Oh, I am getting impatient- I think that my patience muscle, which has improved since stopping working, what a surprise, is always a bit tested around this time of year. The enthusiasm of the New Year, I love that, dissipates a bit in a cold, wet January- and I always start seeds in the house on a window ledge in the sitting room too early, after having told myself I would wait till February. Which is exactly what I did two weeks ago. I soaked the seedtray (must get new ones, all a bit collapsible) and since then, have been misting the seeds with slightly tepid water (if I remember). I have got a good handful of seedlings coming up, albeit reluctantly. But one whole tray is still in waiting. I don’t think it’s a disaster, every week there is more daylight and they will wait for the right moment. It’s just not good for the impatience.
So, this plant Kalimeris incisa ‘Madiva’ which I bought as 3 small godets two years ago is a fantastically tolerant and well-behaved plant. Forming good solid clumps, growing to about 1m, never flopping, continuously flowering, not needing extra water- it is the perfect houseguest. So, I am trying seed of Kalimeris incisa ‘Blue Star’- this is the seed that has yet to budge.
Three or four years ago, I got very interested in Eriogonum. The common name is Buckwheat- and the genus has real potential for the summer-dry garden, because not only are they a food source for many butterflies and moths, but also they tolerate dryness, clay soil and handle tough conditions. I found small .plants of Eriogonum fasiculatum- I lost two and now have only the one, and while I like it for the creamy flowers- it’s true, it’s not a great looker. So, finding seed for Eriogonum allenii ‘Little Rascal’, I am giving it a go in the seed tray, and quite a few are already up. Check it out on the link and you can see why I am bothering- and it’s yellow! One of my favourite summer colours!
Vernonia crinita ‘Mammuth’ is a plant that I love- giving you towering, broad flowerheads of a warm mauve, but at 2m high it won’t please everyone. So, what about a Vernonia that is only 1m high? Ah, ha. Vernonia lettermannii is just that thing. The link takes you to a comprehensive blog post about Vernonia from the Laidback Gardener. As I read to the end, I notice that he mentions cold-stratifying the seed. Oops. I haven’t done this, so I may be waiting a very long time. Patience, patience.
And the last plant being trialled in the windowsill seedtrays is: Dendranthemum weyrichii. Completely unknown to me until I found it in the listing of a very good ebay seed seller from Poland- it is a mat-forming, short growing, all-summer flowering sunlover which can apparently easily make a Im wide groundcover, but is not badly behaved. I love a daisy, and though this insists on being a chrysanthemum, I will forgive it. If you are interested, I recommend the ebay seed-seller ‘pogoponus’ from the link.
And another seed recommendation from Huntingbrook Gardens on their Facebook feed is this lovely man from Greece. He is called Liberto Dario, and his seedlist is impossible- stuffed full of fabulous plants and varieties. You can ask for his lists by PMing him on his Facebook page. I am, with huge reluctance, only ordering 6 packets. Must be realistic. Groan.