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Garden design for seed starting

Posted by melrose 5 (My Page) on
Tue, Oct 26, 10 at 21:46

Now that the seed catalogs are starting to arrive, I wondering how you plan your garden design. I like to use mostly seed started annuals for the savings. I'm curious how others try to match colors, flowers, etc from the descriptions and pictures in the catalogs.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Garden design for seed starting

My over all plan is a 4 seasons garden and the different beds have different color focuses. And I like the look of a layered flower bed so there is a lot of planning to do.

First is USDA Zone if it isn't in my zone and at least one zone hotter then I don't buy.

After that is a combination of factors: Color, Height, Light, Bloom time, and soil condition. No use throwing the acid lovers in with the balanced soil types.

The next consideration since I live in the country is if they are deer resistant.

My beds are combinations of perennials and annuals and mostly they are from seeds, bulbs, rhysomes, and croms.

I didn't really get a handle on my design until I sat down with colored pencils and graph paper. Then it started to come together.

RE: Garden design for seed starting

I have a partial garden in my head. I start from the middle and work my way out. In one bed that I am pretty much totally redoing I have my blue in the center. Various plants with various heights and bloom times. I work it as a artist would work a painting. When I was in high school my art teacher would always say cool colors (blues) in the center. So the eye would focus there or where you want your focal point to be. I also try to do a year long bed mixing in my evergreen plants or winter bloomers with my others so my beds are constantly changing.

As far as plants to start that are a good bang for your buck, I try to get anything non hybrid and that will come true from seed. I love to save seeds, I love to share seeds. I love trading for seeds and growing new plants. There is a ton of perennials that you can grow that come true from seed. I also grow some annuals but the annuals I grow are ones that I just absolutely love that are easy to collect seed from and that come true to the parent.

Sometimes you can get a lot of information from the catalogs but also sometimes they can be misleading. They may say blue but it may really be purple. They may say red but it may be closer to pink. I would say of course use your catalog to fall in love with the plant, then look up the botanical on the net. Go to a reliable website that is not selling the plant, see what they have to say about it.

Bloom times may also be contradicting to what the catalog says also.

I have found that I am able to purchase GOOD seeds at very great prices at other places online like t's over the big catalog stores. Some of the huge seed manufactures do not tell you if it is hybrid they do not tell you if it comes true from seed (assuming you want to save seed).

Shop around, always go to several sites to get accurate descriptions of the plants.

Here is a link that might be useful: T's

RE: Garden design for seed starting

Thanks for the site- I've not seen that site. It looks like a good one. I've found the same thing with the color differences and blooming times. Also they do not indicate which are easy and which are difficult to start.

RE: Garden design for seed starting

T's gives info on how to start on her website and when she sends you the packs they have detail instructions on the packs also. Color bloom height width how to germinate. She tells you up front the important things!!

Some seeds in the catalog do not have seed instructions till you get the seeds. So really if you need to stratify or a cold frame you really do not know until you already got the seeds.

RE: Garden design for seed starting

I like a lot of perennials and bulbs-- love those bulbs. Taller with interesting foliage or twigs in the back. Then have patches to fill in with annuals. Enough space to get a variety of flowers in there, but not enough empty area that it is a monumental task.

I did a monochromatic bed that really looked super. Different shades of pink with a couple of reds for accents and a few whites to help blend the colors. Silver birch trees at the very back so the silver and black trunks formed a nice background for the colors.

I like mums and fall asters because they come back every year and are a nice size. (plus they grow well here, which can't be said for a lot of things)

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