Tag Archives | British flowers

Sweet Pea Grow Along – Part 2

Hello Everyone and welcome to the second instalment of our Grow Along.

Hopefully you now  have your seeds, composts and deep pots or rootrainers at the ready.



Firstly, do not concern yourself with pre-soaking, chitting or scarifying your seeds. I find a really good watering in and a bit of warmth is enough to get your seeds germinating quickly.



Fill your pots with compost mixed with vermiculite, about 3 parts compost to 1 part vermiculite.

Using a dibber, pencil or any other pointy implement, dib a hole about 2.5cm/1 inch deep. Drop in your seed and give it a little prod to ensure it is at the bottom of the hole.




Fill in the holes and label with the variety and date before watering gently from above or soaking in a tray.


The next step is to find somewhere warm (and mouse free), if you have a heat mat or propagator that’s perfect. Otherwise try an airing cupboard or near a radiator. Don’t worry they won’t be there long – as soon as you see a shoot, move the pots into a cool, bright position.




At this point, cold and brigh conditions are what you want – I use an unheated greenhouse. Your aim is to grow stocky plants with lots of roots, so you can treat them mean. If it gets really cold (below minus 3-4 degrees C) they will need some protection, either turn on the greenhouse heater, cover them with horticultural fleece or bring them indoors.

Pinch out the growing tip when they have 3-4 pairs of leaves. This will encourage a side shoot to grow and create a bushy plant.



Keep your plants on the dry side during these winter months, I usually water them every couple of weeks.


Ground preparation is probably out of the question at the moment if your ground is as waterlogged as ours. So let’s get on to that with the next post.


Rachel Siegfried



2013 Seed Collection

2013 has been a vintage year for seed collecting! The weather conditions have been perfect for producing fat, ripe seeds. By the end of the summer I had an office full of paper sacks of seed heads, I could hardly get in the door, let alone wade my way through to the desk.

It has been all ‘fiddly fingers’ on deck over the past few weeks to help turn this chaos into our first seed collection – twelve packets of fresh seed reflecting some of our favourite 2013 cut flowers.



I have concentrated on easy, productive flowers that can all be direct sown if a greenhouse is not on offer. There are cottage garden favourites like Sunflowers and Sweet Williams,


GreenandgorgeousSG (60)

wild meadow-style flowers like Ammi, Scabious and Cornflowers,



scent from Sweet Peas and Dill,



novelty from pink Gypsophila and Larkspur ‘Blue Cloud’


IMG_5562 web


and lots of white and green from Corncockle, Bupleurum and the amazing Panicum ‘Frosted Explosion’.


GreenandgorgeousSG (55)



Sowing and growing instructions are included on the back of each packet.




With Christmas just around the corner we have one last task – drying off the dahlias for storage. Here are what I call my ‘mother tubers’ (for propagation next Spring) drying off on a heat mat, which my heat seeking whippets are taking full advantage of! 


Rachel Siegfried