Posts Tagged ‘garden seeds’

Winter Hanging Baskets

August 15, 2017

It is believed that the hanging basket was originally designed to remind a princess of home, some also believe the idea came from the hanging gardens of Babylon, it is with the wonderful versatility of this idea that we can design our own little piece of heaven from our doorstep right through to our garden. However, casting our minds back to the long, cold winter we experienced not so long ago it is probable that most of us may be reluctant to consider planning how to add warmth to our otherwise dreary doorways and garden during the late season. Despite this, in order to avoid even the slightest, sparse period it is vital to plan ahead when it comes to complimenting any garden displays throughout the seasons. When it comes to winter hanging baskets a mixture of upright and tumbling plants can have the best effect. Shrubs like Box,  heathers and carex (ornamental grass) can provide height while trailing plants like ivy not only add warmth but can also hide the edges of the basket. Bedding plants such as primroses, violas, cyclamen and polyanthus will contribute colour with winter pansies great for filling in any gaps and can be grown from seeds.

Regardless of space or the size of your doorway, choose no smaller than a 14-inch basket. Cover the inside of the basket with a coconut fibre liner, followed by a plastic disc to use as a saucer in the bottom of the hanging basket to help retain water. Using soil based compost, particularly if growing shrubs put a one-inch layer into the base of the basket. Make three small cuts across the sides of the liner or fibre. These small holes can be used to secure the plants in place, preventing damage to the root ball of each plant. Add another layer of compost followed by more plants. Once everything has been added fill the basket with compost but leave an approximate two-inch gap from the top. Pack the compost and the plants in tightly, filling any gaps with smaller flowers and compost.

During the winter months, the rugged flowers of heather are superb at filling out an arrangement and surrounding them with trailing plants such as ivy or creeping thyme will soften the edges. With preparation remaining key, why not add a few dwarf daffodil, narcissus, tulips or iris bulbs to extend the display well into spring. Once quality plants and shrubs are chosen, maintain your winter hanging basket by not letting it dry out and dead heading flowers as soon as they show any signs of fading. If weather conditions become harsh, boost your plants with a weekly liquid feed.

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Historic Herbs

August 7, 2017

The history of herbs dates as far back as 50AD when records show that the Romans invaded us with knowledge gathered from the Greeks and Egyptians. They believed for example that by consuming mint their intelligence would increase. They also used mint to welcome others into their home. Around the same time dill was used as an important herb in witchcraft and as an aphrodisiac. However, it is quite probable that although no records were made the native Celts used herbs for medicinal and surgical purposes before the Romans took control. It was only slightly later that evidence of herbs such as hemlock and opium poppy were used as a form of anaesthetic in one of the largest medieval hospitals founded by King Malcolm of Scotland in 1164.

 

Good King Henry is one of the many culinary herb seeds still used today. It is easy to grow and a great source of iron. The herbs grow best in well-drained soil and although they may be slow to germinate, transplanting the herbs 1 -2 feet apart can speed up the cultivation period. Harvesting these culinary plants only at the leaves will allow the plant to continue to grow and they can be divided in early spring if they become well established. Another popular historic herb is lovage with it growing in abundance across the country for years, despite its Mediterranean origin. The herbs have been cultivated and used medicinally for sore throats and paediatric ailments such as colic, fever and jaundice. It has also been linked to having aphrodisiac properties. For best results, sow the seeds into well-rotted compost during September or October and enjoy as a culinary addition to soups, stews, rice dishes or in an aromatic tea to reduce flatulence and water retention.

