Now that we’ve made the first round of seed introductions, it’s now time to continue down the receiving line. As mentioned in the previous post, I chose many red flowers — but I also included some experiments, seeds that could prove challenging.
First up, an experiment. I always try to include Coleus in the garden. The variety of colors and leaf textures are amazing — and they’re super easy to root if you’d like to save your favorites as houseplants. Simply snip off a stem, place in water, and roots appear. (By the way, that’s also an economical way to keep a favorite Coleus around for the winter months. As the weather warms, take some clippings from that house plant and have roots ready for the outdoor growing season.)
This year, though, I’m trying my hand at Polka Dot Plant. I’ve seen it in some of the box stores, usually sold as a house plant — so why not grow some for the pots around the yard. Besides, it helps satisfy my belief that color doesn’t always have to come from flowers.
There is a trellis outside of the potting shed where “Nelly Moser” Clematis grows. But once it peters out, I usually have Morning Glory climbing upwards. This year, with the theme of red, “Scarlet O’Hara” will be the belle of the ball.
Some flowers simply make me smile. That was my reaction when I spotted the pom-poms of Sweet Scabious in the Select Seeds catalog. Here is “Summer Fruit.”
Here we have Lisianthus, and this was a complete impulse purchase. I was familiar with this plant in pinks and blues — but never red, “Athena Red” to be exact. Even though the catalog image is a posed bouquet shot, I am excited to see what this plant will do in the garden.
I never know what to plant in the front yard beds, which have full southern exposure. Perennials provide a lot of the interest, but I also like to add some annual color. This year, I’m going with “Flare” Salvia because it’s easy to care for and looks great when planted en masse.
Dahlia is another one of my favorites. Normally, I purchase clumps from catalogs, but am I the only one who has noticed the dramatic rise in prices? The answer, then, is seeds. What’s interesting about growing Dahlia from seed is that tubers will develop over the course of the growing season, which can then be saved for next year’s garden. Here we have “Bishop’s Children,” bicolor blooms against purple-black foliage.
And now for the final experiment: Hardy Cyclamen, “Silverheart Scarlet” Hybrid. Primarily sold as a house plant, I’m curious to see how they will manage outside. And, yes, at least one will be my office buddy over the winter months.
Looking at the seeds against the ruler and then at the final result, I can’t help but be in awe of the power of the seed. All that beauty and joy and promise locked up inside — and it can all be enjoyed for a matter of cents. If you haven’t grown anything from seed, please give it a try. There are many easy seeds (Zinnia, Cosmos, Sunflower, and many vegetables and herbs) that can be planted where you’d like them to grow.
And if you do start plants from seed, have a wonderful, bountiful growing season.