I absolutely love flowers! My love for flowers and gardening began as a small child visiting my Grandmother's house. She lived in Eubank, Kentucky on a small farm of about 60 acres. I loved going out into her garden, just after it was plowed, and squishing my toes in the soft dirt. She always had a huge row of flowers. I found myself venturing over to observe the sea of colorful flowers. Immediately, I began a love affair with Zinnias. They come in so many colors, sizes, shapes, bloom all summer long, and make a striking bouquet. They also attract bees, birds, and butterflies. Zinnias are extremely easy to grow and thrive in warm weather.
Sunflowers are next on my list. They are tall, strong, and make a bold statement. They communicate all day long following the sun with their heads, turning, and observing the surroundings. Although they appear in many colors my favorite is yellow. I use the strength of the sunflowers to support climbing beans. Reminds me of "Jack and the Bean Stalk." They are an excellent food source for man and wildlife.
Third on my list was new to my garden in 2009. It is the Mexican Sunflower Red Torch. I was amazed at the mass of brilliant red orange flowers produced from only three seeds. I highly recommend this flower. You will not be disappoint in its performance. The birds, bees and butterflies flocked to this flower. The Mexican Sunflower exceeded my expectations.
Those are my top three picks. I will incorporate the following flowers in and around our house.
- Mexican Sunflower - Red Torch: (GOLDEN FLOWER OF THE AZTECS) Brilliant, red-orange, 2”- 3” flowers; an excellent butterfly plant. These bloom over a very long season, and the plants produce masses of blooms. The large 5’ plants are very beautiful.
- Mexican Sunflower - Yellow Torch: Here is a yellow version of this most popular plant with delightful apricot-yellow flowers that really cast a glow. This plant produces loads of flowers till frost. Superbly easy to grow.
- Bright Jewels Cactus Flowered Zinnia: Unique flowers have pointed petals. Large and attractive, these come in many colors; really popular in the 1950s.
- Canary Bird Zinnia: Large dahlia-type blooms are a beautiful yellow, 4”-5” across. Great cut flowers for home or farm markets; an old favorite.
- Envy Zinnia: Exciting chartreuse-green blooms, they are very unique. The beautiful flowers are 3” across. A wonderful variety that is a very popular color for marketing.
- Persian Carpet Zinnia: Stunning gold, red, chocolate, orange, and cream. Many of the 2” double flowers are bi-colored. This brilliant heirloom is still a favorite of many. Was a 1952 AAS winner. Plants produce loads of 24”-28” flowers.
- Burpee Rose Giant Cactus Zinnia: Lovely, big blooms in shades of rose to "bubble gum" pink; they have the unique pointed “cactus” type petals that makes giant zinnia so unusual! Easy to grow and perfect for stunning bouquets. A hard to find variety that was introduced by Burpee's.
- Sweet Mint or Mexican Mint Marigold: Enjoy this late-blooming marigold in teas, drinks; a great flavoring for many dishes. This old Hispanic heirloom is hard to find nowadays, but is still a great garden plant that is easy to grow and quite flavorful.
- Dwarf Bedding Petunia: Here is the old standard petunia that graced American gardens in the 1950s. Dwarf plants produce loads of brightly -colored flowers in many colors. A must for all who want to re-create a retro American garden.
- Morning Glory: Small, deep-purple blooms, with a bright red star in their throats; very colorful and unique.
- Moon Flower Morning Glory: Long, vigorous vines grow to 20’; giant fragrant white “Glory”- type flowers. Excellent for planting in night gardens.
I will continue my love affair with flowers this year. Soon I will witness the birth of seedlings, growth into maturity, and brilliance of color. Long after each flower withers, I hold close to my heart the memory of each blossom.
What are your top picks for your home this year?
City Girl Gardener