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Matthiola incana f alba - a white scented stock well worth growing!

Matthiola incana f alba seedlings

Another lot of seedlings that I'm very pleased to see thriving are those of Matthiola incana f alba, the white perennial stock.

This is a plant we have put in a number of gardens over recent years and it often gets very good reviews as it flowers generously and has a strong sweet scent.  While I suspect it is a short lived perennial, it is definitely worth a go, especially if you have somewhere free drained and with a decent bit of sun.



Hopefully a small Melianthus - M. comosus

Melianthus comosus seedlings

One success from our mist propagation units this winter has been a fine crop of Melianthus comosus, a smaller and possibly hardier cousin of the South African Honey Bush, Melianthus major.

Melianthus major is well known in London gardens where it often flourishes.  As the result of recent mild winters, it has often grown alarmingly large and has spread rapidly by suckers.  This is fine if you have the space but in small town gardens having canes growing well over 10 feet high can be a bit much.

I'm hoping that M. comosus might prove to be a slightly smaller alternative.  We will have to see how it behaves!



Even in mid February - Geranium palmatum seedlings growing strongly!

Geranium palmatum seedlings.

One lot of seedlings that is growing particularly fast at the moment is Geranium palmatum - one of our favourite and most useful plants. This adaptable and showy species Cranesbill has wonderful cut leaves and produces a really good display of showy pink flowers.  Plus most winters it is London hardy!



Even in winter things are growing under glass.

Seedling plants

Inside the glass houses there is much that is already moving and growing.

These small plants which were seed grown in late autumn / early winter last year are rapidly developing even though the temperatures are often not much more than just above zero.  A few hours of sun can give enough of a heat boost to ensure that growth keeps going.



Winter work ahead!

Shade tunnel in winter

While growth has slowed and spring is still in the young shoots stage - there is already an alarming amount of work to get on with.

Despite winter 2017 so far being pretty benign, the shade tunnels are already looking a bit battered and their contents are in need of a serious sort out.  The harsh reality of the world of the nurseryman is that there is never really a break from the demands of the nursery.

Lets hope the weather holds and we are able to get things under control before the real growth spurt starts!



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