

Back in March I had some muscari seedlings which I repotted into this (and another) seed tray. That one in the centre looks like a bulb is forming. I don't know if that is what usually happens or if it's just visible here as the seedling is not so deeply planted? Also the big question, when will they bloom?

muscari seedlings

Even though I have successfully grown the nasturtium Purple Emperor from seed, I don't like the flowers! I don't like the colour. I don't have room in my small garden for things I don't really like. Nasturtiums self-seed easily so I am going to try not to let any seedlings grow from these. I will go back to the orange nasturtiums I prefer.

nasturtium purple emperor

middle of May 2017

The milk thistle by my front door is in bloom. I love thistles and thistle-like flowers.

milk thistle

I also love foxgloves.

milk thistle foxglove

One of the greatest garden views is a bee crawling into a foxglove. I didn't have camera handy when I saw one yesterday. The ox-eye daisies have spread like mad and into the garden next door.

iris foxglove

The salvia amistad is blooming. It probably needs more sun but it's coping at the moment.

salvia amistad

the hardy geranium copes better with the shade

hardy geranium

this scabious House's Novelty is in bloom, I love those pincushion flowers, disappointed these should in a variety of colours but I only got white

scabious Houses Novelty

After the deluge of the past few days, it was sunny at times yesterday.

there are at least half a dozen ranunculus buds

ranunculus buds

the buds are quite different from the nodding anemone buds

ranunulus buds

Correction on the poppies, they are not Pink Fizz, they are red and I don't know which variety. They are looking more red and less pink every day. Last year I sowed Seriously Scarlet but aside from only getting 1 flower, it was not Seriously Scarlet. It looked like these. I was given a replacement packet of seeds but only sowed them this year and these are from sowing collected seed last year, I thought from Pink Fizz but must be that one red poppy. This looks like the "peony-flowered" poppy seeds at the Thompson and Morgan web site. Has anyone successfully sown Seriously Scarlet poppies and gotten flowers that actually look like the seed packet? I'm quite disappointed. I don't like these messy flowers.

red poppies

close-up of one of those red poppies

red poppy

a few days later the poppies have opened more

red poppy

the poppy buds are opening a bit more every day - when they were looking quite pink and I mistook them for Pink Fizz

Pink Fizz poppy buds

the delphinium buds are opening; there are 2 types in this pot: the one blooming at the front (from B+Q last year?) and those dark stems behind (Magic Fountains grown from seed last year?)

delphinium

close-up of  one of those dark stems behind

delphinium

the pots I do for this neighbour are looking good with the foxglove and snapdragons in bloom, the hollyhock has some buds

foxglove hollyhock snapdragon in pots

the phormium next door is going mad with buds, I've never seen so many on it

phormium buds

I have discovered something about erigeron karvinskianus. The inital lower leaves are differently-shaped than the later leaves higher on the stems. I first came across this with wood avens - very confusing when there are differently-shaped leaves on the same plant - the same stem even. I've had this plant for a while but hadn't noticed any self-seeding.

erigeron karvinskianus

When this plant first appeared I did not know what it was. As it developed the flowers looked so much like the erigeron above I thought it must be that. I researched the lower leaves being different and although I only found 1 image, and everyone has copied the wiki phrase about it, it seems that the lower inital leaves are different. (See Plant Identification for more info).

erigeron karvinskianus

in a shadier part of the garden (which is most of it!) this new hardy geranium has survived the winter and being smothered by green alkanet

hardy geranium

last year these iris did not bloom, maybe because it was so dry, this year they look like they've recovered and have buds but I did make sure I watered them

iris buds

the next day the first flower started to open

first iris flower

one of the first passionflowers and I can see loads of buds, this self-seeded between the paving slabs next door and is growing over the wall, the original flowers I saw were on the other side in a neighbour's garden

passionflower

with my flowerbeds still full of green alkanet (I saw the bees buzzing around the flowers so much yesterday in the sun), I had to put this scabious and echium Blue Bedder in a pot, not that there's much room in the flowerbeds or much sun but this buys me some time to figure out what to do with them

