Seed sowing is great fun, and if you have not tried it, then you should! However, not all of us have the time or facilities. Germinating seeds takes space and if you have to buy all the accessories you probably won't make back their cost in cheaper flowers for several years, so buying "ready-made" seedlings is a sensible way to go for a lot of people. You get the right number of the best quality plants, delivered to you at exactly the right time to plant.
The better the seed, the better the plant. You cannot produce a high-quality seedling using old or substandard seeds, so these plants are grown from the best seed money can buy. The next requirement is good quality compost - ours is also peat-free. Add the right container (cells for shallow rooted plants and plugs or rootrainers for those with deeper roots) and put all three into a controlled growing environment, and the stage is set for great results. Where appropriate, we always harden off our seedlings, and we grow them hard, meaning that temperatures are at the low end of the range in which they do well. This makes for stronger plants.
Please note that annual plants are not covered by our year guarantee, because they are not supposed to last that long!
Wallflowers are all well-scented, and mix well with taller flower bulbs, especially Tulips. Most of them are biennials that flower between March and June, except for Bowles Mauve, which is a short-lived herbaceous perennial that can flower from February to August in most gardens, and even longer in ideal conditions in warm, Southern sites.
Sweet Peas have superb fragrance and are often grown specifically for cutting and bringing indoors to grace the whole house with their aroma, and their vase life is good. They require support, nothing fancy, a wigwam of sticks about 2 metres high is good. Their main flowering season is May to September. Their roots fix nitrogen, so they thrive in poor soil, as long as they have plenty of water, and a little potash and phosphate fertiliser if you want the best display. It is essential to deadhead the flowers when they fade to keep more coming, but apart from that they are a doddle to grow.
Cosmos don't have much fragrance, so they can be planted anywhere that they can be seen, and being quite small, they do very will in pots. They like a moisture retentive soil that isn't too rich, so mixing in low quality or spent compost at planting time is perfect, as is coconut coir. Give them a little food like Tomorite when they are in flower, deadhead regularly, and they will reward you with loads of flowers from late Spring until the frosts.
All the flower we sell like full sun and need consistent moisture when in flower, so it pays to incorporate plenty of organic matter into the soil in advance of planting day. Consider using an irrigation pipe, especially if you are planting a large area.
As long as they don't dry out, none of them are fussy plants, but for the absolute best displays, Wallflowers like soil enriched with fertile compost or well rotted manure. Cosmos and Sweet Peas are fine in relatively poor soils, enriched with leaf mould, coconut coir, or your least fertile compost, and will thrive with a little fertiliser while they are in full flower.
Growing Sweet Peas