Sowing seeds indoors. Bringing new plants into life!

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Acer seed wing.

One of my favourite horticultural tasks during the winter months is sowing seeds giving a helping hand in bringing new plants into life!

Seeds come packaged by nature with their own food supply in the form of endosperm so the first thing to remember is that the compost mix needs to be low nutrient. A good universal seed germinating mix could consist of 50 % coir & 50% perlite or vermiculite to maintain an open structure & to increase water holding capacity in the compost. You could also add in some composted bark for extra structure.

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Overfill your seed tray or container & then tamp down. Next soak your seed tray full of compost in water. Label with the date & plant being sown – in this case Acer tree seeds.

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Sow your seeds thinly to ensure even distribution in your container & then cover with a layer of vermiculite to stop a thin crust forming on the compost surface & to protect them from moving around during subsequent watering.
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Cover the entire pot with a polythene bag to increase humidity & prevent them from drying out & place them on a propagator bench for bottom heat. Some seeds germinate in about 10 days whilst others make take 3 months or even longer!

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Looking Fabulous right now: Hamamelis mollis & Viburnum bodnantense ‘Charles Lamont’.

Nothing quite matches the delicate graceful scents of these two beautiful winter shrubs.

Get up close & personal & breathe it in!

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Hamamelis mollis. Get up close & personal & breathe it in!
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. Hamamelis mollis with its strongly fragrant striking sulphur yellow papery flowers delight in winter.
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Pure delight – Clusters of scented pink flowers  of  Viburnum bodnantense ‘Charles Lamont’.
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Viburnum bodnantense ‘Charles Lamont’ has dark purple shoots bearing fat buds bursting with floral wonderment.

 

 

The Peace of Wild Things.

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Peace & Good will to all life. Wishing you all healthy, happy & fruitful transitions into 2017 & beyond.

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Seed Cleaning.

The task – to extract seeds from their protective capsules so that they can be stored in a fridge slowing down their respiration rate & thus prolong viability for sowing in the New Year. The experience of doing this simple task required mindful patience that revealed a profoundly remarkable sense of how sophisticated seeds truly are. Seemingly specks of dust are cosmic ‘micro chips’ ‘powerhouses’ of growth technology encased in sophisticated capsules that man can only try to imitate.

Reminding me of William Shakespeare’s quote –

In Nature’s infinite book of secrecy, a little I can read.

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Seeds from the Zingiberaceae family.
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Aeschynanthus seeds from the Gesneriaceae family.

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Lycopodiaceae spores on a leaf from the Club Moss family.

 

First Frost & clearing back Herbaceous perennials.

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 A frosted Walled garden.
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Crystallized Verbena bonariensis
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Frosty Penstemon ‘Burgundy’
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Flower head structure of  Agapanthus inapertus subsp. pendulus‘Graskop’ accentuated by frost.
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Herbaceous border with Crocosmia × crocosmiiflora ‘Carmin Brillant’ in the foreground.
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Gorgeous frosted foliage of Euryops pectinatus.
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Frosted flower heads of Fuchsia ‘Lady Boothby’

Herbaceous Perennials are not demanding plants, but trimming them after flowering finishes in late autumn/early winter helps improve their appearance and flowering. However, some stems can be left over winter to provide homes & food for wildlife, & then trimmed back in spring.

spirituality to me.

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