The bright, rich colors of nasturtium flowers make an impact along the edge of the border, in a pot or climbing a wall or trellis. Their gorgeous rounded leaves, much like a water lily, are a vibrant shade of green with a few varieties having variegated leaves. These easy to grow annuals deserve a place in any garden.
Growing Nasturtiums is easy from seed. Sow directly in the garden starting in late spring after all chances of frost have passed. If you want to get a head start you can plant seeds indoors 3-4 weeks before your last frost date. Plant the seeds ½- 1” deep and about 10” apart. Nasturtium seeds are large and germinate quickly (5-7 days) which makes them a great seed to plant with children. Nasturtiums can be grown in full sun or part shade. They prefer a leaner soil and do not need to be fertilized. Keep them watered during dry spells and remove spent blossoms to encourage prolonged blooming.
Flower colors range from orange to red to yellow, peach and even burgundy. Both the flowers and leaves of the nasturtium plant are edible. The flowers have a peppery flavor and make a bright addition to any salad. They are delicious stuffed with soft cheese or can be used to make an infused vinegar.
Nasturtiums make great edging plants. I especially like to use them along the edges in my vegetable garden where they spill over the sides of my raised beds and attract the bumblebees. They are also great tucked into bare spots in the garden. The climbing varieties can share space with roses and clematis in the perennial garden or beans and cucumbers in the vegetable garden.
Morning Glories are one of the easiest annuals to start from seed. In some areas, they will re-seed from last year’s dropped seed and some varieties may even be perennial in mild climates. After an overnight soak in water, plant the seeds about 1/2 inch deep and then stand back and watch!
Best started in fertile soil with adequate moisture during germination and early growth, morning glories can produce vines up to 15 feet long and will clamber over gazebos, fences and trellises with their twining limbs. Some gardeners even grow them up a downspout and along a roofline or up into the limbs of a tall tree. They can be so vigorous as to choke out other plants nearby and can be vigorous re-seeders which grow best in average soil and full sun.
They are called “morning glory” because they bloom early in the day and the petals deflate and fall off in the evening. The Morning Glory was first cultivated in China for its medicinal uses, due to the laxative properties of its seeds. It was introduced to the Japanese in the 9th century, and they were the first to cultivate it as an ornamental flower. The Japanese have led the world in developing varieties and the colors range from blue and pink to red, purple, lavender, white and even brown. The flowers are attractive to hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees.
(also called Clarke’s Heavenly Blue) blooms with 5-inch flowers all summer and is an heirloom variety dating back to the 1920s. It is a lovely blue with a white center. These are one of the most easily recognized and popular of all morning glory varieties and can be up to 12 feet long. The foliage is an attractive heart shape.
bears velvety deep-purple flowers with red stars at their center. This self-sowing annual was originally grown by Grandpa Ott, a Bavarian immigrant, who lived on a 40-acre farm in St. Lucas, Iowa and was preserved by the family in conjunction with the Seed Savers Exchange. This one can climb to 15 feet tall if given support to grow on. Grandpa Ott’s grows very quickly, spreads easily and looks stunning. It will also adapt to part shade.
Although also called “morning glory” start to bloom in the late afternoon and close in the morning light. If the day is overcast or cool and cloudy they may stay open for a longer period. Moonflower is fragrant enough to perfume the air within 6 feet of the blossoms and loved by hummingbirds and night moths, including the large Sphinx Moth. The blooms are 5-6 inches across and the vines can grow up to 20 feet. They are native to tropical and subtropical regions of the New World, from northern Argentina north to Mexico and Florida.
https://bbbseed.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/BBB-Seed-logo-with-tagline.png00Engrid Winslowhttps://bbbseed.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/BBB-Seed-logo-with-tagline.pngEngrid Winslow2019-05-03 05:00:092021-03-17 18:31:00A Trio of Morning Glories to Welcome Spring
What is a wildflower? Well, a wildflower is any flowering plant that has not been altered from its wild state. These plants have had no selective breeding, no genetic modification, and are all natural! These little beauties can be found in nearly any environment; from mountains to prairies, swamps to deserts! Wildflowers provide vital habitats and forage for wildlife, like our favorite butterflies and bees, and beautiful sights and scents for us lucky gardeners.
