Saving seeds

It’s no secret that my favourite bit of the garden has been my flower patch, which has gone from this:

to this:



It’s not bad when you think that I only put the flowers in on May 15th, and some three months later, it’s all looking a little tired and ‘finished’, although that’s more to do with the heatwave we’ve been having. Most plants don’t like 36 degrees and dry.

The best bit about it is that many of the flowers are perennials and will come back next year – the rudbeckia, the sedum, the monarda, the dahlias, the achillea, the campanula, the delphiniums, the aqualegia and the dicentra. However, some of these beauties are annuals, which means it is a case of growing them each year – a little less relaxing!

My favourites were the scabious ‘Summer Sundae’ which are an annual.

These are just sensational.


They’ve flowered long and hard all summer and have just kept giving.

I’m going to harvest some of the seeds, which look like little badminton birdies, and plant them in September so that they’ll be ready to go out in April.

I’m also getting a bit of a scabious obsession, though. I love them with the limonium, it must be said.

So… what do I do next year?

I’m trying to harvest as many seeds from the flower heads as I got in my packet this time. Then another couple of packets next year and repeat the process. That’s the best thing about annuals. They keep on giving if you treat them right, though you have to make sure you’ve got heirloom varieties, and not hybrids, as they return to type through successive generations.

This year’s variety were ‘atropurpurea’. Thompson and Morgan do another range of the same atropurpurea called ‘Ebony and Ivory’ which are the not-so-cleverly named black and white ones. I’m planning on a ‘boudoir garden’ of frillies, and these frillies will be right at home, pink and burgundy, white and black frillies.

There’s also another perennial variety called ‘beaujolais bonnets’ and ‘Oxford Blue’. The Oxford Blue are a kind of lavender blue and would look wonderful dotted between lavender flowers, I think. The final variety that Thompson and Morgan have on sale is ‘Ace of Spades’ which I can’t help but want because of the Motorhead song.

Then they offer some true perennials which are actually a different type of flower, knautia macedonia. I’ll be throwing a few of these seeds in some soil as well, I think!

I also found a couple of different varieties at Sutton’s Seeds, including a lovely blue perennial one and a ‘chile black’ one.

Definitely my favourites!



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