|This zinnia got the ball rolling,|
In my gardening past, there was the summer of daylilies, when I acquired all kinds of daylilies.
There was the summer of sunflowers when I sowed seeds for every sunflower variety I could find.
And then there was a summer decades ago when I tried to grow every kind of easy to dry flower, like gomphrena and strawflower, I could find.
I toyed briefly with gladiolus, went through a brief affair with all those different colors of coneflowers, and of course, there were those violets grown from seed.
Anyway, this summer my flower affair is with zinnias. It's the SZummer of Zinnias.
Four packets of zinnias was all it took, along with what seems to be the ideal growing conditions this summer. And by ideal I mean virtually no Japanese beetles have attacked the zinnias and I have yet to see any powdery mildew on any of them.
The zinnias really are on their best behavior.
Sure, it's a summer romance. It will only last until frost. But between then and now, there are plenty of weeks to enjoy the zinnias.
|Hot pink does well on zinnias.|
|They are as tall as the okra behind them.|
|I'd never seen such a bicolor.|
|They are also pretty before they are fully open.|
|White pom-pom anyone?|
|The candystripe version.|
|And cactus type flowers, too.|
|Plain or fancy?|
|The bees love them, too.|
|Clashing colors? Not on zinnias!|
|Even "red" looks good on a zinnia.|
|Just enough petal to attract a bee.|
|Orange you glad I showed you all the zinnias?|
'Fireball Blend' and 'Northern Lighs Blend' from Botanical Interests (purchased)
'Granny's Bouquet' and 'Cool Crayon Colors' from Renee's Garden (sent to me to try).
In late May, I roughed up the ground a bit, sowed the seeds, and covered them lightly. When the seedlings came up, I thinned them to about six inches apart, give or take, to give them a little room. They are all growing in full sun.
I never thought to label the zinnias when I planted them throughout the veg garden, so I could guess which flower came from which collection, but it would just be a guess.
My plan for next year? I'm going to buy more varieties of zinnias and sow them again.
Will they be just as good next year?
There is only one way to find out. The SZummer of Zinnias Part II, taking place in my garden in 2017.