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If you’ve ever grown pansies, you’ve grown Hardy Annuals. Plants that winter over, bloom in early spring, and then set seed are very easy to grow in the South. So don’t stop at pansies. There are dozens of hardy annuals you can try. These 4 are making a big splash in my zone 7 B garden right now.
Baby Blue Eyes look great with viola. The viola came to the garden as transplants from Campbell Road Nursery in Cary. The Baby Blue Eyes grew around them from a few packets of seed I raked in. Love the color combo of blue and violet. A true blue flower is hard to find. This little one fits the bill.
Flashy aren’t they? What hardy annuals are you having good luck with this spring? Please add them to the list.
Lots of shovel action going on in my Apex neighborhood these days–and I’ve done my share of spring planting. But some of the best things in my garden right now are the hardy annuals I planted last fall.
Like these snapdragon–Bought in October at my favorite local plant source, Campbell road nursery, these transplants became very full and stocky over the winter. They are at least three times the size of the ones I forgot about, left in the cold frame, and didn’t plant til early March.
Larkspur is another terrific annual to plant in fall. I sowed these seeds in October, and I can’t wait for the tall spiky blue blooms that will be coming soon. It’s one of my favorite flowers and one of the best investments a Southern gardener can make.
So flip you calendar ahead to September and October and make a note in bold sharpie: Buy and plant hardy annuals. Next spring, you’ll be so glad you did.
PS. Don’t forget the kitchen garden. We’ve been eating our greens and leeks for about 6 weeks now. All were set out as transplants last fall and are so much better than what you get in the store. My purple cabbage is delicious!
Yea, $1.49, mere pocket change for the best spring flower I grow.
Larkspur is one of the Hardy Annuals, a class of plants that do best in the south when they’re sown in the fall.
Frosts make these plants, stronger–their long stems stockier. In May, they bloom in long showy stalks of cool colors.
June heat completes the cycle. These cool weather annuals hate high temps. They go to seed and die. But they’ll re-seed all over your garden. Buy them once, and you won’t have buy them again for years.
Hardy annuals resist transplanting, so rake them in where you want them to grow. I always get my the seeds in before Christmas. Right now, I’m just waiting for a warm dry day.
These seeds came from one of my favorite local stores–Stone Brothers and Byrd in Durham. A great place for gardeners to hang out, they do more than sell the products we need–they give lots of good advice. I like the newsletter, monthly tips, and I love supporting a store where the people know what they’re doing (and know many of their customers by name) http://www.stonebrothers.com/
Check out their bulbs and organic products–but I bought the last of their larkspur seed. Here’s a source for value priced seed and another small family owned business run by passionate gardeners–The Fragrant Path P.O. Box 328 Fort Calhoun, NE 68023 www.fragrantpathseeds.com. ( I love their dark blue larkspur, pictured below)
The minimum order is 5 dollars, so why not try some annual poppies, too. Money very well spent. You’ll thank me in the spring.
By the way, I did spend only $ 1.49. The seed packs are a BOGO special at Stone Brothers–how cool is that!