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Centranthus ruber

PianoplayerPianoplayer Posts: 624
I have a very dull gravel patch by the side of my house (covered in membrane and gravel as my neighbour parks on it  :#). I'd like to have something growing there. If I scattered some valerian seeds on it, would they germinate and establish? Given they seem to grow in walls etc, I am hoping the answer will be `yes`! It would be hard to `plant` something. Any views? Thanks.


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,953
    Yes ... it'd grow there ... it'd also seed and the seeds are fluffy so they drift and colonise all sorts of places, but if you like it (and we do) what's the problem?  I'd go ahead. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,319
    My front garden was gravelled for years and they grew all over it and were very happy there. So much so that I'd have to pull lots out just so I could get down the drive

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • This video shows a number of these that have self seeded in the driveway here. They are very good at colonising difficult areas and very popular with pollinators but I'd be inclined to start the seed in a container and transplant the young plants to where you want to grow them when there is some wet weather forecast to give them a better chance. I planted mine out on a north facing slope with little soil when they were still very small so not much digging was needed to make space for the roots and they looked after themselves once planted.
  • PianoplayerPianoplayer Posts: 624
    @Dovefromabove @Pete.8 excellent, thanks very much. I love them.

    @robairdmacraignil many thanks for the video - looks great, and just the sort of effect I am after. As you say, good for pollinators too. I just don't have the wherewithal to start the seeds off, so will give it a go with just scattering the seed. Good point about getting the timing right re rain.

  • FireFire Posts: 18,998
    I would plant seed in pots and grow the plants on and, when established, plant out. Then keep well watered for a few months until they settle.
  • Cuttings work too if you want a specific colour. They do self seed easily and are fantastic for insects.
  • B3B3 Posts: 27,345
    I started with white. Some pink  appeared. I waited ages for the red but now have a few and hope for more ( I think they came from up the road).
    The white are going strong and I have to pull some out, but the pink have disappeared. Maybe they knew I wasn't too keen on them.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • PianoplayerPianoplayer Posts: 624
    Thanks, all - I'd ideally like a mix of colours, so here's hoping.
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