Oh well you can’t win them all and Orlaya Grandiflora certainly seems to fall into that category. Back in week 20 we planted some superb large plug plants of this species (see top left hand photo) which initially grew away well and started to flower after about 3 week (see top right and photo) and being such an attractive flower form this has real potential for use as a filler. However a couple of week ago the crop started to die back and has looked sicker and sicker as time has gone on (see bottom left hand photo). Being as this is growing on sterilised soil the problem is unlikely to be caused by disease so we have been thinking about what could have gone wrong and have been asking should it be direct seeded, should it have been planted earlier, has it been too hot for it, does it not like growing in a tunnel etc etc. However all of our thoughts have been thrown out of the window by a picture sent to me from a small Yorkshire grower who currently has a superb crop in full flower (see bottom right hand photo) and the cultural conditions virtually mirror what we have done – so back to the drawing board again.
By contrast the Ammi (which belongs to the same family as Orlaya) is thriving in the same bed and the week 20 planting of Ammi majus came into flower this week. (see photo below)