About Good Scents

The cut flower business ended in 2011 but I continue to post other items about gardening.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Transplanting Already

The Lisianthus I started the first week of January have reached transplant size so during the past few days I moved all of them from 200 cell plug trays they were started in, to 12x6 liners. About 75% of them come up and survive this long so that about doubles the amount of space they occupy under the lights. In addition, I've also got seedlings for onions, pimentos, delphiniums, several Camnpanulas and Lady's Mantle, but all of those are still small.

I'm going to move some of this stuff to the greenhouse about the beginning of March, but right now the greenhouse is still unheated and freezing cold.

Another thing I am doing differently this year is I am not forcing lilies for May. I decided that they take up too much greenhouse space, plus the crates are really heavy and too much work to be schlepping them in and out of the greenhouse during hot and cold spells in May. I originally started doing this in hopes of avoiding having to buy flowers in late May, but I ended up buying flowers anyway (a lily stem or two does not create a bouquet, as far as I am concerned). They are nice but given my very limited greenhouse space, they are really costly.

I still plan on buying frozen lily bulbs from Ednie during the summer and planting those in crates, so there will still be lilies out of season in the summer, just no lilies in May.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Seed Swap

Project Grow is holding a Seed Swap this Saturday February 12th from 10:00-11:30 am at the Downtown Home and Garden barn. If you like swapping seeds and meeting other gardeners, then this is a fun event. I will be there with:

Sweet Pimento
I grew lots of pimentos last year. I find these much easier to grow than bell peppers. The fruits are small but are quicker and more productive. I only grew this kind of pepper in my vegetable garden so the seed strain should be pure. You have to be careful when saving pepper seed because they are pollinated by bees. If you are growing many different kinds close together, they will cross pollinate and your sweets may be hot and so on. I originally got the seed from Fedco.

Red Bull Onion
Onions are pretty easy to grow and this year I decided to grow 'Copra', a yellow storage onion, plus a few red onions. Because I started only about 1/4 as many red ones, I had lots of seeds left and I'll be bringing them to the swap.

Dianthus barbatus
The past few years I started saving the most interesting Sweet William seeds (Dianthus barbatus). I really liked the 'eyed' ones that were purple, so I saved those, and also a purple that has an eye but is lighter and more diffuse. I've been growing these apart from other Sweet William for the past few years, so the strain is fairly consistent, and even when it isn't, the flowers are still pretty.

Genovese Basil
Project Grow's Director, Cindy, saved these from her garden last year and supplied them for the Project Grow plant sale in May. However, Cindy saved so many seeds, I'm going to make up a few packets and bring them to the seed swap, too.

I may bring along some other flower seeds that I got this year for Good Scents, too. Hope to see you there!

Saturday, February 5, 2011


I had a fairly big die-off of delphiniums this past summer. For the past couple years I planted 'Aurora', one of the varieties I have long used, plus some seeds from Dowdeswell Delphiniums. The Dowdeswell varieties are beautiful and unique but don't seem to hold up as well though our hot and humid summers. I assume it was the summers because I have read delphiniums are super cold hardy and all the delphiniums were treated the same, so I don't think it was a difference in cultural treatment.

In previous years, in addition to 'Aurora', I have grown 'Clear Springs'. However, this year it was dropped from the GeoSeed catalog so I am instead growing 'Magic Fountains'. 'Magic Fountains' is an older strain, kind of a dwarf 'Pacific Giants'. There are more separate colors available than in 'Clear Springs', and you can get white and dark bees, which is kind of cool. So why haven't I grown them in the past? I think I had the impression that 'Magic Fountains' was maybe a little too short, plus I always had such good success with 'Clear Springs' that I had little incentive to try something different.

In addition to the Delphinium cultorum 'Aurora' and 'Magic Fountains', I am also starting some Delphinium belladonna 'Oriental Blue'. I grew this a couple years ago but unlike the other Delphinium belladonna I had grown, most of them died after the first year. They bloomed at the same time as Clarkia and looked really nice with them, so hopefully I will have that pairing again this year.

2011 Cut Flower Class

I'm going to be teaching a class on cut flowers for Project Grow on Saturday March 5th from 10am-noon. The class will be at the Leslie Science Center Nature House. Click here for all the details.