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I have been given a bag of bulbs and seeds, by a kind neighbour who works in one the big five supermarkets. They have reached their display dates and were going to be thrown away. I know the bulbs:- anemone, convalleria mammalian and freesia go straight into the soil next spring, but what about the seeds ....lathyrus odoratus and lavandula angustifiolia? Can I put them straight into the ground or have they got to be started indoors in seed trays?

I would not have bought them myself as I don't consider myself clever enough to grow anything from seed. My only other attempt was 40 sunflowers, I have now got 4.

Thanks in advance

Should read convallaria majalis.....stupid predictive text


The bulbs, which are not all bulbs need to be rehydrated and planted now. You could put the freesias in pots as they aren't hardy as far as I know and you'll have to protect them in the winter.

Next spring will be too late for these and may be too late already if they've dried out too much. 

Convallaria  majalis is lily of the valley

Lathyus odoratus is sweet pea, It's too late for this year flowering so I'd store those for next. You could try the lavender in pots but it would be very small and still need protection by winter

The only way ive ever got lavender to grow from seed was in grit

What a nice neighbour you have!

P.S agree with nut

Sorry nut, I don't understand ......a bulb that is not a bulb? And needs to be rehydrated and planted out now? 

Can you explain in detail for me please. Sorry if this makes me sound stupid but my knowledge of gardening can be written on the back of a postage stamp.

She means some arent technically a bulb, dont worry you can treat them the same, rehydrate by soaking them in a bucket of water for a few hours


Dont worry, we all have to start somewhere! You wait til you read one of my cooking posts!

It the anemones are the de caen sort they're corms, a modified underground stem

lily of the valley are rhizomes, another modified stem

Bulbs are the ones with the concentric rings made up of modified  leaves.

And yes plant now. I know they should be planted in spring, but it should have been this last spring that's why they're past their sell by date. They'll be too far gone by next spring

Your homework for tonight

We all had to start from not knowing. I'm old, I've had plenty of time to find out

Bekkie, Lets see if I've got this right.  Convalleria  I soak in water for a couple of hours then plant outside. Freesias in pots indoors. Lathyrus I keep for next year. Lavender I can try in seed tray now, (nothing ventured nothing gained).

What about anemone?

Ok. All 'bulbs' soaked in water for a couple of hours. Freesias in pots in the house the rest in the garden. Seeds in tray ( seed trays not tea tray). And hope for the best.


I think I'd soak and plant the anemone but I haven't grown them so see what others think

Thats it, although im not as posh as you, i sow lavender in my gravel path
Soak then plant works for me beautiful plant
Sorry, think its time for bed! Soak and plant for anenomes

Thanks all. I can but try



Good luck Pauline!  Hope they work for need to expect some to die / not work, but that's gardening for you... enjoy watching and waiting to see if anything appears....

Let us know how you get on, and welcome to the message board!

Well I've soaked and planted them. Freesias in pots ready to bring indoors before the first frost,  Lily of the valley in pots at the side of the house and Anemones in the border in the back garden.  

Now to play the waiting game. 


I hope it works Pauline. If just a few come you've got a bargain

Well they didn't cost me anything and I've learnt something.   

Thanks 2 bargains

The best maxim is "if in doubt plant it out". The safe way would be to sow/ plant them out in individual 3 inch pots, properly labelled and dated, in a safe place where you can keep an eye on them. If they show signs of life move them out into the main garden. If not, there's nothing lost and they an help enrich the compost bin. Happy gardening.

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