Three doors down from us lived the Brigadier. After a prestigious military career he worked as a volunteer for the West Sussex Underwater Mountain Rescue Team. It was whilst rescuing an old lady who had got stuck on a shelf whilst diving for baby rock pandas, that he came across a stoney peak covered in the most wonderful of Lupins.
Wasting no time he was able to pluck some of these lupins on his return up to the surface with the flinching old lady safely in tow. When back on Terra Firma he bred the salty beauties to be able to survive out of seawater and in our gardens. Genius.
Three cheers for the Brigadier!!!
How does one grow the Brigadier’s most famous Sunrise Lupins?
*First of all prepare abed in full sun or partial shade. Give it a good dig over, chuck in some home made compost or peat free compost from the shop. (If you don’t know why I don’t use peat in the Higgledy Garden click…’Peat Ban‘)
*I soak mine in tepid water overnight to soften their hard seed shells, I think this improves germination…not everyone will agree. Just feel the force and do what you think is right…(Apply this to most things you come across.)
*I sow mine from April until May.
*Lupins are very clever chaps produce their own nitrogen…to us, this means we can plant them in poor soils. (This knowledge impresses even old people.)
*Rake your lovely bed down to a fine tilth, with only dinky size crumbled soil remaining. Keep the soil nice and loose…yeah baby.
*I plant mine one foot apart and in three rows.
*Cover your magic beans/seeds with 1/8 inch of soil and gently water.
*These shy little fellas take a while to come out to play, you may have to wait over three weeks…you won’t miss them when they do.
*Never let them stay dry for too long and keep the bed weed free.
*They should flower in late June or July depending on the price of fish, I tend to feed them with a general organic fertilizer in mid June…but it’s no biggy if you don’t.
*Keep an eye out for American Lupin aphids.
*Sit back and enjoy the show.
*Give a bunch to your Gran and keep yourself in the will. (It’s going to be a cold winter.)
NB Sunrise Lupins are a Half hardy Annual. Click to discover more.
How to use Lupin Sunrise as cut flowers.
*Cut lupins early in the morning…when the sun is dawning…Postman Pat..er…sorry…early in the morning when they are full of moisture, or in the evening…but not during the heat of the day.
*Don’t dally around like a Fraggle…get them straight into some luke warm water…right up to the flower spikes.
*Cut with a SHARP pair of sissors…a clean cut heals more quickly and the flower will bloom longer in the vase.
Lupins look good with just about every thing. If you are exploring the delights of the Higgledy Garden Cut Flower Seed Collection then try them with your Cosmos Antiquity, Blue Boy cornflowers and Buplureum . Be creative…nothing is right or wrong and most things are groovytastic.
Buy Lupin Sunrise seeds in the Higgledy Shop.
If there is anything else you need to know, then just comment and I’ll get the Brigadier onto it right away.
Hope you are having a good time wherever you may be.
July 5, 2013 @ 11:25 am
I have just lost three beautiful Lupins to snails! I’ve since started setting beer traps at night and have had great success catching snails and slugs in these. Too late for the three Lupins, I’m afraid but I’m hoping to save the remaining ones.
I had no idea they were so popular with snails.
Does anyone know of any equally pretty plants that slugs and snails don’t like?
July 8, 2013 @ 6:25 am
sadly it seems the slugs like most flower seedlings…but they seem to avoid Cerinthe…also look at trying nematodes.
May 21, 2014 @ 11:52 am
thanks for that info Diana, I love Lupins, and also have a prob with snails who ADORE my Hostas, so I need to be vigalent now as my lovely Lupins are just beginning to sprout .They truly are a problem these snails. So thay like a Jar, do they?
March 8, 2013 @ 1:59 am
How do you get sunrise to make a single strong stem for cutting rather than a multi branched plant. I’ve seen the long stems in the florists af few years back but had no success myself. I’m using thompson ad morgan uk seed.
March 8, 2013 @ 10:12 am
They generally produce one main stem with a few smaller branching ones…if you pinch it out early it will produce more stems…so let it do its thing is your best bet.
January 8, 2013 @ 8:45 pm
How do you keep slugs and snails off your lupins? Snails destroyed mine last year. Tried sheep’s wool pellets, but wondered if you had any tips. Would love to grow these, they are beautiful – have always loved any kind of lupins.
January 8, 2013 @ 9:43 pm
I’m afraid I have no real answer to that…but i try to get as many as possible by hand…you’ll be surprised what a difference it makes going out at night with a torch for a few nights. Or get a frog!
February 12, 2012 @ 8:56 pm
I had about an 80% germination rate last year (the first time I grew them) and had no issues. I sowed straight into the ground as Sunrise hates root disturbance…did you by chance start yours in pots?
February 12, 2012 @ 8:46 pm
I am very succesful with perennial lupins but have tried twice with ‘sunrise’ and had very poor germination rates and the plants gave up before ever producing a flower. Any idea why?
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