We can't believe it but it's that time of year again when we start thinking about what seeds we are going to plant for the year ahead - and it's something we really feel like doing with this beautiful weather. Some of our favourites from last year were Ammi (Bishop's Flower), Amaranthus Love Lies Bleeding), Sweet Peas, Agrostis Nebulosa (Cloud Grass) and Briza Maxima (Quaking Grass). We'll definitely be including these in our garden this year.
In 2018, we decided to try some new colours and grew jewel coloured Dahlias and Zinnias. Dahlias are often quite tricky to grow and keep from year to year, so we tried a packet of seeds (Bishop's Children) and had great results. They must have liked the soil in Lincoln!
Statice was another flower that we trialled last year. This was around a lot in the 80s as a dried flower but we found that they looked really lovely when they are just in bloom.
We also want to plant some new seeds and see whether they will work well as part of our cutting garden for wedding floristry. One of the flowers we are going to try is Aquilegia 'Lime Sorbet' (Granny's Bonnet). These are perennial which means that they flower year after year. They self seed and are easy to grow. We are looking forward to trying them in this new colour!
We'll begin sowing the indoor seeds from now, starting with Sweet Peas. It's the half hardy annuals and perennials which need sowing at this time of year and will then be planted in the garden when there's no risk of frost (usually around the end of May). The annuals will be sown directly into the beds when the soil warms up around April time.
A few tips from Violet & Vine for thinking about growing flowers from seed:
Send for a selection of seed catalogues. We would recommend Sarah Raven who shows you lots of flower combinations so is great for cutting garden inspiration.
It's easy to get carried away with the number of seeds that you buy so try and restrict yourself to just a few varieties.
You will need to sow a reasonable amount to make sure that you get a good amount germinating.
Don't space them too closely together; allow room for them to grow and spread.
If you find a variety that you really like and grows well then I'd suggest growing this variety in lots of different colours as you know it will work for you.
If you're starting your own cutting garden, some easy varieties to grow are Centaurea Cyanus (Cornflower), Zinnia's and Nigella. You can sow these directly into the soil in April.