Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Soothing




If feet could purr mine would be doing so now after a visit to my lovely podiatrist. Hopefully the niggling pain that has been making me draw sharp breaths for a couple of weeks or more is sorted. I've definitely been feeling rather out of sorts, even grumpy you might say, but I positively bounded home this afternoon in time to catch television coverage of the RHS Chelsea Show and then to do some potting up in the greenhouse. All most soothing.

At long last the state of affairs is moving to that crescendo of the greenhouse shuttle. Sowing started late here this year, it has been staggered and there has been less of it. This was a deliberate decision which I thought would cause me some regrets. Strangely enough I've found it rather liberating, as for the first time in twenty five years or so I feel that I have a measure of control rather than pots of seedlings shouting the odds. The greenhouse may be untidy but there are no unlabelled pots or a queue of seedlings screaming at me to move to them to a bigger home ..... well not yet anyway. I'm not sure what will happen next year yet but will decide come the autumn and the new batches of seed catalogues.

There have been the odd disappointments - four lots of seeds that have failed to germinate at all. Two lots of perennials from the same supplier and two lots of vegetable seedlings from the same source (but different to the perennials). I've come to the conclusion though that I've sowed lettuce long enough to know what I'm doing. I'm watching a tray of lunaria rediviva keeping fingers crossed that the one solitary seedling in there has some companions to keep it company soon. I'm taking some comfort in the fact that they can be slow to germinate.

I'm most excited about the appearance of hablitzia tamnoides or the Caucasian spinach vine. I've been searching for seeds since I heard a talk by Alys Fowler on unusual edibles at the 2012 Southport Flower Show. This is a shade loving deciduous climbing perennial. It can be used as an ornamental plant to cover a pergola, has heart shaped leaves and produces small green flowers. The young shoots are edible. Alys advised at the time that it could be a difficult plant to get hold of and she was quite correct.  My seed came from Thomas Etty Esq. The seedlings are much to small yet to move to the big outdoor world of the allotment and will probably stay closer to home for a year or so, before I expose them to that environment. Maybe next year I will be able to have a nibble and report back. Is there anything that you are particularly pleased to have sown from seed so far this year?

23 comments:

  1. Not seeds I have sown this year but last years Candelabra Primula seedlings are just ready to flower this year. These are the first seeds I've EVER managed to get through to adulthood! Also bulbils from a lily growing in my local nursery (interviewed for Chelsea last night on TV) were given to my by the owner and I'm pleased that they are now into their 2nd year. I feel as if I'm a real gardener now :)
    Such a shame some of your seeds are slow Anna - I hope they are late starters. I had no idea what the Hablitzie tamnoides was so looked it up. The leaf reminded me off bindweed. I hope they do well for you.
    Before I go......what is the name of the Iris in your picture, it's a beauty!

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    1. Oh well done on the primula and lily bubils Angie. You must be so pleased. I'm afraid that the iris came to me at an NGS open garden labeled as a Pacific Coast iris but that was it.

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  2. Great blog, I have really enjoyed growing seeds again this year, just need some warmer weather to get them all planted out now. I have had a few failed batches, these were given to me by a friend who had no success with them, so at least we've proved it was the seed that was no good and not her as a gardener as she thought :)

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    1. Yes Rona that warmer weather must surely be due soon. It's reassuring when two of you are getting the same results :)

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  3. The Siberian Wallflower seeds I planted last August are pleasing me in the garden at the moment.

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  4. Glad you managed to source some seeds for the Caucasian spinach vine, I've never heard of it before but it sounds very interesting, I look forward to hearing how it does for you. I didn't sow seeds but bought some seedlings of Asparagus kale which I'm looking forward to trying. It's funny you mention Alys Fowler as when I was looking up information on Asparagus kale, I came across a piece about it written by her in which she was singing its praises.

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    1. Hopefully I may have seeds to share in a year or two Jo. Oh I have not come across asparagus kale. One for me to look up!

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  5. Yes my pansies are singing in pots now Anna....and I hope the veg garden will sing soon if the weather cooperates...I also am more deliberate about my seed sowing, more organized and planned...helps.

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    1. Oh singing flowers Donna - that's music to my ears :)

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  6. My feet would thank me for a bit of TLC too Anna! I have also done a lot less sowing than normal as time is lacking this year, and a few things have not germinated well too.... I wanted to try Meconopsis, but none came up at all, and then I got just three Zinnias from three seed packets! At least it means I am taking more care of what DID germinate! The spinach vine sounds interesting, so good luck with that. And I love the iris in your photo. :)

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    1. Hope that you treat your tootsies Christina :) We tend to take them for granted. I have only just sown my zinnia. From what I've read they prefer a late spring sowing. As you say non -germination has its advantages.

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  7. That is a beautiful iris - so delicate. Like you, I have sown a lot less seed this year and yet the greenhouse is still bulging at the seams!

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    1. Thanks for visiting and for your comment Elaine. I think that whatever you do that the greenhouse is never quite big enough once you start all that pricking out and potting up :)

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  8. The spinach vine does sound interesting, I don't have a lot of luck growing spinach; I think you need so much space to grow enough, I did successfully grow some in large pots and in seed trays for use as salad leaves. It is disappointing when seeds don't germinate at all and it is always difficult to know whether the seeds were viable or not or if it was just growing conditions.

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    1. As you say Christina it's difficult to know whether it's the seeds, compost or human error :)

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  9. Come down and visit and you can have some reflexology too to pamper your feet Anna! So glad you have cause to be less grumpy now and have got your niggling pain sorted. Your border looks gorgeous with all those different and interesting plants coming through. Glad too that you have no regrets (yet) about this year's sowing regime. I too shall be reassessing at the end of the season as I have definitely sown too may different things, although some were old seed and some were given to me. Several of the things I have grown from seed are just coming into flower and I am excited about every single one of them!

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    1. Oh thanks for your kind offer Cathy. My size sevens might land on your doorstep of these days. I hope that all the newbies live up to your expectations :)

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  10. It is such a relief when the time comes to empty the greenhouse and plant everything out. It is usually a mad few days but so satisfying. Seed sowing is never predictable, like you I have had a few no-shows this year including Cleome, which has been pathetic for the second year running, so it has had its chance !!

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    1. You've hit the nail on the head Jane. Roll on chucking out time!

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  11. Glad you have your feet sorted. There is nothing worse than hobbling around in pain.
    I must have been to the same talk as you. Alys told us all about Hablitzia too.
    I am please with all the seedlings from my Iris which looks just like yours. I wonder if they will be the same or different colours.

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  12. beautiful Iris Anna- do you know what cultivar it is?

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  13. Thanks for visiting and for your comment Owen. I bought the iris at a National Gardens Scheme open garden many years ago. It was labelled as a Pacific Coast Iris but there was no mention as to which variety. I'm trying to find out more information about it.

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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.