Just after Christmas 2005, I decided to try a new thing I'd read about, called winter sowing. It sounded bizarre to me, this planting seeds in the middle of winter and putting them out in it until they started to grow in spring. Yeah, right. Grow.
But when the spring of 2006 made its appearance, so did the seedlings. I didn't have 100% success with everything I'd planted, but enough that I became a believer in winter sowing, and I've done it every year since.
One of the things I planted that first year were lupine seeds (Lupinus polyphyllus). I'd never seen lupines in real life, but I was fascinated by the tall, bubbly flower stalks in such pretty rainbow colors. When I saw seedlings appearing in the milk jug, I was a happy gardener. I transplanted them into the garden when it was the proper time, and they grew quite a bit that first year.
I'd hoped they would bloom, but by the time fall and winter came, I'd not seen a single flower. The plants were pretty enough, with their pinwheel foliage, but flowers would be nice, too. I waited patiently through the next winter, hoping the plants would survive until spring, and they did. Now that summer was here again, I could look forward to seeing my plants bloom!
Or not. Once again, they grew and were healthy, but with no signs of blooming, I wondered if I wasn't doing something right. They were planted in full sun in decent soil, but fall came, then winter, and I still hadn't seen the lupines flower. Now two years had passed since I planted them; two summers had come and gone without flowers and I wondered if they would ever bloom.
This spring, the lupines once again survived the winter in fine shape and I didn't even think about if they'd bloom or not. I made plans to buy some plants if I came across them at one of the garden centers. Surely, their lupines would produce flowers, wouldn't they?
And then it happened.
About three weeks ago, I was spreading mulch in Max's Garden and when I came to the lupines, I noticed something. Several somethings. FLOWER BUDS! After more than two years of growing in my garden, the lupines decided it was time to let me see what color they were.
One is dark purple, while the other one that's bloomed (so far) is lighter lavender. I direct sowed more lupine seeds this spring, and I did pick up a plant at a garden center in Findlay a few weeks ago, that's supposed to be red. If it blooms, I'll find out for sure, but who knows when that might be. LOL.
In the meantime, I'm tickled purple that my lupine that I planted by seed in January 2006 is finally blooming!