Make the Most of Self-Sowers (Part 2)

Silene dioica 'Ray's Golden Campion' [©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
Silene dioica ‘Ray’s Golden Campion’
Last month, I started discussing one of my favorite kinds of seeds: the self-sowers.  Though they have a reputation for being easy, self-sowers tend to make their own rules, sometimes needing specific germination conditions and benefiting from a little custom care to work to best advantage. Over the years, I’ve come up with some ways that work well for me and identified a bunch of self-sowers that have been happy to make Hayefield their home.

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Make the Most of Self-Sowers (Part 1)

 

Verbena bonariensis [©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
To my mind, self-sowers like Brazilian vervain (Verbena bonariensis) are the secret to—or at least a shortcut to—creating a lush, layered look in the garden.
First, a big thank-you to everyone who requested seeds through last month’s giveaway. Several hundred packets have, I hope, made it to new homes around the globe. (If you sent in a request and didn’t hear back from me, or if I confirmed your request but your seeds haven’t arrived yet, please don’t hesitate to leave me a note here or contact me directly.) And a special thanks to those of you who shared seeds and other surprises in return—the generosity of gardeners is unsurpassed!

Since last fall, I’ve been writing about some of the many good reasons to make seeds part of your gardening experience. I obviously spend way too much time thinking about seeds: collecting, cleaning, packing those I already have, buying or trading for new ones, and—best of all—getting them all growing.

I think the only thing I like more than having lots of seeds to sow is having seeds I don’t have to sow—more than once, anyway. “Self-sowing” annuals, biennials, and short-lived perennials are such a gift to gardens and gardeners, from an aesthetic standpoint as well a practical one. Granted, they can get a little too enthusiastic sometimes, but their good points generally far outweigh the bit of management they may require. Unfortunately, self-sowers tend to be hard to find for sale as plants, for various reasons. So, even if you normally don’t choose to grow from seed, I encourage you to consider making an exception to get some of these gems growing in your garden. Read More

From My Garden to Yours 2020

[Please note that this year’s seed giveaway ended on January 25, 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