Come spring, I’m going to plant flowers. Everywhere I go, flowers will be sitting in displays, like packages of candy magnetically pulling the money out of a child’s pocket. Only, in this case, I am the child.
But I know that I can grow many flowers from seed. Now, if I wait and try to plant them after the last frost, like all the seed instructions say, I will still be greatly tempted by the abundant foliage and colors on the store shelves. However, if I am nurturing them in pots at home, I will already have so much plant responsibility, that I will hardly have time to glance at the friendly faces for sale!
Flower seeds seem to require more diversity in light to proceed with germination. Some of them are large, simple seeds you can plunk under the soil, such as nasturtiums and sweet peas. Others, like petunias and portulaca, want some light before they get started. They often take longer to germinate, and they tend to stay small for a while, like many herbs. It can be easy to forget about these flowers or give up.
From my experience, the light from grow lights works just as well as sunlight for germination. This means that I can get a early start on the flower seedlings, getting them to a size that is more satisfying, and harder to lose, before planting them out. A few minutes a day tending will yield me several flats of flower plants in the spring.
Here is the list of flower seeds that I have ordered this year:
Johnny’s Selected Seeds
Agrostemma, Purple Queen At one time, I had these established as self-sowers in my yard. They are a fun burst of purple fairly early, since they don’t require a lot of green growth before they bloom. In fact, they look much like a grass at first, but they have never been invasive for me here in Idaho.
Marigold, Queen Sophia We seem to be starting out with a lot of queens! I wanted some marigolds for their ease of growing and continuous blooms, but I wanted something not quite so ordinary as what I commonly see. The deep orange lined with gold petals on these flowers won my vote.
Salpiglossis, Royale Mix I was first introduced to these flowers when my parents brought me seeds from Buchart Garden several years ago. The plants do seem sensitive to the heat, but it is still worth it for the flowers in spring.
Sunflower, Buttercream I do seem to have an addiction to sunflowers. I tried to limit myself to just a few varieties. This is one of the hybrids, so unfortunately I can’t collect seed.
Sunflower, Autumn Beauty This one I can collect seed from. I plan on some nice bouquets this year!
Sunflower, Zebulon It was the lime green center that got me on this one.
Sunflower, Strawberry Blonde The other hybrid sunflower. There will be one other sunflower from Territorial Seeds.
Thunbergia, Spanish Eyes I have grown this every year for many years. It does best with an eastern exposure that has good morning sun only.
Zinnia, Benary’s Giant Just some good old fashioned huge zinnias.
Territorial Seed Company
Sunflower, Cherry Rose Now, do you see why I ordered this one?
Portulaca (moss rose), Sundial I had some self-sowing going on with these in a garden near the house, but that area is being turned into a patio this year.
Seeds of Change
Sweet Pea, Painted Lady The variations of pink in this sweet pea need to be expressed in my yard.
This is the company that I come to to find unique types of open pollinated flowers
Sweet Pea, Cupani’s Original This should look very nice in contrast to the Painted Lady above.
Nasturtium, Caribbean Cocktail These regularly brighten the shade in front of the house.
Petunia, Balcony I just need more petunias.
Phlox, Midnight Candy Something new for those midnight walks around the yard looking at the stars with my honey.
California Poppies, Jelly Beans Admittedly, another case of the name tipping me in favor of buying. Who doesn’t want to grow jelly beans??
Zinnia, Soleado One last eye-catching zinnia. Where to plant…
I already have several flowers that are established self-sowers in my yard. The larkspur in the bouquet above is one. The Heavenly Blue Morning Glories are dependable, but I have some left over seed, too. I would be surprised if I ever need to buy hollyhock seeds again. The neighbors may be hoping I don’t, although I do notice that they take advantage of some that self-sow over the fence. Then, there are the balsam impatiens, the Double Shirley poppies, and the Four O’Clocks, to name a few more that volunteer. I haven’t even listed the self-propagating perennials! All in all, though, I’d just as soon be weeding (and sometimes relocating) flowers as weeds. If self-sowing flowers have the advantage over weeds in my yard, then I guess I’m just a step closer to Eden.