Any one would think we are heading towards Winter with the amount of time its possible to garden decreasing and decreasing rather than heading towards Spring. Having been excited by a couple of warm days and thoughts of starting to harden off the perennial seedlings which were overwintering in the cold frame we are now back to bitterly cold and any hope of gardening dismissed. The daffodils though are continuing regardless and have started to flower which is a welcome sight.
I did spend a couple of hours in the greenhouse on Saturday re-jigging plants and moving things around so I can start seed sowing. The cyclamen have been squirreled away under the staging and the pelargoniums have been brought up to the top of the staging so they get better light. They have been watered and tidied up and next weekend I will give them a good feed to really start them off.
In my tidying up I discovered signs of a peony starting the germinate. The label tells me that I sowed the seeds nearly a year ago. I know that peonies take a while to germinate and I read somewhere that they put their roots down well before showing any sign above ground so I tucked the pot away over winter and ignored it. I don’t know which peony it is as it was in a packet of mixed peony seeds from either the RHS or the Hardy Plant Society seed distribution schemes. The trillium seeds I thought had germinated the other week are now looking to be very much like the real thing and I think, or I hope, that what has appeared in the meconopsis poppy seed tray are indeed meconopsis poppies and not some random weed seed that has blown in.
Having had a rejig and moved some plants into the garage until temperatures rise I found I did indeed have room to start seed sowing. So for those of you interested in such things this is what I sowed this week:
Allium karataviense ‘Ivory Queen’
Didiscus ‘Blue Lace’
Linaria ‘Canon West’
Primula x chunglenta
Saxifraga grisebachii (Macedonia)
I also pricked out the Ricinus seedlings. These germinated within days when I sowed them in a propagator back in January but I hadn’t got as far as pricking them out and consequently lost 3 of the 6 – a lesson to learn. But the biggest lesson I learnt was not taking into account the size of the seed when choosing a pot to sow them in. Next time I will sow them in individual pots as I would beans or peas. Finally before I completely lost feeling in my fingers I potted up some Francoa which I grew from seed last year and which will be a good size to plant out in a month or so.
Sunday proved to be even colder and my fingers were frozen within 10 minutes when I went out to take some photographs so I retreated indoors so dream and wish for sunshine and warmer days.