Start Sowing now for 2012

I can’t believe it is already that time of year but, yes, I have started to sow biennials for 2012. After making the mistake of leaving it too late last year and ending up with very poor shows of Wallflowers (Erysimum), this year I am on the ball; I did an early sowing of Erysimum cheiri ‘Fire King’ which I have now pricked out and planted on and they’re looking good little plants:

Erysimum cheiri 'Fire King' seedlings

My wife and I have also been busy sowing other seed, some for the garden, some for the cutting garden, and some to sell as plants. So far we have sown: Erysimum cheiri ‘Blood Red,’ ‘Vulcan,’ ‘Ivory Giant,’ and ‘Aurora,’ Dianthus barbatus nigrescens ‘Sooty’ (Sweet William), Dianthus Auricula Eyed Mix and Anchusa azurea ‘Dropmore.’ These are all biennials which will hopefully make it through the winter and be good plants come next spring; they’ll be planted out in late summer once they have reached a decent size and parts of the veg garden become clear.

We’re also growing a number of different Dahlia varieties, mainly in the cutting garden, and for which I have begun to construct a support frame:

Support frame for the Dahlias

The frame will be built up another couple of levels to ensure maxium support for the stems as the grow and for the flowers.  Whilst planting out the Dahlias a few cuttings were taken and they are so far holding up well.  Nothing fancy was done with them, they were cut, trimmed, popped into regular compost and finished off with potting grit in order to keep down weeds and retain mositure:

Dahlia cuttings

I will end this post with a picture of the stunning cerise flowers of Lychnis coronaria. This particular plant grew unexpectedly in the garden and I’m glad it did as the colour is magnificent!

Lychnis coronaria


6 responses to this post.

  1. Hi Jason, the lychnis is lovely isn’t it? I planted out a couple last summer and satisfyingly they’ve self seeded quite generously – moving them around as I find them.

    Impressive dahlia frames. I know they’re for cutting but even so should be a helluva show!



    • Tis a wonderful flower indeed! Hopefully a few will self seed again next year and get them dotted around elsewhere in the garden. The Dahlias all en masse will be quite something and I’ll make sure to get a shot before Katherine whips them all away!!

      I’m guessing it chucked it down where are you are yesterday too? Did you get much done around any of your gardens or were you completely hindered by the weather?



  2. It comes around so quickly – I cannot believe it is time to sow those biennials again – feels like I have only just finished sowing the annuals!

    Love the Dahlia support


    • Hi Karen,

      I know what you mean; this year seems to have raced by in a blur of activity. Not only am I sowing seeds but I am also starting to think about bulbs for planting in autumn; there were some nice varieties of Alliums at Chelsea this year and I’d also like to get some earlier flowering Irises and some Thalia daffodils. Then after that it will be time to sow sweet peas etc. An endless but enjoyable cycle!

      Can’t wait for the Dahlias to flower, the show will be great if short lived as my wife (a florist) will be using them for her arrangements, hence the need for the support and ensuring they don’t fall over.



  3. hummm.I must get round to this el pronto!


    • The work never ends does it!?!? And I thought this gardening lark was just going to be gentle pottering and dozing in a shady arbour.


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