This is the first year I have grown this Half Hardy Annual otherwise known as Trachymene and I’ve loved it.

I sowed the seeds in mid March in seed trays and put them on my kitchen window sill. They took over 3 weeks to start to germinate and were quite erratic, with some taking another 10 days to appear. I don’t have a heated propagator so maybe they would have benefited from some extra heat. They still made good sized plants for planting out at the end of May. They make excellent cutflowers and I picked my first in the last week of July and I am still picking them now. They last 7 -10 days in the vase. I have grown the blue variety which is a beautiful lavender colour using it with Nigellas and blue Cornflowers and white Antirrhinums and now with Asters, Zinnias and Cosmos.

The plants make quite a straggly, sprawling clump, so I’m not sure whether they would work in a border. You would probably need to grow other plants through them, maybe Gypsophila or Orlaya. Mine have been grown in a block on my cutting patch at my allotment.

A bonus is that they have been pest free and are loved by hoverflies.

Seeds are available from Special Plants.

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