There is always a fall order of seeds from Geo, but it hasn’t been this large since I closed the herb farm. However, with all the new plans for next year’s “Growing Kindness Project” bouquets I decided to indulge. There are thousands of seeds on that table, and after I took the photo I realized I’d already put over a dozen packets into the freezer to stratify! Not every seed will be planted this year. Many varieties will just be a pinch or so to trial, so there will be lots leftover for growing in years to come. I’m not going to discuss all of them, because many are the “tried and true” that I’ve been growing for years and have written about in former posts. The entire order will be listed at the end. The “new to me” varieties deserve a bit of ink, and of course those are the ones that excite and interest me the most, so here’s the new candidates, in alphabetical order not excitement order!:
Achillea, better known as Yarrow is an easy-to-grow perennial. It makes a great filler for bouquets, is pest and critter free, and comes in a wider array of colors than ever before. Some of the colors dry well. I’ve grown yarrow for many decades, but I think it will be fun to see what colors appear. Most may not bloom in the coming year, but we’ll hope!
Everyone raves about this plant, so I think it deserves a try. 40″ tall and if I don’t like it as a flower we’ll eat the seeds…or the birds will! I’ve grown lots of amaranths before, but never this one, which should look great with all the new sunflowers and celosias in autumn.
After having accidentally ordered the “Bonita Blue” aster last year, which turned out to be a tall annual rather than a short perennial, and seeing how well I liked it as a cut flower I’ve decided to give a couple of other annual asters a try. The “Bonita” actually dried pretty well, holding it’s purple color and petal shape so I’ll be growing more of those, too. The Benary’s are 28″ tall and come in an array of colors, the most popular of which seems to be salmon.
Looks pretty similar to the one above, so it will be interesting to see if one performs better, is longer lasting in the vase, or has better stems, etc. Duchesse is described as a “peony” type and comes in 12 colors. Also 28″.
Celosias were a major crop back in my “growing 21 acres of herbs and everlastings” days and I’ll be growing several of my favorites, but this “Asuka Green” crested celosia is a new introduction. Green flowers have a fascination for me and many others, and in bouquets they “GO” with everything else so they are extremely useful. I’ll be interested to see if it holds its green color when dried as well. 30″ Shown in a greenhouse setting but it has been successfully field tested as well.
I love the fragrance of Sweet Williams, and they were a popular cut flower way back in my farmer’s market days even though they were a biennial. Dianthus has come a long way since then, with many varieties now FYF (first year flowering) so I’m giving two varieties room to grow and a very early start. “Bodestolz” has 3″ ball-shaped heads in a nice range of colors and long stems, 28″
“Summer Mix” is a respectable 24″ with more bi-colors and single flower-form rather than a ball of many flowers like “Bodestolz.” Both should be very useful this coming year and hopefully I’ll winter over a bed of each for blooms in 2023 that should help fill the dreaded “June Gap” since I don’t grow peonies!
Lisianthus was my very favorite flower to cut last year. Yes, it was frustrating because the seeds are so slow to germinate, then it stays miniscule for months and months, but then suddenly in July it grows tall and produces the most beautiful, long-lasting flowers ever. I only grew one variety, so I’m expanding to four for this coming year. The “Voyage” series is a very double flower in a wide array of colors: white, champagne, rose, green, dark blue, yellow and apricot. The petals are fringed, which I find intriguing although apparently some people think they look “bug damaged”. I can’t wait to see them in person! And I’m hoping to get lots of green, dark blue and apricot ones!
The “Arena” series of lisianthus is also a double, but without the fringed edges and with a more open center. There should be apricot, gold, red, white, green, rose, picotee, and purple. This group should be slightly later than the others. We’ll see…but I’ll be happy to have them whenever they bloom.
This ABC series should be the first to bloom, but has a more limited color selection: deep rose, purple, green, yellow and white. I couldn’t download a photo of the fourth variety, “Soiree Orange Flash” which basically looks like a very pale apricot with some orange tones, but I think I’ll like it. And “Yes”
400 seeds seems like a lot of lisianthus, but I doubt I’ll ever have too many. Plus, they are a bit tricky to grow so I know not all seeds will be successful, judging by last year’s experience. Of course, I hope to do a better job this year!
