Seed sowing has begun in earnest here in Glandore. As a rule of thumb never sow seeds before Valentines Day...there just aren't enough hours of daylight to get them germinating. And it's okay to wait another month really unless you are in a big hurry and using a heated propogator. Mine are packed into the propogator in their little trays of compost...two storeys feels a bit cruel but I will give them more air and light once they begin to pop up above the soil.
If you feel like growing some flowers from seed this year I will give a few pointers over the next few entries. I am totally seduced by the whole process....every year it feels miraculous what a little seed can produce.
The first step is to buy seeds. I get mine online as that's where you'll find the biggest selection. Seedaholic is an Irish company - they have a great selection and their prices are really good. It's worth looking at Sarah Raven for the lovely pictures and descriptions...prices are a bit steep though. Chilterns have nice concise growing instructions - on the page of whichever flower you are looking at click the 'Growing Advice' tab.
If you're wondering what flowers to grow check out Higgledy Garden. This is a tiny seed company in England run from a house boat. Ben just sells flower seeds and a small enough selection so you won't be overwhelmed with choice. His descriptions and growing guides will put a smile on your face!
You could start with calendula (orange), cornflowers (blue and black) and corncockle (pink). These are all easy to grow and should keep flowering if you leave side shoots on when you pick them. I love blue and orange together, and also the orange, black and pink combination is pretty smart. The black cornflower is more like a very dark purple.
So have fun browsing the websites. You will probably find seed packets aplenty in local shops too once you know what to look for. Check back here for more tips soon!
Edit: I have added a photo from back when I started growing flowers. It shows cornflowers in black and blue and pink corncockle. Teamed with Lady's Mantle which is indispensible and a lovely zingy green colour.