Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Seed Thoughts

Back in 2005 I got a wild hair and decided I would have a cutting garden. It was about this time of the year when I started having visions. So I went out to the side lot marked a plot and took all of our left over bird seed bags. I layed them down overlapping them and then put bricks on them so they wouldn't blow away.

Then about April 15th I removed the bags that hadn't disintigrated. The seed bags had done their duty and killed all the tough weedy grass that was in this area. I got the tiller out and gave the area a good going over. n I planted some cosmos seeds as bookends. Then I planted any color or type of zinnia I could get my hands on around here. I didn't order any fancy types I just used what they had in the stores here. Some of them were Giant Violet Queen, Scarlet Flame, Canary Bird, Enchantress, Cactus flowered, Mixed Colors and Giant Double, Mixed Colors. I was hoping that at least some of them would grow. This is what it looked like right after planting. According to my journal it rained two days after I planted the seeds so this plot was blessed. I left room for Mower Man to be able to ride the mower between the fence and the cutting bed. Plus it turned out to be a nice space to walk along the cutting bed to admire the flowers. I put long tall sticks into a tepee shape at both ends and planted some Nasturtium Scarlet Gleam. Well, it was the only thing that didn't grow for me here. But as you can see the Cosmos and Thithonia and Zinnias did grow, like weeds. And speaking of weeds, I didn't have to weed much here. I didn't water it once after the seedlings were a good size and I can say it was the most enjoyable cutting garden I have ever had.The colors were so vibrant. It was a joy to go out there and cut bouquets for different occasions. I had enough colors that I could take the favorit color to friends as hostess bouquets. I had people ask for cuttings for their homes and church functions.

What I liked so well was the fact that all the butterflies and bees enjoyed it immesely. These plants didn't come down with mildew even though I didn't thin them at all. Gee, I am about to talk myself into doing this again. What with all of everyones talk about winter sowing of seeds they brought this project to mind. I don't think I would do winter sowing but I might just get a cutting bed going again this year. It isn't too late to get the seed bags out and mark off an area.

One odd thing did happen in this garden. I had a zinnia that must have had a virus and this is what it looked like. It always intrigues me when a flower dos something out fo the ordinary.

And while this is all lovely we had a bit of wind damage last night. I will be taking pictures and posting tomorrow or so... I hope eveyone else escaped the winds as well off as we did.


  1. My mom and dad have had wonderful luck with zinnias along their fence line as well. Beautiful flowers! I may just have to give some a whirl this year.

  2. LOVE the cutting garden. I may do that in one of the long beds. Oh, I already planted a meadow garden there. The fence behind the cutting garden really made your bright colors pop, and the rectangular lines suited each other.~~Dee

  3. That is such a good idea. We grow self seeded zinnias but we could use some new blood to liven things up. Loved the teepees at each end, punctuation marks! So much wonderful color, thanks!

  4. Lisa, wasn't that wind horrible last night? I'm sorry you had damage. I was shocked when I saw that we didn't have siding off.

    I love the cutting garden. If I had your space, I'd do this every year. It's so colorful and a wonderful butterfly magnet.

  5. Jayne, it is well worth the effort. You should give it a try.

    Dee, I see that the fence did make the colors pop. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

    Frances, I agree the color is good for winter weary eyes.

    Thanks Robin, we are lucky no major damage. My boss's house lost part of the shingles off her roof. Now that is bad.

    The butterflies and other insects love the zinnias. It looks to me like you have plenty of room for a cutting garden. Maybe not as long as this one but you could make one. Or like my friend that just sows zinnias here and there in her flower beds. THey do well like that too and add a dash of brilliant color.

  6. Waking up to winds today...where is my kite?? Is March coming in early?? made my day..check my blog to find out why...

    ps love the zinna photo!

  7. We plant large zinnia beds every year and the kids always have to have their picture taken in front of the beds - it's a tradition dating back to the days when my husband was a little boy and his grandmother would take pictures in front of the zinnia bed.

    Each fall we collect the dead heads and save them for the following year and always have bigger and better gardens each time. This year, though, I had the bright idea to put the zinnia seeds in a glass jar, put a pretty bow and a cute verse on them, and give them away as Christmas gifts.

    I didn't realize how much I gave away until I realized we'll have to buy zinnia seeds this year. First time in years.

  8. When I saw your first photo, I was a little dubious---it seemed such a long, narrow bed. But your following pictures prove what a great idea it was, especially with those natural tepees on either end to give it some height and structure. Nice cutting garden!

  9. What a lovely profusion of colour, Lisa. I think you should do a cutting garden this year too! It really looks good.

  10. Nice work, Lisa. Jo and I make room in our vegetable garden for zinnias and cosmos. The butterflies and other insects love them -- and so do we. A little food for the eyes.

  11. Lisa, before I became a 'real' gardener, I had a small area that I always planted with zinnias. It was so wonderfully colorful and was right outside a family room window. What a wonderful sight that was! Yours reminds me of that. So pretty!


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