Don’t sneeze–tiny seeds ahead

On Monday, I got around to sowing some seeds in Jiffy 7 pellets. It was just my luck that I started with the super-tiny seeds while I had a cold from the morning jog. It took all my resolve not to sneeze while I was planting these near-microscopic seeds: Angelonia ┬áSerena Blue, Snapdragon Bronze Dragon, Snapdragon Montego Sunset, Wizard Mix Coleus and last year’s Origami Red & White Columbine.

Some time last week, I also took some cuttings of the Chocolate Chip ajuga which have been merrily putting out new growth in their temporary pots; as well as cuttings of lime thyme and variegated lemon thyme. The original parent lime thyme was especially vigorous and overflowing in its cinderblock space. Amazing fragrance this little herb has. I was using it to give the pups a lime thyme herb brushing.

This morning I planted 3 leek roots (from this weekend’s Spring Soup recipe that called for spinach, asparagus, and leeks) in the herb garden. Even while it was sitting in the fridge all weekend long, new roots began to appear. From what I read, leeks are vigorous perennials, so I am looking forward to watching them grow.

No pictures today; the red and white pansies are blooming, as well as the purple loropetalum and the various dianthus in the lily and blue beds. The Valentine dianthuses are especially pretty now that they’ve had a full year to grow into their new spots. The remaining three Valentines sitting in the blue bed will have to be moved, perhaps in the front yard bed to complement the coreopsis. I do need to find out if I can divide those winter coreopsis.

Flax and marigold seeds to be popping up here and there (blue bed and tree ring). I have yet to see if the viola I sowed last month are coming up–so far no evidence of them doing so. I’ve got three Sorbet viola seed packets that I’m still deciding on–most likely I will attempt to sow them indoors. The sweet alyssum Pastel Carpet will be sown outdoors–another attempt at trying this–while it’s still cool which will hopefully give them a better start.

Still have zinnias, gomphrenas, and eggplant to plant. I will wait on planting them mid-March since they are typically warm weather plants. However I should get around to planting the Chinese broccoli and baby bok choy as soon as our new veggie bed is laid out. Problem is: when? Two tree stumps are undermining our efforts to prep a new bed.

Wishlist plant of the day: variegated azalea Girard’s Variegated Gem and Silver Sword. More reading on variegated azaleas.

Winter Yard Works

Larkspur, flax, and viola seeds have been planted. We had plenty of mulching,  raking and chainsawing to do this weekend. I also accomplished cleaning out the tree ring bed, scattering some marigold seeds in the process. Elsewhere, the mild weather is enticing bulbs and flowers to put out color and growth. Coral Nymph salvia managed to bloom in a protected spot, while the variegated lemon thyme shows off some pink color. The loropetalum in the purple bed is about to burst into fuschia flowers, while the dusty miller grows taller in the pansy bed. I hope to purchase more seeds soon!

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Seed collecting and the indoor greenhouse

I brought indoors all of my potted tender plants Thursday night in advance of the cold front that hit us. The big potted ginger lilies didn’t join the others in converted bathroom greenhouse, since I had taken up all of the available counter space. For about next 4-5 months, these plants will be hanging out here in relative safety.

11/5/2011 Seeds and indoor garden (1) 11/5/2011 Seeds and indoor garden (2)

I really need to snip off that chili pepper bloom head. But then again, I think all the young pepper plants could use a trim to encourage more foliage. Not so with the new hostas leafing out.

11/5/2011 Thai chili pepper bloom head 11/5/2011 Thai chili pepper bloom head closeup 11/5/2011 Hosta Wide Brim emerging foliage

I took a cutting of the groundcover salvia sinaloensis, or more commonly known as bicolor or Sinaloa sage, when I trimmed them back earlier in the week. This salvia is unusual in that it hasn’t turned woody and that it spreads via runners. It competed against an aggressive yarrow and has managed to hold its own, with a little intervention. The electric blue blooms have been disappointingly sparse and sporadic in its current part-sun location. It’s better valued for its foliage though; it has distinctive purple-tipped leaves on new and fall growth.

11/5/2011 Sinaloa sage cutting

I do need to move some of the pots into the bathtub, to make room for seed starting flats. Saturday morning, I collected 3 sandwich baggies of seeds from the Cosmic Yellow Cosmos, Durango Marigold Red and Durango Marigold Bolero.

11/5/2011 Cosmos Cosmic Yellow seeds collected 11/5/2011 Durango Marigold Red seeds collected

The Durango Marigold Boleros tend to bloom on the smaller side compared to the standard marigold colors.

11/5/2011 Durango Bolero marigold among the Outback mix

Sadly, I didn’t collect any Cosmic Red cosmos seeds or Lady in Red salvia coccinea. The red cosmos was nowhere in sight, while I didn’t have much luck finding seeds of Lady in Red still on the plants.

11/5/2011 A new Lady in Red salvia coccinea from dropped seed