A little Christmas Bloom Day Decor

Lit-up 1960s Santa Claus with double-flowering amaryllis and paperwhites. I like to force bulbs indoors.

All around the house, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Although we Catholics are still technically celebrating the season of Advent, Christmas is right around the corner. Bill and I are throwing a party for some friends tonight. I haven’t had a Christmas party for anyone other than family in years. I’m pretty excited, so I decorated the house with almost everything I own. It’s been a blast to uncover all of my decorations and to pull growing bulbs from the greenhouse.

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Seeds bought this spring…so far

The vegetable patch at the beginning of July, 2012

These are the seeds which made their way into my virtual shopping cart from all over the Internet so far this spring. I decided to share them with you so we’d both know what I’m planting this year. Some are for the vegetable garden. Others are flowers that may go in the back garden, or maybe in the vegetable garden. I have a thing for sunflowers and zinnias, especially in my veggie garden. They make me smile.  I’ll also divide them into cold season crops and warm ones. All of these are in addition to seeds I already have from last year. Tomato seeds seem to live forever if you take care of them, so I keep them for years.

Part of my potager, summer 2010.
Colorful tomato cages in my potager during the summer of 2010.

Franchi:

Cold Season
  • Chard (Bieta) ‘Blonda Di Lione’ is a beautiful white stemmed chard with light green leaves;
  • Pac Choy (Cavolo Cinese)
  • Spinach (Spinacio) ‘Merlo Nero’
  • Lettuce (Lattuca) ‘Franchi’
  • Lettuce ‘Parella Rossa’
  • Mache (Valeriana) ‘D’Olanda a seme Grosso’
  • Broccoli rabe or raab (cima di rapa meaning turnip top) Not sure why this translates to turnip top, but there it is.
  • Radish (ravanello) ‘Gaudry,’ the cutest little red and white radishes.
Warm season
  • Green beans (fagiolo nano) ‘Boby Bianco’
  • Green beans ‘Purple King’
  • Cucumber (cetriolino) ‘Beth Alpha’
  • Tomato (Pomodoro) ‘Fiaschetto di Manduria,’ a determinate variety that does well in dry conditions.
  • Tomato ‘Marglobe’ because I love this Indeterminate heirloom.
  • Eggplant (melanzana) ‘Violetta Lunga’ meaning long purple. I love eggplant almost more than squash.
  • Melon (melone) ‘Retato Degli Ortolani’ is like a cantaloupe, but isn’t. Supposedly good with parma ham.
'Picnic' watermelon not ripe.
‘Picnic’ watermelon not ripe.
Flowers
  • Cobaea scandens, cup-and-saucer vine or cathedral bells ‘Rampicante Mix’ meaning climbing mix, I think.
  • Celosia cristata multicolor. I’ve developed a love for dark red celosia. I hope to select some from this mix and keep refining them.
Winterbor kale in an early spring garden.
‘Winterbor’ kale in early spring garden

Chilterns:

Cold Season
  • Calabrese (sprouted broccoli) ‘Green Magic’ Must have been in a broccoli mood since I also bought broccoli rabe above.
  • Beetroot leaf ‘Blood Red’ bought mostly for color, but I’ll eat it too.
  • Orach ‘Scarlet Emperor’ bought for color.
  • Mache ‘Large-leaved’ wanted to test this against the Italian variety. I’ll probably start these in cold frames this week.
  • Chinese kale ‘Kailaan’
  • Pak Choi ‘Canton Dwarf’ I like pak choy and bok choy a lot. Maybe too much.
Warm Season
  • Basil ‘Queen of Sheba’
  • Holy basil ‘Purple Tulei’
  • Thai basil
  • Dill ‘Tetra’
  • Lemon Bergamot
  • Capsicum (Pepper) ‘Hungarian Black’
  • Aubergine (eggplant) ‘Ronde de Valence’ For some reason I have two packets of this. Hmmm.
Flowers

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds:

Cold Season
  • Parsnip ‘Half-Long Guernsey’
  • Snap Peas ‘Sugar Snap’ I find snap peas easier to grow in our unpredictable springs than shelling peas.
  • Swiss Chard ‘Flamingo Pink’ How could I resist?
  • Kale ‘Scarlet’ Although I love ‘Toscano’ or ‘Dragon Tongue,’ I already have seeds of these. Plus, we like to make kale chips and find the curly kale to hold the seasonings better.
  • Rutabaga ‘Collet Vert’
  • Lettuce ‘Beleah Rose’ 
'Forellenschluss' lettuce
‘Forellenschluss’ lettuce
Warm Season
  • Tomato ‘Solar Flare’ from Wild Boar Farms
  • Tomato ‘Carbon’ one of the best tasting dark tomatoes out there.
  • Tomato ‘Yoder’s German Yellow’
  • Tomato ‘Break of Day’
  • Pepper ‘Chiltoma Grande de Ometepe’
  • Squash ‘Rugosa Frivlana’ We’ll see if this lumpy squash is resistant to squash bugs. May grow squash in the cold frame this year to ward off squash bug damage. However, if I do I’ll need to hand pollinate.
  • Squash ‘Lebanese White Bush Marrow’ I have no idea why I bought this seed.
Panicum 'Northwind', 'Blue Boy' bachelor's buttons, Rudbeckia 'Irish Eyes'
Panicum ‘Northwind’, ‘Blue Boy’ bachelor’s buttons, Rudbeckia ‘Irish Eyes’
Flowers
  • Bachelor’s Buttons ‘Blue Boy’ Never grow a garden without it. Silver leaves and blue blooms.
  • Amaranth ‘Molten Fire’ Although it’s a grain, I grow it for the leaves and flower heads.
  • Hollyhock ‘Black Currant Whirl’
  • Nicotiana ‘Scentsation Mixed’ It smells good.
  • Zinnia ‘Burpee Rose Giant Cactus’
  • Zinnia ‘Illumination’
  • Zinnia ‘Mazurkia’

I will work to find enough places to grow all of these zinnias. I can see that many will end up in the vegetable bed. Franchi and Baker Creek were the clear winners in number of packets. It was probably very cold in Oklahoma the day I ordered. I bet we even had snow. Some women shop for clothes to get endorphins. I’m a plant/seed shopper, and February is the cruelest month in Oklahoma.

Although some of these are listed as warm crops like the tomatoes, basil eggplant and peppers, I’ll be starting those seeds inside by the first week of March. I promise you a seed starting post then. In the meantime, check out this one on seed starting at my 20/30 blog.