We take our favorite wildflower seeds and blend them into these mixes specially formulated for unique regions, conditions, and uses. We make sure to use fresh, high quality, open-pollinated, GMO-free seeds because you deserve to have a successful, healthy, and fun planting experience. Our mixes are all seed with none of the fillers that you might find in other mixes because we believe you should get what you’re paying for.
We love Annuals! This mix brings vibrant and long-lasting color to any site. This mix includes great wildflowers including Scarlet Flax, California Poppy, and Desert Bluebells that will add immediately to any drab or “worn out” spots on your property. This mix also reseeds well, so you can enjoy these annuals year after year!
Not every spot in your garden is going to replicate the open, sunny meadows most wildflowers are adapted to. We understand and think that every inch of your space deserves to be colorful and wild! That’s why we came up with our Wildflowers for Shade Mix! This mix is a blend of annuals and perennials that are tolerant to partial shade. This mix has over twenty annual and perennial seeds to ensure that you get great color and varied blooms for years after you first planted.
The Low-growing Wildflower Mix is the perfect mix for people who want the wildflowers but not the wild height! While some wildflowers can get up to three feet tall, this mix is designed to grow low and compact (6-12 inches). We really dig (pun intended) how manageable and controlled this mix grows. It includes poppies, clover, and flax for a great mix of color and shapes that will make your garden the talk of the town (in a good way)!
What’s better than waking up on a cool summer morning, walking outside, and being greeted by the smell of a field of beautiful wildflowers? How about a field of wildflower that you planted yourself! Sounds perfect to us! Our Fragrant Wildflower Mix is one of our personal favorites. We hand selected the flowers this mix of annuals, perennials, native and introduced wildflowers to grow well in many geographical regions and to smell wonderfully aromatic! Plant this mix around your patio and walkway and be greeted by its wonderful scent every time you stroll by.
Nothing is more frustrating than toiling in the garden, planting seeds and starts, caring for them, and proudly watching them grow than to come out one morning to see a family of deer happily munching away at your precious plants! We get it. That’s we created the Deer-Resistant Wildflower Mix to include species that deer and elk will usually avoid if another preferred forage is available. This mix includes perennials that will begin blooming during their second year. Now you can enjoy the beautiful deer (and elk) in your area without stressing out about your garden!
At BBB Seed, we are deeply committed to providing the highest quality grass, wildflower, and grass seeds to empower our customers to get out and grow! This list of our Most Popular Wildflower Seeds is intended to be a useful resource for you to see what products our customers and we are enjoying right now!
We also are incredibly concerned about providing sustainable and environmentally conscious products to you. We source seeds that are non-genetically engineered, tested, and grown sustainably. We hope these products will help you enjoy nature and learn about this wonderful world in the garden. We also strongly encourage you to visit our Pollinator Action Page to learn about the pollinators that make our natural world possible and learn more about what you can do to help them. Thank you!
Grow. Enjoy. Share…the beauty and the bounty!
