Dust of dreams

Just placed my next year’s seed order with Thompson and Morgan (http://www.thompson-morgan.com/). Seed catalogues are the gardener’s equivalent of the holiday brochures – they seem to radiate the warmth of a summer day and help to transport us through the cold and darkness of winter.

Here at the Scottish Country Garden, we try to grow as much as we can from seed (annuals, perennials, veg and herbs), and T&M have an excellent selection of perennials to choose from. They also have some wonderful discount offers from time to time too if you order online. Worth joining their email list just for this!

imageSeeds are always a leap of faith and it can be hard to reconcile the seductively colourful pictures on the outside of the packet with the little pinch of brown dust within, but most times the latter does indeed transform into the former! This past spring was rather cooimagel, damp and dark in Scotland with the result that while our seed germinated quite well, some succumbed to damping off disease. Our greenhouse is not heated so we are reliant on solar power, which wasn’t much in evidence during 2012!

Despite this, though, we now have a nice little brood of Hostas, Acanthus (Bears’ Breeches), Kniphofia (red hot pokers), Morina, Thalictrum, Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’ and Candelabra Primulas ready to plant out next year, with a batch of Joe- Pye Weed (Eupatorium) and Pennisetum ‘Tall Feathers’ grasses already planted in situ.

I think more patience is needed with perennial seedlings than annuals (don’t throw out the trays for at least a year they say, and in some cases two, in case they are slow germinators!) and I think you just have to accept that germination may be variable, or in a couple of cases with us last year, non-existent! (I rather ambitiously thought I’d have a go at growing acers from seed; as per instructions, they’ve been in the greenhouse, in the fridge (to simulate winter) and are now back in the greenhouse again.   Now we’re going into proper winter, so if that doesn’t leave them totally confused, I don’t know what will! That said, I’m still kind of hopeful they may appear next spring!) Perennials don’t have the same rate of growth as annuals but it’s image

hugely more satisfying to grow your own than buying a ready-grown plant from a garden centre. If you’ve got a bit of space to fill, growing from seed protects the bank account too (that’s the Scot in me), allowing you to plant drifts of the same species to eye-catching effect!

So what have I ordered for next year? Ah, well, we’ll leave that for a future post!

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6 Responses to Dust of dreams

  1. karmaquinta says:

    Your plant list reads like the one we used to order . . . when we lived in Dumfries & Galloway . . . I love the analogy with holiday brochures . . . perfect.

    Like

  2. lyntochter says:

    Hi, thanks for visiting my blog enough to leave a ‘like’. I am interested to see that you are in the south-east of Scotland, We are too, although on the coast, so probably different growing conditions but maybe similar? You sound as though you are higher up than we are. It has been wet this summer and continues to be so. The field next to us had so much water ducks had taken up residence but the farmer has recently improved his field drainage so no more ducks. Your garden is obviously very much larger than ours but as we have no walls, probably more exposed.

    I was interested to see you mentioned solar power for your greenhouse. Where are your solar panels? Are they on the greenhouse? I was wondering whether this might be a solution for our cold greenhouse? This year was almost a disaster with the tomatoes but I have found green tomatoes make a good risotto together with leeks!

    I look forward to reading more.

    Like

    • Hello there! Yes we are up in the hills so quite exposed. Re solar panels, actually was just referring to the sun’s rays through the glass! We don’t actually have solar panels – good idea though! No ducks in the field yet but only matter of time I think! Happy gardening!

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    Like

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