Dobies Bulb Catalogue 2017

Vibrant Ranunculus and Anemones not to be missed

Ranunculus Mirabelle Vert Mix
Ranunculus Mirabelle Vert Mix. Picture; Dobies

I’m completely guilty of overlooking some late spring/summer flowering bulbs, partly due to my dad massacring some Ranunculus when I was a kid.

However, no more! Dobies of Devon’s Bulb Catalogue 2017 is released in August with some real stunners.

Bulbs are a decent size for good flowering – an easy way to bring vibrant colour to your garden and home.

The summer bulb catalogue carries varieties for spring planting and summer flowering next year – here are Continue reading “Dobies Bulb Catalogue 2017”

50 packets of free seeds up for grabs!

Seeds for first 50 gardeners to email Plants of Distinction

Heads up folks – the first 50 gardeners to respond to this offer can claim a free packet of seeds from Plants of Distinction. Continue reading “50 packets of free seeds up for grabs!”

Get kids growing with Little Gardeners

Johnsons range is ideal for urban beginners with no garden

The Little Gardeners Range. Picture; Johnsons
The Little Gardeners Range. Picture; Johnsons

Despite today’s foul weather, it is really supposed to be spring and it’s forecast to get better by the weekend – what better time to get kids interested in gardening?

Let them help you, give them their own little patch and if you haven’t got a garden, a plant pot, some compost, and seeds is all you need to kindle a lifelong love of gardening. Continue reading “Get kids growing with Little Gardeners”

Sarah Raven top cut flower and wildlife seeds

Ammi majus and Californian poppy are most popular

Ammi majus
Ammi majus. Picture; Johnsons

Growing annuals for cut flowers is booming and top of the sales charts in the Sarah Raven Cut Flower Collection and Wildlife Attracting Collection makes interesting reading.

Both ranges were launched in 2012 in partnership with Johnsons Seeds, with 47 varieties, but eight easy hardy annuals have dominated sales and another six remain the best sellers for wildlife gardening.

All are strong garden performers that can be direct sown where they are to flower.

Since the ranges were launched, Ammi majus has been the best-selling variety in the Cut Flower Collection, while Eschscholzia Orange Continue reading “Sarah Raven top cut flower and wildlife seeds”

Cottage garden seeds from Johnsons

Follow in plantswoman Margery Fish’s footsteps

Designer Cottage Garden Collection
Designer Cottage Garden Collection. Picture; Johnsons

Cottage garden plants are perennial favourites and last year’s RHS Chelsea and Hampton Court Palace Flower Shows featured several of this quintessentially British design. Now, Johnsons has launched a new range to help you achieve the look.

One woman’s fascinating obsession with the style is Margery Fish, whose classic book Cottage Garden Flowers was published in 1961.

Even as a complete novice, she created a naturalistic, cottage-style garden at her home at East Lambrook Manor, bought in 1937. Continue reading “Cottage garden seeds from Johnsons”

Growing Echiums from seed

Why I’m addicted to these exotic giants

Echium pininana
Proud mother – with Echium pininana Blue Steeple raised from seed

You may not have heard of them, or recognise them, but if you’re a fan the exotic, dramatic and downright tall, you can’t beat the Echium family.

Our native variety, E. vulgare, also known as viper’s bugloss, is a bristly biennial to 75cm, with lance-shaped, hairy leaves and cylindrical spikes of bell-shaped violet-blue flowers in early summer that bees love.

Although a great plant, I’m a massive fan of its bigger brothers and sisters, mostly natives of the Canary Islands.

Don’t let this put you off – I’ve grown them from seed (easy) for the past few years and they have survived the North East winter well – fair enough, the last four years haven’t been that cold. I also live in a relatively dry area, which is the main reason for winter failure. Continue reading “Growing Echiums from seed”