Weekend Work: Time to sow some snapdragon seeds

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The Independent Online

What to do:

Snapdragons often flower better in their second season. I have had good results sowing seeds in pots in a cold frame. Sown in multi-purpose compost and covered with a thin layer of vermiculite, seeds germinate in two weeks. ‘Appleblossom’ (Chiltern Seeds £1.57) is a gorgeous, tall variety with white flowers throated in palest pink. ‘Night and Day’ (Chiltern Seeds £1.93) is medium height (45cm) with dark crimson flower spikes set against equally dark foliage.

Start tubers of favourite dahlias into growth. Greengrocers’ wooden boxes make ideal nurseries. Line the box with newspaper, cover with a layer of compost and stand the dahlia tubers upright in the compost. Pack in more compost so the tubers themselves are covered, but the stumps of last year’s stems are sticking up above the surface. Water the box and stand it in the greenhouse or anywhere light. A temperature around 13C (55F) will be enough to tickle them into growth.

What to see:

Snowdrop lovers gathered yesterday at the Royal Botanic Gardens in |Edinburgh for a bout of galanthomania, instigated by Catherine Erskine of Cambo, Kingsbarns, Fife KY16 8QD, whose own garden, famous for snowdrops, is open daily (10am-5pm) until 8 March. Admission £4. More than 20 gardens are taking part in VisitScotland’s ‘Winter White’ campaign. See visitscotland.com/white for more details

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