Garden Review 2017 – the Flowers

As February rolls on, and flashes of greenery and flowers begin to appear, let’s take a look back to the summer of 2017 with my top 5 flowers in my garden.

Following on from my recent review of the top 5 vegetables in my garden in 2017, it’s time to share the most successful flowers that grew in my garden last season.

I can’t wait for Spring to really kick off, and for the flowers and lush foliage to return. For now though, here’s a quick fix:

Rose ‘Ernest H. Morse’

Rose 'Ernest H Morse' on flower
The Rose ‘Ernest H. Morse’ is very fragrant, and flowers heavily.

I’m a sucker for Roses, and this Hybrid Tea bush Rose ‘Ernest H Morse’ was one that I picked up from a market stall in Ely, where they were doing a 3 for £15 deal.

Ernest H Morse rose on flower
The Ernest H Morse rose flowers heavily.

This heavily fragrant rose has grown about 3 feet since I planted it into the soil concrete-like clay when I broke my lawn in April 2017. In fact, the day I picked up my keys to my new house, this rose was in my car and amongst the first things I dropped off.

Sweet Sultan ‘Mixed’

purple Sweet Sultan 'Mixed' flower
Sweet Sultan ‘Mixed’ flowers came in a range of colours.

A family friend gave me a load of seeds that she’d saved from the front of her gardening magazines, and amongst these packets were Sweet Sultan ‘Mixed’. I’d never heard of them before, so thought I’d give them a try.

A white Sweet Sultan 'Mixed' flower.
A white Sweet Sultan ‘Mixed’ flower.

I’ll definitely be growing these again in 2018, as they work well with the Cosmos.

Gladioli

A lone Gladiolus stem
Up goes the Gladiolus stem…

I found just one Gladiolus bulb whilst picking the plants to move from my old house to my new one, and in its new home in the fresh border, it performed the best it ever has done.

Pink and white Gladiolus flower
The Gladiolus flower was well worth the wait.

However, this Gladiolus was clearly not the same one that flowered in the old garden in 2013-2016. I hope that that one brought a dash of surprise deep pink colour back there to the new resident.

I have purchased some more Gladioli bulbs, and will be adding more to the border for this year.

Cosmos ‘Seashells Mixed’

Cosmos flowers in garden
Some of the Cosmos ‘Seashells Mixed’ reached about 4 feet tall.

I’d never grown Cosmos ‘Seashells Mixed’ before, nor any Cosmos from seed, but I had previously purchased a couple of these plants from a garden centre and enjoyed their cheery daisy-like flowers.

This time, I grew them, although I admittedly sowed them so early that I worried that they would be too straggly to come to anything much. They spent too long in their secondary seed modules before planting out.

Pink Cosmos 'Seashells Mixed' flower in sunshine
Cosmos came in many colours.

However, after a few weeks, they had recovered and within a few months had become huge plants that filled my garden with cheery pinks, purples, and white flowers, set upon sturdy green stems and delicate leaves.

Cosmos flower with bee
White Cosmos ‘Seashells Mixed’ with a happy bee

I’ll definitely be growing these again in 2018.

Tulip ‘Mixed Garden’

tulips on flower
My Tulips in pots at my old house in April 2017, just days before I moved.

I bought a pack of Tulip ‘Mixed Garden’ back in 2016, and planted them into a few wooden troughs that I rescued from my late-uncle’s garden when we were clearing his house.

At that point, I was living at my previous house, so I made sure that I didn’t plant them in anything I couldn’t pick up and move with – and I remember driving to my new house with a car boot full of beautiful tulips gently swaying in the rear-view mirror.

They put on a beautiful show in my old shady garden, and they continued that in my new sunny one.

They’re emerging again right now – with their waxy green leaves curling out of the compost. I’m hoping for a similarly beautiful display in the next couple of months.

That’s it!

So, if this hasn’t cheered your February winter blues up, then I don’t know what will.

With bulbs poking through the soil, green buds appearing on shrubs, and even the first blue tit inspecting my as-yet un-used birdbox, it feels like winter’s grip is loosening a little.

There’s seeds sown in my propagator, the shed is tidied, and I’m getting ready for what 2018 can bring.

Will you be growing any new flowers this year? What worked well for you last year? Let me know in the comments below.

As ever, thank you for reading, and happy gardening!

Andrew

The final bulb goes out in 2017

It’s a pre-Christmas rush to get the last of my rescued Tulip, Daffodil, Snowdrop, Hyacinth, and Crocus bulbs into the ground in 2017.

