By Jannie Vaught
When it’s too cold to go outside to spend a solid amount of time for this gardener it is time to evaluate what is at hand, what needs to be made, brought in, or purchased. When the weather warms it will be time to seriously get that compost activated. One of the yearly needs is refilling the raised beds, orb starting new ones, doing more mulch in the in ground and planning for some “Flowers” in the garden and flower beds.
There are two that I find grow here with little fuss are, Zinnias and Sunflowers. Both of these with some filler will be excellent for “Cut bouquets” since they both have long stems that can be stripped of leaves and produced from side shoots. There are some varieties of sunflowers that flower growers use are single stem and some are branching. If you will do a search for Pro Cut Sunflowers you will find access to a sunflower festival of color. Spacing is important for growing these as too close and you will not get good large flowers, follow the package directions and let your imagination create. Now Zinnias.
Again there is a multitude of colors sizes with this flower. I sometimes use them as an afternoon shade plant for tender tomatoes that tend to get sunburned. They will grow tall and last through the summer and the petals are the seeds so by letting your favorites grow until they begin to drop petals you can save abundant seeds. Again they need some space and when given regular water they will bring that color through the heat, If your looking for filler and love herbs, Opel or purple basil grows great here and this is a beautiful filler with a fresh basil scent, also Amaranth Is a hardy grower and gives that burgundy red blossom that drapes with color-tinted leaves. Even a few sprigs of rosemary to add interest and scent are something that seems to always be around.
Yes it is a cold and dreary January and nothing looks like it will ever revive from the seemingly dead garden, but it will rise up when the sunshines and the days are getting longer with more light. Time to get the compost plans ready and the flower designs all drawn out.
Growing Green with Jannie and planning of Sunflowers