Last year, I could not get some of my favorite flower seeds from the usual source. They had sold out. So, I did a search online for that particular seed, Thunbergia (which I have grown from seed for years), and came across Swallowtail Garden Seeds. They also had several varieties of gazania seeds, another flower that it easy to grow from seed, but not readily available. Even when I go to D&B Supply to buy it every year, it is rare that even the garden center people know what I’m talking about, and they usually only have one type of gazania seed. I had already gotten all of my other seeds for the year, so didn’t look much more at Swallowtail Garden Seeds at that time, but I made a note.
When deciding on flower seed for this year’s garden, I went through all my usual seed catalogs, then saw my note. Interestingly, Swallowtail Garden Seeds had not sent me a catalog. I went online to look at them again and found that they offer many kinds of seeds for flowers I commonly buy as plants, but haven’t found seed for previously. This is what I got this year:
BRACHYCOME, BLUE SPLENDOR – 1,000 SEEDS
CAPE DAISY, WHITE – 500 SEEDS
GAZANIA, BIG KISS WHITE FLAME – 15 SEEDS
GAZANIA, KISS ROSE – 30 SEEDS
GAZANIA, NEW DAY MIXTURE – 25 SEEDS
GERANIUM, DIVAS RIPPLE MIX – 10 SEEDS
NASTURTIUM, KALEIDESCOPE MIX ORGANIC – 25 SEEDS
POPPY, MOTHER OF PEARL SHIRLEY – 1 GRAM
PORTULACA, SUNDIAL MIX – 50 SEEDS
In this list, the brachycome, varieties of gazania, zonal geranium, and this particular Shirley poppy are the particular finds at his company. There are others I am interested in, but I don’t want to be overwhelmed trying too many kinds of seeds that I don’t know what to expect from. The cape daisy I am already in love with, and have gotten just it from another source, but I try to consolidate my seed purchases some, rather than buying one package here and another there, so I was happy to find it here where I also wanted a few other things. The nasturtiums and portulaca I can never seem to have enough of.
By my calculations, even with purchasing potting soil to start the seeds, I will save at least 75% of what it would cost if I bought flats or pots of these flowers. Not that I would buy that many, so this also allows me to have more flowers than I might be able to budget for otherwise. Of course, it all hinges on being consistent in taking care of them when they are sprouting and new seedlings, but I have a good track record with that, partly due to lessons learned in the past. Like with many things, most of getting good results with starting seeds is about diligence and experience. The seed is a time bomb just waiting for the right conditions.