As the final days of 2017 head towards that blurred and dazed week of Christmas to New Year, I’ve finally gotten the last of my bulk-rescued bulbs into the ground.

In the last few weeks I picked up a load of discounted bulbs from my local Wyevale, and also rescued some that were just a few pence in a branch of Poundstretcher.

Tulip bulbs in a bag
Tulip bulbs in a bag, waiting to be planted out.

I know it’s late to be putting these in, but I did the same at my last house, and miraculously the flowers were out at the usual time in Feb/March… plus, if I don’t save them, who will?

The snow delayed me in planting these straight out, so today – a somewhat mild Christmas Eve – I was out in the morning with trowel and spade, and setting lots of Tulips, Daffodils, Crocuses, Snowdrops and Hyacinths. Fingers crossed.

bulbs planted in ground
Some of the bulbs I planted a few weeks ago.

I did manage to get a few in a few weeks back, and I inadventantly checked on them today as I dug up what seemed like a good spot, only to discover I’d previously claimed it.

If you can remember from last year, I have a load of tulips and daffodils in pots – I planted them there because I knew I was going to move house. They put on a fantastic show.

tulips on flower
My Tulips in pots at my old house in April 2017, just days before I moved.

Elsewhere, the daffodils that I planted in the pots are up by several inches, in what will be their second season with me.

In all the digging that I’ve done in my new house’s garden, I’ve not spotted a single bulb – it was all tired lawn and no borders.. so this introduction of bulbs will be interesting. The soil here is more clay than my previous house, which itself had a shady garden, so it will be interesting to see how they fare.

I’ve planted:

  • 32x Snowdrops ‘Galanthus’
  • 6x Tulip ‘Red Impression’
  • 6x Tulip ‘Gorilla’
  • 12x Crocus ‘Flower Record’
  • 12x Crocus ‘King Of The Striped’
  • 16x Daffodil ‘Quirinus’
  • 6x Tulip ‘Grand Perfection’
  • 3x Hyacinth ‘Mixed’

If only half of them come to anything, then it will still have been a bargain. I hope the rest of the ones in the shop found a home rather than a bin.

I’m really looking forward to the cheery flowers in the spring. The flowers from snowdrops and crocuses are really important for bees as they emerge from their hibernation.

tulip gorilla and red impression packs
Tulip ‘Gorilla’ and ‘Red Impression’ should offer some colour to my garden from Spring 2018.

I’m particularly looking forward to checking out the new Tulip ‘Gorilla’, with it’s deep frilly burgundy petals, and the bright red of Tulip ‘Red Impression’.

Now, with my feet up, cat on my lap, the Christmas tree lights twinkling in the corner, and a nice hot cup of tea, it’s time to sign-off for Christmas.

Have a wonderful end of year break, and I’ll be back in 2018 with more adventures in gardening Cambridgeshire.

Happy Gardening!

Andrew

The Sunflowers begin to open and nature pays a visit

Finally, summer has arrived with the opening of the cheery sunflowers, and nature decides to pay me a visit!

It’s been a long time coming, but some of the sunflowers have begun to open.

I sowed the first wave of Sunflower Helianthus Annus ‘Autumn Time‘ back in March, and these sunflowers went up a bit, then round, then down, then horizontal, and they looked rubbish, as if unable to tell where the sky was.

I then sowed a second batch of them at the end of May, and then a few weeks ago I planted them out into one of my newly created borders in my back garden. Some frantic slug ‘meet and greet’ sessions ensued but they’ve reached for the skies, throwing big lush green leaves out, and now the flowers are uncurling.

These sunflowers aren’t the variety that you’ll ever win a height competition with, they’re about 3 foot tall, and rather than the traditional large-headed yellow flower, they’re smaller and a bit more reddy-brown (hence the ‘Autumn Time’ name). Even so, I’m really pleased to see them, as are the bees.

a red Sunflower Helianthus Annus 'Autumn Time'
a red Sunflower Helianthus Annus ‘Autumn Time’
Sunflower Helianthus Annus 'Autumn Time' with a bee.
Sunflower Helianthus Annus ‘Autumn Time’ with a bee.

