More seeds I’ll be growing out this year

I ordered seeds for the shop the other day and took the opportunity to get some packets to grow out myself, things that are not really available wholesale or that I’d just like to have a look at. First, foxgloves. In the past I’ve tried growing Digitalis obscura and Digitalis parviflora, but I always bought these seeds from the same source and did not have much luck. This time I bought them from the German wholesaler that supplies some of my seeds. Their seeds are really nice (but more expensive), so I hope I will have better luck with them this year. I also ordered Snow Thimble foxglove seeds to grow out. These are white and have no spots. I like the name.:)

For the third and probably last time I’ll try growing Doronicum pardalianches, a leopardsbane that according to Gerard was once used as wolfsbane. It doesn’t have a particularly striking appearance, but it would be neat to have for historical reasons.

Another one I’ve grown in the past, Gold Leaf melissa, I reordered, because mine has gotten kind of scraggly on account of exceedingly dry conditions last summer, so I did not collect seeds from it and I’m not sure how much of it will survive. I like this plant a lot anyhow. Its leaves are a very nice golden green shading to bright green and it smells like sweet lemons, really nice.

I finally was able to get some of the Gigantea variety of Chinese lanterns (Physalis alkekengi) again. Last year they were out. I want to grow my own seeds of this very popular plant, one that I myself find most cheerful in fall. When everything is brown, these lanterns positively burn ember red. Plus the berries are supposed to be edible.

Phinally Phytolacca (pokeweed) again, the Silberstein variety, which looks like it has been sprayed with a fine white paint. I grew this long ago but somehow lost it in my yard. This is a pretty plant, and I would like to gather and sell the seeds.

Last year I managed to germinate Artemisia genipi, a wormwood of the Italian Alps that is supposedly made into a liqueur, but the plants were killed by drought, so I am trying them again. I’ve always been partial to the artemisia family.

Although it will reseed itself prolifically under some conditions in cultivated fields cultivated areas, I’ll be growing Chrysanthemum segetum, or corn marigold. The variety is Eastern Star, which is a daisy with dark yellow surrounded by a band of butter yellow. I don’t grow many annuals, and I thought it would go well with the dyer’s chamomile (Anthemis tinctoria) that is colonizing the areas around the front sidewalk.

I wanted to see what the carnation “King of the Blacks” looks like. I figure it’s going to be a dark oxblood color, which Victorians considered a kind of black in terms of flowers. I like that color and I like carnations. It would be fun to collect those seeds, too. ¬†Another black one that I hope will be more black is a sweet pea called “Almost Black.” Looks like a dark blue-purple.

Fuller’s teasel (Dipsacus sativus) is a neat plant that they actually used to make a kind of brush out of for processing sheep’s wool. You’ve probably seen all kinds of wild teasels. Their spines are straight. The fuller’s teasel has curved spines. Makes a nice decorative plant too.

I thought it would be fun to grow a red version of baby’s breath, a kind of vampire baby’s breath (Gypsophila elegans ‘Kermesina’).

Something I might regret growing is Japanese hops, since hops tends to be very rambunctious as a plant and climb all over everything, clinging with hooks (thus the ‘lupulus’ in its name–wolf’s claws). This species of hops is smaller than regular hops and is grown as an annual. I hope it will make some strobiles and that I can harvest some seeds. I love variegated plants.

Once again I’ll be trying black nemophila (heatwave and subsequent hail wiped out all my nemophila plants last year) and “Pennies in Bronze” moonwort, which makes bronze seedpods instead of silvery ones. Moonwort is a nice plant for cottage gardens. Not very “refined,” but bright purple flowers with crumply leaves, surprisingly cheerful.

Rue is on my list of witching herbs to grow and hopefully harvest (as well as use in combination with marigolds to keep dogs off my front lawn), but I also want to try a rue relative, fragrant rue (Ruta odorata). A customer told me about it last year, but outside of that, I haven’t found much info on it. Sounds interesting.

I’m trying to be more controlled this year re seed starting (ha!). I probably won’t be growing many food plants outside of shallots, but I did decide to try rock samphire (Crithmum maritimum), a wild food plant. According to Culpeper, it’s supposed to taste hot and spicy. It used to be widely grown in English gardens but has become somewhat rare. I’ve seen seeds offered for the past couple of years and will give it a try, although it’s mostly a coastal plant. I think it might like the area with the artemisias, which is dry and sunny.

5 comments to More seeds I’ll be growing out this year

  • faustianbargain

    is rock samphire edible? is it similar to marsh samphire? marsh samphire(or glaswort) grows wild near the bay here..i sourced some for a fund raiser dinner recently.. our bay samphire is probably way too near pollutants..so we bought it from somewhere up north..eureka? probably not..i forget. anyways we made a salad with radish..its naturally briny..so it went well with the spiciness of the radish. we used to pickle it in england. very crunchy. i’d love to be able to grow it in the garden..either variety.

  • D*C

    I thought I would share my observations and experience with a couple of these plants. The fuller’s teasel and the chinese lantern. Although I don’t have my land or greenhouse anymore to grow them-foreclosure:( – I currently live next to a nature preserve near the shore of lake Michigan where these plants are thriving.

    There is a huge field of fuller’s teasel which thrives in direct sunlight towering over everything else, the mullein and even me! When you walk through it’s paths when they are in full bloom the butterflies, bees, and birds they attract are breathtaking. The dried flowers make great decorations too.

    As for the chinese lanterns, they seem to be doing pretty well in quite a bit of shade. Trees and other plants overshadow them, but when fall comes the bright red-orange lanterns outshine everything else. They seem to do fine in the wet rich soil with plants much bigger than them. Might look nice in a flowerbed with some other plants that die back just as the lantern is showing its true beauty in fall. And yes I have eaten the ripe berries, very bitter raw, but I would be curious to try a jam or preserves with them.

  • Anonymous

    where can I buy Samphire plants

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