Gardening Experiments

Copyright: Heidi I. Koehler

*Note: a lot of links go to the Royal Horticultural Society website in the UK. A very old organization that probably focuses quite heavily on fancy varieties but I am trying to diversify links and not rely so heavily on Wikipedia.

A lot of experiment this year!
I bought a Stevia this year but it is not doing well- too cold at my place I think. I tried to propagate by leaf cuttings last year and it never worked so at least i want to grow one good plant. Here is a news article about Stevia.

Kelly sent me a whole bunch of seeds- a mix of annuals and perennials- even she's not sure about all of them!
I decided to attempt to germinate them in a more controlled way based in part with things I picked up from other gardeners on the internet.
I am using milk/water jugs with the tops cut away to do this...basically they are miniature hot houses. It's a little more work than having a cold frame but this way I know for sure what I am getting- labeling is done directly on the containers which for me is quite helpful.

 Here is the list of seeds from Kelly that I planted on May 5th:
1- Hand sized Blood Red Poppy (annual or perennial? don't know)
2- Purple Poppy (same question)
3- Pink Columbine (I actually have a lot of columbines but who knows what shade of pink this will be!)
4- Purple Stock (haven't a clue what this is)
5- Purple Mystery Flower (Kelly doesn't know what it is)
6- Yellow Woody Lupin (fragrant)
7- Hellebore
8- Yellow Locust (sounds interesting)
9- False Indigo
10- Purple Bachelor Button (I have lots of this- very easy to grow but I think the seed may not have been ripe)
11- Sunflower
12- Sweet Pea "April In Paris" (perennial perhaps?)

As well as Kelly's seeds I have a lot of perennials I collected mostly from Lou's place a few years ago and I am germinating them in ice creme buckets. Those seeds are 2 or 4 years old so who knows if any of them will come. They were planted on May 6th.
1- Flax...I called it "Dead Flax" because the colour was tan as opposed to black like the ones I am growing now produce. This has already germinated.
2-Larkspur Blue...a true larkspur. The first time I really became aware of how majestically beautiful these flowering plants are was when I saw them at Baillie House (Merritt, B.C.) my first summer here.  Lou had them as well as a white variety.
3- Larkspur White...it has to be said that Lou's garden is now devoid of most of the beautiful perennials that were planted by the original home owner. The garden was too much for him to maintain and various people came by to dig out the plants. I wish I had got some but at least they went to new homes.
REGARDING DELPHINIUMS: the seeds I have come from fairly tall perennial plants. There are many species of Delphs/Larkspurs
4- Fluffy White Thing...that's what I called it because I don't know what it was. Maybe Pearly Everlasting.
5- Mallow Hollyhock...I just call it that because Mallows and Hollyhocks are a massive botanical confusion. I think its actually Latavera. Hollyhocks grow very well in Merritt and can be found everywhere in every colour but the Mallow variety is only pink as far as I know. The flowers are also much smaller and more defined.
REGARDING HOLLYHOCKS AND MALLOWS: good luck identifying what seeds you may collect!
6- Red Columbine...just because I can. I have so many columbines right now it's not funny!
7- Echinacea...possibly from a local person or from Kamloops. I really want an Echinacea plant.
8- Thrift- possibly it's a different plant...I am not even sure if this is from Lou's, Baillie House or from my own plants. My seeds have got mixed up occasionally.

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