Over the last weeks, my garden has become home to what seems to be about 35 Sparrows. Blackbirds have fought over my garden, there’s usually a few Blue Tits on the peanut feeder. Nature sure is visiting this once blank plantless (aside from grass) garden, and late one night some neighbourhood cats were in my garden making weird sounds. They woke me, as it was hot and my windows were open, and when I looked out, I could see that the cats were clearly upset about something (not each other). I could hear movement near the shed, so I dressed and headed out with a torch, only to be met by a hedgehog. I don’t know what the time was, but I’m pretty sure I said ‘Oh…. Hello Mr Hodgepodge‘ out loud in the garden at about 2am. It snuffled and waddled off hedgehodging.. or whatever they do. I’m pleased to find it in my garden, as there’s still SO many slugs.

Amongst the many bird feeder battles between the fat little sparrows, the bird seed has inevitably been getting spilt across my garden. Sometimes there’s a few big black Crows that swoop across the garden, and make the birds scatter, and so this perhaps accounts for my discovery of finding two self-sown Sunflowers in the garden. By coincidence, they’re in the same bed as the others, but right at the front. I’m wondering what kind these will be, as both look like strong plants. It’ll be a while before the flowers arrive, but I’m just enjoying having them there.

Speaking of things I didn’t plant, the fence at the bottom of my garden is my responsibility. It’s a tall wire fence, and it adjoins the bottom of the garden of an empty property behind (where there’s a fantastic pear tree fyi). This fence not only has my sheds close against it, but it is also laden with brambles, and of course, I’ve been watching these lethal spires shoot up since moving in, and watching them flower, and now they are literally dripping with fruit.

I picked these blackberries from the bottom of my garden
I picked these blackberries from the bottom of my garden, ate them, didn’t enjoy them. Meh.

I don’t really like Blackberries, but i showed willing and picked a bowlful. Had them with porridge and kind of regretted it. Definitely need to turn them into a cake or crumble.

Anyway, that’s it for now, there’s loads more things going on in the garden – really keeping me busy, but I’ll share more real soon.

As ever, thanks for reading, and happy gardening!

Andrew

 

The first Rose blooms in the new garden

The first Rose is flowering in the garden.

A couple of months ago, I planted out three Roses that I’d bought from a local market. I’d carefully picked out ones classed as ‘fragrant’ or ‘very fragrant’.

This week, after weeks of watching them grow and develop buds, one of them decided to flower.

Here’s the Rose Just Joey budding up on 29th May.

Rose 'Just Joey' budding up.
Rose ‘Just Joey’ on bud.

Aphid attack

As you might be able to spot, the aphids found that rose bud, so armed with a plant mister, some water and a little washing-up liquid, I up-sprayed it to the underside of the leaves and lightly over the buds.

This seemed to get rid of the aphids, who disappeared overnight, and I was pleased to find a ladybird on a different rose bush in the front garden (fingers crossed it’s texted it’s friends to the party). Hopefully they’ll munch their way through any more aphids now that they’ve found a few.

Yesterday, the large, delicate, pinky-peach petals opened and although the rose is quite short in its first year, and the flower isn’t at nose height, the flower is wonderfully fragrant.

Here’s the same bud on 8th June.

A Rose 'Just Joey' fragrant flower.
The fragrant bloom of Rose ‘Just Joey’ is the first rose to flower in the garden.

It looks and smells wonderful, and hopefully some more of the roses are going to open very soon.

As ever, thanks for reading and have a happy gardening weekend,

Andrew

Peas, Cosmos, Sunflowers and a spot of Archaeology

The bank holiday sees me spend 4.5 hours in the garden playing catch-up with nature.

It’s been a Bank Holiday weekend, and so today (the Bank Holiday Monday), I decided that if the weather was good then I would spend a few hours in the garden, and if it was bad, I’d spend it painting my new house indoors.

The weather has been mostly dry and a warm 20C, so out I went at 9:30am, and I came in for lunch, and then packed up at 3pm when some drizzle began to get annoying.

In that time I planted my first row of peas since the 20-30 foot row ones that I used to grow as a child in the 1980s. This time, I’m only doing 6 foot, but I carefully sowed the climbing Pea ‘Alderman’ seeds from Unwins into the softly hoed trough alongside my re-positioned fence, and carefully covered them over.

A handful of Pea 'Alderman' seeds.
A handful of the Pea ‘Alderman’ seeds that will hopefully be bringing me delicious fresh peas.

The ground was fairly soft, due to the rain overnight, but I still plonked the rose on my watering can and gave them a soak. I love peas, always have, and so I hope to see those little shoots start to emerge.

