I love trying out new seeds so each year as I read through the seed catalogues I try to order something I have never tried before. There is so much choice in seed catalogues. The garden centers don’t often carry the unusual and old-fashioned annuals we remember from our grandmother’s gardens.
In the spring I sprinkled some wildflower mixes in the garden. Some were for moist soil and some were to attract pollinating insects. I sprinkled a few seeds directly but in case I accidentally weeded the tiny seedlings out I also started some seeds in the greenhouse in early spring. Above is one of the poppies in bloom. They range from pinks to white in the garden. It is said that poppies are hard to transplant. If you do it with the whole root ball intact it’s not usually a problem.
This annual had me stumped. I didn’t know what it was but I love it. Flowers in shades of pinks, whites and purples bloom along tender pink stems. The flowers resemble that of miniature Hollyhocks. This is Clarkia. I had to go back to the seed package to figure it out. I haven’t grown this annual in over thirty years. No wonder I didn’t remember it. It turns out this is a good cut flower.
This plant is still a puzzle. It could either by Didiscus or annual Iberis. They are both very similar in flower. The umbel shaped flowers are sure to attract pollinators to the garden. Mixed in with the spring-flowering Forget Me Nots, this garden is all pastels.
I wasn’t surprised to see the Godetia bloom. I have grown this old-fashioned flower for many years. I love the two-tone shades of pink on this easy to grow flower. Note to self, I must collect seed from this one.
I started seed to grow Echium vulgare in 2014. It grew a rosette of leaves at the base and that was it. I always think of this plant as an annual. Perhaps its biennial here. The spring flowers opened from pink buds to this vivid blue. I grew this flower about twenty years ago and hadn’t seen seed offered until last year. What I do remember about this plant from my experience growing it in the 1980’s is that it was covered in caterpillars. Of course, I was a new gardener then and though it was a pest. It turns out this a host plant for the Painted Lady butterfly. So far I haven’t seen any larva on the plant. The butterfly is all over the garden as I have a few other host plants for them to enjoy. The common name for this flower is Viper’s Bugloss. It has bristly stems and hairy leaves. I grow it for the blue flowers. I think they are stunning.
Do you grow unusual annual flowers? I love trying new seeds each year.