This is one of the times of the year when I experience a terrible yearning to be growing something new. I suppose it’s the New Year talking to me, and usually, I have seed ready to go which I have bought earlier and kept, probably because it was recommended to sow it in the Spring more insistently than usual. Last year was a bit of a horror story seed-wise. The weather was way too hot for too long, and despite copious watering and care, most seeds just don’t want to perform in those conditions. So, returns were pretty poor. I had boasted in an earlier blog of how easy it was to grow Echinacea ‘White Swan’ from seed. Well, it is normally, if that’s a word that can be used anymore about weather.
Last year, I ate my hat time and time again. And then again, we had a housesitter with clearly homicidal tendencies as far as seedlings go, who strenuously did not water them, maybe even at all for five weeks. I was the one doing the Jack Nicholson ‘Here’s Johnny’ impression when I got home.
But, despite all that, and I am taking a risk here, it being only the second week in January, I think some toughies have pulled through. I have tried once before to grow ‘Patrinia scabiosifolia’ from seed and come a cropper. Out there, right now, are some pretty promising and doughty looking small plants with good root systems. Patrinia is a veiling kind of tall, willowy perennial, yellow and see-through, both admirable qualities in my book. So, I am hoping I will have a good clump of them in the new bit of the garden I am planning. It will be a rounded extension of an existing planting area which will link up with a curvy bed from the other side of the garden, making a narrowish passage way between the two. So, more opportunity to dig up a bit more of the ho-ho lawn and plant it up, care of a plant fund set up by lovely friends who visited last summer. So, this is not my photograph, but the photograph from ‘Special Plants’, where I bought the seed last year.
I also love ‘Morina longifolia’ and had a good clump that just fizzled after a few years after some wet springs. I love its candy-ice whorled flowers and the eryngium like, thistle-imitation base of spikey leaves. Morina longifolia will take it really hard, and so this time, with 7 or 8 good looking babies in pots, I will put it in a tougher spot and see if that helps it get through periods of rain.
And I am really thrilled to say that I have managed not to kill something I have read about, and really wanted to have a go at, ‘Erogonium grande var.rubescens’. This is a form of red buckwheat which Annie’s Annuals in Richmond, California raves about as ‘goof-proof’ and ‘deer-proof’. I don’t have a deer problem but goof-proof sounds good to me. I have no real idea how it will do here, but it clearly likes sun and dry, so that’s good for some bits of the garden, and if it’s survival skills through this past six months are anything to go by, it will be just fine. The baby plants look very happy and, are indeed, evergreen, another plus.
But, as I rummage through my seed store from the fridge, I also realise that my seedaholic tendencies are in danger of running away with themselves. There are packets and packets and packets of seed, and, yes, this week I ordered more from one of my most favourite seedsites, aptly called Seedaholic. Go to their site, and be amazed by the generosity of their information about the seeds and their cultivation, not to mention very reasonable prices. But just before I close, this is one of my purchases from Seedaholic only this week, a new Cosmos, ‘Cosmos bipinnatus Xanthos’. Cosmos is another plants that everyone, bar me, grows from seed. So, I am hoping this lovely cream-coloured one will break my curse.