Indeed, I have spent some time with seed catalogs. I am trying to figure out what I can grow and plant in 200 square feet to wow coworkers and campus visitors (that is the ultimate gardener’s complement, you know, to be “wowed” by their planting combinations). I finally arrived at a decision, a scheme that will surely bring color and interest to the spot in the cooler months of the year and that will maybe spark a little curiosity among coworkers. I have ordered the seeds and they have begun to arrive. I spent an hour in the greenhouse this morning, sowing seeds. Alas, I have foiled my intentions already, as I seem to order seeds and start fall plants a little later than I should.
My first seeds to arrive were pansies and snapdragons. Pansies are a classic source of color in the fall garden and carry on through winter months and into early spring. I was drawn to the promise of large flowers and a range of color from apricot to rose in Pansy ‘Imperial Antique Shades’. These pansies are supposed to be 8-10″ tall, so I am imagining them toward the edges of the garden. They’ll be shorter than other things I have selected. Even though I bet I am a little late in getting them started this fall, they are sure to delight us in the late winter and spring. It is amazing how fast one can sow 250 seeds! I should be able to transplant the seedlings in a few weeks.
I have also chosen a snapdragon. Snaps are tolerant of cool weather, and will persist through most Georgia winters. They are a great cut flower, too. Cutting flowers and sharing them with others invokes a lot of goodness all around, wouldn’t you say? I don’t always get a flower display from fall-planted snaps because I tend to start them too late. That, combined with the decreasing day length as fall progresses, slows their growth and development. However, usually the optimist, I know what those snaps are going to look like in the spring, and I promise — you will be envious!
Pansies and snapdragons are pretty predictable, so I threw in a few other things. I chose some purple mustard for a foliage color. It will withstand frosts beautifully. In fact, its color often deepens with frost. My last choice is an experiment for me. I was hooked by the chartreuse, conical heads of Broccoli ‘Romanesco,’ and I had to have it! I am concerned that I have started this too late, that again, decreasing day lengths and cooling temperatures will slow this plant too much. We’ll see what happens. I didn’t sow all of those seeds!
So, there you have it! Seeds are sown, on the mist bench, and doing their thing! In a few weeks, I’ll be able to transplant the seedlings.