My brain is currently a grab-bag of blogposts: of all sorts of bits and pieces. Blogging's had to take a back seat to all sorts of things, not least changing numerous nappies, replacinga broken dishwasher, fridge and DVD player, reading The Tickle Book over and over and OVER to my 1-year-old, and making lots of jam from my Victoria plums.*
Here's the first brain dump. I wrote a while back about how I've been growing a lot of things from seed to save money, so I thought I'd tell you a bit about what worked and what didn't.
The Cerinthe purpurascens seeds from T&M all germinated with ease and produced attractive plants (pictured left) just right in temperament for my rather dry big border, and loved by the bees - the only wrinkle was the packet was a bit measly, although each seed was huge, almost pea-like. Given that this is a good self-seeder I am hoping it will spread copiously, and I'll probably help it along by saving some of the seed myself to sow next spring.
Another banker has been the verbascums, now settling in nicely to the dry border and destined to provide spires of white blooms ('Snow Maiden') next summer. What's so great about growing verbascum from seed is that ALL of them germinate, so you get hundreds of plants - and they're pretty tough even from a young age so any underwatering is quickly forgiven. Next year I'd like to try a pinky-red one from seed, like 'Cherry Helen', but so far I've had no success finding the seed.
Cenolophium denudatum, on the other hand, was a disaster. Got two seedlings from the whole packet, which when planted out promptly got munched by slugs. Clematis hieraclifolia, courtesy of Everett Leeds of the Clematis Society, so far so good - half a dozen plants from a similar number of seeds, all young plants now in situ(pictured above) and I'm hoping for a good show from this unusual herbaceous clematis. (Never heard of it? It is scented and needs no support, apparently. Will keep you posted).
Honesty seeds collected on my travels and scattered liberally about the garden should fill some more gaps, while I am encouraging my Briza media to self-seed for similar budget-busting gullness. One busted flush was the eryngium seeds I tried - possibly too old, I suspect.
*I wrote about how this tree was sulking after pruning two years ago - the commenters were right, I didn't prune in 2010 and this year it's been happy as larry, producing a top harvest of big, juicy plums.