scabious echium Blue Bedder

the rest of the echium are in this pot, below the large pot are the unknown plants that I thought might be echium, there are similarities but are definitely not the same (I'll add pics of the leaves close-up)

echium blue bedder

There were a few peonies in the front garden when I moved here 14 years ago and they never bloomed. I read that they are often planted too deeply so I moved them (to a shadier spot not realizing they probably needed more sun) and made sure they were more shallowly planted but they never bloomed. This one must have been left behind and it must be getting more sun, as there's now a beautiful fat bud. Next step is to move the others back. - and prune those sycamore shoots - the bane of my life! I keep cutting them back and they keep returning from the stump. I am hoping the constant pruning will weaken the stump enough the it finally stops growing.

peony bud

what is wrong with my cornflowers?? they are wilting at the base - devastating to sow seeds, get the plants to this point - and then they die, how disappointing

wilted cornflowers

beginning of May 2017

maybe I do have the odd Black Star viola from last year

viola Black Star

It was a beautiful sunny day yesterday (but so dry! - when is it ever going to rain again??) and the first anemone flowers opened. Most of my time in the garden now is spent watering - way too early in the year.

anemone flowers

anemone flower

anemone flower

anemone flowers

The poppies in the background have large buds. They are the result of sprinkling seed in that pot last summer from the Pink Fizz poppy seed capsules. I didn't need to thin them - they sorted that out themselves - the strongest ones survived, the weakest died.

poppy bud

a few days later and the buds are open enough to show some colour

pink fizz poppy bud

these 3 pots of Little Princess tulips (which are finished now) each have self-seeded plants, this plant appeared in other pots last year, was thinking viper's bugloss but not sure as the others haven't bloomed yet

this one has a viola

this one has verbena bonariensis

I notice things in my photos which I didn't notice in the garden. That looks like the acanthus has come back. I thought the slugs destroyed it last year. (Of course, I noticed how gorgeous Victor looks.)

and here's Victor in another position in the sun

I don't understand how slugs can eat - and love - such spiky plants as acanthus. They also destroyed my milk thistles last year so my new ones are on my "nursery" table (shown below) to keep them away from the slugs.

I seem to have two different delphiniums in that pot. The stems are quite different, this one being very dark and purple. (pic of the other below)

delphinium buds

my first knautia, I love those pincushion buds

knautia macedonia

and in flower

knautia macedonia

My first ranunculus flower which I have now put next to my new ranunculus and I see the leaves are the same so this is indeed a ranunculus and not an anemone. No buds yet on the new plants.

ranunculus

first purple anemone buds, one in each pot

anemone

a few days later, the anemones are much more developed

anemone

that white pot has the sunflowers (just a free packet of seeds that came with my order) which the slugs were eating but putting the plants away from easy slug access seems to have allowed them to grow

sunflowers

this milk thistle self-seeded in this pot at the front, the seedlings are a globe thistle and foxgloves

milk thistle

my cornflowers in this pot are not doing well, I don't know why, not attacked by slugs for a change

cornflower

too wet? too dry? (more pics at the Seeds page)

cornflower

my first calendula flower this year but I see more buds (at the bottom is a knautia macedonia)

calendula

I haven't planted any seeds. These calendula self-seeded, some earlier and therefore more developed than others.

calendula small plants

these started growing quite recently

calendula seedlings

I just noticed this one growing on a bit of dirt and detritus on the patio.

