Category Archives: Seed Catalogs

Love Zinnias…Mildew and All

One of the main goals

Of my garden

Is to have cutting flowers

All season long.

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And because the foundation

Of my garden

Is perennials

I rely on self seeding annuals

To fill in the gaps between

Perennial bloom cycles.

It starts in the spring

With Poppies and Larkspur

Then comes the heroes of summer

Cleome and Zinnias.

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Poppies, Larkspur and Cleome

All manage to return on their own.

They just show up and bloom their hearts out.

Zinnias return on their own

But to a lesser degree.

So I have to plant Zinnia seeds each year.

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The good thing about that

Is that I can time them…a bit.

I want zinnias blooming in the fall

Just as the Monarchs migrate to Mexico.

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Photo Credit “Devra” Mitchell

So I don’t plant the seeds

Until June.

I pull up the Poppies and Larkspur

After they go to seed

And plant Zinnias in their place.

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In my neck of the woods

I have until July 4th

To accomplish this.

Zinnias do have one bad characteristic.

They are prone to mildew.

Which is another reason

Not to plant them too early.

Spring rains will do a number on them for sure.

Since summer is the dry season around here

It’s perfect for growing zinnias.

We’ve had 7 1/2 ” of rain

In the last 3 weeks!

Mildew has arrived.

The plants are really ugly

But the flowers are the same

Sunny happy faces that I love.

They are perfect cutting flowers

Playing nice with all kinds of other blooms.

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It’s another life lesson of nature.

A crusty outside

Often accompanies

A loving heart.

Gail

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Filed under Bouquets, cleome, Fall, Garden Planning, Gardening, Gardening;Perennials, Larkspur, late summer garden, Poppy, Seed Catalogs, Seeds, self seeding annuals, Uncategorized, Zinnia

WHERE DO GARDENERS GO IN WINTER?

Usually by the time of the first killing freeze

I’m ready to hang up my pruners.

I’m fortunate to live in a place

With a long growing season.

But I do appreciate the break winter brings to me.

First freeze is normally followed by

A flurry of holiday activity.

So by the time we ring in the New Year

I’m ready to settle in with a good book

And the multitude skeins of yarn I plan to whip

Into something fun for H & H.

Along about now I begin to get itchy.

I’ll step into the garden on a sunny afternoon.

Looking for the first bud on the Hellebores.

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Or I’ll take a slow walk around the garden looking for

Daffodil and Tulip noses peeking out through the frozen earth.

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Last weekend I found both.

I instructed them to retreat

Knowing the “polar vortex” was coming.

Fortunately, I’m far enough south that they will survive.

So far during this colder than usual winter

I’ve been able to dump bagged leaves into a compost area.

Organize my endless supply of deadheads and saved seeds.

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And, of course, order more.

Seeds that is.

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I’m planning to try some new annuals to add to my standards.

China Aster is the one I’m most excited about.

We’ll see if those big fluffy blooms are in my future.

So where do gardeners go in the winter?

Mostly inside their heads

With the help of endless seed catalogs.

And flower farmers Instagram feeds.

It’s a busy season.

 

Happy garden dreams,

Gail

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Daffodils, Hellebores, Seed Catalogs, Seeds, Uncategorized, Winter Garden