Seeds 2017

This year's seeds, 2017, starting with commercial seed packets planted end of January/beginning of February.

Planted scabious Blue Cushion (Mr Fothergills, "enough for 50 plants" packet), 4 seedlings so far (21-3-2017), from an entire tray of pots, not happy so far. If the conditions are ok for some germination, why not for more? makes me question the seed quality.

scabious blue cushion seedlings

as of 6-4-2017 still only 3 seedlings from those scabious, 1 in that pot with 2 seedlings died, I declare those seeds pathetic!

as of 26-4-2017 1 of the 3 seedlings died so I have 2 left, I am not impressed:

scabious blue cushion seedlings

as of 19-6-2017 those 2 plants

scabious blue cushion

Greater Knapweed (Mr Fothergills 100-seed packet), 3 seeds per cell x 10 cells

NO germination, I've set the seed tray aside in case *something* happens

- update - in going through some seed packets I see I previously bought Greater Knapweed seeds from Mr F and no results from that pack either!

Echium Blue Bedder (Mr Fothergills 200-seed packet), 5 seeds per cell x 10 cells, 18 seedlings so far (as of 21-3-2017), pleased with those results

on 21-3-2017 I have good germination of cornflowers and echium, 1 poppy, 1 monkshood (-later- no, that turned out to be a hollyhock that got into the compost), nothing else so far


I've moved the tray outside since the damping-off appeared. I've lost the poppy seedling and a few cornflowers, maybe 1 or 2 vipers bugloss. Still no greater knapweed seedlings.

as of 19-4-2017 about a dozen vipers bugloss (echium Blue Bedder) seedlings left and looking good

vipers bugloss seedlings

vipers bugloss seedlings

the echium Blue Bedder continues to look good

echium blue bedder

close-up of the echium Blue Bedder

close-up of one of those small plants

the echium Blue Bedder flowers have just started opening today (2-6-2017) so that's 11 weeks from seeds to flowers

echium Blue Bedder

Cornflower Blue Ball (Mr Fothergills 250-seed packet) 3-5 seeds per cell x 10 cells, 26 seedlings so far (as of 21-3-2017), pleased with those results

as of 19-4-2017 I've lost some of the cornflower seedlings but still have a dozen or so, I don't know why, 2 have died in this pot

cornflower seedlings

these are my cornflowers, a combination of those I sowed above and those that self-seeded, the self-seeders have definitely done better although maybe they've just had more time, the slugs love them so they are off the ground

cornflower small plants

the cornflowers are just blooming, not sure how many are from self-seeding and how many are from seed sowing, if they are the seed I sowed, that's 12 weeks from seed to flowers, same as last year


Seriously Scarlet poppies (Thompson and Morgan, 100-seed packet) tiny seeds sprinkled in 10 cells, 1 seedling so far (as of 21-3-2017), only got 1 plant last year from an entire packet so similar result, as of 26-4-2017 still only 1 seedling - pathetic result, not impressed

poppy seedling

11-5-2017 (8 weeks after sowing seeds) that one seedling is large enough to be repotted.

seriously scarlet seedling

a month later and I repotted that poppy again and it's looking good (although the lone plant from that seed packet)


Nasturtium Purple Emperor (Johnsons, 25-seed packet) 2 per cell x 6 cells and some outside in egg box, no germination so far, then as of 25-4-2017 about half a dozen small plants:

3 plants in the white trough, 1 each in black pots the shelf below, also a nasturtium in the terracotta pot on the right but not sure if that's a Purple Emperor or a self-seeder from last year

nasturtium seedlings

1 nasturtium in the white pot on the left, 1 large and 1 small seedling in the large pot

nasturtium seedlings

nasturtium Purple Emperor in bloom 31-5-2017 (not looking at all purple!) 11 weeks from seeds to flowers

nasturtium purple emperor

Meadow Cranesbill (Mr Fothergills 20-seed packet) 2 per cell x 10 cells

as of 25-4-2017 maybe 1 seedling? 2 columns on the left of the tray below, 2 completely different seedlings, 1 or which is probably self-seeded, I don't recognise the one at the bottom and haven't seen a cranesbill seedling before so maybe I have 1 germinated seed? the empty cell was a self-seeder I removed

here is that lone cranesbill seedling as of 29-4-2017 (looks like a tiny rush seedling there as well)

cranesbill seedling

a few days later and I have 2 (maybe 3 if that tiny one to the left of the large one) more seedlings

cranesbill seedlings

a week later I suddenly have 4 or 5 new seedlings emerging (7 weeks after sowing)

meadow cranesbill seedlings

this seedling/small plant is ready to be repotted

cranesbill seedling

another couple of seedlings appeared, reasonable results with these

cranesbill seedlings

I've repotted all the cranesbill seedlings, showing them all including that larger one I repotted 10 days ago.

