Dahlia help please!

I have a ‘Decorative’ DAHLIA currently growing in a 2 litre pot, well, actually I have 10 of this variety and this one has, by far, the most growth on it.

I noticed this morning that it was looking a little ‘flat’ and on closer inspection it appears that all of it’s leaves and shoots are filled with fluid.  I have never seen anything like it.

DAHLIA Decorative 290416

I would really appreciate some help in determining what could be the problem as it looks so poorly 😦


CANNA LILY ‘Red Russian’

Amongst the plants I collected from Mums was a CANNA LILY I had forgotten all about (Me? Never!)

It was given to me last year by an old chap who had grown a whole bunch of different varieties and was trying to shift his wares at the local car boot.  Unfortunately, as there were no labels in any of his plants, no sign of buds or colour and with a minimum price tag of £15, you can imagine that they were nigh on impossible to shift.

He told me that this one was one of his favourites ‘Red Russian’ having never grown a CALLA LILY before I was excited to give it a try.

I followed his instructions, dutifully potted it on, fed it the right type of food, but by the end of the Summer all I had was a pot with beautiful green foliage – not even a bud in sight (I was at the point rather relieved that I didn’t have to pay the £15 for the privilege of leaves!)

So, with a heavy heart I stored it in Mums greenhouse over winter and due to it not being the ultimate show-stopper I had hoped for, completely forgot about it!

After looking at it for the last couple of days and fearing that the thing was probably dead, I decided to have a look and see what was occurring.

Canna Lily 260416

Not the most inspiring looking plant in the World, eh?

On tipping it out, my hopes weren’t raised remotely – at this point I had convinced myself it was a Dodo!

Canna Lily 2604162

As it usually the case with me, curiosity got the better of me and I started having a good old dig round in the roots – and look what I found!!!!!

Canna Lily 2604163

Now happily sat in a couple of inches of water in a bowl, I will pot her up and put her in my container garden and keep my fingers crossed.

Red Russian Canna Lily

Especially if she turns out like this!!!!!


Even More Sowing!!

With the ‘window’ of spring sowing closing rapidly and with my quest to completely stress myself out, fill the tunnel beyond capacity, take on more than one person can possibly manage and just for the sheer love of it, I have been sowing more seeds 🙂



Following my complete and utter failure with the last batch of DELPHINIUMS I was given a packet of these seeds and asked if I wanted to try and grow them.  Being a glutton for punishment my response was “Hell Yeah!” Fingers crossed the results of these will be better!!


SWEET PEA ‘Soulful’

SWEET PEA 'Soulful'

Love SWEET PEAS and I am growing these for Mum 🙂


ERIGERON ‘Profusion’

ERIGERON Profusion

Yes another ERIGERON variety.  These are apparently a completely different beast to the ‘Azure Fairy’ and ‘Pink Jewel’ I am currently attempting to grow for the second time this year.  Think positive thoughts!!!


NEMESIA ‘Carnival Mix’

NEMESIA Carnival Mix

I am a fan of NEMESIA and have grown several varieties before, but never these ones. I love the colour mix!


SUNFLOWER ‘Peach Passion’

SUNFLOWER Peach Passion

When they promise to look like this, what more of an excuse do you need to sow these???  Can’t wait, they look  gorgeous!!

Plants from Mums

As mentioned in a previous post, I had finally brought back all the plants I had at Mums.

I completely underestimated just how many were still there and there was nothing for it, but to crack on and see what I could do with them.

First up, PRIMROSES.


I had completely forgotten about this as they were tucked away at the bottom of the garden (along with MANY other things) and even though they haven’t had any special treatment, they have done really well on their own.  These were cuttings that were taken from plants already in Mums garden.

PRIMROSE 2204162

After sorting through the viable plants I was left with 15 healthy (if not a little small in some cases) lovely plants 🙂

Next were BELLIS ‘Perennis’.  Now, I already have 57 of these in stock (!!), but I still managed to get another 14 viable plants out of what I brought back.

BELLIS Perennis 240416

You know me, always room for one more 😉

The next job was going to be A LOT trickier.  I knew these were at Mums, but due to the amount of plants I already have in the tunnel, I had been putting off picking them up – big mistake!!  I sowed these CALIFORNIAN POPPY ‘Golden West’ back in September 2015 and had basically left them with Mum ever since.  Bless her, she has watered them every day and kept reminding me that they were getting big, but I had sort of put them to the back of my mind.

CALIFORNIAN POPPY Golden West 240416

Look at the size of them!!!!  It became apparent almost immediately with the plants being as big as they are, trying to tidy them up to sell as plugs was pointless so after checking the final growing sizes of the plants, I decided to pot them directly into 9 cm pots.

