On 24th March Sarah Raven (in association with The Flower Council of Holland) will be demonstrating indoor bulb potting throughout the day at Perch Hill in a series of hour-long educational workshops that include Q&A sessions. Particular focus will be on five household favourites: Tulip, Hyacinth, Iris, Narcissi and Calla Lily. www.sarahraven.com
I love anemones, and none more than the cerise-flowered La Sylphide and the rich blue Mr. Fokker. I’ve planted up several pots and couldn’t help but notice an enormous difference between the big chunky corms from Sarah Raven and the far smaller ones from elsewhere. People do complain that Sarah Raven is very expensive but if I want consistent quality I will happily pay the extra to get top notch flowers.
October sown Sweet Peas
The early October sowing of sweet peas is coming along nicely. I’ve followed Sarah Ravens advice and sown 2 plants to a pot so that they develop a really strong root system. I’ve decided to experiment with pinching out some plants and leaving others. Sweet pea specialist Roger Parsons says side shoots will develop naturally and pinching out is unnecessary. On the other hand the plants that Sarah Raven sends out are the bushiest sweet pea plants I’ve ever seen and the sweet peas in her garden always look magnificent.
With its red and yellow flowers like a row of brightly coloured pennants, you can see exactly why Mina lobata is called Spanish Flag. This unlikely relative of the Morning Glory comes into its own at this time of year – Sarah Raven has hers growing at the end of a row in her cutting garden, mine are peeping out amongst the foliage of my climbing French beans, making them look very decorative.
Not just good to look at
Not just for a posy or to look at either – you can safely add the petals to your salads or puds as I learnt when I attended Sarah Raven’s lecture on dahlias at her Perch Hill garden.