After waiting patiently in the ground for three years, some seeds from one of my favourite plants have sprung into life. This little miracle has happened in a patch of ground just below the house, which over the years had become neglected and very overgrown. After last winter’s cruel weather there was a lot of dead and dying stuff in there, which it was a great relief to clear out in time for our Open Day at the beginning of July. The clean-up left a patch of bare soil, which was soon full of weeds. Five weeks on, we got round to clearing the weeds and found, to our great delight, that amongst the weeds there were about 50 echium seedlings. The echium seeds must have been lying in the ground for three years, because they came from plants which flowered in this spot in 2008, since when the weather has been too cold for them to survive a winter. They were just waiting for the right amount of light to enable them to germinate.
We will let the seedlings grow a little longer and them pot them up. In their place we’ll put echiums which self-seeded in the gravel garden last year and which we brought inside for the winter. This photo shows some of those plants, which now need to survive one winter outside after which they will put on a massive spurt of growth next spring to produce 12ft spires of tiny blue flowers. Then, the seeds will be scattered all around and the cycle will begin over again.