Saturday, July 7, 2012

The rewards of gardening- the flower edition

All fall and winter my main hobby is sewing, but when spring and summer roll around my attention is completely on my gardens. I have gotten some gentle reminders recently that I haven't updated my blog, and if you've been wondering what I have been up to, well, take a look.

Orange Cosmos- the original seeds came in the mail as some sort of free enticement to make a donation to some organization.  I collect and replant the seeds every year with stunning results.

Tropical Dahlia from a mixed bag of tubers purchased in 2012.
 Last year I purchased two dahlia bulbs on clearance at Walmart and stuck them in the ground not knowing what to expect.  As soon as the first blossom bloomed it was love at first sight.  I saved the tubers and *I think* one of them grew back.  I tried to keep accurate records of what dahlias I planted, but this year I planted over 40 tubers.  I did have some issues with some tubers I purchased online surviving, and I'll share that story once I get it straightened out. So I have been replanting with some tubers I purchased locally.

Yellow Dahlia from 2011 given to me by my Mom.  I have since learned that I need to debud some of the plants in order to get really big blooms.  I do admit that I have a hard time pinching off those flowers!
2012 Burpee Del Sol Pollenless Hybrid Sunflower
 I experimented with different varieties of sunflowers.  The sunflowers pictured above where planted May 5th and bloomed July 1st. This is a new variety for me.  Del Sol grows a single flower on each stalk.  I did have a couple of plants that sent off an additional shoot or two. I do tend to like sunflowers that branch and have multiple flowers on each stalk (more blooms to pick!) but I really enjoyed these flowers. Some centers where up to 8 inches across.  So big and bright!  They make such a statement.  And I LOVE that they are pollenless and leave no residue on the kitchen counter when cut.  Will I grow these again next year?  It depends.  I'm not counting them out just yet.

The last of the hollyhock blooms. Grew these from seed in 2010.

Botanical Interest- Art Deco Zinnias 2012
My all time favorite flower to grow is the zinnia. So easy to start from seed with great results.  I picked up several new packets of seeds this year.  These where also planted May 5th and started to bloom the last week in June. This Art Deco mix gave me some interesting colors. From coral to Crayola purple. I have been getting some large blooms on long stems, which is always a plus!

July 2012 Cut Flower Garden

I am ALMOST done weeding this garden. The next step is to lay down some newspaper and mulch with straw.  Anyone know where I can find some minions to help weed my vegetable garden? 

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