Sunday, January 6, 2013

Seeds, Seeds, Seeds

 The holidays are now behind us and the seed catalogs are arriving daily in my mailbox, My thoughts these days are turning to what I want to grow from seed this year for the garden.   Many gardeners love to grow from seed.  It can be so rewarding to plant a tiny seed and delight in the plant it becomes.  As farmers it is amazing how a small kernel of corn or a bean seed can produce so much and provide a livelihood as well. I'm not one for starting seeds indoors although many gardeners thoroughly enjoy this process.  I get too busy and neglect them.  My preferred methods are direct sowing and winter sowing.  There are some seeds that are just so easy to direct sow.  For instance zinnias, cosmos, marigolds and many vegetables.  Winter sowing is a process of growing from seed started in mini greenhouses and set out in the snow or early spring to sprout when the time is right.  The mini greenhouses can be anything such as milk jugs, 2 liter soda bottles etc. To learn more about this easy method of growing from seed check out the winter sowing forum on GardenWeb by clicking  here .  I don't get into like some of the people over there but before I know it I have around 20 jugs of seedlings. Every year I like to try a few new things.  Some are so successful and become favorites that my garden needs every year.  Others are duds.  Annuals from seed are a great way to change things up in the garden from year to year.   Many of these plants aren't found at your local nursery.  The only way to get them is to grow them yourself.

Zinnias in the potager grown just for cutting.


Zinnias, salvia and castor beans in the red garden.

Euphorbia marginata aka Snow on the mountain

Angelica gigas

Salvia argentea

Celosia 'Pink parfait'
Marigolds are traditional in potagers.  Behind is dinosaur kale and bronze fennel.

These little zinnias are so sweet.

Amaranthus and a castor bean.
I grew these guava colored zinnias for my son's wedding rehearsal supper.  I had them in blue Ball jars on the tables.

How fun is a 12' tall sunflower in my granddaughter's Secret Garden?

Castor beans make such a statement.  I've grown purple, red, green and these green with a red stem.