Tag Archives: zinnias

Fall Seed Gathering Means Beautiful Summer Zinnias

 

zinnia

Zinnias are a great splash of color in the dog days of summer.

My friend Susan has a fabulous hedgerows of zinnias and she shared her secret as to how it looks great year after year.

zinnia

Every fall she gathers the dead seed heads, dries them and stores them in a bag over the winter in a cool, dry location. I kept mine on my unheated porch.

When the temperature is warm enough in the spring, generally not for a couple weeks after the last frost date, she coarsely separates the seeds from the rest of the dead flower heads.   Then in a shallow trench, she thickly spreads the coarse seed mixture, covers lightly with dirt and once the seedlings begin to come up, does not thin them.  Zinnias thrive best in full sun and are quite drought resistant.

zinnia seeds

I had to try it!  We collected seeds last fall from our gardens, and anywhere we could find lovely zinnia beds in need of dead-heading, including from the golf course we play at.  This spring, when the soil temperature was warm enough (usually not until after Mother’s Day here at my zone 5 home) we planted our overwintered seeds by spreading the coarse seed mixture into shallow rows.

Zinnias everywhere!  I need to find more places to plant them to enjoy all the color, but it worked.  Not as nicely as Susan’s, but I’ll get there.

Susan was kind enough to send me some more photos of her yard.  Enjoy!

zinnia

zinnia

zinnia

zinnia

I’m not the only loving the colors!

zinnia and monarch

zinnia and monarch

Soon she’ll be harvesting next year’s seed head before the first frost sets in.

zinnias

zinnias

zinnias

All ready for another year of gorgeous color!

Many thanks to Susan for sharing her photos with me. And for enticing me to make my zinnia garden even bigger next year. 

A Macro Look at the July Garden

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My husband (and mom and daughter) are much better photographers than I am, so I’m always excited when one of them wants to shoot some photos of my gardens.  Here’s some of what my husband saw the last couple of days through his macro lens.

Brilliant Zinnias

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zinnia

 

zinnia

One of my favorite annuals–Marigolds

marigold

More asiatic lilies are blooming.  I didn’t miss them all.

asiatic lily

 

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The Ballon Flowers are getting ready to bloom (Platycodon grandiflora).

Platycodon grandiflorus Ballon flower

Jeana Garden Phlox 

Jeana Garden Phlox

 

Jeana Garden Phlox

Hostas are in bloom.  Maybe they’ll attract the hummingbirds or sphinx moths.

The huge, stunning Primal Scream Daylily.

Primal Scream Daylily

 

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Gardening: All in the Family

For as long as I can remember my mom had vegetable and flower gardens, sometimes big, sometimes small.  So did my grandparents.  All this interest in growing things rubbed off on me and hopefully I’ll pass it on to my kids.  With that in mind, I had my mom and daughter take us on a tour of their June gardens.  First my mom, Peggy, in northern Michigan.

So lucky to have the space of all these raised beds (check out all the raspberries in the back!).

photos by peggy

 Petunia garden protected from the rabbits

photos by peggy/stephi gardens

Zinnias!

photos by peggy/stephi gardens

Hummingbirds are enjoying the flowers right now.  Soon they’ll be looking for some extra food.

photos by peggy/stephi gardens

A more natural garden.

photos by peggy/stephi gardens

 

photos by peggy/stephi gardens

A lovely visitor–Tiger Swallowtail

photos by peggy/stephi gardens

Salad in a bag!

photos by peggy/stephi gardens

 Succulents!  This is a creative work in progress. I can’t wait to see what she does with this.  I know she’s got some great ideas.

photos by peggy/stephi gardens

 

photos by peggy/stephi gardens

 

photos by peggy/stephi gardens

My daughter Emily lives in an apartment with some friends downtown.  When we were talking earlier in the spring, she was complaining about the price of tomatoes.  Soon after that, I happened to see a great looking potted patio tomato plant that would fit on her porch.

stephi gardens

She couldn’t have been more excited and has taken lovingly care of this plant.  It gets a hello and a glass of water from the mason jar every morning.  Recently I got a text that read “Mom!  2 of my tomatoes hatched!”  I hope they grow big, red and juicy for her.  I think she’ll be hooked then.

Do you have someone who inspired you, or have you inspired anyone else to garden?