More and more light every day which is waking seeds, bulbs and plants into optimistic fresh growth. The greenhouse is almost full of seedlings and there are trays and trays of seeds being coaxed into life. As room in there is scarce, any small plant that can be moved is put outside to cope with what ever the weather has to offer. It joins the hardy perennials which have been out all winter slowly growing bigger and stronger roots. This means that many plants, including the first sowing of sweetpeas are well and truly hardened off and ready to be planted out. Below is a selection of what is available this week.
Email me at email@example.com to place an order or reserve plants to be picked up at a market. Or just come along and see what’s there. Deliveries are free within 5 miles of Oxford (minimum order £10). A small charge applies for deliveries further afield.
Homesown stalls in March:
Sofacoma Market in Lake St, Oxford on March 13th & 27th
Wolvercote Community Market at the White Hart Community Pub on March 20th
Mother’s Day Flower Orders: these can also be made now and will be delivered from March 25th. Each bunch or bouquet will contain a mixture of lovely Spring flowers and foliage grown by me supplemented with flowers from other local and British grown flowers. Pickle jars of flowers cost £10 and bouquets range from £15 to £30. Bespoke bouquets can be made too – just ask. Smaller jars of flowers will be available at the market.
What’s Available this Week:
Autumn Sown Annuals & Bulbs
Briza Maxima: a beautiful and appealing annual grass which is a generous self seeder. Its lockets of flowers dangle and dance in the breeze. It dries easily too.
Cerinthe Major: a lovely unfussy plant which gently and reliably self seeds. As well as being a pretty filler in the border and the vase, its attractive, purple bell-like flowers are an irresistible magnet for bees and other pollinators. It has silver grey/green leaves which often have a blue wash. It flowers early and long. Space plants 12″ apart. Enjoys sun, but flowers well in part shade too as well as tolerating clay soil. The plants are all grown from seeds gathered from my plot. Plants have been hardened off and can be put in the garden now. £1.50 a 9cm pot
Homesown Sweetpea Mix: these are grown from seed saved from my favourite varieties chosen for their amazing scent and colour. The seedlings tolerate down to -5 so once they germinated, they were left outside to harden up. If the weather is particularly brutal, they might need a little protection. Prepare the soil to help water retention and plant out from start of March when weather is hospitable. Plant each pot around 8″ apart. Sweetpeas like to be well watered and prefer sun. They will need support to clamber up and regular picking to keep them flowering. They are the most generous of flowering annuals, but do need quite a lot of attention. I think it is worth it for the scent alone. £1.50 a 9cm pot of 3 seedlings.
Scilla siberica: bright blue flowers with attractive narrow strap like leaves. Grow to about 15 to 20 cms and can spread year on year if they like your garden conditions. Can be planted in full sun or part shade in well drained soils. I love these. £1.50 a 9cm pot
Allium Cowanii: Umbel-like star shaped white flowers with strap shaped leaves. It is perennial and will increase year on year. An extremely attractive flower which grows well in containers, it likes well drained soil in sun. If your soil is heavy clay like mine, add grit when planting. A brilliant cut flower which is very attractive to pollinators. £3.50 in 2 litre pots
Geranium Bill Wallis: one of the most cheerful and tough plants in my garden. It thrives in all sorts of conditions and gently self seeds. Its pretty purple flowers are long lasting and give a lovely cottage garden feel. Good for the front of a border or filling in the gaps. £2.50 a 9cm pot and £4.00 a 2 litre pot.
Geum Totally Tangerine: an all time favourite for the front of the border. Its flowers are prolific from Spring and it often has a second flush of flowers later in the season – beautiful orange/apricot flowers on dancing stems. It enjoys most positions and soil types including partial shade and clay, though it doesn’t like to be water logged in Winter. Tends to be evergreen in my garden. Flowers are great for cutting too and can grow to around 75 cm but stay shorter in my clay soil. £3.00 a 1 litre pot & £5.00 a 2 litre pot
Foxglove Lutea: a perennial foxglove with creamy/primrose yellow flowers loved by pollinating insects. Its delicate bells are very attractive and it bulks up year on year. Great for cutting, it likes shade to semi shade in well drained soil, but will grow in sun too. It reaches 60 cm. A limited number of 9 and 12 cm pots pots available now for £1.50 – £3.50. A reminder that foxgloves are poisonous if ingested.
Linaria Canon Went: a delicate pink toadflax which is long flowering with spires that are a magnet for butterflies and bees. It prefers well drained soil in sun and has a clump forming habit. These plants were started last year and have been completely hardened off outside over Winter. Plants can grow to roughly 75cm and should be planted at least 30 cm apart. £3.00 a 9cm pot – £3.50 for 12 cm pot.