This plaque, a gift from my friend Maria, hangs in the potting shed.
Simply put, I’m a sucker for seeds. I can’t really say if it’s magical or spiritual, but I am amazed at what is locked inside each oddly shaped, variously sized seed. Just provide the right environment, and it’s as if the Big Bang is put into motion. Roots, stems, leaves, blooms, seed — it’s an ongoing cycle that is so simple (and yet so complicated) that it helps keep me grounded in this hectic world. It’s one thing to stop and smell the roses, but it’s another thing to stop and plant a seed and wait and then smell.
My Park Seed and Select Seeds order has arrived, and very soon, I will begin my own cycle of planting and watering and thinning. I admit, I went a little heavy on red — but I do love red in the garden. It’s hot and vibrant and passionate — and it comes in so many shades, from bright to brick to bold.
And now, without any further delay, I would like to roll out my red carpet.
Zinnia is one of my favorites for a number of reasons: easy to grow, somewhat drought tolerant, and a full season of flowers. This year, I selected “Big Red” and “Swizzle Cherry and Ivory.”
After the potting shed was built, I began to venture out of my easy seed comfort zone. With Geraniums, I found a friend. They were easy to handle and sprouted quite successfully. I’m also impressed with the variety of colors available in catalogs, although this year I’m keeping to the red standard, “Elite Red.”
When I began to plant Impatiens seeds, I failed miserably. Every book advised me to not cover the seeds since they needed light to germinate. They also said to cover the potting mix with plastic wrap to hold in moisture. My result was the same: either dried out soil (without the wrap) or an overheated pile of mush (with the wrap). Now, I cover the seeds very lightly with seed starting mix, and I’ve had stronger results. Here is “Sunny Lady,” which Park Seed claims is more sun tolerant. We shall see.
I’ve grown Amaranthus in the past, usually “Summer Poinsettia” or “Love Lies Bleeding.” However, when I saw “Green Thumb” in the Select Seeds catalog, I was mesmerized by its greenness — like living Absinthe. I’m not sure if the photo was color enhanced, but I am very excited to see if the real plant resembles the picture.
There’s a huge dry area along the rear patio that recieves full sun all day — and I have reserved the area for “Strawberry Fields” Gomphrena. I must admit, though, not the best picture of it from the Park Seed catalog.
One of my most favorite things about seeds is that I get the chance to challenge myself and experiment. I have three experiments for this year, and here is the first: Ornamental Banana. Park Seed says the tree is a “super fast-growing” specimen — able to grow 10 feet in a single season. I’ll keep you posted, so to speak.
As for the other two experiments, as well as the rest of the red carpet, stay tuned. The reveal will happen in a few days in Part Two of this post. Until then, be well.