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On the opening scenes of last weeks programme as Monty came through the gate with mug in hand there were white and pink flowers between him and the camera. Also as he was among the roses the same plants were there. I remember them from former gardens I have had and my Dad called them Stock although we both thought he was wrong. I would dearly love to have them back in my current garden. Perhaps someone could tell me what they are called and how to get plants or seeds. I suspect they are basically a wild flower and many might consider them to be weeds but apart from the blooms they have a lovely fragrance. Please help if you can. I'm sure someone has the answer.Thanks. Ken.


I am sure that this question has been asked recently and the suggestion was sweet rocket

hollie hock

Hello Ken,

I sowed sweet rocket seeds earlier this year and have just started planting some of  them out. My understanding is that are they  are biennials and  brilliant self seeders, so if you sow seeds now you should have flowers next year.

There are loads of seed suppliers, in my haste I didn't even read the sowing instructions properly but they still germinated- I have loads of plants, really looking forward to seeing the flowers next year.

I have seen a couple of plants in a nursery/garden centre but they didn't look that good, much  better to grow yourself, I think

Hi everyone - my sweet rocket seeds which germinated last year flowered recently - some are still in flower and the evening fragrance is lovely. Mine are mostly lilac/light purple in colour and I'm going to see how they grow next year as well as letting some go to seed.  Also, bees seem to like the flowers and perhaps butterflies might if the weather were a bit warmer !!! 


hollie hock

Good news fotofit . Just out of interest where/what aspect/ soil did you plant them?

From what I've read they seem to do well in most situations, I'll be planting them around them garden but would be good to know what places they like most

Hi Hollie-Hock - I planted the seedlings beginning of September 2011 in a panic as we were setting off for a tour of France in a motorhome for a few months !!!

Soil was ordinary garden soil - not clay but moisture retentive and relatively free draining - sounds impossible but I'm sure you'll know what I mean !! Have two groups in areas several yards apart but common feature is that they receive sun for most of the day - when it's not been raining that is !!!

Haven't grown the plants before but definitely intend to continue to do so and am interested to see what develops next year - can't believe I'm thinking about next year already !!! 





@fotofit when did you sow the seeds?

Hi Kate 1123 - the seeds were sown in seed tray in potting shed at beginning of May 2011, germinated within 2 weeks, pricked out in June and planted in ground in September 2011. I used to keep notes on when seeds were sown etc - had to abandon it as needed more time to prick out, pot on and then plant out - not to mention deadheading and weeding etc etc !!!

As mentioned, I'm going to let one or two self-seed this year but also thought I might try sowing some seed in September and see what happens. The ones in the garden will be going to seed soon so, seems to me, seed could be sown now, perhaps ?

Hope this is helpful and not too confusing !! 


@fotofit Thanks for the info, I am quite tempted but wondered if I had left it too late.

Hi again kate1123 - given the winter weather of late I'm sure spring/summer is just around the corner !!!! Many plants/shrubs in our garden are quite late this year but equally others - verbena bonariensis, for example - are getting ready to flower !! As long as seeds are not terribly expensive I don't stick too much to sowing times and fortunately, I can overwinter in an unheated greenhouse or small conservatory. 

This is usually the time of year for sowing biennials so don't think you can go wrong.

Do let us know how you get on. 

hollie hock

fotofit- Thanks for the info, I know what you mean about thinking about next year already

I agree that it's not too late to sow seeds now- I've been growing the white variety but thinking of getting some of the lilac/ purple ones for next year also

Thanks for all the comments and advice. I shall be of to the seedsman hot foot. Sweet rocket it is then. Just hope we get a gap in the rain to get out this weekend.


Good news I have bought some sweet rocket and the seeds were half price Biennials have been the stars of my garden this year.

That's great kate1123 - sounds a really good buy. I do agree about the biennials this year and am thinking of growing some hardy annuals later in the year to overwinter indoors ready to plant out next year - sounds a bit extreme maybe but I have lost so many spring sown annuals this year to slugs and snails but those in the garden which self-seeded last year are doing very well !! 

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