It’s a new year, which means I’m thinking about new garden plans. I also ordered new flower seeds. I thought sharing my new garden plans, and seed orders might be helpful. It’s also a good record for me, which is how this blog started out 16 years ago.
Can you believe I’ve been writing this blog for 16 years? I can’t. Not really.
A quickly drawn garden plan
I drew up a quick plan for the cut flower gardens because instead of my normal “sow and go” method, I’m starting quite a few seeds indoors this year, including my zinnias. In the last couple of springs, we’ve had a lot of rain in a very short time, and I live on a hill. I found that my zinnias were washed out of the cut-flower, raised garden beds and ended up drowned at the bottom of the lower pasture or somewhere in between. Last spring, I had to replant three times.
From past experience, I know I can plant four rows of zinnias and other flowers and somewhere between four to five plants in a row. You could easily adapt this to vegetable transplants.
My hope is that the small zinnia plants will hold onto the soil better than the seeds did.
I always tell my garden-coaching clients that gardening in Oklahoma is hard. The weather, the soil, and growing conditions are highly variable.
In fact, I just wrote about this for Oklahoma Living magazine. Some years gardening here is extremely difficult, but don’t give up!
Winners and losers factor into my plans.
In last summer’s extreme heat, I lost three ‘Blue Fortune’ agastaches. I still think I still have three remaining in the center of the kitchen border, but time will tell.
I’m going to replace the dead with African blue basil, which can’t be grown from seeds. I took cuttings last fall, and they’ve grown into substantial plants. According to my research on several websites including San Francisco Gate, “African blue basil (Ocimum kilimandscharicum x basilicum ‘Dark Opal’) is an accidental hybrid between an East African basil and a garden variety basil called ‘Dark Opal.'”
I didn’t love having such tall agastaches in the front of my kitchen border. This basil grows shorter and broader and still attracts loads of pollinators. I’m convinced that it and the lavender make my honey taste sublime.
I also took cuttings of several varieties of the regular Salvia ‘Vanhouttei,’ which is red. Below are other varieties I’ve grown in the past, including ‘Wendy’s Wish’ and ‘Ember’s Wish.’ I believe both are patented so we shouldn’t take cuttings of them.
Each new garden year is a clean slate.
Now that the holidays are over, there’s no better fun than planning and ordering seeds.
I’m growing more plants from my own cuttings and seeds to save money and create swathes of color in my garden. I already have a seed-starting station, but you can build one easily if you’re handy. I wrote about building mine years ago for Fiskars. Since their website is defunct, I may try to resurrect my article and rehab it as a post with added experience.
Growing transplants from seed aren’t difficult.
For info on growing transplants from seed, I’ve got you covered.
Late winter and early spring can be extremely busy. I suggest you make a few garden plans and take your chores a few at a time. Before you start getting into the garden in earnest, you may want to read Ten ways to enjoy your garden more. Sometimes, I’m guilty of working too hard to make everything perfect. Perhaps, you suffer from garden perfectionism too.
If you’re unsure where to start, I wrote about that in growing summer flowers from seed. The same criteria works for vegetables too.
My flower seed orders
Without further ado, here are my current flower seed orders. Next week, I’ll share my vegetable seed orders. I put most of the seed companies in parentheses for your convenience.
Zinnias: ‘Oriole‘ (Swallowtail Seeds), ‘Uproar Rose,’ ‘Queen Lime with Blotch,’ ‘Crouching Tiger’ (all from Park Seed), ‘Queen Lime Blush’ (Hudson Valley), ‘Meteor’ and ‘Aztec Burgundy Bicolor’ (Select Seeds), ‘Profusion Red/Yellow Bicolor’ (AAS), ‘Oklahoma Salmon,’ ‘Oklahoma Pink,’ ‘Oklahoma Carmine’ and ‘Oklahoma Scarlet’ (all from Johnny’s Selected Seeds.)
I know I have too many zinnia varieties. In addition to the cutting garden, I’m going to look at my back garden, remove some things I don’t care about, and put zinnias there. I might even–gasp–get rid of my ‘Sparkling Burgundy’ pineapple lilies. After many years of growing them, I think they’re boring.
I also have a very thorny ‘Red Drift’ rose that is so happy in the garden but snags me every time I go out there. She may have to go. If you see plants out by the mailbox in spring, you’re welcome to take them.
One of the great things about gardening is you’re not married to any of it.
Nicotiana: ‘Cranberry Isles,’ ‘Deep Purple Perfume (Select Seeds), and ‘Lavender Cloud’ (Hudson Valley)
‘Cheyenne Spirit’ echinacea (BC) is my favorite seed variety for coneflowers in unique colors.
Double Sunset Gaillardia (BC) is new to me this year.
‘Apollo Mix,’ ‘Apricot Lemonade’ and ‘Rubenza’ cosmos. I bought these was a variety of places.
Jupiter’s Beard (Centranthus ruber) (BC)
Salvia ‘Sirius Blue’ Sage (BC)
Atomic Purple gomphrena (BC) usually goes in the bed facing the street.
Chater’s Maroon and rare Light Peach hollyhocks (Etsy.) I saw light peach hollyhocks in England when we visited last summer. Once I returned I searched for seeds. I often have good luck with seeds off of Etsy, but be sure to check reviews before you buy.
Verbena officinalis ‘Bampton’ (Select Seeds) will go in the kitchen border and other places throughout the garden.
Celosia ‘Asian Garden’ (Select Seeds)
‘New Mexico’ amaranth. I talked myself into amaranth and celosia again. Imagine me shaking my head.
‘Viking Explorer’ begonia (All-American Selections [AAS])
‘Sun Coral Candy’ coleus (AAS)
Tithonia ‘Torch’ (Hudson Valley)
Because of Carol and my friends Teresa and Beth from Tulsa, who have the most beautiful blue pansies and violas, I decided I was no longer satisfied with the blue pansies at the nursery. I sowed seeds in the greenhouse for ‘Celestial Blue’ and ‘Blue Perfection’ pansies and ‘Antique Laeta’ viola (Baker Creek); ‘Got the Blues’ pansy mix and ‘Cool Summer Breeze’ viola mix (from Botanical Interests); ‘Penny Denim Jumpup’ viola and ‘Inspire Plus True Blue’ pansy (from Johnny’s Selected Seeds); and a ‘Frizzle Sizzle’ variety that isn’t blue. All of these pansies will go in my front flower bed (along with any fall-planted ones that survived our freezes) in flower pots and around flower bulbs.
‘Mother of Pearl’ Shirley poppies (Select Seeds.) I scattered these out on the snow in the potager. That method has worked for me before. We’ll see how things go this year. The sunlight, moisture, and cold should help them germinate. Plus, the soil in the potager is very fine. I do love when I have poppies in my spring garden.
I’m also going to try to get ‘Janet Scott’ (BC) sweet peas going outside early enough I don’t have to transplant them.
Plus, I have several packets of sunflowers. I’ll have to think about where to put them. I did find two spots in the cutting garden.
In recent podcast episodes, Carol and I also discussed our seed orders and various seed-starting methods. While you’re browsing, we also have this excellent newsletter tied to our weekly podcast episodes. You should subscribe because it’s great!
I hope this post and our podcast help you plan your garden this year. I’d love to hear about your plans.