Thursday, October 27, 2005

Daucus dara

Last year I bought 5 seedling plants of a new annual, Daucus dara from Sara Raven's Cutting Garden It is a relative of the carrot and has carrot-like leaves and then red tinged umbrels of flowers which look perfect either in a glass vase on their own or in a country style bouquet. The flower has been developed in The Netherlands for the cut flower industry. The seedlings were too expensive to grow for the business, but seed is not yet commercially available in smallish amounts so I thought that I would give it a whirl and see if they would self seed.

Well they have, rather spectacularly (what looks like a bed of weeds in the photo is a mix of daucus and shirley poppy seedlings). Some have flowered this autumn but most are saving themselves for next year, building up beautiful rosettes of ferny leaves. I am excited at the thought of having enough to sell next year. My next challenge is to thin them out, and hopefully move some of the seedlings to a new bed, as they are likely to have long roots they may not be keen. All this 'fuzzy' gardening may be fun and give a cottage garden effect but I am sure that planting everything in neat straight lines would make much more sense.

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