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. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

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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From My Garden to Yours 2019

Happy 2019, folks! Now that the early-winter festivities are behind us, it’s time to think about the upcoming growing season. One of my own favorite parts of the yearly gardening cycle is the “distillation” process: turning this… Continue reading

About the Seeds

'Indian Berries' Popcorn (Zea mays)

Hi folks! I wanted to post an update for those of you who are used to me posting my seed-giveaway list around this time of year. The overall dreary and rainy growing season here delayed the ripening of many seeds, and I’m way behind in getting them cleaned and organized, so I figure I will tackle the giveaway in early to mid-January instead. That should please those of you who have said it’s inconvenient to think about seeds as the holidays approach.

My plan is to link the giveaway with my Etsy shop; it will, however, include some special things I’m not selling there. So for now, I’ll wish you all a joyful holiday season and look forward to posting the seeds here on January 15. If you feel the need for seeds in the meantime, I welcome you to check out my Etsy shop. Take care, everyone!