Friday, April 5, 2013


I know I know  - I'm late planting my seeds. I really have no excuse.
The only good thing is that most of what I bought are perennials so if I grow and pamper them over the summer, they'll bloom next spring. Most would not have bloomed this summer anyway.

I ordered from a site I had never used before: Diane's Flower Seeds in Utah. I was a bit worried she wouldn't ship to Canada but there was no problem.

One of the main reasons I used her site is that I wanted Flowering Tobacco Nicotiana sylvestris. I couldn't find these seeds in any Canadian catalogue.

I'm quite excited about the new perennials I plan to grow! I will show you pictures of what they should look like when they all germinate and grow.

All flower photos are taken from Diane's site with her kind permission. Thank you Diane!

First - here's my only annual - Nicotiana sylvestris:

I grew this annual once before and just loved it! It grows very tall - sometimes 5' - and has huge leaves, tall stems with droopy white fragrant flowers. The vanilla scent is most noticeable in the evening.

Next: the Perennials. 

Campanula latifolia 'Brantwood':
This bell flower looked so gorgeous with its deep blue/purple colour and beautifully shaped bells. The write-up says it blooms the first year, so my fingers are crossed! Diane says it looks great near roses, foxgloves and carnations. It grows 3-4' high.

Aquilegia vulgaris 'Magpie'
This columbine grows to 30". It has purplish-black and white flowers on tall stems.

Echinacea tennesseensis 'Rocky Tops Hybrids'
Diane writes that this lovely coneflower grows 36" tall and is quite rare.

Gaura lindheimeri 'The Bride'
Gaura has become extremely popular in the last few years and 'The Bride' is just the one I was looking for. It is drought tolerant, which is terrific, considering the hot dry summers we've had lately. I have really high hopes for this one.

Gypsophila pacifica
This pink baby's breath has large pale pink flowers and blue-green stems. Diane says it looks great near roses and shrubs. It's excellent in flower arrangements. It also self sows.

Penstemon barbatus 'Iron Maiden'
Sounds like something right out of Game of Thrones! Scarlet red flowers that attract hummingbirds.

Penstemon cobaea
This looked like such a gorgeous Beardstongue that I just had to try it! Grows 2' high.

Viola tricolor 'Helen Mount'
Happy-faced little Johnny Jump Up! Hope it self seeds everywhere :)

And as a free bonus I received Centaurea cyanus 'Tall Mix', a great light-blue Bachelor's button.

I decided to use pellets this year - no messy dirt all over the basement floor as I try to fill small pots.

I spent this afternoon planting the seeds and labelling. Some that needed 3 weeks refrigeration are out on the garage floor. It's still freezing out there.
The rest are downstairs under grow lights.
Ok - here we go! Now comes the exciting part as they start to sprout.

Check out my recipe blog: recently posted Beef Wellington and Mixed Vegetable Casserole.


Nadezda said...

Astrid, you are on the first, very important stage^: one seed in one coir pellet! And one label there!
I don't like doing that, have no enough patience. And sometimes I sow 4-5 seeds in one pellet!
I noticed that these pellets are getting dry very fast and added soil between them.
Can't wait to see your seedlings!

Astrid said...

Hi Nadezda
Actually, there are about 3 seeds per pellet (which is what they recommended). The package said grow 3, then select the strongest and get rid of the others.
I hope they grow well - they all seemed like such interesting flowers!

Amandula said...

Astrid, is the photo on your header your own? It is stunning!! Amanda

Astrid said...

Hi Amandula (just read your profile - I know you :) :) :)
Yes - these are this season's first Iris reticulata out in the back yard near the deck. I shot the photo 2 days ago when they appeared.
Thanks so much for stopping by - I'll keep an eye on your new blog too!

HELENE said...

Astrid, all those plants are great plants, I could have chosen them myself if I had available space for them! Something I don't have is space to grow seeds indoors, sadly, Victorian houses were not built with things like that in mind, I only have one window sill and it is packed with my orchids. I am relying on sowing seeds straight in the ground, but with this weather I am not sure when that's going to happen, possibly not until end of April!
Looking forward to seeing all your plants in flower :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Helene
I have tried sowing straight into the ground but often lose track of what's where. I truly have had only minor success with doing it that way.

Jennifer said...

The weather has been so miserable the last few days that it just doesn't seem like spring. You are not the only one starting seeds late! I only planted my seeds up this week and still have more to go.
You have made some interesting seed choices and I look forward to seeing the all the flowers in this summer's posts.