meadow cranesbill seedlings

a couple weeks later the meadow cranesbill are doing well enough I decided to plant them out but as I was doing so, I saw the roots hadn't filled the pots so there was no hurry but I decided to revamp around the apple tree so wanted to plant aquilegia and meadow cranesbill around it, in addition to the lily-of-the-valley which haven't really spread as hoped - too dry I guess

meadow cranesbill

this was the apple tree before having a little clear-out of the green alkanet

in addition to the meadow cranesbill I have planted out some of the aquilegia

Monkshood (Mr Fothergills 50-seed packet) 2 per cell x 20 cells, 1 seedling so far - no that turned out to be a hollyhock that got into that seedtray by accident

NO germination, I've set the seed tray aside in case *something* happens, 4 empty columns in the middle in the tray above -update- 10-5-2017 I see 1 tiny tiny seedling but will see what happens with it

Dierama Blackbird (Mr Fothergills 25-seed packet) 2 per cell x 10 cells

as of 25-4-2017 about 6 seedlings I think, they look like grass but in the right seed tray cells, right 2 columns in tray above

as of 29-4-2017 8-ish dierama seedlings, I'm pleased with that as this is about my 3rd time trying to grow dierama from seed

dierama seedlings

about 2 weeks later and a few more seedlings, every cell but 1 has at least 1 seedling

dierama seedlings

I repotted the dierama. It can be quite difficult to separate seedlings gowing together like this so I've left them together.

dierama seedlings

I'm running out of room on the patio so I moved them to the side of the path. Luckily, they do not seem to be at risk from slugs. I found a slug under the square pot this morning. It would have had a good munch if they'd been of interest. One pot has a self-seeded poppy, I see it quite tiny in the pot above on 23-5-2017, below larger and identifiable 12-6-2017.

dierama seedlings

on 18-3-2017 added 3 trays of Suffolk Herbs Catnep (Catmint) (Nepeta cataria) hardy pernnial

I haven't really followed the catnip seedlings that closely with photos but they just bloomed this week, 15 weeks from seed to flowers. They are secondary to the leaves of interest to the cats. I'll watch out for bees visiting these.

catnip flowers


Disaster strikes! I have damping off. That has to be one of the most disheartening things to happen to the gardener. The seedlings - after germinating and just getting started, whither and die. Inside, in closed damp conditions seems to encourage it. I guess the plastic I put over the seed trays encouraged it, also got some white fungal growth. In recent years I haven't started many seeds indoors because of this but this year I tried again as it's too cold outside for much germination.  My only remedy now is to put the seedlings outside, which I've done (will take pics today and assess the damage). This is an example, my one poppy seedling but it also affected the cornflowers.

damping off

this is what happens to the seedlings, the stems rot

damping-off seedlings

Giant Single Mixed  Hollyhock (Johnsons 50-seed packet) seedlings, every pot has at least 1 seedling, as of 21-3-2017

hollyhock seedlings

I take so many pics I was surprised I didn't have any since the above when it was time to plant the small hollyhock plants in the garden earlier this week (21/22-5-2017). I had 11 small pots above and 11 small plants to plant out - good results - for me - I guess it should have been more from 50 seeds but 11 reasonable plants to me is success.

