Greenhouse Updates to follow on from the Autumn Jump Starter Grow-A-Long!
Anemones, Ranunculus and Butterfly Ranunculus, what to expect weeks 1-5 from starting. Grow-A-Long update This video shows you the stages of growth from week 1-5. At the end of the video is a ‘real time’ update from my greenhouse today as well as tips on giving corms a jump start. Watering Pre-Spouting Ranunculus and Anemones…
Zoe’s Video Diary
Real time sowing schedule, I will add videos as and when I have started my own seeds and give regular updates.
Welcome to the Autumn Jump Starter Grow-A-Long 2023
Cut Flower Basics and Arranging, Hot Water Treatment for Cut Flowers, Harvesting Information, Cutting and Conditioning.
New Page – more to be added later When using a polytunnel to grow in summer you need to be careful to select plants that can tolerate high heat conditions and are not too tall or they will hit the roof. We find that along with the vegetables such as Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Peppers flowers such…
When starting out, doing your first wedding or perhaps your own wedding you are all fingers and thumbs so I have taped each item separately and I’ve kept the stems intact so they can be made the day before and left to relax and rehydrate overnight in water before trimming down just before the ceremony.
Garden Tours, what is Flowering now (Live) Plus Harvesting Information
All the Dahlia Videos in one place
This method of growing our plants over a long and cool period is how we find it possible to obtain such huge blooms on long strong stems
Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus), are technically a short lived perennial best grown as an annual.
I find that Snapdragons bloom best in their first year, especially from a Autumn sowing (Autumn Jump Start).
On Instagram captions annoy more viewers than it pleases but fear not you can turn on captions when you view videos via our ‘Website’ here’s how
Part One – Cutting and Conditioning
Part Two – Making an Arrangement
My list of essential kit is also available in the handbooks with pages you can print and take it shopping. In these videos I will also take you through each item and explain the use.
Papaver somniferum ‘Bowling Ball’ are the most pollinator friendly plants I have ever grown, the flowers are surrounded by bee’s.
In late Spring/ early summer flowers start to unfurl in shades of vibrant magenta red, purple and lilac.
After the petals drop giant seed pods start to develop, swelling up to 6cm in diameter!
This is the hardiest variety of Salvia viridis I have ever found.
From an Autumn Jump Start, by June, Clary Sage Coronation Mix had reached a height of 100cm!
Salvia viridis generally is not as hardy as some of the other seeds were are growing and dislikes cold wet conditions.
Planting Cut Flower Cosmos (7 July 2023) The shorter garden border varieties of Cosmos are already in the ground and flowering happily. My ‘Cut Flower’ Cosmos plants have been waiting patiently in 9cm pots for a spot in the garden. I will give them a little more space than some of the other varieties we…
Herbaceous Peonies are the most well known type of peony and probably the most converted Wedding Flower ever.
Here are my top tips on how to grow Herbaceous Peonies.
Mid March is the perfect time to start these first year flowering hollyhocks! If you are wondering about standard Hollyhocks I have included information in the video for those as well. Hollyhock Grow-A-Long Update (2nd July 2023) The Hollyhocks (Alcea rosea annua) started in mid March are doing so well, but with all this wind…
Also known as the ‘tobacco plant’ nicotiana is good for both sun and part shade. Flowers open at night and fill the garden with a delicious scent that wafts through the evening air. Technically a tender short-lived perennial, seeds take a little longer to germinate and grow than true annuals. Seeds will also benefit from…
Feather Edge Board 1.65m x 125mm x 22mm (2ex)
Arris Rail 3.6m x 75mm
Timber Baton 4.8m x 50mm x 25mm
Gravel Board 4.8m x 150mm x 22mm
You’ve been asking about our irrigation for ages, I’ve finally managed to get Neil to stand still long enough to record it. Extra notes from Neil: Never turn the valves on and off when the water is on, the pressure can make them difficult to turn and you may snap the fitting with the effort….
How to grow Malope trifida
Stocks (Matthiola incana) Grow-A-Long Video hub
The Full Grow-A-Long video library
Potting on continues check out the Greenhouse Updates
Potting on Larkspur
Wondering if you can do a cheeky late sowing?
We deciding what seeds we can sow and when, we must first consider the plants photoperiod requirements as well as other factors such as hardiness.
Heat Mats are my favourite piece of gardening equipment, they take your growing to a new level and cut down seed germination time, perfect for the impatient gardener.
In this video I explain what a seed is and how germination occurs.
Opens Saturday 14th January at 10am
Seeds dispatched immediately ready for the Grow-A-Long.
Packets contain my exact professional grade flower seeds and sell out quickly.
Part of the Live Grow-A-Long on Instagram videos more videos in the coming days!
Light Levels hit rock bottom on on the 21st December but since then we have only gained about 4 minutes by the middle of February we will have gained another 2 HOURS of light!
You can add Wood Ash from your winter fires to your garden.
Pot change over can be such an ordeal so Neil came up with this solution.
We have 2 sets of pots which means we can get the next display going undercover as required and then perform a quick pot flip twice a year in Late Spring and Late Autumn.
