It’s official, I’ve gone over to the dark side. I only started out in this gardening lark with a few tomatoes and now it’s drawn me in – I’m attempting flowers.
I’ve made a few abortive attempts at flowers before. I once kept a cactus, until it succumbed to what I suspect was overwatering. Last summer I attempted sweet peas in a pot in my flat, I even lovingly constructed a wigwam out of forest green poles, but the things stubbornly refused to show their faces. I feel that growing flowers successfully is a slightly different style of gardening to growing your own veg. Growing veg doesn’t seem to require much skill, so far everything I’ve attempted has faithfully come through in ample quantities. Ceres has been kind. Flowers though. Flowers are delicate. Flowers are intricate. Flowers are sensitive. And quite apart from that, it seems almost selfish to grown something for the sole purpose of looking pretty, a waste of time as no fruit (literally!) comes of it. And yet here I am anyway, seeds packets in hand, gung ho, let’s make flowers.
I stood for some considerable time this morning at the seed section of our local Wilkinsons store, where I had gone to buy useful things such as baking trays and got sidetracked. Having quite literally no clue what I am doing, at length I selected the following because they “look pretty” (surely a good criterion for flowers??). I chose some foxgloves, digitalis purpurea “Foxy mixed” which seems to mean pinks and white with spotty bits. They are a dwarf first year flowering variety, and attractive to bees and butterflies (something I’m very keen on). Second on the list of three (seeds were on offer, three for two) is Lavatera pastel mixed which are should make clusters of pink and white trumpet-shaped flowers. And finally I thought I’d have another go at the sweet pea, Lathyrus odoratus Skylark Mixed, in shades of purple and white. I planted all these up today in indoor pots to get them going along with some Sweet William Dianthus Barbatus I had lying around. Now it’s just time to cross my fingers and pray to Flora.
flora dea, flores vigeant ut ordor dulcis earum decus gloriae tuae sit. effunde omnia quae florent!
(Goddess Flora, may the flowers bloom so that their fragrance may be an honor to
your glory. Bring forth all that blossoms!)