February 2015

For me February is the month of preparation, a time to plan, to buy seeds and to start preparing the ground for planting.  Changes are taking place in the garden and there are crocuses and snowdrops appearing all over the place.

Dwarf Iris and Winter Pansies

Dwarf Iris and Winter Pansies

The dwarf irises have come up in the pots we planted up last autumn with the winter pansies, into a mass of vivid blue flowers tinged with little splashes of yellow. Little yellow primroses appeared like magic along the fence at the back of the garden and the daffodils are shooting up all around the edges of the lawn and the hellebores are in flower.

With my new seed purchases sitting in a box on the table and with the occasional sunny day when it is almost bearable to spend time outdoors, it is difficult to resist the temptation to plant a few seeds and have something growing even if it means indoors on the porch or in the cold frame.  I was given some 36 cell seed trays with propagator lids for Christmas and so, in the last week of February, decided to just plant just a few of my new annual seeds, Cleome ‘Violet Queen’; Celosia ‘Flamingo’; Scabiosa ‘Back in Black’; Calendula ‘Art Shades’ and two varieties of Cosmos and planted the seeds into seed compost mixed with sieved soil.

The first seeds of 2015 planted

The first seeds of 2015 planted

When they germinate I will then nurse the little plants along until such time as they can be planted out in the cutting patch.   I also planted Sunflower ‘Copper Queen’ into fibre plantable grow pots and also two varieties of sweet peas – Jet set mixed and Summer sizzler.  These are also in trays with propagator lids.  They can then be planted in the grow pots straight into the ground when they are ready for planting out.  For the new edible flower project I planted Evening Primrose ‘Apricot Delight’; Cornflower ‘Double Black’ and ‘Blue Ball’; two varieties of Nasturtium – ‘Tom Thumb’ and ‘Alaska Mixed’ and Calendula Officinalis ‘Neon’ into a separate seed tray also with a propagator lid.  I  do not have a green house or poly-tunnel but I do have a good size front porch with useful window sill space and a cold frame.  For now all the seed trays and pots are on the window sills in the porch as it is warmer than the cold frame and so cold outside at the moment.   As the saying goes, where there is a will there is always a way!   Six days after my big seed planting day there are signs of germination, the Scabiosa; Cosmos and the two different cornflowers have all germinated!

I will have lots more seed for planting at the end of March or beginning of April directly into the cutting patch, depending on the weather.  If these early planted seeds are successful then I hope to have annuals flowering in early May along with the hardy annuals planted from seed last September and the biennials grown from seed and planted out last July and August as well as all the annuals from last year which have self-seeded.  If all goes to plan, it should be amazing and I will have lots of flowers available for cutting from May through to September or possibly October.

Hellebore flowering - February 2015

Hellebore flowering – February 2015

Hellebore 'Cinderella'

Hellebore ‘Cinderella’