Bulbs can then be allowed to do their dying back out of sight.
Black pots are 30 x 30 x 30cm 18L capacity.
Wooden boxes were then made to fit the pots.
As we head into Winter I will move my scented pelargoniums into an unheated greenhouse or polytunnel to overwinter.
It’s fairly mild overwinter here in Buckinghamshire and I find they don’t mind the odd cold spell too much as long as they are not wet.
Seeds started in the greenhouse versus seeds started on the windowsill.
Have you ever wondered what the difference is (for your plants) between Horticultural Grit, Perlite and Vermiculite?
Here is our set up for overwintering stored dahlia tubers.
Now and then garden tour
Short on storage space? Here is how we over winter our Dahlias in the ground.
It’s important to lift your dahlias if your ground floods or is excessively wet.
It is the water that freezes.
Water expands during the freezing process and this will cause the tubers to split.
Damaged tubers will rot, so it’s vital they are kept as dry as possible.
What’s the difference between Crown Gall and Leafy Gall?
How to lift and store your Dahlia tubers for the winter.
From November to May the complete picture including details of all the varieties!
A beautiful, delicate filler, flowering in June and July.
If we experience a warm autumn, pre-chill in the fridge for 1-2 weeks before sowing.
Ranunculus and Anemones will transform arrangements and bring early colour to the garden.
Called the ‘Rose of Spring’, Ranunculus will provide gorgeous blooms throughout the start of the season, giving you an abundance of flowers long before the Roses wake up.
Not sure when to start your corms or where to plant them?
Here is an overview of when flowering starts in my garden.
Selling wedding flowers, at first to floral designers, then direct to clients for weddings and events, opened my eyes to a whole group of flowers that you might never have heard of: Ranunculaceae. The Ranunculaceae family (or ranunculus) is a genus of about 600 species. A ‘genus’ is a class of plants with similar traits,…
Larkspur needs both cold stratification to break seed dormancy and trigger germination and vernalisation (a period of cool growing temperatures) to trigger flower development.
Larkspur won’t germinate if the soil temperature is higher than 13°c so it’s vital that seed is sown outside in an unheated greenhouse and definitely not placed on a heat mat.
Once germinated Wild Carrot needs a period of cool growing conditions for good seedling establishment.
Excessively wet foliage from watering overhead or a very wet Spring can cause carrot leaf blight. This will cause the foliage to collapse and the plant will die.
For this reason I overwinter plants in a cold greenhouse to protect them from the worst of the winter wet.
Grow-A-Long Greater Quaking Grass (Briza maxima)
I found this grass did well from an Autumn sowing, the seeds germinate easily, growing strongly over winter, producing bigger plants earlier than seeds Spring started.
Officially this grass has a hardiness rating of H6 (-15°c), however, I have found this plant can suffer cold shock (foliage bleaching) if plants are exposed to extreme temperature swings following planting out.
For this reason, I have reduced the official hardiness rating for the purposes of the Grow-A-Long, to H4 (-5°c).
The hardness of plants is reduced by keeping them too warm in the greenhouse.
Give plants a good long hardening off period in late winter and be ready with horticultural fleece, a cloche or cold frame after planting if the weather is extremely cold.
You can of course plant in pots and initially locate them in a sheltered spot.
Grow-A-Long Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens’ (Honeywort)
How to Grow Ammi majus
Easy to grow from both an Autumn sowing and/or a late winter sowing.
Autumn sown plants will flower from late May and will be slightly taller at 120-140cm.
Late Winter sown plants will flower around a month later and a tiny bit shorter 110-130cm.
For best results Sow one seed per cell during September or early October while the temperatures are still warm.
Euphorbia oblongata is a short lived perennial so if you miss your sowing window you can try again in the Spring.
Germination can be slow and erratic. Never throw away the compost where seeds have not germinated. You can get a sudden surprise months and months later.
Nigella is not quite as hardy as some of the other Autumn Jump Starter seeds but over winters beautifully in a cold greenhouse.
Autumn Jump Starter
Sweet Rocket (Hesperis matronalis)
Welcome to the Autumn Jump Starter Grow-A-Long warm up videos
As well as potential winter loses, plants also have a tendency to become woody and flower poorly as they age.
Taking cuttings is your insurance policy against losing plants.
Harvest stocks straight into deep water and allow them to condition preferably overnight.
Insects including the dreaded Pollen Beetle dislike being indoors, leave a door or window open so they can escape.
Nigella can be harvested fresh or pods can be dried for everlasting flowers.
For the longest vase life cut Larkspur (Delphinium consolida) when one-third of the blossoms are open. Larkspur also makes a great dried flower.
Much the same as my previous videos on Harvesting Orlaya Grandiflora, Ammi majus and Wild Carrot or Daucus carota are from the same family of plants
Snapdragons are geotropic which means they are influenced by gravity.
If conditioned at an angle, even in complete darkness the tips of the flowers will bend skywards and fix in that position.
The first Orlaya grandiflora flowers are just beginning to emerge.
This early in the season you want to cherry pick those stems that are fully open but without any sign of pollen drop.
