Earlier this year, I dug out a corner of the lawn and replaced it with a variety of flower seeds. The corner faces my kitchen window and sits at the curb, allowing maximum viewing enjoyment.
I started with assorted new and leftover seed packets, then added seeds saved from last summer. Growing from seed is risky business around here, thanks to a healthy population of squirrels. If the seeds manage to stay under wraps long enough for germination, they face the next hurdle: noshing snails. Those mollusks love tender shoots. What’s a gardener to do?
Lacking a greenhouse of my own, I hit upon the idea of ‘tenting’ the corner with a cover I spotted in a garden catalog. Boy, was I feeling smug. I planted my seeds, then erected the barricade. I staked the corners, then added rocks for safe measure. I checked each day and sure enough the barricade remained sound.
Every other day, I unzipped the cover to water the seeds, then stood back, waiting for them to grow. Nothing seemed to be sprouting. I checked with our local nursery, and received sound advice: if the seeds don’t remain moist at the time of germination, they never be viable. In the past I either started seeds indoors or sowed directly without benefit of a cover. My attempt to thwart the squirrels ending up thwarting the germination as well.
I went back to the nursery and bought a few bedding plants instead, so I could get a jump-start on the garden. I bought half a dozen sunflowers, some Alyssum and a couple of small bedding plants. I added a bright pink Cosmo to the center of the triangle and called it a garden.
Then lo and behold, the seeds began to grow! Just as the sunflowers were reaching their full height, lacy green foliage emerged below. Soon blues and pinks joined the yellows. Bachelor Buttons commingled with Cosmos. Forget-me-nots were next on the scene producing a brilliant dark purple flower. My garden corner is now what the garden centers like to call ‘a riot of color.’
Come join me for a walk on the bright side…