Thursday, February 10, 2011

Love is in the air (along with more snow)

Ok.. it's a bit cheesy, but years ago, I wrote an article for a local newspaper on 'love-themed' seeds (veggie and annual flowers) that you could give your sweetie on that lovely card-company created holiday.. I thought I'd share a few of them (updated!) with you - especially now that the seed racks are popping up in many of the grocery and home improvement stores! Enjoy!
  • 'Valentine' Sunflower - Completely obvious as a love-themed gift, this really is an outstanding sunflower. It grows about 4 to 5 feet tall and bears 6-inch wide pale yellow blooms with a deep chocolate center. I like to plant them at the back of the veggie patch to provide a colourful backdrop to our diverse mix of veggies. (photos from
'Love in a Mist' - This is a very unique annual that has delicate, lacy foliage and pretty star-shaped flowers in shades of soft blue, purple, pink and white. We just sprinkle the seed in the veggie patch in mid-May and by late June, the plants are beginning to bloom. The dramatic seed pods are also to be admired - they're large, rounded, with spidery tops and red and green stripes running down the sides.

'Falling in Love' Shirley poppies - New for 2011 from Renee's Garden, this mix of annual Shirley poppies boasts single and double papery flowers in crimson, rose-red, peach and white with a red edge. The flowers grow 2 to 3 feet tall and can be direct seeded in very early spring.

'Cupid' grape tomato - Like most indeterminate tomatoes, Cupid is a prolific yielder, offering a long-lasting harvest of 1 inch long red grape-shaped fruits. The tomatoes are sweet, crack-resistant and keep well after harvest. The plants, which need staking, are also very disease resistant.

'Cupid' sweet pea - Since we're on the topic of Cupid, here another offering - the Cupid sweet pea. I LOVE sweet peas and the compact vines of Cupid make this a good choice for windowboxes and containers. The scented blooms are rose-pink and edged in white - very pretty!

'Sweet Chocolate' pepper - Who needs traditional chocolate when you can have a chocolate pepper! (Ok, I still want regular chocolate too) I grew these last year and thanks to our exceptionally warm year, we harvested lovely milk chocolate peppers in mid-September. They were very sweet and definitely worth growing - especially in the North, as they mature in about 75 days.

'Kiss me over the Garden Gate' - A tall and quick growing annual flower, this aptly named plant grows more than tall enough to surpass a garden gate - up to 6-feet tall! The pink flowers hang their tassel-like heads back towards the earth, as if spurned.. too poetic? :) Anyway, flowery prose aside, the does make a pretty addition to a kitchen or cutting garden.

Ok, that's all I can think of - does anyone have any other suggestion?? I'd love to hear them!

On another note, here are some seeds to NOT give to your loved one this Valentine's day - Love Lies Bleeding, 'Painted Lady' Sweet pea (or the runner bean of the same name - nothing with painted lady in the name!), 'Banana Legs' Tomato, 'Yellow Crookneck' summer squash, and so on.. feel free to comment with any other ideas of what NOT to give your sweetheart! :)

Happy Gardening!

1 comment:

  1. Love Lies Bleeding...made me laugh.:) Sweet chocolate is one of our favorite peppers and I have one for you -"Nebraska Wedding", a nice, medium sized, orange tomato that I am hoping to try this year or next.:)


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