Stems will feel firm to the touch while underdeveloped buds will feel soft and bendy under your fingers, avoid these stems for now because they will likely wilt after picking.
Very late flowering plants such as Sedum can be cut back in May (around the time of the ‘Chelsea Flower Show’) to produce shorter bushier plants that will then not require staking.
Sedum cuttings can be easily rooted in water.
The bulbs are over so we are swapping out the pots in Neil’s homemade patio containers with Dahlias that are best suited to pots.
Cutting and conditioning Sweet Rocket (Hesperis matronalis aka Dame’s Rocket, Dame’s Violet).
Spring Tour of the garden and a chance to catch up with the Autumn Jump Starter Plants
Sowing of Courgette, Climbing French Beans and Runner Beans for the Garden and patio pots
Panicum Frosted Explosion is an amazing as garden decoration as well as a cut flower foliage filler for late summer until the frosts.
China Asters (Callistephus chinensis)
Video 1 How to Grow
Video 2 Harvesting China Asters
Zinnias are tender plants native to Mexico and as a result resent cold wet conditions.
Avoid frost at all costs. This video will explain how to achieve the best results.
Orach (Atriplex hortensis) perfect for dramatic garden decoration especially towards the end of Summer and Autumn. The tender leaves can be eaten just like spinach or leave plants to develop seed pods to use as cut flowers.
Kitchen Garden update plus starting Cucumbers for planting in the greenhouse or in patio pots
Wrinkled Cress is the perfect quick foliage filler for your bouquets and arrangements. In this video I give you a whistle stop tour from sowing and growing through to harvesting.
In this video I explain different sowing techniques, successional sowing and answer your questions at the end
How to sow and grow Amaranthus for cut flowers as well as dramatic garden decoration
How to sow and grow Helichrysum.
Flowers will bloom until the frosts taking the place of earlier flowering hardy annual plants.
Flowers can be used both fresh or dried for everlasting flowers.
How to sow and grow one of the worlds favourite garden plants, Cosmos bipinnatus for armfuls of blooms and dramatic garden display this Summer.
When and how should you pick Ranunculus and what is the Marshmallow stage?
Fast growing and easy for the beginner.
Wonderful used fresh in bouquets and arrangements, filling in all those awkward gaps, Statice can be dried for everlasting flowers.
Tomato Video Hub.
Tomatoes need to be kept above 5°C so you may need to sow and grow them indoors initially. To help prevent leggy seedlings (leggy Linda’s) you can create a simple foil reflector.
How we support our Sweet Pea’s and protect the blooms from rain and adverse weather conditions.
One of the first foliage fillers to be ready in my garden and the last still standing in November! This perennial, once established, will give you bucket loads of stems and needs very little care and attention. Fresh green foliage early in the season and stems with delicate flowers later in summer.
Carnations ‘Dianthus caryophyllus’, technically a tender perennial. Carnations are best grown as an annual. They dislike damp conditions so are unsuitable for Autumn Jump Starting. Sown in late winter gives them not only the time and but also lower temperatures at the young plant stage to achieve strong bushy growth.
Late Winter is the perfect time to sow Rudbeckia hirta for blooms from later in Summer until the frosts.
Pinching Snapdragons Late Winter is the perfect time to sow a 2nd round of Snapdragons, they will bloom slightly later than the Autumn Jump Starter Snapdragons which should now be ready for pinching to create more bouquet sized stems. Full how to and why in this video.
How to sow and grow your own Eucalyptus (Late Winter)
Potting on and coppicing (Late Spring)
Eucalyptus update (Late Summer)
From sowing and successful germination all the way thru to flowering, harvesting blooms and arranging.
The annual scabious (scabiosa atropurpurea) is a supreme cut flower! I like to sow late winter for best results
Late Winter 2nd Sowing of Anemone and Ranunculus Corms For busy gardeners you can now plan ahead with our Grow-A-Long Handbooks. It contains technical growing information including plant heights and spacing, what to pinch and when, key dates to help you plan for the growing season ahead, and a sowing schedule.
The best time to sow Sweetpeas is in the Autumn but you also have a short window in late winter. In this video I explain why it’s best not to sow any later than the end of February.
In these videos we will discuss Soil PH, Soil Structure, Soil Horizons, Planting and Composting.
Leaves turning yellow for no apparent reason? Your plants could be suffer from ‘Cold Shock’.
In this video I’m going to demonstrate how to make a simple buttonhole using flowers you have grown yourself from your garden.
In this video I will explain what a seed is which will help you understand why we need to store them carefully in a cool dry place.
How to make your own cold frames
VC Corrugated Roof Sheets
Length : 2m Width : 762mm
Frame 850mm x 350mm Pressure treated wood (Total needed approx. 6.5M)
Back legs 2 x 500mm
Front legs 2 x 400mm these are shorter so rain will run off
Extra support baton 25mm x 35mm (total wood 2.8M)
Roof fixings will cover any screws in the roof
Drying Strawflowers and wiring.
It is better to wire flowers fresh and then dry them, they are easier and less fragile.