February 23, 2012
Flower seed packets
Photo by Jessica Walliser

Last week, I told you about some of the seeds I ordered for this year’s garden. I was talking to a friend who asked me what new flowers I would be trying this year when I realized I only included one of them on last week’s list! Just in case you are a flower nut like me, here are some of my choices for 2012’s flowerbeds. All will be planted from seed planted either directly into the garden in May or started under my grow lights indoors.

Ageratum “Timeless Mixture”
What I love about this annual is its tendency to reseed from year to year, creating a nice colony of plants. And if you are thinking of those puny, blue, puffball plants that mom used to grow, these are not one and the same. This variety grows between 20 and 24 inches tall and nearly equally as wide. They are perfect for the cutting garden, and this mixture bears purple, lavender, white and blue flowers.

Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)
I’m putting a stand of these plants in the garden because they attract insane numbers of bees and butterflies. Purple-blue spiked flowers stand 18 to 24 inches tall. Both the leaves and flowers are edible and make a fine licorice-flavored tea. It’s perennial from zones 4 through 9.

Marigold “Double Pinwheel Mix”
I have always wanted to try marigolds in my front bed because I think they will thrive in the heat and full sun exposure there. I always hesitate planting them because, frankly, the only marigolds I have really actually liked are the Gem series. Those, though, have very tiny flowers and tend to get lost in the shuffle of my larger beds. I’m going to try “Double Pinwheel Mix” by direct seeding it into the garden in May and hope they’ll manage not to get lost in the craziness.

Hungarian Blue Bread Poppy (Papaver somniferum)
I already grow a different somniferum poppy with double-petaled, watermelon-pink flowers, but I’d like to give this single-petaled, bicolored-purple variety a try. I found it in the Seeds of Change catalog.

Italian White Sunflower
An heirloom selection with cream-colored petals and greenish-brown centers. It’s a multi-branched variety and is known for its long bloom time. Although the flowers aren’t huge (a mere 4 inches in diameter), the stems are sturdy and tall. Perfect for cutting!

Split Second Morning Glory
I love love love this variety! Typical of morning glories, this plant has a twining habit that requires a sturdy trellis or fence. But completely unlike other varieties, Split Second bears full, ruffled, double-petaled, pink blooms!!

Hot Lips Salvia
Who can resist a plant with a name like that? A very fun salvia that’s heat and drought (and deer!) resistant, it grows 3 feet tall and is covered in white and deep-pink lip-like flowers that hummingbirds, bees and butterflies just love. I have many different salvias in my garden, but I think this will become a fast favorite.

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