calendula seedling

my front garden is on the right, some of the plants have spread to my neighbour's garden to the left, the original ornamental artichokes are on the right, then a clump to the left, self-seeded, then another further left, the same with cerinthe, green alkanet, oxeye daisies, comfrey, aquilegia, bergenia and iris foetidissima, some helped by me

ornamental artichokes

this clump of comfrey, to the left in the pic above, is looking magnificent, much better than mine in the back as it gets so much sun, I grew the comfrey from seed a few years ago, plants get muddled up between the front and the back and between my garden and next door

comfrey

the next garden along is in the process of going back to nature, with no one to look after it, I can still see green alkanet, cerinthe, ox-eye daisies and an ornamental artichoke which I shared with a previous tenant but the stinging nettles (which actually look magnificent - hope some butterflies enjoy them) and dock are taking over

stinging nettles

end of April 2017

I don't like clumps of bluebells in my garden because they spread and inhibit other plants growing but next door, front and back, they are quite pleasant - and free!

bluebells

There's a magic moment in Spring when a ceanothus is covered with beautiful purple-blue flowers. (Scarecrow's not too bothered)

ceanothus

and the lilac has those exuberant blooms

lilac

I was looking at the centaurea montana to see how they were doing and how many buds and was surprised to find a cat hidden in the flowerbed. I didn't even know he was there!

I kept those delphiniums in that pot to avoid slug damage. It was on a table last year. I'll see how it does this year, so far so good and some small buds.

delphinium in pot with buds

that centaurea montana flower has opened up

centaurea montana

I finally shoe-horned those self-seeded centaurea into the flowerbed, it's not like on GW where there's loads of room to plant!

flowerbed

close-up of the centaure in the centre

I had these pots from last year. I tend to put plants in pots when I don't have room anywhere else or want to keep them away from slugs. On the left foxgloves and lesser knapweed but on the right in that pot I was so happy to discover more centaurea montana. The pot in front has knautia Melton Pastels. In the flowerbed, chicory.

pot to the right of those above, last year's lupins

lupins in pot

In additon to that chicory visible next to the pots above, I have 2 more. 3 should be plenty, they're pretty big plants!

chicory

In that flowerbed as well is a clump of iris which sadly did not bloom last year, must research how to revive it.

iris

I must admit I get confused between ranunculus and anemone. The younger plants I have aren't a problem as the leaves are quite different and I have them labelled but this flower from last year I'm not sure which it is and googling doesn't help as I think they look quite similar. Maybe I need to spend more time researching.

In the morning the flower is closed.

In the afternoon after being in the sun for a while.

this year's new ranunculus, catnip (nepeta cataria) seedlings in 2 of the pots

ranunculus small plants

I had to move the anemones around so don't have them all in one pic but they are at the bottom of the pic below with quite different parsley-like leaves.

I can't find the plant label for this water plant in my pond right now but it looks very ranunulus/buttercup to me - update- Ranunculus Repens Pleniflorus, double creeping buttercup

my "nursery" table

the slugs were attacking the sunflowers (just from a free packet of seeds) so put them in this pot on a pedestal to see if they would fit, they seem to so have potted them up here to keep them away from the slugs

sunflowers

I wanted to propagate some jasmine for my daughter-in-law. I found this bit along the ground that looks like it wants to root so I cut it and put it in a pot.

jasmine

this piece looks less advanced but decided to pot it up as well

jasmine

I have 4 pots, all short stems without leaves except 1 but maybe I should cut that down. I impatiently await some new growth.

jasmine

a pot of, I think, pink fizz poppies, I like keeping pots off the ground away from slugs but in the strong winds we've had recently this was blown over since this pic was taken

poppies

next shelf down is a pot I put lupins in to keep away from the slugs and as usual lots of self-seeding and I probably popped a few seedlings in as well, snapdragons, calendula and knautia macedonia

from the other side, the ubiquitous deadnettle

I bought 5 auriculas mail order for the auricula theatre next year.

auriculas

this is a close-up of one, just starting to open up

auricula

2nd week in April 2017

Centaurea Montana, one of my favourite plants, this year's first flower

centaurea montana

the centaurea montanas have self-seeded, a couple in this pot that was nearby, planting them in the flowerbed is one of my many outstanding tasks

centaurea montana self-seeded

self-seeded cerinthe surrounded by green alkanet (also one of my favourite plants) and erigeron karvinskianus in the background

cerinthe green alkanet

the muscari are almost finished for this year but these were in the shade and blooming a little later than ones that were in the sun

muscari

another of my favourite flowers, the humble pansy, I have bought and grown from seed many pansies but this plant self-seeded all on its own

pansy

I love the purple shoots of this hosta. I've kept my hostas in pots to avoid slug damage - with variable results.

