Sowing smiles

Is there anything as satisfying as growing plants from seed? Since sowing seeds with my daughter I’ve rediscovered the joys and extra big smiles they bring to my face, as well as hers.

In 2018 my daughter collected some seeds from my parent’s garden in Suffolk and ever since we have enjoyed the bright and eclectic colours of hollyhocks and Californian poppies. I love how resilient they are. They come up each year in a really hot and dry bed in which many plants simply haven’t survived.

Hollyhocks from collected seed

In 2019 my daughter picked out a packet of achillea seeds. Last year some of them flowered, and this year we have hot pink, coral pink, white and lemon yellow flowers all around the garden. Their flat umbels almost look like material, they are so textural. The pollinating insects love landing on them, especially the hoverflies.

My favourite hot pink achillea

We’ve grown sunflowers for several years but this year because May was so cold, and then I was so busy in June, we never got round to it. Luckily we had so many last year that several have sprung up nearby to where their parents once grew. It’s like they knew we needed them.

In our front garden, we have many self-seeders, plants that you only need to plant once, as they broadcast many seeds each year. We have enjoyed garden favourites including honesty, granny’s bonnet, foxgloves and love-in-a-mist, which fill any gaps in the flower beds by mid-Spring each year.

Other sowings haven’t worked out so well. A few months ago I bought a mixed packet of basil which I’ve not managed to successfully grow. There is half a packet left, so I haven’t given up quite yet.

I recently picked up some Plant Heritage seeds at their RHS Hampton Court Garden Festival stand – white foxgloves, yellow salsify and white cleome. I’ve pulled up all the love-in-a-mist in the front garden before they’ve shed their seeds so I’m going to try something different for 2022. They didn’t go to waste, we have hung them up to dry in one of the warehouses at work (a garden centre) so we can use them in a future display.

Do you grow plants from seed? I’d love to know, so do comment on this post and share your successes or future plans.

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