Bee & Butterfly Friendly Seeds…Early Bird Special. 50% off!

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Hello there one and all.

Following the great success of last year’s ‘Bee & Butterfly Friendly’ collection of seeds…I am delighted to offer readers to the Higgledy pages an early bird discount. I have 50 of these collections made up and ready to be sent out…I have dropped the price of these first 50 by 50%…(don’t say I never do anything for you!)

Some of the big guns are still in the collection. Phacelia and Borage are just nectar making machines and will be in the collection every season. Others are:

*Scabiosa ‘Back In Black”

*Calendula, ‘Art Shades’

*Eschscholzia ‘Ivory Castle”

*Ammi Visnaga

*Nigella ‘Persian Jewels’

*Malope Trifida ‘Vulcan’

*Rudbeckia ‘Marmalade’

*Cornflower, ‘Blue Ball’

*Cosmos, ‘Purity’

*Sunflower, ‘Vanilla Ice’

Link: ‘Bee & Butterfly Friendly Seeds’

…YES! They would make great Christmas presents!! ;)

Have fun.

Kind regard

Benjamin Higgledy

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Helichrysum (Strawflower) ‘Hendrix’

Helichrysum. Other colours in the mix are deep reds, copper browns, whites and oranges. #Groovy

Helichrysum. Other colours in the mix are deep reds, copper browns, whites and oranges. #Groovy

Back in the late 60′s I would sit on the veranda  of my Great Aunt Adalwolfa Can-Higgledy’s flat in Berlin and listen to the alien sounds of the Berlin rock scene emanating from her home…she was a session guitarist and lived off Jagermeister sandwiches and funny cigarettes. The only flowers she would have in her garden were Helichrysum…she loved the psychedelic colours in early Autumn.

In her will she left me some seeds of these Helichrysum….she told me she had harvested them from a bunch of flowers that her then lover, Jimi, had picked for her by leaning out of their living room window on the first full moon in September 1970. She told me they contained heavy Ju-Ju and that I was not to share them with the world until the world needed them…and that time my friends…has come.

I am preparing the first batch and Helichrysum ‘Hendrix’ will be ready to take it’s rightful place on the Higgledy Stage by next weekend.

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace." Jimi Hendrix.

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” Jimi Hendrix.

Peace and love y’all.

Higgers xx

Perennial Flowers For Your Cutting Patch.

I tend to keep just one bed in my patch dedicated to perennial flowers because there are only a handful I think justify being there…also like most folk, my space is limited…and per square metre of earth they are not as productive as annuals or biennials. Most annuals will keep producing more flowers as you harvest them over the season whereas perennials may only give you one or two flushes of flowers.

HOWEVER…perennials are easy to maintain and are very reliable and they have forms and structure not available from annuals so they play a part in the flowery portfolio at the Higgledy Garden.

Achillea

Achillea.

I have always loved Achillea…charming fellow with impeccable manners. Achillea ‘Cerise Queen’ is my favourite for cutting…I may add ‘Summer Pastels’ for next season too. ‘Cerise Queen’ will happily flower in the first year and is easy to grow. (Growing guide).

Aquilegia

Aquilegia.

Aquilegia are a cottage garden favourite…there are hundreds to chose from…my preference is ‘Nora Barlow’…one of the most beautiful and has tall, strong stems…excellent for the vase.

Chrysanthemum.

Chrysanthemum.

Again like Aquilegia there are hundreds to chose from…I love the quirky, rough around the edges ‘Crazy Daisy’….very easy to use in the vase and heaps and heaps of flowers.

Coreopsis

Coreopsis.

Coreopsis are cheery fellows indeed and ‘Sunray’ is no exception…easy to grow, fun to have about. I know some people don’t like yellow flowers… but…well….I could never get my head around that anyway! ;) Yellow flowers ROCK!

Echinacea 'Deep Rose' grown by Mari at Roswartha Farm.

Echinacea ‘Deep Rose’ grown by Mari at Roswartha Farm.

Echinacea are a ‘must have’ in my opinion…not only are they some of the most stunning flowers known to mankind but the Native Americans’ held the flower in great regard too…and what’s good for Sitting Bull is good for Higgledy Ben. I love the vivid ‘Deep Rose Pink’ and the uber groovy ‘Primadonna White’.

Echinops.

Echinops.

Echinops may only produce a few flower heads in their first year…but after that they will romp away like nobody’s business and all will be well with the world…they self seed too so you will have plants to give to your chums. I grow ‘Ritro’…it’s the more quirky…more blue…more ‘spoinky’ one of them all in my opinion.

Knautia

Knautia.

