Six Seedy Successes on Saturday

There are a number of stalwarts that I grow from seed each year, learning from experience what grows and performs well, most years trying a few new things, some of which will become stalwarts in due course too. Recent additions have been helichrysum, which form stocky plants that  flower for months and provide everlasting blooms for winter vases – H ‘Bright Rose’ is shown below,  but this year I have also grown H ‘Silvery Rose’. Flowers for keeping should be picked at about this stage, before the buds open.

I discovered alonsoa purely by chance a few years ago and have grown a red variety regularly since – the one shown below is Alonsoa ‘Rebel’ – but I have also grown A ‘Salmon Beauty’ which was much commented on when grown in the cutting beds last year but has been lost in the main borders this season. Both easy to grow from seed and flower for ages, especially if cut back after the first flush.

I remember growing ‘clary sage’ as a teenager but it was only recently that I began growing it again – why did I leave it so long? The bold bright bracts make such an impact in the cutting beds as well as the borders, and are a valuable asset in a vase. I now regularly grow both ‘Oxford Blue’ and ‘Pink Sundae’ (below), but haven’t tried a white variant yet.

Seeking blue annuals, I came across one called Viscaria ‘Blue Angel’ which I grew successfully but then couldn’t track the seeds down again – until I encountered the same plant under the name Silene ‘Blue Angel’. This is now firmly another of my annual stalwarts, providing a soft and airy blue to the front of the border:

Crepis rubra, the ‘pink dandelion’ created a talking point this year and will be appearing in many more gardens next year as a result. It has certainly been flowering for over a month with its numerous pretty pink blooms which in time, if not deadheaded, form a typical dandelion head from which I plan to collect seeds, but I couldn’t find a fresh bloom to photograph today (the one below was from IAVOM in early June) and I am waiting to see whether there will be more flushes.

The sixth seedy success is Lagurus ovatus or ‘bunny tails’ grass; I made two sowings of this, one in September and one in February, both sets of seedlings being planted  throughout the borders in late April. They have looked wonderful ever since, bobbing about amongst the other plants and they clearly make an impact because so many people have asked about them. Even though they are an annual, it will be worth growing more for sale next year as they would have flown from the plant stall – and more for my own borders too!

There are many other stalwarts, but these are the six I am sharing for the Six on Saturday meme hosted by Jon the Propagator.


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32 Responses to Six Seedy Successes on Saturday

  1. Pink dandelions! Wow, they look lovely.
    I have often thought that if dandelions were not a weed they would be prized for their seed heads.
    Everything looks lovely, but once again you have introduced me to something I didn’t know existed.

    • Cathy says:

      Interesting thought – and yet we have seen the occasional vase of yellow dandelions which we would all admit looked very pretty. Glad to know you are learning about new plants – I too have learned such a lot from blogging. And I am a HUGE fan of the lychnis you sent me seeds for – I highly recommended it to all our visitors

      • So glad the lychnis is performing well. I now have a white one and one I’m very excited about which might be a cross between the two. It is white with a pink centre. 🙂

        • Cathy says:

          Ahah – I also now gave the white, courtesy of seed from another blogger, AND the white/pink variety grown from bought seed – just spotted the first flower today! If it sets seed I will send you some 😊

  2. Cathy says:

    A lovely selection. The crepis is on my list and I might add Helichrysum too as I have never tried growing it. 🙂

  3. janesmudgeegarden says:

    I am a remarkably poor grower of plants from seed and I admire all your successes especially the helichrysum which should grow happily here.

  4. I need to experiment more with growing from seed next year. I was pleased I grew over t0 cosmos plants but I like the look of your helicrysum. Are they easy to Grow?

    • Cathy says:

      They really are very easy – and as I mentioned to Jane in the previous comment just taking time to prick out and pot on when needed makes such a difference to success with seed sowing.

  5. I just love that pink dandelion!!! I wonder if all dandelions were pink instead of yellow, would we still consider it a weed? Happy Sunday Cathy!

  6. tonytomeo says:

    You know, I have ‘never’ grown a helichrysum. They happened to be one of the main cut flower crops where my Pa lived when I was a kid, but I never grew even one in my own garden. I probably should.
    Someone else shows picture of the ‘Blue Angel’ silene. It does not look familiar, but the blue is rad.

  7. Great selections! I wasn’t familiar with Helichrysum–very interesting! All the plants are lovely.

  8. Great 6. Love the bunny tails. I shall have to try those

    • Cathy says:

      I highly recommend the bunny tails – they can get surprising tall too, waving above clumps of perennials. One I will definitely be growing every year

  9. jacqueline says:

    Bonjour Cathy
    Six belles réussites !

  10. cavershamjj says:

    Wow I dont know most of those, I will have to look out for seed in the HPS scheme this year. Particularly like the first one.

    • Cathy says:

      It opens up to a double daisy bloom, with papery petals. I will look out for more varieties for next season. I have thought about joining the HPS – do you go to meetings at all? Our ‘local’ one is a real trek to get to. Do they have a monthly magazine and if so is it useful/interesting?

  11. cavershamjj says:

    Yes my local one is just a few miles away. The meetings are monthly except December, july and August. I have found the local meetings hit and miss, some speakers are excellent, some not so much. But it is only a fiver a year. The national soc (£17 pa) has lots going on, specialist pla t groups etc, but tbh I joined to get first dibs on the seed scheme, members’ orders are processed first! There are 2 issues of the Hardy Plant a year, and two newsletters.

  12. Cathy I love all your plants and flowers. I have never cultivated any of them. I think I have to encourage myself to cultivate. I will have to find in my house in Madrid a place to have a couple of trays of sowing and some pots to ring, with light (that is more complicated because the house faces north) and make it a hot place and where it does not matter to dirty the floor: my room, where I do all the experiments. Buying a small folding camping table is cheap and is good for it. If I need additional light, I’ve seen on Amazon a few flexes with light for plants that are around 30 Euros. Everything will be decided and put to it from the Winter. Cathy your blog has encouraged me a lot, thank you. Greetings from Margarita.

    • Cathy says:

      It’s good to know that you feel encouraged to grow some flowers from seed, Margarita – it is such a rewarding thing to do. I love it!

      • Cathy thank you very much for your words of support. I need them! Because then I have to take these plants in the car from Madrid to the country house, and the car is always full of luggage: there is not even one more scarf. We have a very changeable climate in the country house and you can be very hot in the morning and in the afternoon go for a walk with long jeans, boots, long sleeves, fleece and windbreaker. That’s how it is. Then the suitcases overflow. Sorry for this little passage, but it’s to make more graphic how the car goes. Thanks for “listening”. Greetings from Margarita.

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