Things have been crazy chaotic lately, and for the first time I’m starting to realize that I really can’t do everything at once – very unfortunate, indeed. Anywho, this post is serving as an update and as a means to document something that I feel (no experience here) is a little bit on the crazy side, that being the choice to direct sow biennial seeds into the ground on July 27th while it’s still blazing hot.
For the past few weeks I’ve been concerned that nothing in the garden would recover from the monsoon-like rains that we’ve gotten this summer. While I’m happy to say that a lot of plants have recovered and now look quite lovely, I’ve officially lost all hope for the others. As the dahlias have started to bloom, so too have my negative feelings started to slip away and I can once again focus on the positive outcomes of this season.
In the midst of traveling, picking, planting, and everything else. I’ve decided to give direct sowing biennial seeds a go. While I feel like I’ve learned so much over the past couple years of flower farming, I still have yet to attempt to grow biennials. Honestly, the idea of “waiting” for flowers has never really appealed to me, which explains why I have such a strong love affair with summer annuals. Since this is my first go, I’ve honored my traditional habit of scouring the internet, desperate to find information from anyone who would be willing to share it. Seems unfortunately, that these days, most people don’t bother to grow many biennials unless they foster a great love for the long lost cottage garden. Sites that I did find were from folks with totally different climates from myself. In an ideal world, I would live somewhere where the weather was always sunny and in the 70s. But July is the hottest time of the year around here, it’s in the high 90s – can these biennials really handle being sown in this heat? We’re certainly going to find out! In the least, I’m hopeful that the seeds will hold out and germinate when the time is right. Worst case scenario, I definitely plan to make a winter sowing of beauties and even a spring planting of some of the others. Varieties that have gone into the ground are sweet william, chabaud dianthus, canterbury bells, siberian wallflowers, icelandic poppies, foxglove, lupine, and hollyhock. Sometimes you have to fail to learn – sometimes you’re pleasantly surprised. I like being surprised.
Last but not least, we’re reaching time for the final direct sowing of sunflowers. Since I have limited space, this means ripping out the old plants and amending the soil once again. Since this last batch will bloom in early October (our first frost is around Oct. 5-10), I’m planning for a variety of lovely bronzes and dark oranges. So excited. I never like to see the weather start to turn cold, but there’s something about fall that I always welcome, truly a lovely change of pace.
I think that’s all for now! If you’ve got any experiences with biennials to share, I would l0ve to hear them in the comments below! Much love!