Friday, July 2, 2010

Dog Days Planning

This cool-season flower bed of mine had California poppies, toadflax, Telstar dianthus, and sweetpeas in it.  It was wonderful to see in March and April of last year.  During these dog days of summer, I'm trying to plan out my strategy for cool season annuals so I can have this again next year. 

This wall of sweetpeas was so successful that I will definitely plant more of them.  So much fragrance and beauty!  These need to be planted in late October / early November where I live.  They have to be some of my favorite flowers of all. 

I tried some nigella ("Love in a Mist") last fall and they turned out well.  They are easily grown from seed and mix well with other flowers.  They will definitely find a place to grow in this fall's garden.

Larkspur are another favorite of mine that grow very well from seed and look nice in a cool season bed.  Hummingbirds appreciate coming to these in the early spring too, as do the bees. 

Some of my other plans for fall planting include some Wave petunias, pansies, and violas for containers.  I like to have a few hanging plants around the house and these look gorgeous in the cool season.  Toadflax is another option that grows and blooms quickly in the cool season, plus I love their bright colors and they are easy to grow from seed.  Alyssum are a great favorite of mine because they fit so well at the front of a bed where their small size works well.  Plus, the honey-sweet fragrance of alyssum wafts tantalizingly on cool evenings.  California poppies are so simple to grow that I have to plant some of them.  Calendulas are another bright-colored annual to fill in some spots.  I've never had much success growing snapdragons from seed, but I love them so much that I want to get some seedlings from a nursery to plant in my beds.  A new plant I want to try this fall is nicotiana ("flowering tobacco.")  I hear it thrives in the cool season down here and has heady fragrance.  Anybody out there have some more suggestions for cool season annuals in the Deep South?

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