GARDENING: Saving a packet on perennials

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IT’S really satisfying growing plants from seed – especially if they’re perennials and you will literally save a packet.

I’ve teamed up again with Plant World Seeds for a new free seeds offer that’s worth £5.10 with any order, no matter how small.

Plant World Seeds will send you a packet of Aquilegia Cottage Garden Mix (worth £2.35) and one of my favourites, Echium pininana Blue Steeple (worth £2.75) if you place an order on its website, www plant-world-seeds.com.

Aquilegia, or granny’s bonnets, are the epitome of the country garden plant. This selection is taken from the range in the catalogue (Plant World Seeds sells 61 varieties) plus other colours and forms collected from its cottage garden.

They’re easy-to-grow hardy perennials, which can be sown at any time.

As for Echium pininana (a relative of our own viper’s bugloss) it’s a must if you love something different. This incredible plant initially produces a palm tree-like rosette, with large, thick, hairy leaves on a strong woody 
stem.

It’s a half-hardy ‘triennial’, and either 12 or 24 months after sowing, the centre, holding thousands of flowers, shoots upwards, sometimes to 15-20 feet! Bees love it. Most plants will be deep blue although the odd variant colour may always appear.

I’m growing mine in large pots, so I can overwinter them in the conservatory – and if I can get them to germinate, so can you!

To claim your seeds, when you get to the payment stage, fill in the promotion code box with SUND4, then the two packets will be automatically added to your order free of charge.

To browse the catalogue, visit www.plant-world-seeds.com.

ONLINE nursery Perfect Plants is offering readers exclusive savings on a selection of seasonal perennials – and an easy new online way to get your discount.

This month, there’s 10 per cent off all Clematis;

10 per cent off all Ceanothus, or Californian lilac, evergreen or deciduous depending on variety, with intense blue, pink or white flowers;

and 10 per cent off all Aquilegia, or Granny’s bonnets. Plants change every month, and get in there quick, as it’s first come, first served.

Orders are dispatched within three days. Postage and packing depends on size (and weight) of the order.

For prices, sizes and product details, log on to www.perfectplants.co.uk and enter the code “canudigit april 10” at the checkout to claim your price reduction.

•For more on these topics, plus cook what you grow, traditional recipes, North East information, environmental news and more, log on to www.mandycanudigit.co.uk (now smartphone friendly), Twitter @MandyCanUDigIt or Facebook at Mandycanudigit