There’s a small “tradition” in this neighborhood.
We grow them for wedding amongst other things.
It started seven years ago
Elliott and Kristina were marrying that June.
We wanted to grow as many wedding flowers as possible.
Kristina’s mother Mary brought cut hosta leaves from her Wisconsin garden.
A dozen friends gave the florist “cutting rights” the week of the wedding.
My friend Kelly had a few empty beds in her orchard.
She offered to plant them to zinnias.
I ordered zinnia seeds.
Waaaaay to many seeds.
Since the wedding was mid June we started planting early – mid April.
Kelly tilled up the soil and we sprinkled seeds.
Soon we had a great crop of baby zinnias.
They would grow into a small field.
The perfect backdrop for Kristina and friends at her bridesmaid luncheon.
For their intended use at the rehearsal dinner.
And back up flowers when the wedding was moved into the church after lots of rain.
They continued to bloom throughout the season.
By the end of the summer Kelly had cut buckets and buckets of zinnias.
She had done an entire wedding of zinnias for another friend.
Florists, neighbors and anyone with scissors and a bucket of water took home zinnias.
It was a splendid summer.
Now it’s my turn.
My friend Cheri’s daughter Anne is getting married late summer.
She wants purple zinnias.
So Cheri ordered in bulk.
She’s planting lots at her house.
I’m planting at my house too.
Remember last week when I talked about weeding and thinning my way through the garden.
I’ve been working on that process.
Removing and cutting back early spring flowers that are spent.
This makes little empty places all through my garden.
Once they are cleared I work up the soil and sprinkle in zinnia seeds.
I’ll use my favorite mix and add Cheri’s purple seeds.
Spread soil back over the area.
Tamp it down.
Give it a drink with a soft spray
There you have it.
In a week or two you’ll begin to see summer’s glory.
Just remember to keep the area moist so the seeds can sprout.
Now since my garden is mostly perennials I can’t plant a field of zinnia.
But I can find lots of little spots for a few seeds.
Zinnias love the heat
They’ll give you patches of color all over the place.
The kind that will take the summer heat.
I’ve also planted cosmos in the same way.
At the same time.
But I must confess.
I can’t seem to grow Cosmos in this garden.
Don’t ask me why.
But…I keep trying.
So, I’ll sprinkle cosmos along with the zinnia.
A little planning and planting this month will give you flowers well into the fall.
You have a big window of planting opportunity.
Actually you can plant these seeds as early as mid April and continue on through the 4th of July.
I never seem to have the time or space until about now.
I clip packages of seeds to my calendar every week or so to remind me to keep planting.
This plan will give you color and cut flowers throughout most of the growing season.
Zinnias just seem to make people smile.
What more could we ask for.
Happy Anniversary Elliott and Kristina.