hollyhocks small plants

hollyhocks small plants

hollyhocks small plants

hollyhocks small plant

hollyhocks small plant

hollyhocks small plant

hollyhocks small plant

7 weeks later and 1 of those hollyhocks is in bloom and 1 has buds, as hollyhocks are biennials I thought they wouldn't flower until next year but at least a couple are blooming this year. (this is numbered 1 or 2 above)


hollyhocks buds

Double Mixed Hollyhock (Johnsons 50-seed packet) seedlings, at least 10 seedlings, not a disaster, as of 21-3-2017

double hollyhock seedlings

weeks later and not so many seedlings and hardly any bigger, as of 23-5-2017 and I did find slugs underneath the pots

double hollyhock seedlings

these have struggled but they got there in the end, 7 weeks later and I think they are ready to plant in the ground

hollyhock seedlings

as soon as I planted them Scarecrow decided to lay on top of them

hollyhock seedlings and cat

the following 3 pics have the seedlings labelled 1 to 8

hollyhock seedlings

hollyhock seedlings

hollyhock seedlings

while I was doing seeds I threw the monarda (Jekka's Herbs Bergamot Wild (Monarda fistulosa) all 180) seeds in some compost, not expecting much as I've tried these at least twice (from different seed company) before with zero germination so was surprised to see these seedlings, I don't know their attractiveness to slugs so will try to keep them off the ground, at least initially

monarda seedlings

I thought they have little future in that shallow saucer so moved them to these pots sitting on the patio so I'll see what the slugs do to them. Just looking at the seed packet again. It says "Protect young plants from slugs". Oh well, this is the best I can do. 12-6-2017

monarda seedlings

- later -

17-6-2017 the slugs have eaten some of those monarda seedlings so I have had to move them elsewhere

monarda seedlings

2-7-2017 the monarda seedlings, off the ground away from the slugs, couple of borage self-seeding in the pots with them


a week later, one leaf on the left is curled up as if a caterpillar is making a pupa in it but I don't know if they do that, I'll see what happens with it

monarda seedlings

About 7 weeks later (August 23rd) the mondarda is larger although not in bloom, I guess they won't bloom until next year, many (most?) perennials don't bloom until the second year. The tall hairy stems on the left amongst them are borage, tall stem on the right is agastache. Of course, they could do with planting in larger pots or better still, in the ground. They were eaten by slugs when smaller, I was worried about them but I guess it's really time to plant them out.


I'm not sure when I planted the Emilia Irish Poet (Emilia javanica Johnsons) seeds but they are blooming now, first small one a couple weeks ago I think. They've been pretty unexciting so haven't noted details. Two plants here, not the greatist pic but will try another.

emilia irish poet

the Emilia (left) are getting into their stride, they're a bit sprawling with some blooms hanging down to the ground, the nasturtiums on the right are two different varieties, one with split flowers, maybe phoenix or fruit salad

emilia and nasturtiums

I got a free packet of radish seeds and planted them a few days ago. I don't have much sun and room for vegetables but as I had the seeds thought I might has well try them at the end of the garden.

radish seedlings

I planted the rest of my collected seed beginning of May 2017, clockwise from top left, cornflower, sea holly, crocosima, honesty, borage. I've only tried the borage before (still waiting for the aquilegia I planted a few weeks ago).

collected seed

June 2017, that was a silly idea! I am overwhelmed with seedlings. I guess I didn't expect them all to do so well. I've had to have a bit of a re-think. Why do I need so many new plants? I don't. I don't even have room for them. I've tried to have a bit of a consolidation and updated each variety below.

honesty, I've never actually collected and planted the seeds before, just had them self-seeding, they suprised me by growing very well, I've planted them all out now even though they are small, assuming they are pretty tough to cope, as they do naturally

honesty seedlings

I love sea holly but the slugs have attacked mine so trying to grow more and the seeds have germinated really well - too well. I have masses of seedlings. These trays are seedlings I replanted into individual cells.

sea holly seedlings

I reused this tray as I had so many seedlings. It still has a seedling, second row, 2nd from left, from the original planting of monkshood seeds, not sure whether it is a monkshood seedling or something else. If by some miracle the monkshood seeds do germinate, I'll see them here along with the sea holly.

sea holly seedlings

here's another tray of the sea holly, I must consider how many sea holly I really need and how many seedlings to try to grow on

sea holly seedlings

1 July 2017 I decided I could do with 20 sea holly plants but I still have more. These are the seedlings before I repotted them. I think that different one on the right is an enchanters nightshade.

