Ye Olde Garden

Seed my Valentine

The Burpee order arrived yesterday bringing a packet each of the Lady in Red Salvia and Dianthus Valentine. I proceeded to put out 6 Valentine seeds into the growing system. I believe I will sow the Lady in Red Salvia in 3″ pots, given the vigor of these “Texas” or Scarlet sages. Now, all that are left to arrive are the columbines, petunias and ice plant seeds from Swallowtail Gardens.

I thinned some pepper and Thai basil seedlings that I discovered that had doubled up, including the ones I intentionally increased, namely the Thai chili peppers. I am testing the hardiness of two by putting them outside the growing system into a 3″ pot. Technically, I should leave the seedling cells uncovered now, since most of them are putting out their 2nd set of leaves

Meanwhile, I was investigating the dinner trays and thinning some of the impatiens seeds. The impatiens flat needs a vent hole in the dome. Last year’s seeding venture has taught me to expect some sprouting within 7-10 days, if conditions are right. Unlike the fast-growing annuals: one of the alyssum trays is already showing 2 sprouters the 3rd day after sowing. If I had to guess, I would think the white alyssum were the first, being more vigorous than colored alyssum.

However, the biggest surprise was to find a pansy seedling. It’s been 15 days since sowing and I had seen nary a root until this morning. One of the cells hid a sprout, which I discovered while trying to home a chili seedling. So there is hope yet.

More sowing to come!

Ye Olde Garden

More seed sowing

1/23/2011 Dianthus Cutting in BudI checked the mailbox earlier today in discovered I received my Park’s  package. Yay, more seeds! I took a quick trip to the Lewisville Home Depot in search of some seedling flat trays, but all I walked out with were 2 packages of Burpee growing pellets and 20 feet of garden fencing. Thankfully, my honey picked up a spray bottle for me earlier in the day, so I can mist the alyssum and impatiens trays.

Also, I had earlier shaken some seeds out of the purple pastel salvia greggii sitting potted up in the garden and placed 2 of them into a 3″ pot. I still had plenty of aluminum cake pans to tap, and so proceeded to get some more 3″ pots into them, including the 2 rooted asters I brought indoors. I’m minded to browse the white salvia in the salvia row for some more seeds. I realize that salvia greggii may not always come true from seed, but I think this will be a good experiment to see how well they germinate.

So, to sum up, I sowed 12 21st Century Blue Star Phlox and 1 row of 6 Blue Knoll Chrysanthemum seeds in the Burpee grow system. Both packages had an expiration date, and the Blue Knoll was marked as “low germination” so I’m crossing my fingers to see what the results will be.

I will hold off another week before I sow the marigolds and the vincas, since my focus for now is on cool season annuals such as phlox, alyssum, and impatiens. Meanwhile, I eagerly await the rest of my seed orders…from Burpee and Swallowtail Gardens. My live plant orders from Delaware however have been delayed due to inclement weather.

Ye Olde Garden

I ♥ violas

1/23/2011 Penny Red Blotch Viola or some other cultivar?

Aside from the ornamental kale, dianthus and the lone felicia, the only cool weather color in my gardens are supplied by violas. The blooms come and go in waves, and today, the red and white violas shine the brightest in an otherwise dreary flower bed.

I’ve determined that the white violas may not be Penny series after all. They came labeled as Rocky Pure White; however, the closest determination I’ve made on the vivid red violas is Arkwright Ruby or Penny Red Blotch. However, none of the pictures I’ve seen compare to the bright red and gold-rimming of my garden specimens. I have to assume however, that coming from Strong’s Nursery, that it is likely a Penny series viola.

The only Sorbets displaying color are in the gardenia bed; as usual, the Orange Duets perform the best, constantly in flower. I had occasion to find a Coconut Swirl here and there, but it seems the Sorbets (Black Duets, Blue Heavens and the Swirls) are taking a brief respite.

1/23/2011 I ♥ violas (1) 1/23/2011 I ♥ violas (2) 1/23/2011 I ♥ violas (3) 1/23/2011 I ♥ violas (4) 1/23/2011 I ♥ violas (5) 1/23/2011 I ♥ violas (6) 1/23/2011 I ♥ violas (7) 1/23/2011 I ♥ violas (8) 1/23/2011 I ♥ violas (9)
Ye Olde Garden

Seed starting 2011 part 2

My Stokes Seed order arrived this week. My first sowing from the new arrivals includes the Alyssum Wonderland White and Wonderland Mulberry Mix. I’ve also started a couple of garlic chives and the hybrid impatiens (Xtreme Hot Mix) seed I ordered from last year. Like the impatiens, the alyssum seeds are tiny, and I’ve resorted to spreading them into plastic trays. I will need to ensure I mist them regularly.


The first rosemary cutting isn’t looking too good after being in the dirt for a week or two now. I imagine it needs better watering than what it’s been receiving so far. I’ve put another rosemary cutting next to it and hope for the best. I’ve also taken a cutting of the Tropical Breeze verbena and put it into water. I’m unsure if it will take, but it will be interesting to find out if it can be easily propagated. The lone specimen I have sitting in the planter has stopped flowering and has instead begun to expand, setting out trailers and new foliage.

The dianthus cutting that’s taken root has put out a bud, which I found while sowing. I don’t have the heart to pinch it back, even though I should. I should take some white dianthus cuttings to propagate.

Nearly everything sown from the beginning of the month has sprouted. One or two ornamental peppers have yet to break out of the ground and all of the pansies have failed to germinate so far. I’m about out of room to sow any more seed in plastic dinner trays and will have to consider using up the rest of the Burpee tray to grow anything new. Now I’m wishing I had more grow lights and counter space for indoor gardening.

Meanwhile, I’ve found some good reading and tips on winter sowing at

Ye Olde Garden

First sprouts

1/20/11 Thai Chili Seedlings 10 days after sowingFirst out of the gate are the Red Rubin basil seeds, germinating in 3 days. Two more days showed rise of the Thai basil. Now that it is 19th, first signs of the bell pepper and both Thai Chilis  have appeared. 

Meanwhile around the weekend, the first 2 sprouts of catmint appeared in the uncovered 3″ pot. I have rooted a rosemary spring and a leg of dianthus in a nearby pot. I’m looking forward to planting more rosemary in the new year and I am getting a head start on it.