Saturday, January 23, 2010

Seedy Thoughts

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A post card perfect morning here on the mountain. The zero degrees of two hours ago has only crept to 3 above zero but the sun has a beauty that can be no less than encouraging and even the weather lady says to prepare for 40 degrees. Now that will be nice!

Our seed order from Johnny's Selected Seeds in Winslow, Maine arrived yesterday just a couple days after Gail placed the order. Problem was I didn't know this because there are times when we are a family of non-speakers, a family of forgetful thoughts, a family suffering the consequences of lots of interruptions and aging memories. At 5:30 this morning as an image was loading on the computer I asked myself, "Where's that Johnny's order?" An hour later I could wait no longer and when I heard Gail shuffling for a cup of coffee I asked where it was.

"Already came. I told you.....didn't I? Yes, I know I did." I know a lot of Leos and I should be used to this by now. I found the opened box in the sun room half covered by books and gardening magazines, seed packs still neatly organized inside with rubber bands, shipping summary neatly folded. I expect no less from Johnny's. Gail gives me surprises.

One of our favorite cut flowers is the zinnia. Even in short seasoned Vermont these grow well and if late spring frosts absent themselves from the planting fields, the seeds germinate well and by July cut flowers abound. That was not the case last summer when heavy rains prevailed into July and Gail replanted three times and then gave up. Nothing to do with the seeds or the seeder, it was the weather.

I have written about zinnias before because I like them so much. On a cold day like today, the bright colors warm the mind like the wood stove warms the body. Just looking at the pictures makes me impatient to pick the first ones. I prefer Benary Seeds from Hannoversch Muenden, Lower Saxony, Germany as I feel they are stronger than the State Fair variety that every farm lady in New England grew when I was a kid. In recent years they have become more expensive, primarily due to the various petroleum ramifications but I still purchase them. This year Johnnys offered their own hybrids and we bought some of those seeds too.

If today is too cold to get outside before noon and you're reading away with Seedy Thoughts, think about zinnias for your gardens this year. They are a great cut flower, have a long vase life and combine well with all sorts of other annuals and perennials. Try them and I'll bet you'll be growing them year after year like little old Vermont farm ladies!

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where a downy woodpecker just banged into my office window screen exiting the feeder in haste as incoming bluejays bullied him to the front feeders. Jays can be pushy birds!

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm

1 comment:

Jessica said...

Just reading back over the posts I had missed and wanted to comment! My Mother and I grew zinnia for my wedding in 2008 and what an amazing adventure it was! We started them inside under grow lights on March 4th and then moved them outside as soon as the last chance of frost had passed. They were so pitiful looking when we first transplanted them that I looked up local florist numbers just in case our flowers were a flop. Well, mother nature abundance!!! We had flowers EVERYWHERE the day of my wedding and they were so beautiful. My Mother and I joked the rest of the summer that we could have supplied a wedding every weekend for the rest of the summer with zinnia flowers that kept on growing until the first frost.