I have a great passion for plant propagation from seed and cuttings. Being able to grow your own garden at limited expense is such a bonus.
If your garden has run out of floral and structural steam, right now is the perfect time to look past your spent plants. Make some time to imagine what you would like to see next year.
My garden is on the whole containerised, every year I make a different garden by moving the containers around which contain shrubs and grasses, then grow new plants to create a different feel to the space.
I start by imagining the intended spatial arrangement – after a day of looking after other people’s gardens I like to make several spaces in which just to sit, surrounded by plants.
I then I think about how I want the garden to feel, which for me is free flowing and informal
Then I imagine the specific colours I would like to spend several seasons with. There was a yellow and white theme this year.
Finally I then spend time thinking about what plants I will need to grow to help to create all of this. Around 50 per cent is home grown, the remainder tend to come from independent nurseries, and plant fairs.
For next year I am imagining a vibrant wild cottage style where I will need to swish through a double border full of the grass Amenantheles lessonii with its stunning bronze foliage, past swathes of coral coloured Salvias, deep purple Fuchsias, iridescent purple Verbena, towering blue Echiums and dahlias of a deep plum colour.
With my greenhouse being unheated I tend to start propagating from early April, as air temperature and light levels are really starting to increase. There is always horticultural fleece, and a propagation lid to hand, it all gets too cold at night for my seedlings.
Here are a few of my favourites from this year, for you to consider.
The non hardy annual – Tithonia rotundiflora Torch is a regular addition in my flower garden, with an incredible flourescent orange flower, which really does appear to glow, plus an exquisite textural velvet like stem , it is heading towards being my top flower.
However there are plenty of others that could easily knock it off the top spot, and they include.
Ammi majus. Being a hardy annual, I have only sown this once, it now billows through my garden. What is there not to love about its seed head that follows on from its umbellifer flower, that provides shelter for insects.
Verbena bonariensis, I tend to treat this as a tender perennial, so grow it annually – just in case I loose plants over Winter. It does have the capacity to have an irregular germination rate, and it can take several weeks for a tray to completely germinate. However once growing away it is such a tough little plant, that sends out their tiny iridescent purple flowers off for months and months. It is still going strong even in November.
I have written about Hordeum jubatum on a previous post, and it will definitely be making a return appearance. It really was incredibly easy to grow, and it looked fantastic for weeks.
My Thompson 2017 seed catalogue has arrived , no doubt Sarah Ravens seed catalogue will contain some dreamy annuals. I also have packets ( and packets ) of seeds for must have plants from assorted plant fairs this year.
I have months to deliberate before I make my final purchases, to hopefully ensure flowering success next year, as I have a garden to grow for my 50th birthday party in August.