One thing’s for sure, the Hitchcock-esque situation I’ve induced by adding two bird feeders into the garden, might increase once those peas start to emerge. A few twigs should put them off a bit, but I’m going to have to keep my eye on them.

A row of freshly sown Pea seeds.
The satisfaction of a freshly sown line of Peas. This brings back memories.

Having sown the peas, I decided to start planting out some more plants – my Cosmos ‘Seashells Mixed’ which I sowed back in March, have become quite long and lanky, and have been desperate to go out for some time, whilst also desperate to grow in any direction other than upwards (a bit like my rubbish sunflowers).

Cosmos 'Seashells Mixed' on flower
My Cosmos ‘Seashells Mixed’ seedlings needed flowering and were already flowering, and have no idea where the sun lives.

Also, my Sweet Sultan ‘Mixed’ seedlings, which are a plant that are completely new to me, were planted alongside them as I dug my new border.

My spade went in, and suddenly DONG!, there was resistance against the spade and a resounding resonance. I’d found something. Something hard.

A little more digging found something metal buried about 5 inches below the lawn. I soon realised that this slight hummock which sat in the area I was turning into a border, contained a drain and this was the manhole cover for it. My Archaeology course with Open University finally paid off, but sadly there were no obligatory Roman brooches or post holes.

Finding a buried manhole cover.
2/3rds of a drain manhole cover is in my garden, part under my fence, and presumably the rest under my neighbours’ decking.

This part of the garden has different soil – it’s more ashy, and had bits of burnt material. I can only guess that this was where previous owners used to tip out the ash from the fireplace before that all got bricked up.

Whilst planting this border, I also popped in a pretty perennial Geranium ‘Himalayense’ that I’d picked up the other day when I went to spend my national gardening vouchers at nearby Parkhall Garden Centre. This will look lovely right by the backdoor when it gets established and comes back on flower with it’s purpley-blue flowers.

A Geranium 'Himalayense' on flower.
The beautiful gentle flower of perennial Geranium ‘Himalayense’.

I’ve just sown some more sunflower seeds. Back in mid-March I sowed some Sunflower Helianthus Annus ‘Autumn Time’ seeds. This gave me three plants – one got stripped overnight by slugs, one has got some black blotchy leaves (although seems otherwise healthy), and one is fine – although none of them could bring themselves to grow more than an inch straight up at any time – they’re not much more than a tangled mess, so I thought it would be good to grow some more, if not to just save me embarrassment when someone spots them.

I’ve also plucked out some older Sunflower ‘Giant Yellow’ seed, which did grow perfectly well a few years back in my old garden. Hopefully these will add to the colour, with their majestic cheery yellow heads, and provide the birds with more food in the winter, perhaps a few seeds for my food, and a load of plants for the next year. Fingers crossed!

There’s so much going on in the garden right now – and I’m digging my garden layout as and when I’m planting out, and when the weather (and soil) allows me to. It’s a race against time though.

Thank you for reading, and happy gardening!

Andrew

 

The first Foxglove blooms in the garden

The first foxglove opens in the new garden, along with some Dianthus, and the birds flock to my new bird feeders.

I transplanted (at least) two Foxglove Excelsior Hybrids Mixed from my old house, and put them into my new garden close to a tall fence. This part of the garden gets the sunshine in the morning, before being thrown into shade by lunchtime.

This is fine for foxgloves, they quite like a bit of shade, and so this was the natural position for me to plant them both. One has just come into flower, and the bees are already exploring it’s bell-like pink flowers.

A pink Foxglove 'Excelsior Hybrid Mixed' on flower
The Foxglove ‘Excelsior Hybrid Mixed’ survived the garden transplantation and is now on flower.

About a foot away is what I think will turn out to be a creamy white one, but it won’t be long until we know for sure.

The garden is so busy now – not only with things for me to do – with planting out, and trying to keep on top of cutting my lawn, but it really has come alive.

Meanwhile, a couple of Dianthus plants that I was given, and that have been tucked away under the canopy of the now-passed Tulips, have begun to flower, adding a nice pinky colour against their dark lush leaves.

Pink Dianthus flowers
The Dianthus flowers look great against their dark green foliage.

I put up two bird feeders last week, and since then I’ve seen Sparrows, Gold Finches, BlueTits, Starlings, Blackbirds, a Robin, Great Tits, a dumpy curious Pigeon, and a sinister big Crow or Rook thing that clears the garden of all other birds when it flies its loop around my neighbourhood.

