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Winter gardening woes

I wasn't prepared for quite the kind of impact that winter would have on my seedlings. I know, I know, it should hardly be surprising! But being my first year, I think I was a little slow on the uptake with how quickly the cold weather would set in. So slow and unprepared, in fact, that I forgot to close my little plastic greenhouse one night and woke up to a very severe frost in the garden, which froze my seedlings stiff! I was absolutely gutted, and I still have no idea if I've killed them off or if they will bounce back.

The good news is that a few days prior to the frost I had managed to get hold of some pea gravel to cover the tops of my pots, which I'm hoping will have helped to protect some of the bulbs. The bad news is that it was a particularly hectic Saturday when I tried to add the gravel to my pots, and I only managed to cover half of them before I was called away by the kids... and I never made it back. As much as it's a shame, it'll be an interesting experiment to see whether the gravel has had any effect on protecting my bulbs. If they're all dead come spring, then I guess I'll have my answer!

The most severely affected casualty of the frost seem to me my scabiosa seedlings, which had been growing beautifully into nice healthy plants before the weather changed. They've immediately drooped and don't show any signs of improvement over a week later. The newly transplanted cornflowers (take 2) aren't looking too happy, but they haven't curled in the same way the last batch did before they died, so I'm hoping that's a good sign. Heartbreakingly, my rununculus bulbs, which I'd placed in the bottom of the greenhouse for protection, aren't looking good either. Not all of them had begun to sprout, so I'm keeping hopeful that they'll make it through, even if the few early bloomers don't.

If it can survive the frost, the biggest success story will surely be the larkspur that I sowed earlier this year. Some of you might remember that I decided to try direct-sowing it straight into a large container, rather than sowing indoors. I had no idea if it would work, but it did begin to germinate and Google tells me that it's frost-hardy. I'll be so pleased if it blooms in the spring!

How have you coped with the winter season, are your flower seedlings flourishing or have you made any errors like me? I'd love to know!

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Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I'm Mel, floral designer and novice gardener nurturing my first cutting patch. Follow me as I learn, share and grow.

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