Week 20 (2018) Update

This week we planted the first of the seed raised fillers ie Orlaya grandiflora, Ammi majus “Graceland”, Ammi visnaga “Casablanca” and Daucus carota “Dara”.  Ammi and Daucus had been looked at in previous years but the seed quality seemed to be and issue hence this year they have been supplied by Florensis as plugs.  The purpose of this trial is to investigate the potential for import substitution as well as to investigate the continuity of production with sequential plantings being made every 3 weeks.


As well as these four species, the  umbelliferae family contain a wide range of species that may be suitable for fillers including Didiscus caeruleus blue pink and white, Smyrnium olusatrum, Pastinaca sativa and Cenolophium denudatum.  These have been sown in small quantities and their potential will be investigated throughput the season – although it has to be said that some of these do have rather tricky germination requirements.

A number of the NPD subjects were also planted this week including a range of Asclepias, Monarda, Lysimachia and Eucomis from (very) large corms (see left hand photo).  Eucomus from seed will be planted in the next couple of weeks.

In conjunction with Floralife and Omex we are this year investigating the possibility of strengthening the cells walls of flower stems and petals by the use of calcium sprays.  The hope from previous observations  is that this will lead to an enhanced vase life of some difficult subjects such as Zinnia and Dahlia. Hence 3 cultivars of dahlia and 4 of zinnia were also planted this week.