After cherishing seeds and subsequent seedlings, the time is close to sending them out into the wide world. I have an inability to discard seedlings so end up with far to many plants for my small cottage garden plot on the allotment and patio pots. My patio is beginning to look like a mini garden centre.
A number of the more established plants already moved up a level into the cold frame on the allotment, leaving the kindergarten plants that need to be nurtured a bit more.
This weekend we have a plant sale in the Horticultural Society shop so I’m sorting out what I can part with. They need two labels one with the plant name and another with my name and price. Pricing plants is another story but it’s been suggested 50p and £1 according to size.
By no means do I claim to be anything but an amateur gardener. I was surprised this week, when offering plants to people with large gardens, (who also belong to the Horticultural Society), of their relative lack of knowledge of garden plants. They didn’t know what Cleome and Rudbeckia are; I struggled trying to explain Amaranthus and Ammi Visnaga it was lost on them, so they didn’t take any. Oh dear, I sound as though I am getting very intolerant in my old age.
UPDATE: After writing this I realise how arrogant I sound and I apologise. I know we are always learning and finding out about new things. I acknowledge that because I know something I shouldn’t assume others do, especially when there are a lot of plants and flowers I am still to find out about. This is where blogs like The Propagator, and gardening people on Twitter and Instagram are so good. Social media opens up a wealth of knowledge when you follow gardening folk.
My six today are a selection of what I have grown from seed with a brief description.
1. Amaranthus ‘Velvet Curtains’
A plant many have not heard of. Some Amarathus have tassel flowers, this one has an upright flower spike. The flowers and leaves are shades of crimson and dark red. It is an annual and sometimes a short lived perennial, needing full sun and best used as a bedding plant. This variety grows to about 0.5-1 metres. I have found it needs staking as it can get floppy when in full flower. Amaranthus looks fabulous with orange and yellow Rudbeckia.
2. Rudbeckia ‘Cherokee Sunset’
My Rudbeckia have been very slow to germinate this year and have only just been repotted but they are getting there. Another short lived perennial best used as an annual. Cherokee Sunset grows to 70-75cms and has large double flowers in shades of yellow, orange, brown and bronze.
3. Cleome ‘Violet Queen’
Cleome is one of my all time favourite garden plants and I grow it every year. This is another tall plant, reaching about 1mtr, that needs staking – maybe that’s why people didn’t want my freebie plants. You can also get white and pink varieties but I love the purple/lavender unusual spidery type flower.
4. Geum ‘Lady Strathenden’
This is one plant I’ve raised from seed that really is a perennial. ‘Lady Strathenden’ has a semi-double rich yellow flower, so not one for those who dislike yellow in the garden. Believe me such people do exist! It spreads up to 0.5mtrs with a height of 0.5mtrs which is great for the front of borders.
5. Ammi Visnaga
This totally floors people and when I say it has a cow parsley type flower it is clearly a marmite plant. Maybe I should use Sarah Raven’s description: “…a slightly chunkier form of ammi with dense yet delicate white and green domed flowers…green angelica-like architectural…good as a cut flower”. I am going to plant mine in my dahlia bed, as Ammi visnaga can grow quite tall. Interestingly, if the seeds are sown in the autumn the plant is very much taller than those sown in the spring. Mine are spring sown plants.
6. Cosmos ‘Polidor’
If you don’t like cosmos that grows as tall as the sky, Polidor only gets to about 75cms. This variety has a medium sized semi-double flower in orange and yellow shades. I have a lot of these and will plant some in a container on my patio as it is quite a bushy plant as well as in the cottage garden area.
Thank you The Propagator Blog for hosting Six on Saturday. Please hop over to his blog and you will be amazed at not only what he is growing but also the large number of participants who are letting you into their gardens to show what they have this week.