"One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it brings."

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A little seedy around here.

This is the weekend it got a little seedy around here. I had started organizing all the seeds I've collected over the past few months from trades or gifts from other bloggers. I also put in my first seed order and bought a few at the nursery. I just couldn't help myself!
The seed order was put in to Select Seeds. I haven't used them before, but had read good things about them. I also liked that a lot of their seeds are Heirloom varieties.
These are what I ordered:
Sweet Pea 'Chatsworth' - "frilly pale lavender flowers"
Tobacco (Nicotiana alata) 'Lime Green' - "Lightly scented green trumpet-shaped flowers"
Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus) 'Emperor William' - "Lapis blue single flowers... an heirloom variety referenced in many an early seed list"
Cosmos 'Rose Bonbon' - "a showy new double Cosmos from the Double Click series"
Poppy (Papaver somniferum) 'Imperial Pink' - "Pure pink petals with pale lavender marks near the center of the flower"
Primrose (Primula veris) Cowslip - "fragrant, tiny nodding yellow flowers bloom early in Spring... Listed in an 1827 seed catalog"

Next came the Winter sowing which was first tried last year with great results. I follow the directions on wintersown.org, very easy and fun to do. You can also now follow wintersown.org on Twitter and Facebook. Sweet Pea and the Littlest Gardener helped me with them. This year we put them together outside instead of the kitchen counter, much less messy that way!

We will be putting together more as the Winter progresses, there are some things such as Cosmos that need to be started closer to Spring. Today we had beautiful weather, perfect for getting outside and playing in the dirt.

What we started so far (most of these were from other bloggers or seeds we saved from our own flowers):
Pink swamp Milkweed
Dwarf Morning Glory
Rose Pink Nicotiana
Cleome 'Rose Queen'
Nigella 'African Bride'
Canterbury Bells 'Cup & Saucer Mix'
Veronica 'Lilac Fantasy'
Tall maroon Hollyhocks
Red Salvia

These are Cosmos I started last year with Winter sowing. I've never had them get as gigantic as they did last year.

Larkspur that was started with Winter sowing last year.

The lavender flower in front is the Veronica 'Lilac Fantasy'. I've never tried these from seed before and so this year will be my experiment. If they do well I'll save lots of seeds to share.

Finally while out looking at the seed racks I picked up a few more seed packets:
Sweet Pea 'April in Paris' - "perfect match of intoxicating fragrance, lovely form and captivating color with the most intense perfume of any sweet pea I've ever grown... large ruffled blossoms are a soft primrose cream, tinted at the edges in dark lilac that deepens and increases with age."
Sweet Pea 'Heirloom Cupid' - "short vines grow 8 to 10 inches tall"
Amaranthus / Love -Lies-Bleeding - "brilliant red seed heads dangle from the tops of bold plants... 3 - 5 feet tall"

Where all these will go is a good question, because in addition to these I still have many more seeds that can't be sown for awhile, not to mention I know I will see more I "need" at the nursery. It was so fun getting ready for Spring by starting some seeds.
Pin It


  1. Wow, Catherine, all you seedy peeps make me feel a little bit guilty that I'm not starting anything from seed. At least, I think I'm not. You're starting to tempt me...

  2. I confess I am dressed in envy for your climate Catherine! I would love to start seedlings too, but alas they would not survive the carpets of goutweed in my garden... unless they were thugs. I look forward to seeing your babies ... I can imagine the fast forward growth. Your Sweet Pea 'April in Paris' sounds lovely. Beautiful photographs!!

  3. I am so happy you had a good day to get out and start the seeds. I know the girls had a grand time helping. You reminded me that many years ago I planted some Amaranthus seeds and just loved these plants. I have not thought of them in years. I hope you all will enjoy a beautiful Sunday. Thank you for your kind comments, prayers and friendship Catherine.

  4. your Cosmos are huge, no doubt about that. I also have Love Lies Bleeding to try this year, as well as another Amaranth - Hot Biscuits?

  5. I love Select Seeds, it's a really nice company and I always enjoy looking through their catalog. I envy you growing the fragrant Sweet Peas! 95% of the time it's too hot in summer and cold in winter to grow them here.

  6. Well ya'll have been very busy!! I don't know much about winter sowing..guess I should read up on it. I usually just start in Feb.

  7. For some reason seeds haven't done well for me lately. But I've just placed an ordedr to Renee's Heirloom seeds. So will try again. Wow, it's cold here!

  8. Seeds don't work well for me some times. I planted some nasturtiums and sunflowers, and nothing has come up although it is springtime here. All the best with your seeds! I wish I could get larkspur seeds to give flowers like yours!

  9. WOW... you are so way head of the ball game for us. We can barely walk outside without freezing here. Plany envy. Color Envy and of course I want a nursery toooooo.

  10. So glad you're wintersowing again this year. I had a great year with my wintersown seeds. I'm going a little overboard this year with nearly 500 containers already. Tomorrow, I'll pass that mark. I'm really going for variety more than quantity. I want a bit of everything.

    Your larkspur were beautiful. I had just a few. I direct sowed mine in the fall. They survive our winters just fine.

  11. Beautiful pictures, the cosmos & larkspur are spectacular. Great collection of seeds, I've only ordered a handful, including cosmos, that I plan to direct sow in the spring. Have you tried this with Cosmos before?

