When I was in London several years back, I fell in love with the floral displays lavishly spilling out of the window boxes on the elegant townhouses (home to many of the foreign embassies), lining many of the streets in the upscale neighbourhoods. That Spring the colour scheme included white and blue/lavender flowers (pansies, bacopa, alyssum) along with trailing ivy. It looked so fresh and lush against the white buildings. My house is also white with black trim, and most of the front garden has green hedges and shrubs. I was inspired to emulate this look and colour scheme in my own garden.
Although the path to my greenhouse is still snow covered and icy, I have started some annuals inside the house. This tray is lavender alyssum. Starting them from seed is easy and rewarding…so far. I bought the potting soil formulated for seedlings and moistened it slightly before packing it into the trays. Next, the seeds were planted (not too deep) and covered with soil about 2 times the thickness of the seed. I covered the trays with a plastic top, set them on the counter in the pantry under the window and waited for the magic to happen!
Within 5 days the leaves started popping through, and 99% of the seeds germinated. The wonder of nature!
In addition, I have planted white alyssum and white and lavender bacopa. The bacopa is starting to come…little tiny stems coming through almost invisible through the camera lens. I was worried that maybe I had a bad batch of seeds but have been encouraged the last couple of days.
This week I found two English Ivy plants that just arrived at the greenhouse. It seemed cruel to take apart these healthy plants but I was somewhat comforted that I was able to get enough cuttings to make 48 smaller plants. The process is fairly simple. To start, cut the stem (about 6″ long) about 1/4″ below a leaf. Remove that bottom leaf, dip the stem into an organic rooting powder, and put it into the soil. If all goes as planned, the ivy should look beautiful along with the alyssum and bacopa in my outdoor planters.
Beautifully manicured hands will be out of the question until next October!
It’s still too early to get out into the garden and start the spring cleanup, but I’m anxious…thrilled to see more of the snow disappear every day. I have been sweeping and picking up broken branches but mostly daydreaming about what can be accomplished over the next six months. Within the next week, I should be able to move all the seedlings into the greenhouse and then the season will have officially begun!