https://bbbseed.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/BBB-Seed-logo-with-tagline.png00Sam Dollhttps://bbbseed.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/BBB-Seed-logo-with-tagline.pngSam Doll2019-04-23 12:25:332021-02-04 12:36:30Our Most Popular Wildflower Seed Mixes May 2019
Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus) are one of the most widely grown and well-known flowers in the garden for many reasons. Children adore them because of the distinctive bloom of the dragon’s head shaped flowers with mouths that open and close when squeezed from both sides. Many gardeners associate them with memories of their parents’ or grandparents’ gardens and they come in every color of the rainbow and beyond with shades from white to a purple so deep it almost looks black. They can be short or tall, bloom for a really long time and are easy to grow in full sun to part shade. Usually blooming in cooler weather in the spring and fall, they can bloom in hotter months if given additional water and deadheaded regularly. Snapdragons are useful as perennials because they often overwinter or as annuals in planters. They are a lovely addition to a cottage-style garden, pretty in bouquets and are not too fussy about soil type, although they do better with the addition of organic matter. They can even tolerate dry conditions. On top of all that, bumble bees love them and they are lightly fragrant. The National Garden Bureau has named the Snapdragon one of its 2019 plants of the year: ww.https://ngb.org/year-of-the-snapdragon/
Snapdragons are readily available as plants but they are so easy to grow yourself from seed if you decide to give them a try. They germinate better if placed in the freezer for a couple of days before planting and should be started sometime in February for spring planting. They do need light to germinate and since the seeds are tiny, press them into the top of the soil and water them from the bottom. They take 1 to 2 weeks to germinate and should be pinched back once they have 6-8 leaves to encourage a stronger stem. Plant your starts outdoors about the time of the last frost once they have been hardened off. https://bbbseed.com/care-planting-seedlings/
https://bbbseed.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/BBB-Seed-logo-with-tagline.png00Engrid Winslowhttps://bbbseed.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/BBB-Seed-logo-with-tagline.pngEngrid Winslow2019-01-15 16:43:142021-02-09 10:23:23IT’S ALL ABOUT THE SNAPDRAGON IN 2019
Gorgeous Sunflower Photo Courtesy of Christy Short
Sunflowers (Helianthus sp.) are such a great annual for so many reasons. First of all, they are so darn cheerful with their big, bright blooms during the hottest part of the summer. They are also easy to grow. Just poke them into the ground and keep them well-watered until they germinate and then stand back because they thrive in rich soil and heat. The pollen is loved by bees and the seeds are attractive to birds. Sunflowers come in so many varieties with sizes ranging from 12” to 15‘ tall and the colors vary from pale lemon yellow to bright yellow, orange, red and bronze. The petals can be single, double or in fluffy multiple layers (check out Teddy Bear Sunflower).
It can be fun to watch the birds eat the seeds or you can make a fun project out of roasting them. To do this: soak the seeds in salted water for 24 hours, then roast in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper at 350 for 35 minutes, stirring frequently. Let them cool and store in an airtight container. If you want to serve them warm after roasting toss them with a bit of melted butter for a delicious treat. Sunflower seeds are high in vitamin C, E and are high in fiber which supports digestion, they also contain antioxidants, magnesium (for bone health) and can help lower cholesterol.
The roots of sunflowers have an allopathic quality which inhibits the ability of other plants nearby to grow properly. This makes them a great choice for weed suppression but keep them away from other flowers that you love.
Half Awake Sunflower (Photo Courtesy of Christy Short)
Giving and receiving flowers is one of the great joys of Valentine’s Day. Everyone, men and women, adults and children, loves to get flowers and for a gardener, it’s easy to have an abundant supply of flowery love to give away. As you’re planning your garden now, be sure to have a supply of flowers that make great arrangements. Here are some suggestions of what to grow.
When I worked for a garden center with a flower shop I learned some secrets of garden design. The first thing florists do when making an arrangement is to fill a vase with water and the greens they want as the foundation of the arrangement. Then they added in filler flowers like baby’s breath and tiny asters or sea lavenders. This is also when curly willow or other woody filler went in. With all those fillers in place, the vase is packed and you can insert some of your show-stopping flowers here and there and they stand tall and well-spaced in the vase.
Now that you have a vase full of greens and supporting flowers, you can choose a few show-stoppers to pull it all together. Showy perennials like roses, peonies, lilies or annuals like dahlias or sunflowers are the high impact flower.
I did start growing flowers as a way of saving money. I could create great gift arrangements by clipping a few blooms here and there. But I did need something to put the flowers in. Mason jars work well plus I learned that thrift stores always have an abundance of vases for $1. Putting the flowers in a vase means you give the beauty of the flowers and your own artful touch in the arranging.
