Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Seedy Business


Some plants stop you in your tracks and this is one of them. In the depths of winter last year himself and I went on an outing to London to visit the RHS show. Now whilst there were plenty of snowdrops that dazzled me with their markings, the one plant that held me spellbound was not a snowdrop. It was a plant that had been planted amongst a display of snowdrops on the Avon Bulbs display stand, where its contrasting foliage was so effective. The plant in question was lunaria annua'Chedglow' and it was one of those cases where I wanted to get my paws on the plant immediately. There were none for sale that day so on arrival home I did some online research but met with a brick wall the search went on hold. However when my Avon Bulbs catalogue arrived at the end of the year I noticed with great joy that there were seeds for sale! Loud whoops of joy greeted this discovery, seeds were ordered and duly sown this summer.


Germination was successful, a friend kindly cared the teeniest baby seedlings when we were on holiday, they returned home where they grew bigger. Yet my plants are looking decidedly ugly at the moment - they seem to have the plant equivalent of measles. I'm hoping that this is a temporary feature and that as the weather gets colder that the foliage will develop an even purple/chocolate hue. If this doesn't happen they will not be the perfect companions for snowdrops or any other winter flowers and could well end up on the compost heap. Never mind the lilac flowers that will follow and subsequent shimmering translucent seed cases. Has anybody else grown this plant from seed and if so have you had the same experience with your seedlings? If my memory serves me well Caro from The Urban Veg Patch was also bewitched by 'Chedglow' and there may also be other bloggers too who have obtained seed.


In other seedy news I've noticed on the RHS website that members can now now order from their seed scheme. I've not made use of this membership perk before but thought that I would try it out this year.  Pen and paper will be the order of the day later when darkness falls. I'm one of those wimps who does not put their nose out of the door on Guy Fawkes Night. What about you when it comes to fireworks -  frit or fan?

26 comments:

  1. I don't have any experience of that plant. Will be interested to see what you find out. Re fireworks, I don't find them interesting unless they are a big Gandalf-like display! I do see quite a lot of those when I'm doing caricatures at weddings, so I suppose I'm spoilt!

    I was surprised to find that some of my snowdrops are already sprouting! I'd dug a bit close to the edge of the lawn where some of them are, and usually can't see any life till March!!

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    1. I like the sight of fireworks Ingrid but not the noise. We are lucky enough to be able to see the local civic display from the house without stepping outside. I imagine that attending so many weddings must have perks. Your snowdrops seem early but no doubt they will hunker down until the time is right.

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  2. Don't you just have it when a plant you have been longing for doesn't do what's expected of it. I do hope you find a cure.
    As for Guy Fawkes, I am usually at work, unless it falls on the weekend, so am not fussed about celebrating.
    As above, some of my snowdrops are up above the surface too!

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    1. Plants don't always read the books do they Angie :) I must check my snowdrops to see what they're up to.

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  3. Ohh I like that a lot! Better make more research about it as it's a new one to me. Any ideas about its hardiness? I like it for both its deep purple foliage and in its current state which is spotty.

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    1. It's hardy and although a biennial it should like other varieties of lunaria self - seed I hope. I just wish that I liked the spots! I want purple leaves.

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  4. I can see exactly why you were attracted to it, let's hope that your plants change colour as time goes on. Perhaps it will be the plant equivalent of sunbathing and it will gain its rich colour once it's been exposed to the elements. I'm not a fan of bonfire night, which now seems to be a season rather than one particular night. Archie is terrified of the bangs and sits and shakes all night.

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    1. I hope that some sunbathing does the trick too Jo along with some cold blasts. Sadly the fireworks seem to go on and on and on - it must be most distressing for animals :(

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  5. I'm not familiar with this plant, but I kind of like its spotted foliage right now. If you hadn't shown the first photo, I would have thought this was the way it was supposed to look:) Maybe colder weather will turn it darker.

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    1. Thanks for the words of encouragement Rose :)

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  6. I like the look of this plant a lot too. It may be that if it has been somewhere very protected from the sun it hasn't has a chance to colour. I've found with red varieties of lettuce that they are green in the greenhouse and only change when they are outside. I hope that happens with this for you. I like fireworks and all the fun of a bonfire party; obviously it doesn't happen here; there are always lots of fireworks for New Year and on our towns's Saint's day which also happens to be my birthday so that's fun.

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    1. That may well be the case Christina as it's rather shady where the plants have been growing. I had not considered that factor before so thanks for pointing it out. I'm glad to hear that fireworks bring a magical sparkle to your special day.

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  7. Oh! What puzzles me is the healthy plant full of leaf along with snowdrops when you first saw it at the RHS show - is this the norm? Seedlings from my white honesty are appearing now but would never grow to that size by snowdrop time. Look forward to seeing how your spotty specimen progresses. I pushed aside leaf litter in my species snowdrop bed but have resisted poking around - nothing showing yet! ps I am still resisting the new snowdrop book...

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    1. I imagine that forced plants would be used for the show Cathy and doubt that mine will make quite that size by snowdrop time. However they should still look good with other spring flowering perennials and then of course there are the flowers and seed heads to follow. The new snowdrop book is a must! :)

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  8. Ohbdear! I remember how excited you - and Caro - were when you discovered this plant, and I meant to try it myself, being a sucker for purple foliage. Myself, I rather dislike the spotty leaves, I hope they start to color properly, how odd!

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    1. I'm glad that the spots have produced the same reaction from you Janet. Seeds will wing your way to you in the future :)

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  9. I purchased a similar honesty from Hoo House Nursery last year. This strain originated in Rosemary Verey's Garden and is named Lunaria annua 'Rosemary Verey'. I could send you a photo if you wish.

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    1. Thanks for your comment Brian and welcome. I wonder if it's the same plant. Your kind offer of a photo of your plant is appreciated. I can be contacted at :
      thegreentapestry@googlemail.com

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  10. That looks very promising indeed and I hope the foliage will eventually turn dark and chocolatey for you. Seeds can sometimes create surprises but the spots are pretty too!

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    1. A surprise and a nasty shock too Annette. I just wish that I could bring myself to like the spots :)

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  11. Lovely plant, I can understand why you want to grow some seeds of it. Will seeds come the same though, I thought that seeds of a hybrid wouldn't turn out to be the same as the parent, I hope I'm wrong?

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    1. I understand what you are saying Pauline but I think and hope that in this case it should be like parent, like child and if so it will be a lovely plant as you say. Will return to it in the spring ...... :)

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  12. My 'Chedglow' plants look exactly the same. I'm hopeful though they will look better next spring. To be honest I bought it for the contrast of the stems and flowers. As long as the stems are purple I'll be happy. :)

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  13. Oh what a relief to read your comment WW! Hopefully we can compare happy noes in the spring. Initially I did not think further than the foliage but as you point out there is the stem/flower contrast to look forward to and then the seed heads too :)

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  14. Lunaria Annua Chedglow’s foster Mum15 November 2014 at 22:44:00 GMT

    Lovely to see those lunaria annua 'Chedglow' plants are growing up. So pleased to see their days in "foster care" while you were on holiday haven’t done them any harm :)

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  15. Thanks for popping in to see the babies foster mum. They thrived on your tender loving care :) xxx

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All your comments are much appreciated and treasured. I wil try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment, but it may take me a few days, especially when I start spending more time in the garden and at the lottie. I know that you will understand :) I am sure that I will also visit your blog if I have not already done so. If you have any specific questions I will either reply to them here or you can email me at : thegreentapestry@gmail.com

Namasté

- Anna.