Kevin is Head Gardener/Plantsman, Hipping Hall / Ryebeck Hotel, South Cumbria. Kevin is also a member of the Cumbria Wildlife Trust, as well as the Hardy Plant Society.
March is a great time of the year when gently pruning and tidying the herbaceous borders for spring, to be inspired with thoughts of propagation.
Phlomis comprise 100 or more perennials native to the Mediterranean, Central Asia, and China. Phlomis are extremely hardy plants. Phlomis russeliana, commonly known as Jerusalem or Turkish Sage, is from the family (Lamiaceae). The yellow flowers which emerge from the honeycomb like bracts add interesting structure to the back of the perennial border through the summer.
The seeds that I had sown took just over 5 weeks to germinate at a steady temperature of about 15 degrees c. Seeds were sown into modules of straight seed compost. At the pricking out stage on the 2nd June- two and a half months later, the plants had thickened out nicely in the individual modules. The young plants were grown on in 9cm square pots at a temperature running between 15- 18 degrees C.
Stems with seed heads can be cut to place out and dry in a cool area such as a shed or utility area. Seeds may not come true to type but could still yield some interesting variations. After a 4-6 week drying off period I take two options.
In early April 2013 seeds were sown of Campanula Rotundifolia, (true wild form). The stems of this species are fine, approximately 15cm high. The leaves are needle shaped and do not form petioles. Flower colours may vary to a mid shade of blue.