CALIFORNIAN POPPY Golden West 2404162

I am hoping that this will give them the best chance to look their best.  I managed to get 104 plants out of these trays 🙂 Now I just have to write out all the labels!!!

Next were the two varieties of AQUILEGIA that I had completely forgotten about.  I am unsure of their exact variety, but I know they were sown from seeds taken from Mums garden and one lot was ‘Yellow’ and the other was ‘Purple’.  I know this because the labels said so 😉


After giving them all a good tidy up and deciding to keep them in their 9 cm pot sizes I salvaged 50 x ‘Yellow’ and 39 x ‘Purple’

There were about a dozen whose labels had gone astray so I will wait until I can identify them properly before counting them.

Next was a couple of trays of ASTER ‘Starlight Scarlet’. You may remember from a previous post that I have not been all that successful in my quest to grow ASTER’s before and this kinda seals the deal for me 😦

ASTER Starlight Scarlet 240416

I transplanted the 6 (yes 6!!) seedlings I had and planted them into 9 cm pots.  These were purchased seed so I am more than a little disappointed with their germination rate – GRRR!

ASTER Starlight Scarlet 2404162

They’re healthy enough, just a little small.  I may put these into a nice big pot and use them for seeds next year.

Next was OSTEOSPERMUM ‘Akila Mix’. Now, these were self harvested seed and I had harvested them at the wrong time so I wasn’t holding out much hope that they were going to come to anything.


Thankfully, 4 little seedlings have germinated to I have potted them up into 9 cm pots and I think when they are more established I am going to keep these in a big pot on my patio and keep them for seeds for next year.

OSTEOSPERMUM Akila 2404162

They grow quite large so they’re going to look great in my container garden 🙂

And that was my Sunday in the polytunnel 🙂

Trying Something New

After my post last week about the poor germination rates I was getting from some seed varieties, a number of people suggested that I try a different compost to see if that makes any difference.

Now my compost of choice for the last couple of years has been Homebase Multi Purpose and on the whole I have always been really pleased with it.  For the first time in ages, I have bought a bag of B&Q Multi Purpose and I have to say that my first impressions are that I’m quite impressed.

It’s a lot finer than I remember it being and it is going through the sieve an absolute treat!  I can already tell there will be a reduction in ‘waste’ compared to the Homebase one and if the seeds I have sown with it perform well, I have a feeling this could be my new ‘go-to’ compost.

As I had mentioned previously, I had been really disappointed with the germination rate of the MARIGOLD ‘Durango Mix’.  Now the problem I have at the minute is that the polytunnel is already fit to bursting and because of the impending ‘cold snap’ we have blowing our way in the next couple of days, I am reluctant to leave any tender plants outside over night just yet so, I am desperately short of room.

In order to reduce space needed, I sowed 3 seeds into each cell of a 40 cell tray.  With the germination rate being so poor previously, I am hoping this is a smart decision and as long as I get any resulting seedlings out before they all entangle, I think this may have been a smart move.

So, I have 2 x 40 cell trays potentially able to produce 240 seedlings (we live in hope!) These were self harvested so I know the germination rate isn’t going to be spectacular, but my fingers are crossed that this little experiment pays off.

Next, I sowed 1 x full size seed tray of PANSY ‘Giant Fancy Mix’.  This will be my last sowing of these last year so I went all out in the hope that this new compost will help germination.

PANSY Giant Fancy Mix 220416

As you can see, I got as many seeds into this tray as I possibly could.  They are now safely in the tunnel, covered with a propagator!

Now, I am not the sort of person to give up easily when it comes to growing things from seeds and what with having an EPIC FAIL with both of my varieties of ERIGERON, I have decided to give them another shot.


I have re-sown a tray of both ‘Azure Fairy’ and ‘Pink Jewel’.  Fingers crossed this will work.  They are also now both safely tucked away under propagators in the polytunnel.

Germination this week :)

I am guessing it must be the several successive days of sunny and warm weather that has triggered it, but germination in the tunnel has really taken off this week! 7 varieties this week 🙂

ZINNIA ‘Hot Mix’

ZINNIA Hot Mix 160416



SUNFLOWER ‘Teddy Bear’

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HELIANTHUS ‘Autumn Time’

HELIANTHUS Autumn Time 160416

PAPAVER ‘Seriously Scarlet’

PAPAVER Seriously Scarlet 220416

RUDBECKIA ‘Gloriosa Daisy Mix’

RUDBECKIA Gloriosa Daisy Mix 220416

COSMOS ‘Versailles Tetra’

COSMOS Versailles Tetra 220416

Go Me!!!