Happy Valentine’s Day to all. As gardeners, you know how giving and receiving flowers evokes and shares the love so plan your garden so you can give flowers all year long.
https://bbbseed.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/BBB-Seed-logo-with-tagline.png00konabirdhttps://bbbseed.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/BBB-Seed-logo-with-tagline.pngkonabird2014-02-14 17:34:002021-03-02 14:06:25Grow Your Own Flower Arrangements
Even here in snowy Colorado, it’s time. Even if some weird polar vortex has kept you housebound and you’ve lost track of what day it is…it’s time. Time for starting your perennials. Spring really is on its way.
One of the interesting aspects of a culturally liberal place like Colorado is that we’re very open-minded. There’s somebody celebrating just about every religion’s and culture’s holiday now. Two events this week remind me how human beings everywhere celebrate the hope for the return of Spring. First, there was a big Groundhog Day celebration for kids in one of our nature centers. Our groundhog day is actually a big fake because true groundhogs don’t live here. But we have a fine stuffed toy groundhog that is the center of a snowy celebration. Our other event was a Celtic festival for Imbolc, a Gaelic festival centered around St. Brigid or the pagan goddess Brighid, depending on your point of view. Both holidays are traditional days to forecast when Spring is coming. Whether Spring is coming sooner or later is all the same to a gardener. The point is that it is now the midpoint between Winter Solstice and Vernal Equinox and Spring is definitely on its way.
So you have two things to do:
First, you can start looking for the signs of Spring. A snowdrop erupting in a warm spot. A weed or two starting to green up. Keep your eyes open…you’ll see Spring if you look.
Second, you can start your perennial seeds. It’s too soon for warm season crops like tomatoes, but a great time to start slow starting perennial flowers and herbs. Perennials are often slower to germinate than annuals, but they are also more able to withstand cold temperatures. So if I start the seeds now (or in the next few weeks), I’ll have plants ready to go outside in a protected spot by April…when I’ll need the space to start annuals.
The first week of February is the time I traditionally start perennial seeds indoors under lights. My setup is pretty simple…a shop light dangling from a rod in my closet with a seed tray underneath. Here are the two kinds of seeds I’m starting this week:
In the vegetable garden, herbs are the best perennials to start now. Think of winter hardy herbs: oregano, lavender, parsley, rosemary. It’s not the time for basil yet.
Edibles are great, but one must never forget food for the soul—the beautiful wildflowers. If you think to start perennial flowers might be difficult, take inspiration from an article in Fine Gardening magazine about 10 Perennials Easily Grown from Seed. finegardening.com/design/articles/perennials-grown-from-seed.aspx
It might be frozen outside right now, but I look for Spring everywhere. The Groundhog searches for his shadow….I’m watching my seed tray for the first tiny sprouts!
https://bbbseed.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/BBB-Seed-logo-with-tagline.png00konabirdhttps://bbbseed.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/BBB-Seed-logo-with-tagline.pngkonabird2014-02-10 19:57:002021-03-02 14:11:24Starting your Perennials NOW
Some plants are meant to be the star of the garden. Dahlias, for example. You can see them from across the yard and they elicit gasps of delight at their beauty. While stars do make the garden, they only really dazzle when surrounded by a strong supporting cast. And that’s where Dark Opal Basil really shines. Its black shiny leaves provide a color background that makes white and brightly colored flowers in the garden “pop.” But as they say on late night TV, “That’s not all…”
Dark Opal Basil is super cute planted as a border in front of the tomato bed. Brushing along the basil releases its great hot summer aroma. Some say Dark Opal Basil, like all basils, helps repel tomato hornworm.
Its own pink to white flowers on dark purple bracts shine on their own.
Its dense foliage fills all the empty space in containers and display beds. Visually, it pulls together a lot of other plants like zinnias and salvias that can look bare at the bottom.
It is yummy. I like it growing near the cherry tomatoes so on a warm summer afternoon I pick one leaf of basil and wrap it around one cherry tomato for a refreshing flavor burst.