Fluffy baby Sparrows have been fluttering around, Blackbirds have been inspecting my fence move and every new border and then fighting over my garden (proud!), and large baby Starlings have been sat on the lawn making that awful sound with their beak open expecting the world to be poured in by the plateful.

Planting the French Beans

It’s time to sow the French Beans and to tackle my Antirrhinum forest.

As we’re heading towards the end of April, it’s time for me to plant my French Beans.

I’ve always started them off indoors in pots, and once again, I’ve opted for French Bean ‘Blue Lake’, which have grown well for me most years (when they don’t get fried, blown to bits, or eaten by marauding snails).

In good years, these beans have given me many crops of beans, so as I head towards the final days of my tiny little border garden, and towards the proper new garden, I’ve sown 12 of these beans in a hope that they will give me a bumper crop come July. I erect a wigman from bamboo canes and let them get on with it, and give them plenty of water.

French Bean 'Blue Lake' seeds to sow
French Bean ‘Blue Lake’ are ready to sow.

Usually these smooth pale off-white bean seeds shoot up through the multipurpose compost within just a few days and with a great success rate. I’ve bought some fresh seed for the first time this year too, so hopefully they’ll be super-charged and soon climbing up those poles in my new garden.

Meanwhile, I tackled my Antirrhinum ‘Chuckles’ forest, which having only had one germinate from the old seed, and hundreds from the seed head of one of the Antirrhiums in my garden that I used to re-sow a few weeks later, it was time to prick out some of the seedlings from the lush green forest on the windowsill.

Antirrhinum 'Chuckles' seedmings
My Antirrhinum ‘Chuckles’ forest. The large seedling (foreground, right) was the only one to germinate from the old seed.

One great thing with these plants is that once you’ve got Antirrhinums, you’ve got Antirrhinums – such great value for money! Whoever is having my old house and garden, is going to have Antirrhinum’s unless they own a blowtorch or are very creative with concrete and cement. I’m looking forward to introducing them to my new garden and letting them find where they’d prefer to grow in year 2.

I spent quite a cathartic while carefully pricking out seedlings on Saturday morning, which hardly seems to have made a dent in the forest, but as given me 47 pricked out seedlings.

Some of the Antirrhinum 'Chuckles' seedlings after being pricked out.
Some of the Antirrhinum ‘Chuckles’ seedlings after being pricked out.

I suspect I could probably fill another 4 or so trays with Antirrhinum seedlings, so I might do another one, and see whether my mother wants any for her garden. If not, just plonk the rest in the garden after the frosts and let them get on with it.

Anyway, there’s plenty of things to prick out, sow, and dig up in preparation for the coming week’s house move. So, with April nearly at a close, I wish you another week of happy gardening.

Thanks for reading, Andrew 🙂

Choosing the Roses for the new garden

I beg your pardon, I most certainly did promise myself a rose garden – and I’m choosing the rose plants now.

Over the last 2-3 weeks, I’ve had Roses on my mind. I love them, and in particular, I love sticking my nose in them and having a sniff, or even walking up to them and being enveloped by a beautiful fragrance.

With my new garden just 10 days away, I’m reminded that it’s devoid of any plant other than patchy grass and a few brambles in the backyard, so I’ve got a blank canvas, and I need to add roses in there for those moments of early evening fragrant wafts as I sit out on my patio and survey my Eden. Well, you know what I mean.

I happened to be in Ely on market day a couple of times over those weeks, and I spotted a stall offering 2 hybrid tea roses for £5 (or £3 each). They had all sorts and of a good size.

My first visit saw me pick one ‘very fragrant’ red rose named Rose ‘Ernest H Morse’, which I bought, almost with a ‘it’s too early’/’at least get the keys first’ guilty feeling. It’s a lovely plant, and I hope that it goes on to bring the fragrant red blooms that the label promises.

Rose 'Ernest H Morse'
Rose ‘Ernest H Morse’

Then on Saturday, I walked by again and once again they had the same offer. This time, I had little guilt and so bought 2 more – this time a pinky one Rose ‘Fragrant Cloud – Tanellis’, and a golden yellow Rose ‘Just Joey’. Again, these look like good plants, and they’re all marked as very fragrant.

Rose 'Fragrant Cloud - Tanellis'
Rose ‘Fragrant Cloud – Tanellis’
Rose 'Just Joey'
Rose ‘Just Joey’

I can’t wait to plant them into my new garden, alongside the Rosa that I rescued from Poundland a month or so ago.

