Flower Profiles

I have started seed collecting since last month...some plants still have a ways to go like nasturtiums but last years are probably still viable. Seeds are thoroughly dry prior to storage and are kept in a cool, dry place that doesn't vary much in temperature. I am collecting vegetable seeds as well and may write a post about it at a later date but as of now these are plants that I have seeds available for. I will try to make them available in a shop or two in Merritt if possible but for now here they are:

 A small packet is 1.25 and a large 5.00.
A small packet of larger seeds like Sweet Pea or Nasturtium contains about the same amount you would get in a store bought packet except that this seed comes from plants acclimatized to near-desert conditions. Small packets of small seed (like poppy) probably contain triple what you get in store bought packets.
Why a 5.00 packet? I get a lot of compliments about my flower layout which is basically a border completely filled with annuals; I got the idea from wildflower gardens and found it worked impressively well with certain flowers. These flowers are chosen for the overall show of colour and flower mass.
The larger packets contain 5-6 times the amount of seed as small and are available for Calendula, Sunflower, and a custom mix of African Daisy, Cornflower, Cosmos and (regular) Poppy.

African Daisy...show up as yellow and orange with dark centers. They tend to be a bit spindly in growth but they are early bloomers and bring bright spots of colour to the garden quickly. They have a certain fragility and will slump among other flowers if it's windy. Seeds form in little clumps and are easily carried off by the wind.

Calendula...shows up in early summer in yellows and orange flowers can be double. This is a very robust flower that will bloom well into the fall. Knee high or even taller and will take up a lot of space if you let it. There are hybrids that contain splashes of tans and browns that may show up in this mix. This plant has medicinal qualities.

Cornflower...like calendula will last into the fall and would love to have a lot of space but can survive an over-seeded planting. Very bright blue flowers and lots of them...a good self seeder. Also knee high or taller under ideal conditions. Seed is easily lost to the wind and cornflower is one of the first of the tall annuals to show up in the spring.

Cosmos...can be white, fuchsia or the more common pink. Can grow shoulder high and has very nice lacy foliage well into fall. This is a very showy annual because of it's height...despite this it will do well over-seeded; it simply becomes a miniature specimen. It lasts well into fall so is often a competition plant at fall fairs.

 Dessert Bluebell...the most intense 'true' blue of any annual. A low grower that can adapt very well to space limitations. Leaves often have a reddish tinge. Flowers grow in neat rows that aren't apparent until it goes to seed; this is when the the form becomes clearer otherwise it's simply a mass of blue.

Annual Larkspur...knee high or a bit better with intense purple-blue flowers. This flower is actively sought out by the larger bees (bumble bees) and make for an entertaining  sight as the heavy bees hang upside down off the flowers which provide nectar. It looks very nice among red, yellow and pink annuals.

Marigold...low growing bright orange button kind of flower. Fragrant in that way some foliage has. The leaves form a large part of the flower mass in a planting and the blooms stand out very nicely. They have a general pom-pom appearance and are usually orange. They come out in mid summer and are a good filler flower. Seed is easy to collect.

Morning Glory...a vine that can have pink or purple flowers. Late summer bloomer that likes to twine onto anything it gets a hold of. Despite this I don't find it to be invasive. It could use additional support in order to get it to cover a fence...well worth it for the look especially in the mornings when the flowers are at their best.

Nasturtium...shades of yellow to red but mostly orange- sometimes a contrasting colour in the center. Grows low and bushy- almost tropical like. Looks great in baskets or elevated gardens, rockeries. Blooms later in the summer and does well in shade. Not troubled by bugs in the desert regions. Considered edible.

Mini Pansy...for such a small flower it's very strong; usually the first flower I see in the spring. Shows lots of different colour with a heavy emphasis on purples. If grown singly can reach a fair size but usually it's a filler for tight spaces. Flowers are edible, self seeds readily.

 Opium Poppy...there are obviously issues with this plant that you should consider but as far as flowers go it's a show stopper. Waist high or better, ornately furled mint green leaves, can be doubled (pom pom). Red, fuchsia, pink, lavender, white (taller), peach and salmon colours. Self seeds readily. Very ornamental seed pods.

Poppy...the regular variety can have a surprising assortment of colours although red is the norm. A very good filler flower that can be waist high and looks dainty and defiant at the same time. Has ornamental seed pods that are much smaller than Opium poppies and also produces massive amounts of seed.

 Rose Campion...will not bloom the first year but in the second will have beautiful gray foliage and electric pink flowers. Because of the multitude of seed that falls from the plant there will be a continuous supply of flowers from year to year.  This flower looks best by itself as a planting can get quite bushy, not to mention the bizarre colour.

Rose Mallow...pink and white flowers. Can have an upright or spindly habit depending on where it's grown...full sun is best. Fairly large flowers for a low growing plant...it looks very nice set between taller annuals.

Sunflower...blooms mid to late summer and can become very tall. Requires staking or support in windy locations. It will attract birds to your yard and possibly rodents. Largest of all flowers, seeds are edible and makes a good contrast with other annuals if there aren't too many planted together.

Sweet Pea...another climber known for it's scent. Will cling to other plants and needs support to train it where you want it to go...usually up a fence. Soft pastel colours although occasionally a purple shows up. Seed can be a bit tricky to collect as the pods burst open and scatter it when the time is right.

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