Six on Saturday – 17/07/2021 -Seed Starting Rewarded

My garden continues to be happy this week, with rain keeping the ground moist and temperatures humid but not terribly hot. Yes, earwigs, rabbits and chipmunks are also happy, but I’ve resigned myself to sharing fruit and flower with them. Regular meditation sessions help with accepting these little annoyances. So does a swim in the lake or a glass (or two) of cider at the end of the day. Summer is good! Every Saturday, The Propagator encourages gardeners around the world to share six things that are happening in their garden; it’ll be raining all day today (say the forecasters) so here are six growing things from earlier in the week.

Adding to the list of flowers that close at night and open in the day are straw flowers – Helichrysum bracteatum. This variety is called ‘Silvery Rose,’ for obvious reasons. If you’ve never touched one before, the petals are papery and hard, like straw – I imagine they’ll make a good cut flower, or good for drying. They were quite easy to start from seed (I started mine indoors the first week of April), and the plant itself is much taller and wider than I had anticipated – give them a bit of room.

Also started from seed, but sowed directly in the garden mid-May, are these Nasturtiums. Both came from the same packet, called ‘Vanilla Berry’ and I’m pretty sure they’re supposed to look like the one on the left. These have grown MUCH larger than I’ve ever had Nasturtiums grow before, possibly because of our relatively abundant rain. Sadly, I’m not seeing that many flowers, and those that do emerge seem to be a staple on various insects’ diets. I’ve yet to snip off any flowers or leaves for my nightly salad…

Sticking with the ‘started from seed’ theme is, drum roll please.. an artichoke! Last year, you may recall, I started from seed a dozen plants and they grew really well, while indoors, under lights. Within a few weeks of planting out; however, all but two fell prey to rabbits’ gluttony. This year I started just four plants (the variety is ‘Colorado Star’) and planted two in the kitchen garden and two in a raised bed. After seeing signs of rabbit interest, I made a cage from chicken wire for the two in the ground, and wrapped bird netting around the two in the raised bed. My efforts have been rewarded with, so far, stalks emerging from the two in the raised bed. Not sure if we’ll be eating them or leaving them to flower…

Last week I showed three different daylilies in bloom. Here are three more:

The very top photo is the flower from a plant that popped up in my garden, not planted or planned by me. Turns out it’s a type of plantain: Plantago lanceolata. It’s considered a weed, of course, but I find it subtly attractive and it doesn’t appear to be horribly invasive (yet.) Here it is again, along with the plant the flower emerged from:

Finally – here’s the raised bed where I planted the two artichokes. It’s large, but I still planted way too many things in it. There’s carrots, beans, chard, the straw flowers, zinnias, a few marigolds and a rapidly growing dahlia. Could have done with half what I planted, so perhaps next year I’ll add another raised bed… Have a great weekend everyone and happy gardening!


  1. Congrats on your successful artichoke growing and for outwitting those dastardly varmints! I also find nasturtium runs to orange whatever the seed package says. My Empress of India, supposed to be dark red with bluegreen leaves looks just like a standard orange nasturtium to me!

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  2. We have some native Plantago species, but we have this one, too: interesting to see it’s shown as an introduced plant in every state. When I was a child, straw flowers were used a good bit as decorations for hats and such. I don’t have a clue now whether they were actual, dried flowers or if they were artificial. I suspect that the ones my mother used for my dolls’ hats were actual flowers.

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    1. If left to its own devices, the more common plantain (with flat round leaves) can quickly colonize gravelly areas in particular. (I know from experience !:) )Not too sure about this one though, and the flower on this one is a lot more attractive…

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