There’s an alpaca farm and horse stables near my new house… I wonder whether I can get a free bucket of manure for them…

Thanks again for reading, and happy gardening!

Andrew

Pinching out the Sweet Peas

The Sweet Peas need some tough love in the form of ‘pinching out’, and the Tulip ‘Triumph’ flowers are about to open.

It’s been about 2.5 weeks since I sowed my Sweet Pea ‘Royal Mixed’ seeds, and about 10 days since I sowed my Sweet Pea ‘Cupani’ seeds. Out of 12 seeds of each, I have 9 Royal Mixed, and 7 Cupani that have germinated. There could be more on their way, but those early Royal Mixed are now several inches long.

Sweet Pea 'Royal Mixed' need pinching out
Sweet Pea ‘Royal Mixed’ need slowing down.

I say long, because they’re long, not tall. The longest being 22cm, and this means I need to do something to help stop these getting too straggly. These Sweet Peas need ‘pinching out’.

When a Sweet Pea hits on something good, it goes up and up and up, or would do if these were planted against some wire, or sticks, but as they’re still too little to go outside, I need to stop them getting too straggly. By ‘pinching out’ the top growth buds, it will encourage the plant to throw out side shoots, therefore making a stronger, bushier plant.

The 'pinched out' Sweet Pea 'Royal Mixed' growth tips.
Some of the ‘pinched out’ Sweet Pea ‘Royal Mixed’ growth tips.

This will slow them down a bit, result in stronger plants, and also encourage more stems. More stems means more buds, and then more flowers.

This is a fairly common practice, and one that I’ve done in previous years. However, if you’re new to this, or new to growing Sweet Peas, then check out this handy little guide from Thompson and Morgan.

Elsewhere in the garden, the Tulips continue to bloom in a range of lilacs, peach, and now red and deep purple – with my Tulip ‘Triumph’ bulbs blooming for the first time – after I set them on 20th December last year.

Tulip 'Triumph' purple flowers
The dark crimson Tulip ‘Triump’ flowers are almost open.

The windowsills are still creaking with pots and trays, but we’re now back down to one propagator only.

It’s lovely and sunny this weekend, and as I type this I can hear the birds singing (and rowing under my eaves), and someone is mowing their lawn somewhere down the road.

As ever, happy gardening, and thanks for reading.

Andrew

Keep Calm and Prick Out

It’s time to start pricking out some of the seedlings and move them into larger pots and onto the next stage of growing.

The Cosmos ‘Seashells Mixed’ seeds that I planted a few days ago have sprung up, looking not much different from grass initially, and also the Sweet Sultan ‘Mixed’ seedlings have gotten to a size where they need to be moved on from their tray into their own spaces.

So, with my trusty old 40-plug tray, I filled it up with multipurpose compost, and with a pencil to hand, I carefully began the process of pricking out each seedling and setting it into a small hole in the middle of each plug. This took me a fair while. You need to be delicate with this process though, so time really is of the essence.

Tray of pricked-out Cosmos, Hollyhock, and Sweet Sultan seedlings.
Tray of pricked-out Cosmos, Hollyhock, and Sweet Sultan seedlings.

The Cosmos roots were quite long, whilst the Sweet Sultan roots were quite shallow but clumped. Carefully up-rooting each seedling, whilst holding a leaf (rather than stem) takes time, but it avoids the sickening feeling of snapping them and knowing you’ve just killed a plant.

I left one plug hole blank, so that I can easily get water through into the base, and this left me with room to add in the Hollyhock ‘Majorette Mixed’ seedlings, and sow two further of those seedlings to make up the 39th plug. There was quite a range of sizes with these seedlings, with some quite tiny, and one quite large – odd considering that they came from the same seed packet, were sown in the same pot, at the same time. I guess everything is just a reminder of nature’s roulette.

All this pricking out has helpfully condensed my windowsill jungle together, and resulted in one of the three propagators being closed down.

Hollyhock Majorette Mixed seedlings
Two Hollyhock seedlings planted from the same seed packet on the same day, with such different results.

With these three sets of seedlings pricked out, I turned to the Sunflower ‘Helianthus Annus Autumn Time’ seedlings. Only three of about five germinated, but I potted each one up in their own 3″ pot. I’ll probably grow a few more, along with the full size variety, but I’ll sow those seeds in a few days.

Are you at pricking out stage yet? Have you seen a contrast between seedling sizes? Let me know in the comments below.

As ever, happy growing!

Andrew