hosta purple shoots

final curtain for the auricula theatre for this season

auricula theatre

auricula theatre

Little Princess tulips

Little Princess tulip

Little Princess tulip

Little Princess tulip

Little Princess

my back garden is covered with green alkanet and the bees are loving it! It's like this each spring. The green alkanet dies back in a few weeks in time to make room for other plants so I am happy to leave it for the bees as there are not that many other flowers in bloom yet.

green alkanet

beginning of April 2017

the curtain is about to come up, the performance is about to begin - in the auricula theatre

auricula theatre

close-up of the top shelf

auricula theatre

close-up of the middle shelf

auricula theatre

close-up of the bottom shelf

auricula theatre

This is the best I could do with the auricula theatre. It's been challenging as so many things turn out to be. Next year I want more purple flowers. I need to buy some but I have no idea when or where. The plants above I purchased at the local garden centre when they weren't in bloom so had no idea of colours but they've been useful to get started with. I also think I need to use the shorter pots, as are 2 above. The shelves are a little low so need shorter plants and pots.

tulip Whittallii

tulip Whittallii

snakeshead fritillary with the tulip Whittallii

snakeshead fritillary tulip Whittallii

I can't stop taking pics of these Silver Parrot tulips. I can't quite get the perfect pic. There are so many good views I want to capture and finding it difficult to fit them into the same pic.

Silver Parrot tulips

Silver Parrot tulips

Silver Parrot tulips

Silver Parrot tulips

a week later and there's even more colour with the tulips

silver parrot tulips

silver parrot tulips

In the autumn when it's cold and I can't find anywhere to plant any bulbs I end up sticking them in wherever I can. I ended up putting some snakeshead fritillary in this delphinium pot as I could get a trowel into some bare soil. I think I need to plan outdoor bulbs a bit better.

snakeshead fritillary

close-up of that fritillary

snakeshead fritillary

honesty

honesty

cerinthe, self-seeding and blooming

cerinthe

I'm pretty clumsy and I managed to pull out a piece of Japanese anemone when I was trying to remove a spent stem. I pushed the piece into a pot in hopes it would root. A new shoot has appeared so it looks like it's growing.

japanese anemone

japanese anemone shoot

Some of my small foxglove plants this year, I have some most years, I just have to find somewhere to plant them all. I'm not sure if the smallest ones will bloom this year. In theory they should as they're bienniel and they started last year but I think the smallest ones probably need to grow larger and will bloom next year.

foxglove small plants

I was wondering what was happening with the anemone and ranunculus pots that had no sprouts so I poured out some of the compost to see if the bulbs/tubers were sprouting and I found something rather unpleasant. 2 pink ranunculus pots have fuzzy mould where the tubers should be and 3 (2 pink and 1 purple) of the anemone pots have goo where the bulbs should be - absolutely disgusting. Are these gooey bulbs soft rot? (I found "bacterial soft rot" at Wiki - sounds likely). Probably the most disgusting thing I've ever seen in the garden.

The other 14 or so pots are all growing and look fine. Having said that, one or two pots only have 1 small sprout so I need to check those. I used the same compost for all the pots, a mixture of potting compost, perlite and vermiculite. No signs of any problems when I planted the bulbs and tubers.

end of March 2017

the Silver Parrot tulips are blooming, rather early I think

Silver Parrot tulips

I've been tidying up the patio and it made that spot under the plant stand accessible to Scarecrow to lay down in the sun.

I'm afraid the cats take precedence over any plants or gardening matters to discuss.

I couldn't decide which was a better view of Scarecrow so including both.

