First Seed order for the 2021 season!

After much consideration and checking the leftover seeds, an order was placed in timely fashion to receive a nice discount from Geo. The “tried and true” made up the bulk of the order, the usual marigolds (“Hot Pak Orange” and “Durango Mix”) and zinnias (“Profusion Double Deep Salmon” and “Queen Lime Orange”) and snapdragons (“Liberty Bronze,” “Madam Butterfly Bronze” and “Twinny Peach.”)

Not thrilled with the celosias grown this year, which was a surprise since both had been grown in past years and they weren’t nearly so RED as the flowers produced from this year’s seeds! So two new ones will be tried, “Act Zara Orange” which is a narrow crested variety, and “Celway Orange” which is a spicata (wheat-like shape.)

Celosia cristata “Act Zara Orange”
Celosia spicata “Celway Orange” Celosias make a great long-lasting cut flower that can also be dried for winter bouquets.

The sweet peas this year were gorgeous, so seed has been collected, plus “Captain of the Blues” has been ordered to add a bit more purple to the bouquets. Somehow, the asarina seed I’ve grown and collected for years didn’t germinate this spring, so a new packet of “Sky Blue” was on the order, too. There were so many volunteer sunflowers this year, and seed leftover as well, that only one variety was ordered, the lovely, rusty and terra-cotta tones of “Earthwalker” that I’ve grown and loved before, but not for a couple of years.

“Captain of the Blues” sweet pea is a blend of blue and purple that I find very pleasing.
Asarina “Sky Blue” has a little purple tinge, but that’s okay with me!
This volunteer outside the potager’s fence reminded me how much I liked the “Earthwalker” sunflowers!

Two new asters found their way onto the list, in my continual effort to extend the blooming season: “Bonita Light Blue,” a tall 30″ one for back of borders and cutting, and “Goliath,” only 12″ for nearer border fronts and which will also go into the deck pots late in the season.

Aster “Bonita Light Blue”..why do breeders insist on naming flowers “blue” when they are obviously purple?
Short, but showy Aster “Goliath”

Two more additions to the Cutting Garden are Centurea “Blaue Getullte,” a self-seeding annual blue cornflower and Larkspur “Qis Light Blue.” Both of those flowers are so familiar I won’t include photos. At the herb farm, alkanet was a staple in the Dye Garden, and I loved it’s fuzzy foliage and brilliant blue flowers but it was a bit lanky. Hopefully it’s short cousin Anchusa “Blue Angel” at a tidy 10″ will enjoy some of the drier areas of the Front Garden and self-seed happily. Yes, there’s more “blue” (although many of them are actually purple!) being added to the flower gardens to complement and bring out all the oranges and apricots, and more plants that can tolerate dry conditions. I’m getting old to be dragging so many hoses.

Anchusa “Blue Angel” is a good choice for hot, dry, sunny locations..and it really is BLUE!

Speaking of apricot, the Cosmos “Apricot Lemonade” was disappointing, so won’t be grown again but replaced by “Cupcake White” which several other blogger/gardeners were happy with this year, so it seems worth a try, and white goes with everything in terms of gardens and bouquets.

It appears there is some variation in flower shape, but that might be fun!

And, more portulaca will be seeded next year. Our summers are hotter, and the area along the sidewalk is a stressful location for most plants. Normally, a flat of orange portulaca is purchased but this year that didn’t happen due to the lock-down, so Portulaca “Sundial Apricot” should do nicely and won’t require any shopping should conditions still limit shopping. There aren’t many plants that are so easy to grow, with non-stop blooming even when it’s hot and dry. I’ve also collected seed from the double yellow ones that self-seed in one of my deck planters each year to use in some of the other planters as well. Portulaca works especially well in the rail planters, which are more shallow and dry out more quickly than the big tubs.

Love this soft color, and these plants are TOUGH and EASY!

To make it a more challenging (FUN!) year, three things I’ve either grown years and years ago, or never done successfully, or never tried were added. The first is Lisianthus “Super Magic Apricot.” I grew lisianthus decades ago, but never without a commercial greenhouse, so this should be fun in the basement! It has to be started super early, right after Christmas, so that will give me something to do over the long winter.

Lisianthus is a slow-growing plant, but a very long-lasting cut flower.

The second is Primula “Candelabra Oriental Sunrise” which I tried a few years back, but never got them to germinate. This year, with more time on my hands, I’m giving it another go.

Don’t even know for sure where I’ll plant them, but if I’m successful, I’ll find the perfect location!

And lastly, I’ve grown lupines, but never here and never from seed, so Lupin “Gallery Pure Blue” will be attempted. I keep seeing them in British gardens and gardening shows, and they are just too tempting!

They may not be happy in our short spring, but we’ll see…hopefully!

That’s the first order for the 2021 growing season, obviously all flowers, but the vegetable list has been started. I may not grow MORE flowers next year, but I’ll definitely be attempting to grow more variety. How will your garden change next year?

About carolee

A former professional herb and lavender grower, now just growing for joy in my new potager. When I'm not in the garden, I'm in the kitchen, writing, or traveling to great gardens.
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7 Responses to First Seed order for the 2021 season!

  1. March Picker says:

    Your order of oranges and blues promises much loveliness. I have found lupins to be among the easiest growers from seed, at least here! One of my favorites on your list is that lisianthus that I may need to order.

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  2. Jo Shafer says:

    I no longer order seeds before they almost invariably don’t germinate in our clay-like soils, even with amending with various composts and fertilizers. However, I still like to save heirloom seeds to try in “Black Gold” potting soil, and that sometimes works.

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    • carolee says:

      There are only a handful of seeds I actually direct seed in the ground (mostly veg and salad greens.) I start the majority of things in starter mix and transplant into the gardens after danger of frost has passed. We have clay soil here, too, and black walnuts which really limit the perennials I can grow in some places.

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  3. I love ordering seeds. All that promise and anticipation even if I know that not all will succeed or live up to my hopes. I am not ready to send my order in yet but am beginning to put together a list of what I want to grow. Since I am still harvesting this year’s produce it feels odd to be thinking of next summer but that is what makes gardening so great – there is always next year!

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    • carolee says:

      I do find it interesting that as the garden begins to wind down, my mind shifts to plans for the future. Yesterday I mapped where the garlic will be planted next month, and where the shallots will go next spring. I planted so many onions this year that finding rotation spots was trickier than I expected, plus not thinking ahead led me to plant some of the spaces that would have been good for alliums with fall crops that won’t be out early enough! You’d think I’d have a better system by now! Of course, next year’s garden is ALWAYS going to be better,, easier, prettier, etc….at least in my mind!

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