Monday, February 2, 2009

Attention on Annuals - Part II

Continuing the parade of annuals from Part I . . .

Lupinus texensis - Ahhh...the Texas Bluebonnet. Do you know I've never seen one in real life until I grew it last year? I wondered if I could get it to bloom stage, but no problem! It really is the most luscious shade of blue.

Papaver rhoeas - These Shirley poppies are the only kind I've managed to grow as of yet. They're incredibly easy and self-seed freely, so if you don't want them, collect the seed heads. Mine produce all different shades of red and pink, as well as white with red accents. They're very delicate-looking flowers with that typical paper-petal look.

Alcea rosea - My first hollyhocks were grown from seed my grandma gave me, but these deep burgundy ones are from seed I collected behind a restaurant near here. They aren't black, but from a distance they look like it. Hollyhocks aren't an annual, rather a biennial. I always make sure to spread seed from the large pods so I am never without this old-fashioned favorite.

Emilia coccinea - Scarlet Tassel Flower was a newcomer to the garden this year and it grew and flowered like gangbusters. It's a small flower on tall wiry stems, but never failed to attract attention from garden visitors. When it goes to seed, the cottony seeds float in the air like dandelion seeds, so I'm pretty sure I'll be finding this all over the garden next year. Thomas Jefferson grew this at Monticello.

Dahlia - It took these dahlias most of the summer to reach blooming stage, but I was rewarded with beautiful 'painted' blooms. After we had a killing frost, I dug the tubers that had formed and they are now in the basement awaiting spring, when I will plant them out. This is the first time I've ever done this, so we'll see how it goes.

Euphorbia marginata - This is one of my very favorite annuals. It's easy to grow, glows in the garden, especially on a moonlit night, and has fun Explode-O-Pop seed pods. Be careful of the milky white sap though. It can cause skin irritation.

Gomphrena globosa - Also known as Globe Amaranth, this is a small flower whose blooms last a long time. I don't care for this color, so this year I'm going to grow them in red. I saw a patch of red ones at Inniswood Gardens and they were stunning.

Calendula officianalis - I have planted these for several years now. I purchased seeds the first year, and have always saved seeds from the plants for the following year. They are reliable germinators and undoubtedly would self-seed if I didn't purposely plant them. The color combinations are variable, which is one thing I love about them. The flowers are edible, too!

Lagurus ovatus - I love these Bunny Tails! They're short and grass-like, with fluffy little heads. I didn't think mine would ever make it to bloom stage, because the cats kept eating the foliage!

Iberis umbellata - This is the annual form of candytuft. I've grown it for a couple of years now and it too is a self-seeder. In fact, I didn't have to plant any seeds this past year and I allowed it to come up wherever it wanted. It has a wildflower look to it and produces flowers in lavender and white.

Ipomoea quamoclit - Known as Cypress Vine, this is a vigorous grower with small trumpet-shaped flowers in shades of red, pink, and white. Self-seeds freely and once you've planted this, you'll likely be pulling seedlings from areas where you don't want them . They're easily recognizable though.

Phaseolus coccineus - Not only are Scarlet Runner Bean's blooms pretty, the beans they produce are edible. This is a plant that grows so vigorously that it can be used as a privacy screen if it's given the proper support.

Part III will feature the last in this series of seed-grown annuals.


Seed sources:


Lisa at Greenbow said...

I love love love all this COLOR!!!!

Kylee Baumle said...

Lisa ~ So do I! It makes me long for spring!!

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

Oh no, not a part III as well, you've already shown me more than enough annuals which I covet right now, any more will probably break the bank. ;-)

Anonymous said...

How odd for me to see a Texas bluebonnet growing in your northern garden, Kylee! I never think of them growing anywhere but here---they're that closely identified with Texas in our state's mythology. Just like Texans to be that self-centered, right? ;-)

Nutty Gnome said...

You've done it again - you've made me want to rush out and buy up all the seeds I can get my hands on!! (not that I can plant them as we've finally got deep snow -yeah!)

Gardeness said...

I see so many of my favorites: poppy, hollyhock, dahlia. You have tons of color, you lucky thing!

Priscilla George said...

What great must haves. I have the bunny tails grass and love it. No cats to eat my foliage though. All so beautiful!

Rose said...

Kylee, I agree with Lisa--the snow is coming down again right now, and I'm ready for any color outside besides white! Thanks for showing all these different annuals, some I'm not familiar with. I see you love zinnias, too; they are such great performers. I still am debating about my seed order, but I've been given so many seeds and I keep buying a few more packets every time I go shopping. If they all germinate, I don't know where I'll put them:)

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Kylee, you amaze me with your variety of plants, and even more with your success growing them.

I attempted to grow several of these from seed last year and I only got a scrawny plant here and there.

The Cypress Vine only had two blooms all summer it never grew much in either location where it was planted. I wanted it for the hummingbirds. I'll probably try again this year.

Earth Girl said...

Great posts. Now I can't wait to start planting seeds. I did get your present of seeds for the state garden last summer. I sorted them last fall, saved some for spring planting and the rest have been winter-sown. Thank you so much!

F Cameron said...

I was afraid to look today! :-) After reading your post yesterday, I placed a seed order and include xeranthemums that you showed!


Anonymous said...

What a great assortment of annuals again! I have seed for the Bluebonnets this year and now I'm quite excited to see them bloom in my Virginia garden. :)

Kristin said...

