Field Allotments at Amerton
By Mrs FM
Herbs & Other
Issues And Going Green.
And Other Climbing Plants.
Alan J Hartley
Growing From Divisions & Seeds.
My new Front Garden looks a
picture at the moment with the Gladiola coming out as well as lots of
clumps of Crocosmias that should go on flowering for some time with some
lovely, pink, Kaffir Lilies to follow. Two Cannas Lilies that were
offsets taken from a pot-full, which I bought earlier on in the season,
have also started to flower and are putting on a real show with their
red leaves and pink flowers. My Hardy Fuchsia and Hardy Chrysanthemums
are also in full flower, but some flowering plants have already finished
in the back garden and it is time to divide one, or two of them. Early
flowering Herbaceous plants like Lysimachia Punctata, or Yellow
Loosestrife are a case in point. It is the “Crown,” of most Herbaceous
plants that you split, but with Lysimachia it is the roots that you need
to separate and, as the roots are really Rhizomes, almost every bit that
you break off will grow into another plant making them an easy plant for
the beginner to divide. Later flowering plants need to be split up in
the Autumn after they have flowered. This includes things like Heleniums,
Monarda, Phlox and Shasta Daisies.
In my work place there are disabled people who need extra protection
from the virus, so like a lot of People I have been told not to go in.
Consequently, I have been working From Home! This is not as silly as it
sounds because my main job at work at this time of year is Propagation.
Obviously this is something I can do at home in my own little
greenhouse. So, I have been sowing seeds of lots of Herbaceous
Perennials that are being sent to the charity where I Work as they
germinate and get to a manageable size.
I have been concentrating on some easy to germinate and Popular
flowering varieties such as
Achillea, Agastache, Catananche, Centaurea, Echium, Iberis, Inula,
Linaria and Lychnis.
Also included in the mix of seeds I have been growing are a few Herbs
like Lemon Balm, Chamomile and Wild Bergamot that is so loved by Bees.
Bergamot, or Monarda, does have several cultivated varieties that are a
bit more showy with their colour and flowers, but the common one is
still very nice with its pale pink flowers.
Some popular Herbaceous plants that you can sow now like Aquilegia need
cold stratifying for a few weeks before they will germinate. This means
that the seeds need to be chilled for a spell that fools them into
thinking that they have just been through Winter and then they will
spring into growth. You can use an ordinary fridge to do this, but it is
easier to put them in a Cold Frame and leave them there until Spring
letting them germinate naturally. Of course you won’t get any seedlings
to grow on until then though.
I have also sown some old fashioned Winter/Spring Bedding Plants that
include Bellis and a strain of Mixed colour Wallflowers, or short lived
Erysimums to give them their proper name. You can get Perennial
varieties of Erysimums, or at least last ones that will last for several
years before dying. Another Old fashioned plant that goes under several
names including Pinks, Sweet Williams and Carnations can be sown now.
All of these plants are really just different varieties of Dianthus
which is a name that is more favoured for them these days. In a way they
are similar to Erysimums as some varieties live longer than others.
Other things that can be sown in the Autumn, as Summer fades, are many
Tree seeds. Nature will scatter and naturally sow a lot of native
varieties as their seeds, nuts and berries fall to the ground. However,
I decided to give them a hand in my Garden by poking some Rowan berries
and Hazel nuts into the soil where hopefully, they will germinate in the
Spring after they too have been “Stratified.”
However, there are many other more exotic tree seeds that can be sown
now. They cannot be bought from ordinary retailers, but can be bought
from specialist seed companies on line. Seeds of things that can be
bought include edibles like the Red Leafed/Nutted Hazel, Mulberry
Bushes, Bay Trees and lots of ornamental trees like Acers, Robinias,
Sweet Gums, Indian Bean Trees and Fox Glove Trees. Also seeds of many
types of Fir Trees seeds can be bought including those of different
types of Christmas Trees. I have a part packet of Eucalyptus seeds that
will go in and need winter protection after germination as will many of
the more exotic tree seedlings, but it is surprising what you can grow
with a little care and with a bit of Winter shelter that a cold
I still have a Lemon Bush Eucalyptus that was only kept in a cold
greenhouse last winter. It was kept very dry and was damaged by the
cold, but is shooting again quite nicely. I also have a Eucalyptus
Gunnii planted in my back garden that has been there over 2 years, but
to look at it you would think it had been in much longer. It was only a
2 foot seedling when it was planted and last year, its Second year, it
got to over 9, or 10 feet before I took several feet off the top. It is
bushing nicely, but is again over 10 feet so will have to be chopped
again in the coming Spring. I will leave it over winter before doing it
though as it looks so nice when nothing else has any leaves, or colour
on. However, there will come a time when it has to be chopped out
altogether, and as the trunk is already thicker than the 4 inch post
that was supporting it when it was first planted, it won’t be long
before that day comes.
There is another different variety of hardy
Eucalyptus planted in a hole in the top yard which is a broader leafed
type as shown by the picture. The interesting thing about this one is
that it flowered with little white Pom-Pom like balls of flower that
were very pretty, (again shown in the picture.) Most other Eucalyptus
are not fully hardy in this country though and you would lose them in a
cold winter. However, many “Exotic,” trees are only really tender when
they are small and as they get bigger will stand the rigours of our
Winters. Seed companies usually give some indication of how hardy things
are on the backs of the seed packets.
A fruit tree can easily cost £30 or £40 to buy, an ornamental tree £20
or more and even a Hazel Tree will not come cheap. A pot grown Christmas
Tree is quite expensive when you can find them and Herbaceous plants are
several pounds each, so why not grow some from a packet of seeds for a
couple of pounds?