Previously I have only stocked Cleome ‘Violet Queen’ which has been rightly popular for reliability and strong colour, but the tastes of my ever more sophisticated customers has led me to stock a pure white Cleome. Cleome ‘Helen Campbell’ was clearly the best choice for this. ‘Helen’ is a very well behaved half-hardy annual. Surface sow the seeds in early spring on moist compost…keep moist and be patient….just when you think the seedlings won’t turn up, they do. These seedlings will evolve into beautiful floriferous gems. Some folk complain that the plant has thorns…but then…some folk complain about anything.
If I know my customers like I know my customers…this Larkspur is going to be very popular for the season of 2017. It hasn’t been easy to source good quality stock…but Madam Etienne, my contact in southern France has come good….je t’aime Madam! I have had to price these a little more than my other Larks…reassuringly expensive….well….ten pence more expensive…
Persicaria orientalis was suggested as a new Higgledy shop addition by the author and journalist Louise Curley….I did what I was told…
I am yet to grow this fine annual myself but am assured that it is straight forward to grow and is as handsome as you like. Densely clustered pink flowers droop from towering stems…a statuesque creature indeed.
These will undoubtedly be useful flowers for those crafty florists looking to extend their upper story portfolio… #PretentiousTwaddle
I shall sow my first batch in the spring…probably in pots so I can keep an eye on them and see how they behave.
‘Gypsophila ‘Kermesina’ is the new hot ticket for the 2018 season. These crimson flowers are abundant and airy…they have a 1960’s vibe and are super easy to grow. These seeds are not all that easy to get hold of outside of the USA but the Higgledy eleves have finagled some top quality stock…enough for a 100 packets or so…get em while they’re hot.
I tend to sow successive rows…ie…I’ll sow a row in mid April…one at the begining of May and if I’m feeling brave I will sow some in late August/early September for an early spring flowering.
“Kermesina reminds me of Japanese paintings and it looks beautiful arranged on its own in a simple vase.” Louise Curley.
*Height 50 cm
*500 seeds in a pack
*Sow April/May or August/Early September. Flowers 12 weeks from a spring sowing.
It is getting late to sow biennial flowers…but as long as you are fairly sharpish all will be well. It helps being down in the South West of course…but then the berries have been telling me the whole of the UK is in for an Indian Summer.
Biennial flower seed can be direct sown into the ground or, as I usually do, sown into pots.
The secret, is that if you have sown them into pots…they must be planted out before the end of September and preferably before the equinox of September 20th. I don’t plant out my seedlings before the equinox because I’m a Druid, but because the days get shorter after the equinox and plants seem to be very tuned into this and generally slow down their planty ways. We want our Biennial darlings to get a good root system going on before winter sets in…this way they will rocket forth in early spring and make everything jolly and handsome.
Only cover your seeds with a light covering of compost. I have also given mine a light dusting of vermiculite…this is because I am a trained professional…you can also do this at home. Link: Why use vermiculite.
I have been using New Horizon Peat Free compost this season…100 litres for a tenner down at my local garden centre. I have found it does the job no problem…though I understand some other horti folk have had issues…give it a go…see what you think.
Note On Costs.
Each of the two long trays in the photo at the top cost in the region of £1 for compost, £1 for seeds and .50p for vermiculite.