As the weather keeps up its Charade of spring, more and more flowers are beginning to show themselves and of the varied heads currently putting in an appearance, two hold a special draw for me because I have grown these from seed.
Up and down the flower beds and (thanks to the local bird life) dotted around the garden, clumps of blue Forget-me-nots are nodding gently in the breeze.
Unprepossessing plants the first year (2008), the Forget-me-not seedlings concentrated all their energy in to putting on foliage, resulting in lovely green clumps by the end of summer ……. which promptly died back over the Winter, leaving a less than attractive brown mess and I have to say that it was difficult to see the potential at that point. However, Spring 2009 and the half dozen or so sites where I had planted my Forget-me-not clumps the previous summer became a sight to behold, as masses and masses of beautiful blue flowers brightened the dreary, post winter beds. Year on year these lovely little flowers have reappeared, multiplying and diversifying and I don’t think I will ever again be able to have a garden without Forget-me-nots in residence.
The second of the flower varieties was grown from seed in 2009 and did manage a few purple flowers by the end of the season. But it is as the years have progressed, that this particular flower, Aubretia Purple Cascade, has come into its’ own and the last two years have seen the most impressive display, as the plant tumbles down the side of a wooden planter, illustrating the aptness of the plants name. I have seen these plants colonising entire lengths of wall, almost completely covering the wall surface during the spring and summer months. As I walked passed the planter the other day, I couldn’t resist taking a picture which doesn’t come close to doing the beautiful flowers justice but I feel quite proud of the fact that I grew this wonderful display from seed.
As for this years seeds, the assorted salads, pumpkins and winter squash plants, not forgetting cucumber, courgette and sweet corn, are all doing well in the greenhouses. Four varieties of chilli are happily living it up on the pool table in the warmth of the kitchen, alongside the three tomato types and the King Edward seed potatoes. There are also freshly sown propagators on the kitchen windowsills and the pool table, containing:
24 x Sweet Corn Special Swiss;
5 x Cherokee Trail of Tears Pole Beans from self saved seed;
5 x Bijou Mangetout which, if the description supplied on the seed packet is anything to go by, is a bit of a misnomer as the Mangetout pods are alleged to be the length of the average mug, an incredible 7 inches. I can hardly wait for these plants to start producing;
5 x Golden Sweet Mangetout which should produce stunning yellow pods; and
8 x Czar Runner Bean, also from saved seed and, as with the Trail of Tears, it will be an anxious, albeit mercifully short wait to discover the viability of these seeds, as beans generally germinate pretty quickly.
I do need to get the King Edward and Rooster potatoes planted out and, whilst I’m at it, some serious weeding done in my garden but all in all I’m quite happy with how things are progressing at the moment, especially in terms of the weather which is much warmer than this time last year but there is still the very real possibility of a hard frost or two, so I’ll be keeping an eye on things.