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Sowing seeds for a new garden


by Kate Bradbury

... after five months of having a building site for a garden, I have bought myself some Christmas topsoil, and I'm itching to get seed sowing and planting.


Bumblebee on eryngium flowerMy first job when I moved into my flat last August was to remove the paving stones in the back yard. Now, after five months of having a building site for a garden, I have bought myself some Christmas topsoil, and I'm itching to get seed sowing and planting.

I've already fished out my seed tin, and have various piles of seeds to sow in month order in the front room. I can’t wait for that steamy, greenhouse scent that will permeate the flat once seed sowing is fully underway. The front room will be taken over for as long as is necessary and I will be oblivious to any complaints.

First off are hardy annuals, such as Eryngium leavenworthii, which can be sown from February onwards under cover. I’ll also sow a few tomato seeds, though I find there’s little difference in cropping time between those sown in February and April. I’ll be trying out my new heated propagator though, so that could make a difference. The trick is providing seedlings with enough light, which there isn’t much of at this time of year. I’d start sowing now but I don’t want weak, leggy, light-starved plants.

I’ve never had a blank canvas for a garden before. It’s not a big garden, but there’s room enough for a few mistakes. I’ll be growing most plants from seed, and scrounging clumps of this and that from my mum, who is very understanding of having her established perennials lifted out of the ground and brutally divided with a spade. My bird boxes and feeders have been up for a while, but there’s been no sign of any birds (apart from a friendly pigeon), and I doubt there will be until I have grown sufficient foliage (and bought the all-important plum tree) for them to hide in. And it’s going to be a butterfly and bumblebee haven – full of single-flowered, nectar rich plants, such as cranesbill geranium, teasel and foxglove. Let’s hope the weather holds up!

Wishing you a happy, sunny and productive gardening year.



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Gardeners' World Web User 31/12/2009 at 17:30

when do i plant agapanthas seeds

Gardeners' World Web User 02/01/2010 at 13:14

Best sow your agapanthus seed when ripe, Jimmy but, if not ,in the spring. Protect your seedlings from the frost for a year or two. I too love growing things from seed and also love a blank canvas. I went to a course on garden design to learn how to "paint with flowers" and am busy redesigning now. There are so many plants i would like to try - once again spoilt for choice! Happy gardening for 2010 everyone.

Gardeners' World Web User 03/01/2010 at 19:17

My partner always gets cross when I take over every window sill with seed trays. But what can I do? I love the smell too! Can't wait to get started again. Happy new year!

Gardeners' World Web User 03/01/2010 at 19:30

my partner also dosent like seed trays on every window sill so last year i put them all on a decorating table in my spare room. happy stress free planting .

Gardeners' World Web User 05/02/2010 at 19:33

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