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. Rebecca - I did try this with Cosmos last year, I looked back to see that I started them in the beginning of March. They did really well.

  14. Catherine, I'm so pleased to see that you are a winter sower. I am too, although I haven't started yet.

    I love those nice big containers you have, where did you get them? They look perfect for WSing.

    I was in Tom's WSing swap, so I have some lovely fresh seeds to start this year, after a bit of a break last year because we were in a rental house in North Seattle. I have plenty of others in my stash too. I better get busy!

  15. I love the way you used those disposable pans for the seed beds. That is a great idea. I had a bit of post flu energy the other day and went out to the garden for some light clean up. I found that the (mostly) mild weather we have been having has left me no room what-so-ever for new stuff. I have planted myself into a corner. LOL Guess this is where I learn some of those tough love rules for gardeners.
    The pictures you posted were a nice shot in the arm for January. I am looking forward to seeing your new garden beauties.

  16. I really love Larkspur, they are such a full color statement in the garden!

  17. The winter sowing is new to me. I'll have to check out the link, after seeing your beautiful flowers. I've not had much luck with larkspur. Yours are gorgeous! I appreciate you passing this info on.

  18. Thanks so much for the information, I hope to sow 1/2 in April and the rest in May, it just depends on what's going on weather wise. I'll put them on a new tulip bed, and hope they share well. :)

  19. Alison - Those containers are foil pans with lids, I found them at the grocery store. I never remember to save containers although I have started saving milk jugs for next the next sowing. Some of the foil pans are the ones I used last year.

  20. What a lovely mixture of flowers you've got there Catherine!

    I've got the seeds, but not the weather - still got about 6 inches of snow instead :)

    I'll be very interested to see how your experiment fares too!

  21. Wow, you are far and away ahead of me! I haven't even started my first seed order yet. I did get a Select Seeds catalog tho and plan to look at it soon. I am going to have a lot of fun starting the seeds you sent me ~ maybe I don't need to order anything else?! It was interesting to read you start larkspur this way ~ I never have any luck unless I direct sow those. With all these seeds started/purchased, you're going to have to expand a bed. I can see that coming! Have fun watching them germinate.

  22. Catherine you are starting a lot of seeds too. I think I will try the cosmos your way maybe I will get more than just a few that way.I cannot wait to start the larkspur seeds you sent. Yours are so pretty.
    I saw those Nicotiana lime green seeds. It looks like a pretty one. I did not know you were so fond of Sweet Peas or I would have saved some seed from my old fashioned pink one for you.

  23. You really have a lot started already. I need to go back to wintersown.com again. I went and read after you gave me the url but now need to do it again.

  24. Wow! I can't even THINK of starting seeds (even indoors!) until around April or May!
    How lucky you are to have such a long garden period where you live!

  25. Yesterday I saw for the first time a pink double cosmos in another blog and I inmediately wanted to try it in my garden... don´t know if I can get those here, I´ll look for them. And I can´t imagine the beauty of the poppies you mention. Another thing is that I didn´t know the name of some flowers I have now and looking at your picture I found out the name, they are Lakspurs!!!!
    You are going to have a wonderful cottage garden with all that seeds... and oh Sweet peas, how beautiful they are!!!
    Muchos cariños, Catherine
    Maria Cecilia

  26. I remember your winter-sowing adventures from last year, great that you are trying it again! I'm sure your garden will have the happiest, biggest flowers in town. My mom gave me a dwarf sweet pea last year, it was nice to tuck in where I wouldn't have had space for the tall ones. And, no trellising required! They were so cute.

  27. Ambitious..... can't wait to see the poppy & the amarathus.

  28. Ooooh, this is just what I needed to see, Catherine! We are trying to do better this year, not have too much started too soon, an ongoing problem. Thanks for showing the winter sowing, it looks like those pans with the tall lids are just the thing. When do you start your sweet peas? In the ground or in pots? I love your choices! :-)

  29. Where do you keep these containers?

  30. What a nice idea..sharing seed with other bloggers....and perhaps seeing some of "your" blooms on their blogs.


  31. I can imagine how beautiful your garden will look when spring comes and the flowers start to bloom from the seeds that you have sown. It gives me a positive feeling, like seeing life begins whenever I see seedlings sprout.

  32. Frances - I usually start Sweet Peas around February, but last year we had so much freezing and wet weather they didn't do well. I think this year I'll wait a little longer. I've always started them in the ground.

    Darla - The great part is you leave the containers outside. I put them in a mostly sunny area.

  33. I tried winter sowing last year and was most disappointed with the results. This year I did only one flat and that was of a seed a fellow blogger sent me and she said to sow in the fall. I hope it works well. I did order a few seeds-including a nicotiana like you did. I got mine from Pinetree seeds. Your seeds will make great additions to the garden.

  34. Seeing your plastic containers is inspiring me... I have so many cupboards full of those plastic containers (I think I'm the queen of recyclables), and I should try that method. I have so many seeds I want to start.

  35. Thank you so much for the link to Wintersown.org. In our new house, I've felt like I couldn't start seeds because we really don't have any sunny windows. Being able to start seeds outside will really help. I can't wait to read more this weekend and make preparations. Thanks again!


Thank you so much for taking the time to visit and leave a comment. I try my very best to answer any questions you may have, but usually don't have time to respond to each comment. Please leave a link to your blog so I can visit you in return.