A Garden of Volunteers – Re-seeding Annuals
How about getting a garden of flowers for pennies?
There are annuals and a lot of perennials which reseed each year, and this is a good thing…within reason. After all, we love the flowers which come up on their own, but we don’t want any flower to overtake the whole garden.But the surprises that pop up from dropped seeds last year are so nice. Re-seeding annuals bring me many wonderful surprises.
One of these re-seeding annuals or “volunteers” that I love is sweet alyssum which seeds into cracks and crevices all over and sends up new plants each year in new places. To me, those new plants are hardier than newly planted ones. Have you ever pulled one up and found a root which is 3 times the size of these tiny plants? Seems to me that this little seedling sprouts early and just waits, sending roots out and out until it finally pops out above ground and almost immediately puts out its blossoms.
These awesome little seedlings are one inch high and can already have blossoms. And they have the bonus of smelling so sweet. This tiny powerhouse of pent-up energy will blossom all year, stopping to rest a little if I let it get too dry. But if you water it, and even take your shears to it and give it a “crew cut,” it takes off again.
- [su_note note_color=”#cfcffb” radius=”15″]Many times I have sprinkled the seeds in the snow around an area where I want to see alyssum tumbling over rocks or bricks. And they sprout! Sometimes away from where you intended due to being washed further down by a spring rain, but still hanging on to bring pretty color.[/su_note]
I even plant alyssum in my hypertufa containers, especially new ones that you just can’t wait to pot up. It looks great tumbling over the side of a pot, especially some deep purple variety. ( My favorite colors in the garden are whites and pastels.) There is a variety called “Snow Princess” which is gorgeous, full, and so aromatic that you fall in love with it. But this is a seedless hybrid, so it blooms itself to death all year…..but the sight and scent of it is glorious to a gardener’s heart.
Zinnia -Another of our colorful reseeding annuals
Zinnias are a wonderful, easy to grow, sturdy little plants. Or you can get varieties which are very tall. They make pretty cut flowers too. Zinnias are available in many colors and flower shapes so there is something to please everyone. I have my grandson plant these in little cups and he is so thrilled to see them grow. And then he can pick them when he wants a bouquet for Mom.
Butterflies and bees flock around these flowers since most of them spread out the flat “landing pad” that they like. It is easy to get some pretty photos in the garden with these flowers.
Love in a Mist (Nigella)
Nigella is one of the most unusual flowers in my garden. I love the strange shape of its flower and it grows so easily that I can just throw the seeds down and it will come up and bloom very quickly. It has a weird seed pod also, and will reseed in the garden all through the season and then pop up next year too. The foliage is very light and ferny, and it looks wonderful planted in a drift. Great in pots too!
Cosmos – gorgeous reseeding annual – great for cut flowers
I can’t say enough about this plant and its flower. Cosmos is such an easy plant to grow, just throw the seeds down, if you like. But you get a nice large plant 48″ tall and wide that blooms all summer long and you will never be out of cut flowers for the house. They have a delicate papery look and look light and airy. When you pick them, they just grow more. There is a variety called Seashells that has tubular petals, very different looking. But if you need a small variety, use the “Sonata” series which is only about 24″. Wonderful in a huge drift!
So don’t overlook how nice it is to scatter some seeds of annuals around the garden or into pots. It is beautiful to have a cascading wave of alyssum coming from a hypertufa trough.
And it smells wonderful!
Do you use seeds at all for growing plants? If you have never tried it, get some and just see how wonderful it can be in your garden bursting with color.
Wonderful post-it is good for gardener’s to know that there are annuals out there that perpetuate themselves. They are also lovely additions to everyone’s garden.
Oh, I agree so much. These plants are all nice and so easy. And these days you can find them for a dime!
My sweet William reseed every year which started from a $1 box of seeds several years ago.
Oh I love those Sweet William. I have some of those still, and planted a lot more seeds last spring, so I am expecting a lot of bloom this year.
Nice post, Kim. I’ve had Love in a Mist in my garden now, have had alyssum in the past (love it, esp with red geraniums). I’m in a 7a zone, formerly 6b until USDA rezoned in 2012.
Rita C at Panoply
Thanks for visting, Rita. Just love Love in a Mist. One of the strange flowers that I don’t see enough around here. I am a 6 zone here, and like you say, changes from which chart you look at, but I stretch it each way anyway!