I potted up the few cornflower seedlings I have. Some may be calendula. I will see as they develop.

cornflower seedlings

when the seeds are still present, seedlings are easy to identify, calendula:

calendula seedling

morning glory, bottom left:

morning glory seedling

I did have 4 hostas in pots, to keep the slugs away, but one was still attacked by slugs and had an enormous foxglove sharing the pot. That hosta has disappeared. This hosta is just coming up. I'm leaving those forget-me-nots to bloom before I remove them.

hosta

another hosta just coming up

hosta

hosta sprouts coming through on this one, again leaving the forget-me-nots to bloom before removal

hosta

has anyone else seen one of these? googling it, seems to be a juvenile New Zealand flatworm, I'm not sure what gardeners are supposed to do about them, if anything, will try to research further, about 4 cm long

juvenile New Zealand flatworm

mid-March 2017

I've gotten fed up with waiting for rhubarb "crowns" to grow (which didn't in the end) so investing in some decent-sized rhubarb plants. They need this season to establish so I can start picking next spring. My garden doesn't get enough sun to grow much in the way of fruit and veg but hoping it's enough for the rhubarb. They force rhubarb in the dark? so they must be able to cope? My sweet boy Scarecrow amongst them.

rhubarb plants

polyanthus pots I did for neighbours, this one also has lupins

polyanthus

this one also has a foxglove

some hyacinths and borage in bloom, lupin small plant from late last year's sowing to the right, sea holly both in pot and in the ground in the back, also the ubiquitous green alkanet, forget-me-not and snapdragons

borage and hyacinths

all the gardening essentials: seeds, trays to put them in, inc egg cartons, camera, coffee and Diet Coke - and a cat!

see my Seeds page for more about growing from seed

He's the naughty kit who chewed these catnip seedlings (2 on the right) so I planted some more seeds. There are 2 kinds of "catnip"/catnep/catmint, the basic herb nepeta cataria  which I grow from seed (I have never seen these plants sold at a garden centre) which has small white flowers and nepeta faassenii (eg Six Hills Giant) sold in the garden centre as an ornamental plant with purple flowers.

catnip seedlings

seems that every day Scarecrow is destroying more of those plants so I had to move them out of his reach. When I have a consistent supply I am happy for him to have them - that's what I'm growing them for - but they need to grow to a reasonable size or my seeds need to germinate better.

catnip seedlings

Usually those nepeta faassenii are larger plants in bloom at the garden centre later in spring but I noticed these in the herb section so decided to get some now and hopefully grow them into larger plants. I've also been curious to see which cats prefer, if either.

nepeta catnip

cat with nepeta faassenii

scabious small plant from sowing last year

scabious

I wasn't sure if it was scabious but from the side it looks more scabious-like, the way it leans over.

scabious small plant

the anemone and ranunculus are slow to get going

anemone and ranunculus pots

this ranunculus is the largest

ranunculus

the green below is not an anemone but on closer examination, with those distinctively-shaped seeds, they are calendula seedlings

calendula self-seeded seedlings

close-up of the calendula seedlings, the calendula was growing nearby above and the dried seedhead dropped in this pot, unnoticed by me

calendula seedlings

these small poppy plants overwintered, I had planted the seeds end of last summer/autumn

poppy small plants

some more small plants from last year, foxglove on the right, scabious to the left, sea holly far left, Japanese anemone in the middle, 2 possible viper's bugloss at the bottom

these borage have been growing - and flowering - right through the winter, above (centre) and below (below right) are knautia small plants

borage

I was wondering how long the muscari seedlings and bulblets would take  to bloom and this very very small muscari bloomed already after less than a year in this pot. Also snapdragon self-seeded in this pot.

muscari bulblets

on the right is a rush which has self-seeded in this pot

rush seedling

my neighbour's forsythia makes a magnificent display

forsythia

Last year, both these hostas' leaves turned transparent and rotted (can't find a pic right now) so pleased they have come back. I will repot them and hopefully they will do better this year.

Fragrant Blue hosta

hosta

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