Monday, February 16, 2015

So Many NEW Organic Wildflower Varieties...Plant for the Pollinators!

Did you get a chance to check out my first post about NEW Seeds added for 2015?
It was fun listing all of the new heirloom seed varieties we've added for 2015...

Have you considered planting for pollinators?  If you have grown a veggie garden and are interested in higher yields, adding Wildflowers might be the way to go.  Last month I wrote a very popular article Plant for the Pollinators and Increase Your Crops.

OR, if you are interested in creating a bee and butterfly habitat or sanctuary, planting organic seeds is the way to go.  Most people don't realize that many store-bought trays of flowers have been treated with bee-killing pesticides.  It's true!  
For more info, read Home Depot's Bee-Friendly Plants are actually Killing the Bees 
(this also applies to Lowe's and other large retailers like walmart) 

 I've had a few customers ask about seed varieties, not knowing that
 we've already added them.  It seems that some have been "lost in the shuffle" so today I'm going to share a bunch of my favorites.
**Warning: May cause excitement overload**

Blue Flax
Perennial blue flax grows erect like grass, but is covered with sky blue flowers in summer. Plant in mass and allow to naturalize to create a meadow effect. Thrives in dry meadows or on slopes. Blooms the second spring after planting.

Cosmos, Sensation Mix
 A sensational mix of white, rose, pink, and crimson flowers. The evenly placed petals of this flower lead to the name Cosmos, the Greek word for 'harmony' and 'ordered universe.' Easy to grow and makes an excellent cut flower. Thin to 1 - 2' apart when plants reach 2 tall.

Plains Coreopsis
 Edible Flower!  Cheery bicolor annual in shades of yellow and red actually means "cheerful" in the language of flowers. Useful as a filler in bouquets or as edible flowers, to add color to salads. Thin to 6 - 8" apart when plants reach 2" tall.

"Deer Proof Garden" Wildflower Mix
Enjoy some striking color in areas frequented by deer.
Contains: Arroyo Lupine, Perennial Lupine, Yellow Lupine, Mexican Lupine, Zinnia, Blanketflower, Lance-leaved Coreopsis, Blue Pimpernel, California Poppy, Scarlet Sage, Gloriosa Daisy, Blue Sage, Shirley Poppy, Sweet Alyssum, White Yarrow, Plains Coreopsis, Foxglove

Queen Anne's Lace
Also known as "Bishop's Flower". Quick growing annual blooms heavily the first year and returns the following year if the plant is allowed to set seed.
Makes an excellent cut flower and attracts beneficial insects to the garden. Sow after danger of frost has passed and every 2 weeks for successive blooms.  Thin to 12" apart.

Sweet Pea, Royal Family Mix
 Truly an old-fashioned flower, sweet peas have been cultivated since the 1800's. This large-flowered mix produces long-stemmed, fragrant flower clusters in a full range of bright colors. Thin to 6" apart when plants reach 3"

 2 NEW Milkweed Varieties!
Asclepias Tuberosa
Butterfly Weed (Asclepias Tuberosa) - Butterfly Weed flower seed creates a beautiful butterfly-attracting plant. It has bright orange flower clusters that are flat and easy for butterflies to land on and drink the rich nectar. Being a member of the milkweed family, Butterfly Weed, will attract the monarch butterfly as well as other butterfly varieties.

Asclepias Incarnata White
 Butterfly Weed (Asclepias Incarnata White) - Asclepias Incarnata Ice Ballet is a marvelous long-blooming, bright white cousin of Butterfly Weed. It readily establishes from Asclepias flower seeds, and it produces clear white flowers and dark green foliage. Flowers are long lasting and bloom early summer and into the fall depending on the weather. The flowers, which are heavily laden with nectar and pollen, are particularly attractive to hummingbirds, butterflies, bees, and other beneficial insects. Asclepias Butterfly Weed is actually a prized perennial for attracting monarch butterflies and supporting the monarch caterpillars.

While they aren't "new" varieties, I'd like to share a few of my favorites:

Lemon Queen Sunflower
Branching sunflower variety with lemon yellow petals and dark centers. Long-blooming season.  Plant seed 6" apart and 1/2" deep after spring frost. Thin to 1' apart when plants reach 2" tall.  Attracts bees and butterflies.

California Giant Zinnia
 This California heirloom dates back to 1919.  Very large flowers 4-5 inches.  The plants bloom all season and make superb cut flowers. This mix contains cherry, orange, pink, purple, scarlet, yellow and white.  Zinnias are great companion plants and color to any garden.

Nasturtium, Dwarf Jewel Mix
 *Companion Plant and EDIBLE*  A low growing border plant with bright colored flowers in yellow, orange, and red. Flowers (and leaves) are edible and taste similar to watercress, add them to salad for a punch of color. Prefers cool, mild conditions. Easy to grow and blooms quickly. Thin to 6 - 12" apart.  Attracts bees and butterflies

There you have it!  
Thanks for stopping by and if you have additional questions please feel free to ask.

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