Thursday, November 27, 2008

Seeds, Glorious Seeds & Archer

I've just started to go through the first of my seed catalogues - Stokes Commercial Growers Guide (Kevin & I order and re-package 1000 envelopes of flower seed each year for his clients) and of course Thompson & Morgan. I don't know about you, but I always like to try something new if I can, so I've gone back to my photos taken in the two trial gardens I visited at University of Guelph and Landscape Ontario.

I remember venturing out on my 120k quest that day - thinking what on earth would there be to see given the appalling conditions for annuals - a wet, cool and rainy summer. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see those flowers that had looked great the year before in the heat and dry, still looked wonderful despite the soggy summer.

Biggest surprise to me were the Zinnias - take a look at these Magellan series. The coral (1st in the bed) is an AAS winner from 2005. Like the way the new growth pushes over top of the spent flower heads. Not a mark of mildew on any of them. They grow 30-35 cm - a little over a foot. I see that Stokes has them for around $4.00 cdn for 15 seeds.
I don't think I'd grow these two colours together, but you can get an idea of how the new growth just pushes out over the old.

This is Zinnia 'Swizzle' Scarlet & Yellow - about the same size as the Magellan series. Interesting how the flowers are all slightly different on the same plant. While Stokes says they are not mildew tolerant and not to crowd them, no evidence of mildew and they were planted very closely. I'm a real yellow/orange/coral girl - I think I know a good spot for this one in my garden. It runs $4/pkt for 10 seeds.

You really can see how closely they were planted below.

Doesn't this remind you of a Venus Flytrap. Maybe I'm being a bit curmudgeonly, but I think coleus belongs in the shade. The new variety is called Henna - wonder what it would look like if it wasn't being tortured just to prove a point in the full sun.

My grandmother always grew cleome - she had a gorgeous large garden - lots of roses - she was definitely a pink, blue, red and white gal. I was so impressed with this new Sparkler series of cleome. Not the first purple planting, but the next 4 are all Sparkler. Really would make a stunning border. I'm going to order some of the white - $4.50 - for 10 seeds at Stokes. They grow about 1 meter high (yard)

This is Cuphea 'Totally Tempted'. I think I'd try to put this in a raised bed or pot so you could appreciate the dual coloured flowers.

This is Verbena 'Rapunzel' Violet 06. With such bright light to photograph in - it still looks stunning. I've never had any verbena perform so well in any of my pots or gardens!

Zinnia 'Zahara' - quite stunning. (30 cm about 1 foot). Appear to be offering commercial size packages at Stokes - $23.30/250 seeds - no regular packages. Scarlet above - Coral Rose below - something to look for.

And, a brief update on our little scallywag. Here he is under my desk. Looking at that face, would you ever believe he would ever, ever chew on any computer wires? Only when I'm not watching. He found my Revenue Canada files yesterday - no problem, I'll just tell them the dog ate my receipts.


Frances said...

Hi Barbara, I was ready to comment on the zinnias, terrific! when Archer came into view, on my, that is not good, chewing on wires. But that cute face...anyway, you have got me excited about seeds! Thanks, and hope your holidays were the best ever.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing all the flower seed photos and information. Now I'm drooling over seeds, and it's way, way too early to plant anything! Dream on. I'm sure Archer didn't mean to chew your computer cords, right?

Barbarapc said...

Frances & MsRobin - the little scamp just gets better and better - sadly just in time to hand him off. I'm sure it was the cat who taught him about the wires.

Gardenista said...

Oh, I would so like to have visited those trial gardens. Looks like fun and so much more vibrant than a catalog. But alas, it is winter and I guess we'll make do! Your doggy is looking like a happy fellow and maybe a trouble maker?