Dark Opal is said to be the favorite purple basil for cooks because of mild flavor and a tender leaf. It looks and smells great in a salad, served with fresh mozzarella or use a sprig of it in a Bloody Mary.
https://bbbseed.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/BBB-Seed-logo-with-tagline.png00konabirdhttps://bbbseed.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/BBB-Seed-logo-with-tagline.pngkonabird2014-02-07 17:35:002021-03-02 14:14:59Best Supporting Actor – Dark Opal Basil
Reading through all the garden porn…uh I mean seed catalogs…I found myself quite transported this morning. Looking at the beautiful pictures in the catalogs, I realized that when I considered getting seeds for a certain plant, my mind was quite filled with images of what the full-grown plant in bloom would look like. Thinking about what tomatoes to grow, my mouth began to salivate. For gardeners, seeds aren’t just a tiny bit of hard matter, but a world of potential realized. Somehow, I think the plants actually manage to communicate that to us. We sit reading our catalogs and the seeds themselves seem to be shouting from the page, “Pick me!” Pick me!” As I always tell people when I teach seed starting classes, seed starting is easy….the plants want to grow.
I don’t think we need to be psychic to start communicating with plants. Human-plant communication is something humans have done since the beginning. In a world with so many plants, how else did we figure out which ones are good for medicine and which ones are good for food?
So do a little experiment when you sit with your seed catalog or favorite seed website. Settle yourself into a quiet place alone with your catalog and set the mental intention that you’d like to understand which plants you should grow this year. Then calmly flip through the catalog and see what really gets your attention. Or sometimes thoughts of a certain plant pop into your head. Close your eyes for a moment and really see the plant. Use your imagination to smell the plant or feel its leaves. Let an image come to your mind of where the plant might be physically in your garden. Imagine it growing in that spot next June and notice if the plant looks healthy or weak when you think about it there. If it doesn’t look strong, try to imagine it in a different place. How’s it look there? How do you feel when you see the plant there?
Whether we are accessing our own intuition or really communicating with the plant itself, I think we are tapping into our own inner gardener who knows exactly what plants we should grow to make both the plant and the gardener happy!
At this time of year when we’re mired in cold and snow, I yearn for two delights of Spring: when the daffodils and tulips bloom and when the meadows burst with wildflowers. One thing about wildflowers though, especially in our suburban gardens. A few years after planting it seems that just a few wildflowers start to dominate. Often it’s the bachelor buttons and California poppies, both beautiful flowers, but we need diversity and variety and wild color to really shake winter off.
The secret to a lush wildflower area (besides good rainfall) is to over-seed the area every once in a while with some of your favorite flowers. I usually take the easy way and just throw out a packet of our mixed wildflower seeds to get an overall refreshing of the original mix I planted years ago. But for one friend who has created a “hot colors” theme of red and orange in her garden, we throw out packets of red wildflowers. This year we just did a search for Flowers by Color and picked out the flowers we liked with the truest red colors. We settled on red columbines for Spring, red firecracker penstemons for early summer and red gaillardia for mid-summer.
Finally, my absolute favorite reseeding in the Spring is to seed the Parade of Poppies mix. There just are never enough poppies of any sort in my mind. This year I’ve slipped a seed packet in my coat pocket for some guerilla gardening during my sunny day walks along old abandoned properties and ditches that grows lots of weeds. Poppies will brighten my path this year!
This year I’m also going to try taking a baggie full of our new StrawNet (pellets of straw) when I do my wild area guerilla gardening. The biggest problem with just throwing seeds out onto abandoned land is that I can’t water them every day. StrawNet absorbs water and helps create a little moist barrier for new seeds so I expect it to help more seedlings survive even if we have a dry Spring. Sometimes nature needs a little help to be as beautiful as she can be.
https://bbbseed.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/BBB-Seed-logo-with-tagline.png00Sandy Swegelhttps://bbbseed.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/BBB-Seed-logo-with-tagline.pngSandy Swegel2014-01-24 00:07:282021-03-02 14:27:01Bring More Color to Your Wild Areas
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