Wintersowing a cottage garden.
Just last year when I was a newbie, I read almost every thread in this forum. I'd stay up late at night trying to find more pictures of plants, how well this works, and so forth. I asked a lot of questions too. In the summer of 2008, I built a new bed in my side yard. I covered the existing soil with cardboard and leaf mold from the landfill. It's hard packed clay, so I needed to loosen it up a bit. Over the winter, I sowed my seeds, and planted out.
I also spent a lot of time in the cottage garden forum. There are some beautiful gardens there and wintersowing just seems to naturally go hand in hand with that type of garden. You can grow so many kinds of plants that it's hard to create a formal garden with so many choices and varieties available from seed. I wanted a cottage garden. Wintersowng made it happen.
Some things I learned from reading other peoples' blogs and posts on GardenWeb. Plant multiples. If you plant one of each plant, it tends to look like a hodgepodge. Planting multiples gives you repetition. I started with a hardy hibiscus, shastas, and rudbeckia. Then I scattered Hunks of Seedlings of various plants between those "anchor" points. Plant diagonally to the walkway, path, or street. It gives you a drifting look. Threes, fives, and sevens. Plant in odd numbers. Add in large foliage, vertical elements, mix small blooms with large gaudy blooms. Plant daylilies here and there for vertical interest. Add grasses. And shrubs. Don't be too worried about height and sizes. Cottage gardens tend to flop all over each other. If you don't like a plant, take it out. It's hard, I know. Next year, you'll sow more seeds of something you do like. Save seeds. Trade seeds. Spend time researching. Pay attention to sun exposure for the plants you're growing. Don't worry about the details of wintersowing. Provide drainage, a cover, label, and good soil. You will have some success. You will have some failure. Don't get too technical. It's supposed to be about having fun, right?
Just a few photos below of the process so you can get an idea of just how many plants you get from wintersowing. Not all plants were wintersown. Some were purchased, some were gifts, some were raised from cuttings and other means of propagation. Once you learn on technique, learn others. Plants do it in nature all the time. A stem touches the ground, gets covered with leaves, and roots to form a new plant.
December 15, 2008
February 12, 2009
February 26, 2009
March 2, 2009
March 29, 2009
April 10, 2009
May 24, 2009
June 12, 2009
June 21, 2009 - summer solstice.
July 19, 2009
On August 18, I injured myself with the lawnmower and a rock. The gardens went downhill after that. I couldn't get around much to water and rain wasn't coming as often as I needed it. Some plants thrived. Others wilted away.
August 30, 2009 - From the front porch, I was on crutches.
September 20, 2009 - the day before the official 1st day of Fall.
October 11, 2009. Lots of plants are done. Seeds collected. Seeds scattered. The garden is being put to bed for the winter.
Wintersowing works. Share your success for the newbies. Photos welcomed.