sea holly seedlings

I was only able to repot the tray on the right above and the additional pot, the largest ones I put in these pots

sea holly seedlings

the smaller ones were repotted in these pots, 25 pots in total - and the slugs love sea holly - I've given myself some hard work keeping them away from the slugs

sea holly seedlings

it's a miracle I have any crocosima at all as I managed to drop this and had to pick them up best I could but have 7 or 8 seedlings

crocosima seedlings

I had some hollyhock seeds with the others so planted those, some sea holly got mixed in and I see the ubiquitous verbena bonariensis. I don't know what that tall plant is, will pot it up and see.

hollyhock seedlings

generally the hollyhocks are not attacked by slugs so I can leave them on the patio

hollyhock seedlings

Chinese lanterns are the star of my front garden. When I first moved here, before I understood them, I tried buying a packet of seeds to increase their numbers. No germination and I see they don't really self-seed in the garden either - they spread via their roots, so the year I tried to dig up the bluebells which were invasive the chinese lanterns suffered as I'd damaged their roots. Now I know better. I try not to dig in that flower bed and let the chinese lanterns spread - and they have. I was curious though and collected seed from the dried lanterns and tried planting them. I've had great germination. How they grow and how they'll get to the point of flowering, I have no idea but I'll see as they grow.

chinese lantern seedlings

17-6-2017 I put the seedlings from those 3 pots into the cells that are empty so that leaves me with 1 tray of Chinese Lanterns. Do I need those? probably not but I wanted to see if they could be grown from seed so want to see what happens.

Chinese Lantern seedlings

couple weeks later on 2-7-2017, at least a dozen are looking quite good

chinese lantern seedlings

Planted some collected seed of my self-seeded aquilegia 5-4-2017. I hadn't tried that before. They do not like root disturbance so I can't move them around the garden at all so thought sowing in a seed tray might help having more plants where I want them. Nothing visible of them yet in the seed tray but here's Scarecrow in the mess my patio sometimes gets.

cat with seed trays

Here are some (I think) aquilegia which self-seeded in a pot and I replanted them in a seed tray. I'm hoping moving them so young will work as later they definitely do not like disturbance. I say "I think" as I'm not absolutely certain they are aquilegia but will see how they develop.

aquilegia seedlings

I'm thinking the purple-tinged seedlings above are aquilegia? And the one in the middle with the additional leaves definitely looking like aquilegia but I've repotted them and will see how they develop. I've put a couple of the larger ones in this pot.

aquilegia seedlings

some larger more developed ones I put straight into a pot

aquilegia seedlings

3 weeks later and I think they are looking extremely aquilegia-like and intriguingly nothing like the bright green seedlings showing up in clumps in the tray below it where I planted the collected aquilegia seeds, now what could they be? I only used the 2 columns on the right in the bottom tray. A few unknown seedlings have appeared in the first 2 columns on the left.

seed tray

those small seedlings on the right above turned out looking very delphinium-like although I also see a couple of verbena bonariensis tiny seedlings and at least 1 teasel even though I had tried to remove those

delphinium seedlings

I must have mixed up the aquilegia and and delphinium seeds are these have definitely turned out to be delphiniums. Now I just have the challenge of keeping them away from the slugs.

delphinium seedlings

disaster with the slugs getting to those but will see if I could get a few plants from these (the top of the greenhouse is not slug-free!)

delphinium seedlings

back to the aquilegia, the seedlings are looking good

aquilegia seedlings

I planted some of these aquilegia around the apple tree with the meadow cranesbill see above.

I forgot to mention the lesser calamint. I bought a packet of Lesser Calamint seeds (Jekka's Herbs Calamintha nepeta) thinking it was a kind a catnip but after I realised it wasn't I wasn't in a hurry to plant them and then I read something about bees liking the flowers so finally got around to sowing the seeds. The slugs seem to have left them alone. A few borage have self-seeded themselves alongside the seedlings.

lesser calamint seedlings

I re-planted the seedlings in this pot today (1-7-2017). I left the borage with them.

calamint seedlings

two or three weeks later, the calamint have grown and bloomed



I don't seem to have this noted anywhere and I want to tidy some papers, I planted

5-2-2017, deJager

10 deCaen Sylphide anemones

10 deCaen Mr Fokker anemones

10 pink ranunculus

10 orange ranunculus

18-2-2017 Sainsburys

12 ranunculus

30 anemones

1-3-2017 Taylor's

12 pink ranunculus

12 purple ranunculus