Sunday, February 15, 2009

Going Dutch

I'm always a little embarrassed to admit when I've ordered from Dutch Gardens. In my book, they're about one step above Spring Hill Nurseries as far as plant quality and reliable customer service...and that's not too good. But gosh, the pictures in their catalogs are intoxicating.

I figured I couldn't go too wrong with daylilies and gladiolus - two of the toughest plants in existence. Here's what my order looked like; these should be arriving in about a month:

Gladiolus 'Black Surprise'

Gladiolus 'Dandy'

Daylily 'Thundering Ovation'

Daylily 'Lori Goldston'

Flower Seeds - Old and New

I was going through my collection of flower seeds and was truly amazed at how old some of them were. Sunflower seeds from 2001, marigold seeds harvested from plants I had...gosh, I can't remember when. Maybe from before I was married, even. I ended up pitching most of the old seeds, as they probably weren't viable anyway, but I decided to try the sunflower and marigold just for the heck of it. The datura was also harvested from a plant and is only a couple of years old. The rest of the list is brand-spanking new seed from either Burpee or Select Seeds. Seeds were started yesterday, 2/14.

Sunflower 'Sunspot'

Marigold 'Jaguar'

Datura 'Double Purple'

Ornamental Millet 'Jester'

Scabiosa 'Beaujolais'

Scabiosa 'Dark Knight'

Maltese Cross

Gentian Blue Sage 'Cambridge Blue'

Amaranth 'Oeschberg'

Gomphrena 'Fireworks'

Coreopsis 'Mardi Gras'

Calendula 'Oktoberfest'

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Lead Us Not Into Temptation...

...but deliver us from weevil?

It's a difficult time of year for gardeners, at least, Southern gardeners. Spring is so close we can almost smell it.

I look around the yard and see my daffodils blooming and I want to start doing things. Things like cleaning up dead plant debris and trimming off ornamental grasses and planting stuff. You know...gardening. But alas, it's still a bit too early.

After suffering through last week, which started off with ice storms and ended with 75° temperatures, I know not to trust Mother Nature this time of year. She is naughty and treacherous and won't hesitate to freeze unprotected plants to the ground.

So, seed starting and garden planning has filled some of the void. I finally got the three lightweight half whiskey barrels out of the garage, positioned them in the backyard around the pool and filled them with potting soil and some homemade compost. My seedlings are looking good and it'll be tough deciding what goes into the barrels, what goes in the new beds by the driveway and what (besides the tomatoes) gets sentenced to the wild confines of the Plano Community Garden. Sheesh.