30 August 2013

They Look Like The Catalog!

Every year, we try out new recruits for our gardens. In 2013, catalog items that caught my eye and caught my wallet were listed in a February post [2013.02.16], and I am happy to report that we have a few rookies worth writing about.

The three year old seeds for veteran Canary Bird Zinnias from Baker Creek were planted again. Being yellow, they were placed in the front garden near the pink cleome to keep away from the yellow rudbekia in the side yard. They responded well again where the soil is luscious and sun is plentiful. In fact, a few popped up in other areas of the yard from last year's plants seed deadheading.

To keep the gardens from being monochromatic, the new pink Pinca zinnias were planted on the side yard with rudbeckia, with sloping terrain, where soil is still improving, and where sun is diminishing due to an ever expanding neighbor's tree. The beginning blooms are incredibly delicious, and one can get up close to them at side yard walkway. The pink color looks great next to my first year lavender Russian sage (not intentional, but I will take credit.)

To date, height is a short 24-inches (60 cm). Being in a mostly sunny area (as opposed to full sun) probably slowed their bloom time since the yellow Canary Birds in the front have been blooming for weeks. What stood out in the catalog photo was the ragged square-edged appearance of the petals. Happily, the 4-inch (10 cm) bloom matches the seed company's photo and description.

I have shied away from marigolds in recent years, just tiring of them. A photo of Tiger Eyes at Park Seed reminded me that they haven't been here for years. There were not many seeds in the packet that came, so only six plants were started with the remainder saved for next year. They are now at their peak, loving the slightly cool summer weather we have.

The marigolds have been religiously deadheaded, and have responded. They are my border guards, hugging the border edges here and there around the front yard garden. Compact, full, no pests, and lots of consistent intense-colored flowers make this one look happy. Sometimes marigolds can become large and gnarly, and tip over, but these have remained strong. The dark green luxurious looking foliage is an added bonus.

Garden Calendar:
  • Blooming: mexican zinnia, zinnia, marigold, cosmos,
    rudbeckia, echinacea, sage, goldenrod, buddleia,
  • Harvested: 2 pepper, 4 tomatoes, 2 zucchini