Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Seeing isn't always believing....

We were fortunate to have beautiful weather over the weekend... the kind of weather that makes you get outside... for fun or perhaps to start a project or two.  I had my pick of projects from my list... my husband got started on the concrete curb that will encircle the vegetable garden and the new fancy wire fence.  

The skies were blue and the signs of spring everywhere.  A few hardy magnolia blossoms were leading the way... in another week or so the rest of these delicate looking blooms will be gorgeous.

The peach trees are blossoming with a promise of a nice crop come August.

And me?  Well I have some company right now... a little dog is visiting Red Gate Farm.  A fast little dog that likes to run and jump.

So with visions of the upcoming August wedding... and lots of flowers in milk glass vases...

I locked myself and the little mischief maker in the greenhouse for a marathon seed planting party.

We spent hours upon hours filling pots with soil and adding seeds.  Well actually just me... the little miss was busy taking a nap on my jacket.

The wedding colors are purple and green... so I planted extra flowers in green, purple and white this year.  The green of course includes Bells of Ireland... a fun flower.  So unusual and kind of spike-y.  I planted 25 of these.

And for myself?  Lots of sunflowers... Five different varieties including my favorite Teddy Bear variety.

Some larger types for cutting...

In all I planted 150 sunflower seeds.

And I add more hollyhocks to my gardens each year... One of my favorites is this double variety named Peaches and Dreams.  I planted more of these along with a white variety named The Bride, how fitting... and a third mixed variety.  In all I planted 90 hollyhocks.

Of course the major player in my cutting flowers is zinnias... hundreds and hundreds of zinnias.  I plant them in different beds as well as in the vegetable garden for cutting.

I planted many varieties.  Some the regular types you see here but some are more bushy and compact.  Of these type I plant all white ones in a bed at the front, as well as a yellow and orange mixed variety with my sunflowers.

This one was one of my favorites last year.  Queen Red Lime.  Red Queen Lime?  I forget the exact order...

I love how zinnias come in so many shapes and colors.  A beautiful red and round style zinnia.

This is about as purple as I can find in zinnias.  We'll see if this color will pass the purple test to be used in the wedding.

And my absolute, all time favorite is the lime green zinnia named Envy.  I planted tons of these for myself and the wedding.  In all I planted between 1100 and 1200 zinnias.  Yep, I said 1100 to 1200 zinnia seeds!

Of course there were also 100 french marigolds, 100 Mumsy margiolds, 250-300 sweet peas, 60 cucumbers, 14 peppers and 15 tomatoes.  By Sunday evening the greenhouse was overflowing with trays... I had soil packed under my nails and was very happy with my accomplishment.... already dreaming of the beautiful flowers I would enjoy come summer.

I went out to the greenhouse on Tuesday evening to check to see if anything needed a bit of water... and to my surprise and utter dismay I noticed that something had dug into the peppers... the tomatoes... the zinnias... the cucumbers... the marigolds... it had dug into EVERYTHING!!!  I was shocked and couldn't believe what I was seeing.... then I remembered the little mouse I had scared when I picked up a pot on the ground on Sunday... I guess he invited his friends for a buffet dinner... courtesy of me and my seeds.

Needless to say, the mouse traps are set, two culprits have already been apprehended and I'll be seeing what I can salvage this weekend.

Flowerless and seedless for now,


  1. Such beautiful flowers!! Those peach and cream hollyhocks are gorgeous!! Those pesky little rodents always seem to get in!! Have a great rest of the week!! xo Heather

  2. Oh my goodness.. I'm so impressed with your industriousness.. and then to find that a mouse had wreaked such havoc. Dang! Glad you are catching them. I adore that first stripe-e-ty zinnia!
    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  3. Sounds like the farm is going to be gorgeous! I wonder, are those Cut and Come Again Zinnias? I planted a bed of those this year and also some green envy. Hope they turn out as pretty as yours!

  4. For this novice at planting seeds . . . This is the best visual seed planting tutorial ever . . . My intest for so long has been in landscaping shrubs and greens with a few flowering perennials dusty the landscape. Since I began my blog, you and Meadowbrook gal have turned my interest into flowers and cutting gardens. I look Foward to doing more of what you are creating. I am so looking forward to your colorful photos in the next weeks.

    Happy mouse and family have been silenced, sorry you lost some of your diligent efforts . . .

  5. Excuse my locking up, misspelled words comments . . . Once I write something from my iPad it won't let me correct . . . Love your envy Zinnia . . .

  6. oh, I would be just sick to find my hard work destroyed! So sorry! I love that shot of the wildflowers in front of your shed!

  7. Love your photos today, especially the zinnias that never cease to offer up loveliness.

    A planting party sounds like fun!

  8. You are amazing, Chris...those are a lot of plants! And then you have to transplant them in the ground? Wow! Your pictures are gorgeous, I love hollyhocks, Bells of Ireland and zinnias grandfather planted them all along his borders. Great memories!

    Hope you catch your mischievious little mouse!


  9. That is aLOT of planting!!! Zinnias are my favorite summer flower - you might try Purple Prince. It was pretty purple-y! Wanting to look out and see those seeds spring up would keep me awake at night! :0)

  10. zinnias, my favorite! I always plant them too. The wedding will be beautiful!

  11. Bells of Ireland! One of my favorites! I'm just sighing over here in envy. You have such beautiful gardens and with the wedding? Can't wait to see what you come up with!

  12. Your zinnias from last year could have won a prize at a fair. I can't wait to see this years flowers in full bloom.

  13. I was so happy to stumble across your blog last night! I agree we did have beautiful weather this past weekend! It is a small world we live in and I recognize the countryside in your photos - that plus your url let's me know we are neighbors of sorts! I am living and loving life in Nooksack!

    I would love to have you stop by my blog if you get a chance! I just recently moved from Blogger to so my blog is pretty lonely!

    Take Care,
    KerrieLynn, The Mix Gal

  14. Adorable pup! That is terrible about all of your seeds, I was just exhausted from reading all you planted and now they are gone. I hope you were able to recover them.

  15. Oh, I love zinnias too! The first photo of the zinnia up close and the barn in the background is just lovely! Thanks for sharing, Jean


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