What a great post for the cold days of winter, great to look at all that color especially when it is snowing AGAIN here in RI.
My kids love impatients for their popping seed pods. I had never heard of the euphorbia you mentioned today. I will have to try those this year; I can only imagine the excitement that will cause over here- how fun!

Kylee Baumle said...

Yolanda Elizabet ~ I'm such a seed junkie! LOL.

Pam ~ When I posted about the bluebonnet back when it bloomed, someone from Texas left a message telling me it was doubtful I'd get it to bloom since it usually takes a long time and our growing season is so short in comparison, so I wasn't sure if I'd see any blooms, but what a pleasant surprise! No, honestly, I've never thought of Texans as being self-centered. But I can understand the possessiveness Texans feel over this fabulous flower!

Nutty Gnome ~ I know what you mean, because we have snow here too, but they're fun to dream about, aren't they? :-)

Gardeness ~ This color only lives in my computer right now, but summer will be here soon, right? RIGHT? ;-)

Vanillalotus ~ Good to see you again! Bunny Tails is so cute, isn't it? I'm not sure if I'll grow it again this year, though I did save the seed. Depends on if I can find the perfect spot for it where the cats might leave it alone. Ha!

Rose ~ Oh I SO know what you mean! All those colorful packets are just too tempting to pass up!

Robin ~ I've had the same thing happen with some seeds, and I'm glad I tried them again, because the second (or third) time was successful. There are those that elude me though, for whatever reasons.
I'm surprised about the Cypress Vine, because it does so well here and with no help at all. Make sure it's in full sun. It might be one of those like Cosmos that doesn't like rich soil to bloom, too.
I didn't notice the hummers around mine, which rather surprised me. I thought they'd love it! Maybe the honeysuckle satisfied them enough.

Earth Girl ~ I can't wait, either! And can you believe it, I've ordered more. Some different things, of course. I'll show those in a different post one of these days. Glad to know you got the seeds and I hope they all bring you loads of pretty flowers! :-)

Cameron ~ Pssst...there's a Part III coming, too! I know. I'm such an enabler. LOL.

Racquel ~ I'm sure you'll have no problems getting them to bloom in your warmer zone. They are SO pretty!

Kylee Baumle said...

Kristin ~ Oh, balsam/impatiens ARE great poppers! I've found both the balsam and the euphorbia growing in the oddest places in the garden.

Donna at Suburban Sanctum said...

Gorgeous photos, Kylee. I look at the Texas bluebonnet seed packets every year, then put them back on the rack. Based on your success, I think I'll try them this time! I'm jealous of your poppies. I've always had them in past gardens, but since we moved to this house four years ago, I have not been able to get them to grow! I keep trying though... (Any suggestions?)

Kylee Baumle said...

Donna ~ I wouldn't expect the bluebonnets to look like they do in Texas, but they would be great as a front border plant. I'll be anxious to see how you do with them!
As far as the poppies go, these are Shirley poppies, which are the only kind I can grow. I've tried the other ones from seed with no luck. That is frustrating because they grow along a ditch bank near us! I planted an oriental poppy plant last summer, so we'll see if it comes back this year. I hope so, since I've not seen a bloom on it yet.
As far as suggestions go, I simply sprinkle them on top of the ground in the spring, then make sure to keep the ground moist until they get a good start. That's really all I do.

TC said...

You have some gorgeous annuals! (Do you have any seeds saved from that stunning hollyhock?)

Jan said...

I'm all for sprinkling seeds on the ground and watering! I'm ordering now! I missed your first part so now, like Cameron, I'm afraid to read more because your suggestions are too good:) You've made all of these so appealing, and the self-seeders are something I want! I've not had a lot of success with a couple of those but I am expanding my garden space this year (actually, my hubby will be doing it--he doesn't know yet, though) I'll have a little more room to add new flowers.

Kylee Baumle said...

TC ~ Unfortunately, I don't. But I can save some for you this fall if you'd like!

Jan ~ I love how you make your garden bigger. That's how I do it, too! I tell Romie what it is I want to do and he usually says no, but as soon as I start trying to dig it up myself, he's right there doing it. LOL.

Anonymous said...

I've never seen a Blue Bonnet either. I tried to grow them last year. Maybe the chipmunks ate the seedlings?

All these bloomers are spectacular. I am a huge fan of gomphrena and love that Euphorbia you featured.

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

Now I've added the tassel flower to my list. I was given some gomphrena seeds this year. I'm anxious to see how they look.
Can't wait for Part III!

Unknown said...

These are great, Kylee. I love that you try so many different annuals; I think you were the first to identify that awesome Scarlet Tassel Flower that I photographed at Powell Gardens in Missouri. I would happily grow that in the garden, so I hope to find seed somewhere this year. And I'm like you--never have seen a Texas Bluebonnet for real, just in pictures.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

I grow a few of those, like the gomphrea. Oh, that reminds me I took pics awhile ago of flowers I had drying for a post. I'll have to try to get to that. I love the blue of the blue bonnet. I assume that probably doesn't grow in Nebraska.

Anonymous said...

Come visit us in April and you'll see more bluebonnets than you ever thought possible. The Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja indivisa) is usually blooming at the same time and makes for a spectacular contrast. This has been a dry year, though, so it may not be a good year for wildflowers.

I planted some bluebonnet seeds at the corner of our house last year; we'll see if they come up in the next couple of months.

Yours look great!

Cindy Garber Iverson said...

I've never seen a Euphorbia marginata until now! It is SO cool looking! I love the flowers you are always helping me discover.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful, all... Off to read Part III!

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