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Flower Garden Ideas – Wildflower Seeds – Next Best Thing to Free

If you’re searching for last minute ideas to add color to your borders and flower gardens this season at a “next-best-thing-to-free” price  you might want to check out the great seed packet prices at Vermont Wildflower Farm.

If you buy 10 or more individual species by the packet, the regular $2.95  price goes down to only $1.00 per packet! That’s about a $20.00 savings — and even with a $5.95 shipping cost you’d still save about $14 bucks.  (Orders over $39 — shipping is free.)

Hearing what another gardener has in mind helps give us ideas for our own gardens — even though they may be totally different.  It’s the old proverb in action: “Iron sharpens iron and one man sharpens another.”

With that in mind, here’s what I ordered from Vermont Wildflower Farm and why.

Even though I thought I had ordered everything I needed for this year, some last minute things came to mind as my plans progressed.

I’m almost out of Sweet William seed (Dianthus barbatus) and I like to succession sow in the spring AND fall so I ordered another 1/4 pound of seed.  (See pictures and learn more in my post Wildflower – Sweet William – Great in Flower Borders. )

Sweet William is an all time great for the borders and flower gardens — most especially when sown bountifully. A multitude of gorgeous colors and a long period of bloom —- what’s not to love?!

Black Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia Hirta)

As you may recall from another post I have the perennial variety Rudbeckia Goldsturn in my borders. They’re not as prolific in my current flower borders as they were at my previous residence/garden.

Hirta is a biennial but should give me lots of bloom this year that will light up the flower borders in July and August when combined with other blooms.

African Daisy – (Classified as tender perennials — but they act as annuals for me.)

During my first decade of gardening, my Grandmother who lived in Idaho at the time, sent me African Daisy seeds from her garden.  I was thrilled and had great success with them that first year. The blooms were like nothing I’ve ever seen since.

These daisies are very delicate and bloom in a multitude of colors. However, the ones I ordered from Vermont Wildflower are just in shades of yellow/gold/orange but I think they’ll sparkle in the borders.

And of course I had to take advantage of the 10 packets of wildflower seeds at $1.00 each. Here’s what I chose:

Basket of Gold – Alyssum saxatile (Picture click here.)

These were some of Grandmother’s favorites for the same reason they’re one of my favorites:  The yellow is brilliant and sparkles in front of the flower border.

I’ll start these perennials in jugs (via the wintersown method) the minute my seed comes. Three seeds for each container. When they get some size on them I’ll place them selectively in my front borders for all to enjoy. I should get at least a small amount of bloom this first year. It’ll be a delight to have them back in my borders again after so many years without them.

Catchfly (Picture here.)

Although this plant is considered a tender perennial, it’s always acted like an annual for me.  I’ve not broadcast seed in my garden since I’ve been at this location. (15 years)

The rose-pink flowers are breathtaking in mass!  If they do well for me here, I’ll order by the ounce next year.

California Poppy Mix

I already have the bright gold California Poppy and wanted these shades of yellow, cream, orange and red to add a bit of variety to that bed. Ground is perfect right now for planting these.

Iceland Poppy

A poppy with a crinkled appearance to add some variety to the poppies I have.  These are one of the few poppies that make a good cut flower.

Candytuft – Iberis umbellata

White candy tuft already graces my borders and I wanted this pink/purple one with tinges of white just for a different look.  This is a great perennial for me, although it is said to act as an annual in really cold climates.

Moss Verbena – Verbena tenuisecta  

I already have this wonderful perennial in my borders. It thrives most of the time, but can have a tendency to die out at other times for seemingly no reason.

I usually start it from cuttings and was anxious to find out what it would do from seed.  At the cost of $1.00 I can’t go wrong.

Mexican hat – Ratibida columnaris

This was a real conversation piece for my garden when last I grew it more than 15 years ago.  I am looking forward to starting this perennial 3 per jug via the wintersown method.

If I’m select about placement, maybe I can get them to act like true perennials for me rather than annuals — as in my previous garden.

Multi Cornflower – Centaurea cyanus

Wild Blue Cornflowers come up every year in my front borders and I welcome them.  Needless to say — when I saw this mix of colors I couldn’t resist them.

I might just broadcast these in the same area where the wild ones come up — and see what they do.

Painted Daisy – Chrysanthemum carinatum  (Pictures here)

These mid to late season bloomers should add a showy splash of bloom to my garden and hopefully will reseed themselves for next year.

Yellow Coneflower – Ratibida columnarus

These are perennials that will contrast nicely with the Mexican Hat.  I plan to place both with the perennial Rudbeckia Maxima for a spectacular show of variety.

Final Thoughts

Even if a vegetable garden is your primary garden — remember to include flowers for the bees and beneficials.  You’ll benefit as well from the beauty they add to your landscape.

Vermont Wildflower Farm has over one-hundred varieties to choose from for this $1.00 a packet special. There’s no better time than the present to check it out, because now is the time to plant.

Wishing you a colorful and beautiful season.

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Related Posts:

You Can Plant in December

Warm Weather Crops and the Winter Sown Method

Seed Starting – Another Variation of Winter Sown

Seed Starting – The Easy Wintersown Way

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4 comments to Flower Garden Ideas – Wildflower Seeds – Next Best Thing to Free

  • Sandra

    Theresa, I harvested Catchfly seeds from a friend’s garden last year. I had no idea what it was, until NOW!! It was beautiful. Thanks for the other suggestions too.

  • Theresa

    So glad you have Catchfly, Sandra. I can never get enough. It’s just so spectacular!

  • Sue Thom

    Theresa, I know you’re in zone 7 as I am. I’ve always shied away from planting poppies because most of the seed catalogs say they do best in cool weather — which, in central Oklahoma where I live, we emphatically do NOT have in the summer and often in the late spring! So have you successfully grown poppies where you live? Thanks for any info you can give!

  • Theresa

    Sue, I sure relate to what you are saying.
    We don’t have cool summers and it’s a toss of the coin as to whether or not the late spring will be cool or hot.
    Nonetheless — my poppies have enough cool to make a spectacular show. They start diminishing of course with the heat of the summer in late June and July.

    These two posts show pictures of my poppies and tell more:
    http://tendingmygarden.com/backyard-landscaping-ideas-wildflowers/

    http://flowerborders.info/california-poppy-perfect-wildflower-and-problem-solver/

    The California poppies are earlier bloomers — so they come first and go first. They are perennial for me if I don’t disturb the bed. This year I wanted to use the bed for something different. I transplanted a lot of the poppies. They have a deep tap root and if you break that you’ll loose the plant. I lost half — the other half are doing great. No bloom yet of course. Still too early.

    The red poppies (flanders poppies) bloom later and last longer.

    Since poppies have naturalized in many places out west — Oklahoma might be better for poppies than Virginia.

    With a great price like VWF is offering you can’t go wrong to try them. Most catalog info is very general and sometimes it’s hard to tell if it’s going to apply to your situation or not.

    If I were in Oklahoma — I’d definitely try them. You still have a week or so of optimum planting time. If by chance you miss the window of opportunity — plant them in the fall and then again next spring. My guess is — that once they bloom for you — you’ll never want to be without them.

    Good luck! Let me know how you do.
    Theresa

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