Campanula UK Z8March 27, 2014

I know I harp on endlessly about the pleasures of growing from seed.....but they are so thrilling....and easy. I do not use lights, heat, mist, weird stuff like gibberellins....the seeds are sown as they ripen and mostly they appear in due course, as seedlings. One of the greatest pleasures is growing bulbs from seeds. Because I am a techie dimwit, I have to post a series of, well, posts. Please bear with me while I ramble on about lilies and tulips and such (for some reason, I rarely sow rose seeds).
Firstly, tulipa sprengeri, first year. These tiny bulbs are a ludicrous price - 10 dollars or more for a titchy, tiny species tulip - scandalous!

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Campanula UK Z8

Second year sprengeri:

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 10:20AM
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Campanula UK Z8

Lilies - these are white martagons, sent to me by Mariannese - because they were fresh, they did not go dormant but went into immediate hypogeal germination, putting out its first leaves this spring. True, it won't flower for another 4 years but again, these are wonderful and expensive bulbs....sowing some every year means that eventually, there will be something new in bloom every year.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 10:25AM
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Campanula UK Z8

This is a Regale lily, sown last autumn (September) and already forming a tiny bulblet.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 10:30AM
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Campanula UK Z8

Finally, a couple to illustrate that there is no skill or talent involved in growing from seed - here is the chaotic bedlam of a greenhouse - frankly, this should make it very obvious that organisation, tidiness or even a smidgeon of togetherness are optional extras.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 10:40AM
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Campanula UK Z8

The garden is waking up - I can still walk from A to B without having to creep under leafage (although there are no seats available now that seedlings are taking up residence. So yep, it is a mess....and gets much messier. In the background are the contentious Austins - Graham Thomas, looking fresh and eager.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 10:44AM
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I'm guessing "gibberellins" are *not* small, gnome-like creatures obsessed with planting seeds at exactly 2.5 inches apart in a perfect lattice pattern.

I can't believe you got tulips to sprout! I thought they were tricky, tricky things. I'm letting my tulips go to seed just for fun this year to see if I can get anything, but I never had any real hope before! Thanks for the pictures!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 11:04AM
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nikthegreek(9b/10a E of Athens, Greece)

Gibberellins are a class of plant growth hormones. They are also synthetically produced and are used extensively in commercial cultivation.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 11:31AM
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Thank you for posting these inspiring pictures.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 1:13PM
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ms. violet grey

I like your greenhouse and brick patio.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 9:50PM
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Campanula, are you a magician? Or one of those good witches I've heard so much about? Tulips from seed! I know that plant species have survived for ages by seeding themselves around the planet, but different evolutionary rules seem to apply in my soil. I couldn't even grow sunflowers because squirrels ate the seeds as quickly as I planted them! Wonderful photos, Campanula. I celebrate your green thumb and all your other horticulturally skilled and garden-gloved digits. Carol

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 10:56PM
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Great examples and photos, Campanula. Totally agree that few pleasures are so exciting and satisfying as looking out on your landscape and seeing plants that you grew from seed. Regal lilies can bloom in their third year and the stems only get fatter and more floriferous every year after that -- and easily set tons of seed that can easily and cheaply be parlayed into a forest of L. regale, if desired.

Beyond that, growing from seed enables the inevitable and necessary mistakes required to become an adept gardener. Kill a $5 or $10 (or even more expensive) plant and you feel bad. Kill a plant that cost a few cents -- not so much. With such cheap material, you can be adventurous or even crazy with little financial pain. I began making my own gardens in the yards of rundown rentals as a graduate student's wife with a toddler and practically no money, but all you need are a few packets of seed. I've offed enough plants over the years to qualify as an herbicidal maniac serial killer, but I learned a lot, too.

In my plant biology class we do an experiment that starts with planting mustard seeds and I don't think even one out of a hundred students has ever planted a seed before.

This post was edited by catspa on Fri, Mar 28, 14 at 11:19

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 11:13AM
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seil zone 6b MI

Wow! You have a magic green thumb, Camp! I love your set up too. I never trust people who say they're gardeners but then have spotless work areas. A good greenhouse needs to have dirt in it!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 1:28PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

I'm learning to appreciate seeds too. They are quite amazing. Cover up some tiny wood-chip like things with soil and a green plant emerges--we forget how magical that is in these days of readily available potted plants.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 6:06AM
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Campanula UK Z8

exactly - it is all about the process.....completely thrilling - I race outside first thing (often still in my jammies) to see what else is up every day.

And I would be lying if I failed to mention the little cash register in my head going ching for each more or less free plant.

No green thumbs required - just some potting mix and packets of seeds.....think about weeds, they are never nurtured lovingly, but up they come, year on year..........same with plants we choose to grow.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 6:17AM
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