Globe thistles, hollyhocks & stocks

I thought I’d give you all a quick update on what other seeds I’ve been sowing recently because some of you might already know that I have a ton of seeds to sow this year. Yikes! I will post updates on these seedlings as they begin to emerge and be potted on.

The first seeds I opted for were:

Globe thistle Echinops ruthenicus var.

I then sowed some: Stocks Matthiola incana ‘Giant perfection mixed’ next to the Globe thistle in the unfilled cells.

Then I opted for two varieties of Hollyhocks. The first are: Malva sylvestris ‘zebrina’ which grow to 1-2 metres high and the second are: Malva sylvestris ‘mystic merlin’; I can’t wait to see how these emerge and both them are hardy perennials so are well worth sowing because they can emerge for year to come. I am trying to expand my supply of hardy perennials in the garden this year, so that I can dedicate spare planting pockets to trying out a couple of annuals each year instead of the frenzy of seed sowing that this year seems likely to entail…

In other news…

My Rock rose helianthemum sp. (mixed) that I sowed some weeks ago, has unfortunately fallen prone to ‘damping off’:


Noooooooo! I am currently trying to fight it by using cinnamon because I read that it is a natural anti-bacterial. I will be keeping my eye on them because they were doing so well and had just developed their first set of mini seedling leaves. One cause of this could be that in my haste to get some seeds sown, I used a general multi-purpose compost (labelled as suitable for seed sowing), as opposed to my usual seed sowing compost that I didn’t have on supply at the time. The other seeds I have sown are tucked up in said seed sowing compost, so I will have to see what happens in time. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

That’s all for today, stay tuned for more garden updates!

Happy gardening 🙂


Written by Bethany Wright at



  1. Sorry about your damping off. Not sure the cinnamon will work, it’s a fungus that causes the damping off rather than a bacteria. I do enjoy the process of sowing seeds at this time of year. So full of planty promise. Good luck with this batch!


    • Oh do you not think so?! I thought the bacteria in it could have been the reason. Have you sown seeds okay in multi purpose compost before rather than specific seed compost?
      Well I’ve started the seeds off in my greenhouse this year which has good light even at this time of year – but it is unheated! I wonder if the chilly nights are effecting things… i have a digital thermometer that measures max/min temperature and the humidity etc so I have never seen the temperature drop below freezing and it has got quite warm on sunny days even when it’s been chilly out. Hmmmmm always disheartening when it happens!


      • If they are hardy plants the seeds should cope with a bit of cold, even a bit of frost. This year I am sowing all my seeds in a new way, see my post The Big Sow from a couple of weeks ago. Part of my reasons for doing so is to reduce the chance of damping off. If the compost is too wet that might be a reason, it’s easy to overwater especially at this time of year when it’s cooler and darker.


      • Yes most of them are hardy. My new garden seems to be rather protected too as not everything has died down as usual this year. Mind you it has been quite mild this year here.
        Okay thanks I will have a read! Always good to learn something new 🙂


      • Ok not that then (don’t use stored water in the greenhouse, harbours all sorts of bugs and beasties). If you see more damping off in other seeds it may be you need to give the greenhouse a really good clean, bleach, soap, dettol, pressure washer, the lot.


      • 🙈 oh no don’t say that! I only got it put up afew weeks ago, haha.
        Well I will see how it goes and keep an eye on things, it isn’t the first time and unfortunately I don’t think it will be the last time either.
        Many thanks for your tips!


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