Tuesday, April 1, 2008


I know spring is supposed to be wet and cold, but I've really had it up to here with this one. The cold can be very energy-sapping. But I think I've got to plant something or burst!

The most important flowers in my garden are the zinnias. I devote one raised bed to them, and stick them in other spots as well. Butterflies and bees love them, and hummingbirds, too. After the flowers are spent, the goldfinches perch on the stems and tear into the seed heads. So they're a real crowd-pleaser. But some varieties don't produce much nectar and so they won't be very attractive to butterflies or hummingbirds.

Last year, I found these to be successful and attractive: Burpee's Pinwheel Mix, Burpee's Giant Flowered Mix. I also planted a cactus-flowered variety that didn't do as well. In previous years, I've planted Cut & Come Again with success.

Usually, zinnias work best if they're direct-seeded in the garden, but tonight I planted some in newspaper pots. And, because a bored gardener is a dangerous thing, let's have a little contest. I planted 1 pot with Thumbelina Zinnia seeds from Fredonia, a brand I've never tried before, and 2 of the pots with Burpee Thumbelina Zinnias -- but they're seeds from 2005. I guess that's to even the field.

The whole brand thing is a disturbing issue that leads into murky territory -- but that's a story for another time. For now, I'm putting my little pots in the window and hoping, hoping, for a real spring.

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