wendyswonderlandgarden

My passion in life is gardening and specifically growing flowers from seed

Category: seeds

Summer 2021 review

I’m sad to say the end of summer is here and as much as I hate the hot weather that come with it and the lack of rain I like the garden in summer. I’ve had a mixed year with seeds and my vegetable growing but a good year flower wise.

I grew Tithonia, sunflowers, poppies, sweetpea and cosmos from seed this summer. The Tithonia are lovely but only started flowering in late August, however, I will definitely grow them again as they are still flowering and we don’t have much orange in the garden.

Tithonia

The sunflowers have done really well and are still going at more than 6 foot tall with multiple flowers per plant.

The poppies did ok but they never last long and so I often miss them flowering and therefore have no pictures. The cosmos I sowed late and as per their usual habit haven’t even considered flowering yet. They start later every year. The sweetpeas have been lovely although eaten by the greenfly. I have a few ladybirds on the plants but they are overcome with too much food I think.

The vegetables have been interesting, I sowed carrots, courgettes and tomatoes. The carrots I harvested today and look more like radishes.

Carrots that look like radish

The courgettes keep flowering but don’t create any fruit and my tomatoes while very healthy plants didn’t have many fruit but were largely neglected I think. I planted them direct into ground this year for the first time and I’m not sure I’ll do it again.

However, the roses including 2 new ones have been beautiful this year. The helenium, penstamen and many other cottage garden plants have been good and are still flowering or at least they were when I last checked but today it’s been so wet I imagine they may have suffered.

Rose Hot chocolate
Rose Summer song – new this year

Sunflowers

I’ve not grown sunflowers for a long time as I didn’t know where to plant them but I had some seed and thought why not so here is the first flower. I have 4 plants and this is probably the tallest at over 5ft!

Seed sowing March 2021

I started my seed sowing in the greenhouse today. Sunflowers which I haven’t grown for a long time, Tithonia which are new to me. I think Monty Don on BBC Gardeners world grows them and I always like them so thought I would give them a go. Also some poppies probably more than I wanted as the seeds are tiny!

Wildflower seed experiment

For a while now I have really admired and wanted to grow a bed of wildflowers and by this I do not mean a garden left to its own devices and full of weeds and sometimes known as a wildflower garden. I mean actually sowing a wildflower mix. I have a large garden but have no empty beds that this could be done in so I’ve emptied a trough which had bulbs in, only 1 actually flowered (I’ve replanted it), sown my seeds and covered with gravel just to keep the seed in place. I wait to see what happens next. Pictures are, seed packet, before and after of the trough and if this doesn’t work I’ve basically most lost the cost of the seed packet £3 and some time and I’ll try something else in there next year.

Plastic free gardening

This is a much talked about subject and I would say at this stage a very unrealistic thing to achieve as there aren’t many viable alternatives but I’m happy to try new things. I would also like to say that I do reuse my plastic seed trays and pots until they fall apart. Anyway, today I have sown some seeds in fibre trays (as below).

I have followed the strict instructions which are that you water the compost before sowing your seeds and then cover with more compost. I never normally do it this way. I do have to say that the trays are already very wet and I’m sure how long before they disintegrate. Hopefully before I need to plant, this is different too, you tear the tray pots and plant the whole thing. Also, because you plant the tray it means that while it’s better for the environment it’s expensive because they can’t be reused but I’m happy to try it and see how I get on. I will update you when I have some news. I sowed some cosmos (a bit late I suppose but the last lot didn’t come up) and some wallflowers (rubies and pearls).