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I live in a flat with a balcony and love containers and window boxes


I grew everything from seed this year to cut the cost so it was months of work and I have to say looking today half way through August I've finally admittied to myself its now too late for them to look anything - just stringy marigolds and loads of soil showing and one flower at a time


It just never got to a point this year where it was a breath taking show of colour - anyone else had a disappointing year - lets MOAN


I agree it has been a tough year for those of us who like to grow from seed, but I have to admit I have cheated and  been to a local nursery and bought lots of reduced plants. I could not face the empty containers.


As I sow seeds for the veggie plot and seeds for the garden I buy in trailing pelargoniums for the baskets and window boxes and they've been superb, despite the lack of heat and light especially through June and July.  However, the seedling antirrhinums I was given by a friend have struggled in the baskets and the ones I put out in the garden have taken ages to get going and , though finally in flower, they've not bushed up as they usually do so there are nice weed opportunity gaps between them.

hollie hock

I know what you mean, I grow most of my stuff from seed, and because of the rain and lack of sunshine a lot my annuals haven't flowered like they should have. My sweetpeas were really late, Purity Cosmos, I have had only 3 measly flowers, with the promise that there might be some more.Scabious are looking like they might flower but very late. All of these plants are very lush looking so I'm still hoping for a bit of show all be it a late one.

obelixx- interesting what you say about snapdragons. My self sown ones are my star performer of this year despite the weather. I've already had their  first show and they are really bushy.


yes Kate I did the same thing in the end - which sort of cancelled out the economising of the seed growing! My garden centre were selling things like begonias usually $3.99 for £1 each so I filled the gaps with them - still wasn't the usual display of lush loveliness I'm used to though - and every summer has its challenges but this year has been something else

I did two boxes of marigolds which I've never grown before - expecting two solid blocks of lovely orange by my front door - they were yellow leaved from day one (*and still are!*) and have flowered one flower at a time! They're actually an eyesore to be really brutal

[do they like it dry? I've been watering them every day so I wonder if they struggled with being too wet? Whatever it was they have had a miserable summer]

It's lovely to grow from seed but this year I feel alittle bit like all the mess and palaver from February onwards wasn't worth it


hollie hock

PS- like Kate, I've picked up loads of "rescue plants" in corners of garden centes and DIY places at very low prices. All they need is a bit of TLC to coax them back into life.


Misery loves company

thanks for all these lovely replies I'm so happy that you are all struggling and having problems too - it makes me feel so much better!

hollie hock

No problem

This year has been very poor............ but there's always next

B & Q had daff bulbs for sale today


grai I am also confused by marigolds as I thought that they were hardy but mine have done nothing. The good news is that the snap dragons that I sowed 3 years ago are still going strong and have had their best year yet, I am also having a lovely display of 3 year old scabious. I did autumn sown sweet peas and they have done well but my cosmos are miserable. Everyday I go out and bin some seedlings that have rotted or given up hope.

And it is raining again.


Now my marigolds, sown late last summer have been brill! Star performers this year. Bought some more seeds this morning, will sow this week I think, & hope to collect my own at the end of September.

Much of everything else sown has been eaten by slimey so-n-sos &/or mice! I haven't known a year as bad recently. This is the 4-5th rotten summer up here, so have had enough. J.

hollie hock

Kate- great news re the snapdragons & scabious. I had wondered if given the right conditions snapdragons would surive into following years.

It has stopped raining, but looks like there's more on it's way

wow the thougt of starting sowing again next week after such a let down this year !! I don't think I can face it - the mess on all the window sills in my flat for the best part of a year to have a load of depressing scratty plants looking so scruffy and miserable


I'll have to psyche myself up for that I think!


grai for a pick me up buy some dried peas in the supermarket and grow lots of them as a quick salad crop, it takes less than a week to make a crop indoors and has cheered me up no end.  


but yes I know what youre getting at Kate - I have to motivate myself somehow

when I couldn't be bothered to do my flowers and the summer comes and everything is blooming I regretted being lazy -  altho it IS a lot of palaver at the time its so rewarding when youre sitting among all the beauty and you forget all the work and mess

I've yet to actually sit out on my balcony this year! the few days we've had I've been busy

so I got myself into gear and did all the work all winter / spring for nothing really - I have to say my flowers this year have been totally UN-inspiring so where I'll get the drive from for next year goodness knows



plants in the garden have suffered in the awful weather we have had but my wall baskets have been really beautiful - even though I do say so myself  I grew all the plants except for the Calibroachas from cuttings taken at the end of last summer

Pam x



grai I am sorry   it was just a suggestion,  the speed at which they are growing is restoring my faith. The hope is that after Christmas the smell of spring will inspire us again.

Pam do you fancy running a masterclass for us mere mortals?


grai - don't get disheartened - next year WILL be better I am sure

Kate - cuttings are so easy  I wouldn't be able to afford to buy all the plants I need so have to take cuttings  It will soon be time to start taking them


Pam I have already started on the cuttings for next year but I cannot resist the packets of seeds.



I hadn't thought of getting peas from the supermarket Kate1123, how do you grow them? I have north facing windows only, can I still do it?