From My Garden to Yours 2020

This month spotlights yet another wonderful reason to work with seeds: the pass-along factor. If you’re lucky enough to have local gardening friends, sharing your favorite plants is a simple matter. For more distant trading, it’s possible to send plants through the mail, of course, but that’s tough on them, and paying for expedited delivery is hard on your wallet too. Seeds condense all that planty goodness into small, easy-to-mail bits of happiness. Read More

Consider the Source

Hayefield in Bucks County, Pennsylvania--the source of all seeds I sell at Hayefield on Etsy
Hayefield in Bucks County, Pennsylvania (the origin of all seeds at Hayefield on Etsy)

It’s time to cover the next good reason for growing from seed: the ability to know where your plants come from. Why would you care about that when there are so many more obvious things to think about, like height, flower color, bloom time, and light requirements? It might be an economic, environmental, or ecology-related issue for you, or it might be a sentimental one. Unless you are lucky enough to connect with a grower who knows (and cares) exactly where their seeds and plants come from, finding and growing out the seeds yourself may be the only way to get what you wish for your garden. Read More

Eight Utterly Un-Ordinary Gems

Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com

Last month, I started the “Don’t Be Ordinary” series to explore the many excellent reasons to consider growing from seed. This time, let’s look at one of the most tempting, for many of us: the opportunity to grow truly uncommon plants that we can’t easily buy (or sometimes, even buy at all) as plants.

You’ve probably heard it said that there’s a good reason common plants are common: they are easy to find and easy to grow, thriving in a wide range of conditions with minimal care. Though uncommon plants are hard are find, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are hard to grow, or that they are merely botanical curiosities with little garden value; it may just indicate that few gardeners have had the opportunity to give them a try. I’ve had good luck with all eight of these oddities in my Zone 6/7 Pennsylvania garden, most of them for several to many years, without providing any particular soil preparation or specialized care. And, it just so happens that I have seeds of all of these currently available in my Etsy shop, so if any of them strike your fancy, you have a chance to grow them for yourself. Some are also available from other sources, which you can investigate through an online search. Read More

Don’t Be Ordinary: Explore Intriguing Alternatives

Petunia exserta [Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
Petunia exserta

I’ve heard it’s possible to have a garden for many years without ever starting seeds. I’ve even met a few people who claim to have “never bothered with seeds,” so I know they really do exist. I feel sorry for those folks, because they’re missing out on what I think is one of the most fascinating aspects of the whole gardening experience. So, I’ve made it one of my life’s goals to convince as many people as possible to give seeds a chance.

There are so many ways that growing from seed is worthwhile, it’s going to take several posts to get through them all—enough to keep us busy through the winter, at least. Welcome to the “Don’t Be Ordinary” series, in which I hope to convince at least one person to try seeds for the first time, and to tempt those of you who already appreciate seeds into trying something new.

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Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – September 2019

As usual, September is a most glorious month in the garden here at Hayefield. I could spend all day just wandering around with my camera. Looking through the images from the last few weeks, though, I realized that the garden pictures look pretty much like they do every other year. Rather than repeating the same garden views from previous Septembers, I thought I’d focus just on the plants–particularly those I haven’t shown before (at least this year), to keep things interesting. So, here are some highlights, starting with the annuals. Read More

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – August 2019

And so it begins…my favorite part of the gardening season. Except for a very brief groundhog incident, my unwanted-wildlife issues seem to have been resolved (for now, anyway), the garden and meadow are full of flowers, and loads of seeds are ripening. I did my best to pare down the photos for this post, but there’s just so much to share; let’s get to it.

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Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – July 2019

Anethum graveolens [©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
Floral fireworks for July: dill (Anethum graveolens)

Happy Bloom Day, all! It feels good to be back. It’s been kind of a rough year here so far, garden-wise: too many other things that needed attention (including writing several times a month for the mid-Atlantic section of Fine Gardening‘s website), compounded by a new deer problem. In the last few weeks, I’ve been wavering between trying to reclaim the garden and basically giving up for this year. The process of putting together this post has propped up my enthusiasm for the good things that are going on out there, and I’m ready to see what I can do to get things back on track. So, I truly thank those of you who have encouraged me to start blogging here again, and I hope you enjoy seeing some Hayefield highlights from the last few weeks.

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