 

In addition to culinary herbs,  historic herbs have made valuable contributions to beauty products throughout the ages. Ancient records reveal recipes for herb infused oils and creams in the tombs of beauty icons such as Cleopatra. Other uses included dill and laurel being used to crown heroes and pillows being stuffed with wild celery. Other herb seeds were sown and grown on for dying fabric with historic herbs such as Artemisia offering magical properties to the people of the middle ages and their juices being rubbed on babies to protect them from the cold. Rosemary was not only used as a common culinary herb but was eaten for its tranquilizing effects to cure headaches. Whatever the use culinary herbs have been used for centuries and will no doubt be used for generations to come. As we become increasingly aware of the benefits of eating and using natural resources I suspect herb seeds may be once again targeted as a primary source of nutrition, medicine and cosmetics in many a home. Considering how easy they are to grow, whether in a garden or on a windowsill herbs are most certainly a more cost effective option in this increasingly financially challenging era.

New Lisianthus Varieties

November 22, 2016

A selection from our new Lisianthus to grow from seeds

Lisianthus Advantage Cherry Sorbet

70-90cm
Eustoma grandiflorum
Hybrid Lisianthus, middle to late flowering fully double dark rose pink flowers on strong stems. Ideal for cut flowers 70-90cm

Arena Baby Pink

80-100cm
Eustoma grandiflorum
Hybrid Lisianthus Arena series, selected for its high quality and double flowers, an abundance of soft Baby Pink flowers approx 8cm in diameter on tall strong stems. Good branching habit make it an excellent cut flower & border plant. Mid to late flowering. Pelleted seed.
Lisianthus. Arena Baby Pink 30 pellets

Arena Blue Flash

80-100cm New & Unique Colour
Eustoma grandiflorum
Hybrid Lisianthus Arena series, selected for its high quality and double flowers, a unique colour with an abundance of white blue veined flowers approx 8cm in diameter on tall medium strength stems. Good branching habit make it an excellent cut flower & border plant. Mid season flowering. Pelleted seed.

Lisianthus. Arena Blue Flash 30 pellets

Arena Blue Picotee

80-100cm
Eustoma grandiflorum
Hybrid Lisianthus Arena series, selected for its high quality and double flowers, Blue Picotee flowers approx. 7.5cm in diameter on tall strong stems, thick petals and a top flowering variety. Good branching habit make it an excellent cut flower & border plant. Mid to late flowering. Pelleted seed.

Lisianthus. Arena Blue Picotee 30 pellets

 

 

 

 

Croma Green

80-100cm
Eustoma grandiflorum
Hybrid Lisianthus, Excellent rose type flowers, elegant flower formation and high doubleness of its petals, strong sturdy stems and thick petals make it very attractive to florists and versatile in arrangements. Pale green rose like 6cm double flowers approx 6cm in size, good branching habit ideal cut flower, short plant and early flowering variety

Lisianthus. Croma Green 30 pellets

 Croma Snow

80-100cm
Eustoma grandiflorum
Hybrid Lisianthus, Excellent rose type flowers, elegant flower formation and high doubleness of its petals, strong sturdy stems and thick petals make it very attractive to florists and versatile in arrangements. Early flowering cream/white fully double 6cm wide flowers, good branching habit tall plants with strong stems, an excellent cut flower

Lisianthus. Croma Snow 30 pellets

Croma White

80-100cm
Eustoma grandiflorum
Hybrid Lisianthus, Excellent rose type flowers, elegant flower formation and high doubleness of its petals, strong sturdy stems and thick petals make it very attractive to florists and versatile in arrangements. Fully double rosy like pure white flowers approx 7cm in diameter, good branching habit and plant height, good hard stems. Ideal as cut flowers or in an arrangement with greenery and gypsophila for the perfect table decoration.

Lisianthus. Croma White 30 pellets

Falda Salmon

80-100cm New & Unique Colour
Eustoma grandiflorum
Hybrid Lisianthus, salmon coloured single petal 5cm fringed flowers on strong sturdy stems. An abundance of flowers per stem, the fringed flowers make voluminous bouquets especially when many flowers are used in one vase, ideal in a mixed arrangement or as a single colour display, a unique colour – thick petals.

Lisianthus. Falda Salmon 30 pellets


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