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Slowly, But Surely

March 31st, 2016

All those seeds I purchased last fall and stratified for months in the fridge are finally starting to germinate. I have three tiny osage orange seedlings and one Dutchman’s Pipe that has germinated so far.
osage orange seedlings 1
osage orange seedlings 2
I’m still waiting on three more varieties to germinate, hopefully they will soon. Some of the varieties I started can take up to 3 months to germinate. One thing I love about gardening is this exact thing, someday, when these osage orange trees are big, I’ll remember the tiny seed emerging from feta cheese container that I kept in the fridge over the winter. It’s so fun to try germinating different types of seeds to see what happens.

Have you started any interesting trees/vines from seed in the past?

Hello Hollyhocks

July 15th, 2014

Last year I started seeds for a few different types of hollyhocks.  Since they are a biennial, they didn’t bloom last year.  These kinds of plants definitely take patience.  It’s well worth the wait, they are stunning.
hollyhocks 2
When I was little, my favorite flowers were hollyhocks. There was a garden on a road we traveled frequently and they always planted hollyhocks against their simple cinderblock garage. They were stunning every year. I loved their height and simplicity, such a classic cottage garden flower.  When I first started to garden they were one of the first seeds I sowed.  I’ve been growing them for about 15 years now.
hollyhocks 3
In my Ohio garden I had double hollyhocks, I haven’t planted any of those yet. The flowers on the double hollyhocks are definitely more pronounced since they are so ruffled.  The flowers on the single hollyhocks seem to by shy and like to hide beneath the big heard shaped leaves.  I love both the single and the double flowers, though if I had to choose just one I’d probably choose the singles.
hollyhock_in_rain
One of the lovely things about the double hollyhocks is the buds they produce. They are simple amazing to watch as they slowly open up revealing the ruffles of color beneath the green buds.
hollyhock-beginning-to-open
hollyhock-1
hollyhock-4
I planted three different kinds in shades of black, pink and purple.  The funny thing that I started these in a flat and the chickens overturned it.  As a result, I have hollyhocks blooming in what was the edging in front of the rock wall that holds back the foundation garden by the front door.  Who said all the tall flowers have to be in the back of the border?  They actually look quite nice here.  As you can see I have surrounded them with cardboard and mulch because they area they are in will become a perennial border.  I think they will fit right in with a few other plants at their feet.  Behind them I’m thinking of planting a climbing rose to scramble up the porch wall and an ‘Annabelle’ Hydrangea to add big blooms of white.
hollyhocks
‘The Watchman’ is one of my favorite colors when it comes to hollyhocks, it’s a deep purple that looks black. This year they are really dark black, the ones I had back in Ohio were more purple.  I’ve grown them for many year and yet each summer I’m stunned by their velvety black blossoms.  You really can’t walk by the plant without stopping to admire it’s blooms.
hollyhocks 1
Growing hollyhocks from seed is so easy, here’s my post on the easy way to start them. It does require patient since you have to wait two years before being rewarded with beautiful flowers.  Unfortunately not many people seem to grow them any more, perhaps it’s because leaf miners and Japanese beetles love their leaves.  Even in their tattered eaten state they are just as beautiful.  I highly recommend adding a few to your garden, you definitely won’t regret it.

Do you have any flowers you remember noticing when you were a kid? Do you grow them in your garden? 

Shifting My Sights

January 17th, 2013

With most of my seed orders in, I’m now shifting my sights on setting up my seed starting area. Originally, I planned on putting it up in the garage, but the ducks are currently residing in the space I was planning on using. Our new basement has a double door with big windows, so I’m thinking that will be the perfect spot to set up my stuff.
Potting Bench Supplies
All of the potting supplies have been carried down from the garage, it’s like Christmas looking through them. I’m not quite sure when I’ll be starting things, generally I have my onions started by now, I may wait until closer to the end of January for those. The celery will be started as soon as possible, I’m just waiting on a few supplies from my local Agway to mix up my seed starting mix. There will also be few pots of lettuce and herbs seeded to get me through the rest of winter. I can hardly wait to get going!

Have you started any seeds yet?

I’m in the process of writing an ebook about Seed Starting, stay tuned for that.

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About

This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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