Wednesday, August 17, 2016

oh, how the garden grows

Woo, two weeks in a row!  I think I'm on a roll or something... seriously, it's been a busy summer and I'm trying to get back in the swing of sharing.... so here we go!

Last night I wanted to create another flower arrangement while I was waiting for dinner to be ready.  I had picked up the fun bag at my local thrift store a few week back for just $2.00.  The size is pretty big and the bottom is actually a thin, flat piece of wood.  I love the funky, vintage "gems" on the front and knew it should work well to hold a flower arrangement.  So I tucked the handles inside along with three of my milk glass vases and headed out to the veggie and cutting garden to see what might work well with the gems and glitter on the front.

On the way out the door I thought I'd share a bit about how my gardens are doing mid-August.  This year I not only started my usual seeds of impatiens, wave petunias, marigolds, zinnias, sweet peas, bacopa/bicopa, hollyhocks, cosmos, sunflowers and cornflowers... I also started calibrachoa or million bells from seed too!  I found all my million bell seeds at Harris Seeds, a new to me company, in yellow, white, purple and bright pink!

Here my window boxes are full of purple million bells and the porch is covered with wave petunias and a variety of million bells.

A wee bit closer look at the window boxes and pots...

Million bells in white and bright pink cascade down over this pot inside my painted chair.

All bright pink million bells in hanging baskets... this is my view from my kitchen window.  Makes dishes a bit easier when you can look at this everyday.

And the veggie and cutting garden around back... hard to see the flowers from this distance.

Closer up are these Honey Bear Sunflowers.  They look very similar to the Teddy Bear Sunflower but are much, much taller.  Like 4 plus feet!  My sunflower seeds all came from Botanical Interests this year.

My sweet peas have been spectacular this year.  I found a new source, a local one, for my seeds and I've been very happy with them.

Great blooms, sweet smells and long, long stems for cutting!

Floret Flower Farm in a neighboring county sells these seeds and they are worth it if you like to cut and enjoy your sweet peas inside!  I didn't even follow their tips that they include with all their orders and still had super long stems!

I tried a few new zinnias this year too.

But back to what I came out for, flowers for my arrangement, I picked colors to compliment my thrift store bag and it is full of zinnias, cosmos and cornflowers.

I used cosmos from Botanical Interests this year; the all white Psyche White and pink is named Candy Stripe.  My cornflower is also from Botanical Interests and although I grew 3 or 4 varieties I only used the standard blue here, Blue Boy, trying to bring out the blue gems from my bag.

The two zinnias used are new this year to me... Hidden Dragon, the multi pinks-colored larger bloom, a new one from Park Seed.

The orange and red zinnias in the foreground are Crouching Tiger also a new zinnia from Park Seed.  Very similar to the Hidden Dragon except the coloring.

This pinkish zinnia in the front is from Floret Flower Farm and is the Zinderella in lilac.  The color isn't a true lilac but is a very pretty pinkish, purple.  It is the second zinnia in my flower arrangement above, the smaller bloomed mostly pale pink zinnias.

This year I also added a number of dahlias to the front of the chicken coop and barn.. I'll have to look up the names but they came from a variety of sources including our own local Dahlia growers group, a dahlia farm in Oregon and a few mail order sources.

I've been wanting some with this style of flower/petal for some time.

The good old returning dahlias along the coop.

Although I thought that my new Cafe Au Lait dahlias would be my favorite, I was surprised by this new one name Kelgai Ann... it's a water lily styled dahlia and looks so much like a peony as it is starting to open!  How fun in August to have this and from our local dahlia group for just $3!!!

And before heading back inside, I want to share my pots out front... full of all of the colors I grew in millions bells...

Since these seeds did pretty well germination wise, I even had left over flowers I potted up and didn't find a home for!  Since we don't use our "front door" the steps made as good as spot as any to pile them up!

And back inside... the flower arrangement found a spot in the dining room, away from mid day sun to make it last a bit longer...

Of course I can always a pick a few more when this one is done!

Hope you are enjoying this second half of summer,

Chris at Red Gate Farm


  1. LOVELY flowers...I'm absolutely jealous! Our summer has been so hot this year, even with daily watering flowers and veggies look as if they're ready for the heat to be over. Thanks for sharing yours!

  2. Your flowers are so pretty ♥

  3. What a fun tour around your yard.. love the peony-like dahlia! I might have to find one of those. I also love the sweet peas. I went to the site and wish they'd sell a collection of them with lots of varieties.. kind of like a rainbow of colors. My one experience of having them was a bust.. but I had them in too small of pot. Oh.. just got back from a 2 week camping trip to a gorgeous lake.. pix on blog. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)


Please, feel free to leave a comment... it really makes my day! Chris