Monday, January 24, 2011

Seeds, Glorious Seeds!

I get so excited when the seeds start arriving in the mail, like a six-year-old in the days leading up to Christmas.  All of those packages waiting to be opened, knowing that it's just not time yet!  As something of a "temporary fix," Patti planted spinach and a couple of different lettuces in the cool corner of the greenhouse the other day, so we'll be seeing signs of green any day now.

The package that arrived this morning is from Select Seeds, one of my favorite companies for annual flowers.  Here's the list, which will start to get planted soon in the greenhouse:

"Royal Ensign" Dwarf Morning Glory.  It only grows to 12 inches tall, so we're going to use it to border the cutting beds at the Big House.  I adore all of the geraniums as they wander through the other plants, but they fry in the summer heat here, so I'm hoping this flower will fill in some gaps in July and August.
Garden Heliotope (Valeriana officinalis).  This is not the little purple plant, but a huge towering plant that looks a little like Queen Anne's lace.  Doesn't do particularly well in Atlanta heat, but at the beginning of the season, nothing beats that vanilla scent.
Lavatera "Pink Blush".  Another one that might not do so well in Atlanta heat and humidity, but we'll see.  A close look to Hollyhocks, which start to melt from rust the moment they break ground here.
Amaranth "Oeschberg."  Amaranth is another of those that will one day take over the South, but such a fabulous and dramatic plant in the back of the beds!
Mina lobata ("Spanish Flag").  An awesome vine that we'll put into a couple of containers, let climb up and over some other vines that don't flower in summer, and some on trellises.  This is one that Christopher Lloyd had climbing over Eucalyptus at Great Dixter 
  Nicotiana "Woodland."  This is one of my favorite plants, that does really well in the southeast.  Very tall (about 5 feet here), with that overwhelming night time fragrance.
Cleome "White Queen."  Cleome is like a weed here, but I love the white, and want to add it to the White Border.  It's such a distinctive plant when it sprouts, it's easy to pull up all of the volunteers one inevitably finds in the beds.
The box from Johnny's Seeds is waiting for me at the Big House!  Can't wait to see what's in that box!


  1. Those plants all look fabulous! I am ashamed to admit I JUST found out about Select Seeds this year, but have been obsessing over their catalog all winter! Can't wait to see how they above does in your garden.

  2. You have picked some beautiful flower to seed. I grow the blue dwarf Morning Glories and they are so pretty. The Amaranth "Oeschberg" you chose is just gorgeous though. What a great color combination.

  3. What unusual and beautiful choices. I know what you mean about the excitement and potenial in all those beautiful catalogs.
    i love that cleome. i've been working on a white garden for several years, White Queen would be perfect in several beds.

  4. My orders will be sent out this week and Tim, I agree - Select Seeds is one of my all-time favorite catalogs! Incidentally, this post made me think of a quote from the author Barbara Kingsolver. I think you'll like the sentiment: "I have seen women looking at jewelry ads with a misty eye and one hand resting on the heart, and I only know what they're feeling because that's how I read the seed catalogs in January."

  5. Getting seeds in the mail is like Christmas indeed. I get so giddy!!

  6. I placed the arboretum's seed order this week. About 10% is coming from Select Seeds. Most are for the new fragrant bed in the Welcome Garden. Their catalog is excellent for inspiration. I've got several kinds of Nicotiana ordered. My one gripe is Select Seeds doesn’t say how many seeds to expect per packet. In the end I wound up ordering seeds from T&M or Park that I saw first in Select Seeds because I know the quantity I’m buying and over all the price seems to be better.

    I'm most excited about the Salvia viridis (Clary Sage). I checked the book Discovering Annuals by Graham Rice the library library. He's from England and practically every beautiful picture has Salvia virdis in it. Think two foot tall salvia with large leaf like showy bracts in purple, pale pink or white. I'm smitten. I hope it does well here in the Midwest.

  7. The arrival of the seed racks at the garden center is always my first sign of spring. I rub my chin and say I need to get into the vegetable garden and start cleaning and tilling.