Order! Order!

Time is running out for RHS members to order from our wonderful seed scheme. Why not grow a piece of Wisley in your own garden?

As I write this we seem to be emerging from a period of very cold, grey days and today here at Wisley the sun is out and there are definite signs that spring is on the way and the mornings and evenings are getting lighter.

Seed catalogues have been popping through my letterbox and I am tempted by all the exciting new plants I can grow from seed to fill my garden.

I am impatient to get going with my seed sowing, but as I have an unheated greenhouse experience tells me that I need to wait until at least March until I can get into full seed-sowing mode. In the past I have tried growing seeds indoors on a windowsill but inevitably the seedlings become long and spindly as they reach for the light, so I know it’s better to wait a few more weeks until it’s warm enough for them to survive in the greenhouse.

If you’re a member of the RHS then now is the time to order your seeds through the Membership Seed Scheme (one of your exclusive membership benefits!)  For £8.50 you can buy up to 12 packets of seed anytime up until the end of March by going online at rhs.org.uk/seedlist or by phoning 020 3176 5810 and requesting a copy of the seedlist to be sent to you.

Eryngium bourgatiiA few of the delights on offer from the RHS seedlist this year are:

Eryngium bourgatii (Mediterranean sea holly), a herbaceous perennial, ideal for a hot, sunny border with attractive silver-veined leaves and vivid spikey silvery-blue flowers. Seed needs to be surface sown and containers should be covered with a polythene bag and placed in the fridge for 2-3 weeks before being placed outside in a shady area.

Digitalis fontanesii, a perennial, evergreen foxglove with spikes of creamy-yellow bells with dark veining in the throat in the summer. Surface-sow the seeds in spring (or late summer). Prick out and pot-on seedlings when they are large enough to handle.

Tropaeolum speciosumTropaeolum speciosum (flame nasturtium), a herbaceous climber, preferring an acid soil, with scarlet flowers in the summer followed by indigo berries. This is a useful plant which, if happy, will scramble through and over evergreen plants such as azaleas and rhododendrons. Cover seeds with 6mm of vermiculite or seed compost and place container in a shady area outside, making sure that the compost does not dry out. Seeds may take over a year to germinate so patience is required for this one!

Cosmos bipinnatus, a half-hardy annual with saucer-shaped flowers in a range of colours from white to dark pink, and fine, fern-like foliage. Very easy to grow from seed. Sow seed in April and cover with 3mm of vermiculite or seed compost. Prick out and pot-on seedlings when they are large enough to handle and plant outside when all danger of frost has passed.

Happy seed sowing!

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.