The photo is a bit misleading because the mix I selected has no red or yellow, but it was the best I could find. I’ve grown stock plants for sale as bedding plants, usually the “Vintage Series” but this time I’m choosing a taller variety for cut-flowers called “Anytime Mix.” Stock is also tricky to grow in our climate because it wants a long, cool spring (90 days between 40-60 without freezing at night) and we often go from winter to hot summer too quickly. I like a challenge and have three or four different techniques to try. Will any of them work? Well, that will be the fun to see, won’t it? Stock is a lovely, fragrant vertical that I’m hoping will also bloom in June. “Anytime” comes in pink, lilac, apricot, “blue” and cream and is supposed to tolerate a wider range of cold and heat. A whopping 30″ tall. I’ve never seen a stock that tall, so this should be interesting. Maybe I’d better order some stakes!
Can you tell that I’m already excited about starting seeds for next year. I’ll be doing some winter sowing outdoors in plastic jugs like last year, and lots more seed starting in the basement, beginning right after Christmas! Can you believe that is only 8 weeks away!
If you are interested, the list of the rest of the order follows:
Antirrhinum (snapdragons): Solstice Mix, Royal Bride, Black Prince, Rocket Mix
Aquilegia (Columbine) “Mellow Yellow”; Calendula “Porcupine”;
Celosia: “Celway Mix,” “Crystal Beauty,: “Neo Mix,” “Sunday Mix”
Coleus “Wizard Golden”; Delphinium “Blue Donna,”; Feverfew “Vegmo Sunny Ball”
Sunflowers: “Double Quick Orange,” “Pro Cut Gold Lite,” “Starburst Lemon Aura,”
“Sun Rich Gold,” “Sun Rich Summer Orange”
Lupine “Gallery Mix”; Phlox “Grandiflora Mix,” Portulaca “Stopwatch Orange,” Rudbeckia “Sahara”; Scabiosa “Cut Brite Formula Mix”; Statice “Seeker White, Seeker Purple,” “Heavenly Blue”; Viola “Penny Orange”
Sweet Pea: “Mammoth Choice Mix”, “Melody Mix”
Zinnia: Cupcake Mix; Magna Mix, Benary Giant Mix; Inca; Profusion Double Deep Salmon; Pumila Cut and Come Mix; Queen Lime; Queen Lime Orange; Sun Series Sunshine Mix; Jazzy Mix, Soleado, Red Spider; Zinderella Mix, Zahara Mix.
your Yarrow must be different than mine. My white yarrow just took over and has been hard to keep under control. I’m thinking cut flowers is the way to go. At least we can shar them if we are lucky to get a lot.
White yarrow is a rampant spreader. In fact, I’m moving it out of the Cutting Garden to the edge of the woods where it can just do its thing. The colored ones do spread, but not nearly as fast and they stay in a clump form, with the clump itself just getting bigger, not rooting along and running under the ground like the white one does.
I truly enjoy reading about your selections, Carolee, and I’m certain to be inspired by them! Still haven’t dipped my toe into lisianthus, but have been considering it. The green celosia looks amazing. I will explore those varieties of dianthus (nice and easy like the FYF ones I grow, hopefully). This is the year I’ve chosen to forego china asters, stock, and annual phlox — they’ve disliked our cool, slow growing season and I end up with just a few healthy, hearty flowers. Instead I’ll bump up columbine, lupine, snaps, and zinnias. And of course LOADS of sweet peas! Looking forward to watching your progress.
I often envy your cool, long growing season! I would have thought stock would have loved it. I’m doing more sweet peas as well. What’s your favorite variety? I was disappointed in the ones I grew last year…not much fragrance or stem length, but they were pretty and productive!
It is nice to try something new but you seem to be taking on some big changes and challenges. I know you will grow amazing flowers and I will look forward to seeing the bouquets – I just wished I lived near enough to receive one!
And I’d be thrilled to bring you one!
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Oh I LOVE that amaranth and the ball form dianthus! And I must try to find some lisianthus. We had the Texas native one come up on a hillside next to a busy road at our house growing up- and then one day two women came through and filled 4 brown paper bags of them. My mother caught them as they were walking away- they had denuded the entire hillside. Turns out they were decorating for a wedding and shrilly asked what they were supposed to do for flowers now when my mother made them give her the bags of purple single lisianthus. I believe her response was quite expletive filled, if memory serves. We had purple blue bells (as we called them) all over the house for a week or two… but the hillside never recovered… one of the ladies had been yanking them out by the roots. We tried to replant the roots, but not a one took. It still makes me sad to think of it- it near broke my mothers heart. Perhaps that’s a good gift- to try to find some seeds and plant them for her!
What a sad story, but unfortunately it happens more often than we’d like to think. I bet your mother would love some replacements!
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