I have nine Knautia plants spaced at about 18 inches apart…they seem to flower forever. ‘Melton Pastels’ has stunning flowers on willowy stems. It was the first Knautia I grew for cutting and is the only one still present in the flower patch.

Other great perennials to grow in the cutting patch are Feverfew and Eryngium (Sea Holly)….I don’t yet stock Sea Holly but I expect to have some in stock for next year in time for a spring sowing.

Kind regards and have a great Sunday.

Benjamin Higgledy

 

Related posts:

For tips on sowing, click over to ‘Sowing hardy annuals directly into the soil’.

Soil Management in your cutting patch.

Designing the layout of your cutting patch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Autumn Flower School Blog by Ben. 1 Comment

Half Hardy Annual Flowers For The Cutting Garden.

Half hardy annuals are the posh totty of the flower patch…glamorous, slinky and beautiful…but take a little more maintenance. ;)

The main point you have to take on board with regard half hardy annuals is that they are generally native to areas that are closer to the equator…they are not big on frost and often the slightest touch of it will send them to their maker. This of course is easy to avoid…either sow them after the frosts or start them indoors and plant them out after the frosts have trotted back off up north.

Cosmos are workhorses in your flower patch....don't be without some. This one is 'Purity'.

Cosmos are workhorses in your flower patch….don’t be without some. This one is ‘Purity’.

I prefer to sow my half hardy annuals in pots…three inch square pots are best…it’s harder for slugs to hide in square pots butted up together… I sow the vast majority at the beginning of April…and get them all done and dusted before I move on to sowing hardy annuals outside in the middle of April.

A greenhouse is preferable to a windowsill but you can manage with the later.

 

Lava red Tithonia. Photo Credit @sanguisorba

Lava red Tithonia. Photo Credit @sanguisorba

Mid May will usually see the last of the frosts in the Midlands…earlier in Cornwall…later in Scotland. Seeds sown in early April will be big enough by mid May to be planted out….but you must get them acclimatised to the perils of the outdoors…well….the cold….they will have been mollycoddled indoors…planting them straight out will freak them out and they will become stunted….this will make you look unprofessional and you could become the laughing stock of the village. Avoid this by leaving the plants outside during the day and bringing them in at night….do this for ten days and your plantlets will be well trained for planting day.

As a rule of thumb I space my half hardy annuals to about a foot apart…perhaps a little less if space is limited.

Rudbeckia

Rudbeckia

Rudbeckia never fail to be happy surf dudes…they generally arrive quite late in the season….they are easy to get started and will happily do their thing with little maintenance. For cutting I use Marmalade, Irish Eyes and Goldilocks.

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia are becoming fashionable again….they used to be all the rage in the 50′s…I’m glad folk are growing them once more….they are ‘quirky chic’…Sowing direct into the soil gives good results…but don’t sow before you are SURE the frosts have finished.

Cleome

Cleome

Cleome seeds must be sown on the surface…they need light to germinate…make sure you keep them moist whilst they do this….putting the seed tray in a clear poly bag. will help.

Other great half hardy annuals are Bells of Ireland, Ricinus, Amaranthus and Nicotiana.

Hope you’re all having a capital weekend!

Kind regards

Benjamin Higgledy

 

 

 

Hardy Annual Flowers For Your Cutting Garden.

Hardy annuals flowers should play a leading role in your cutting garden. They are super productive, simple to grow, will generally self seed and come back the following year and are generally all round good eggs.

Cornflower 'Blue Ball'.

Cornflower ‘Blue Ball’.

I grow heaps of hardy annuals in my cutting patches…swathes of Cornflowers, Ammi, Scabiosa, calendula and Larkspur just to name a few…they never let me down. Hardy annuals have the added bonus of you being able to sow them in the Autumn as well as in the spring.

Nigella.

Nigella.

I make Autumn sowings in September (sometimes in October if the weather has been mild) and Spring sowings in April and May.

Scabiosa 'Crown' (Rudbeckia 'Marmalade' in background)

Scabiosa ‘Crown’ (Rudbeckia ‘Marmalade’ in background)

Godetia

Godetia

“Easily grown from seed, a vast choice of hardy annuals is available to offer long-lasting flowers during the warmer months. These fast-growing plants provide an easy and cost-effective way to give naturalistic planting, plug gaps and fill the border with a summer full of colour.” RHS

Eschscholzia

Eschscholzia

Sowing in straight lines a foot apart is the best plan.

Sowing in straight lines a foot apart is the best plan.

 

Kind regards

Benjamin

Related posts:

For tips on sowing, click over to ‘Sowing hardy annuals directly into the soil’.

Soil Management in your cutting patch.

Designing the layout of your cutting patch.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Autumn Flower School Blog by Ben. 1 Comment