Thursday, January 22, 2009

Select Seeds

Select Seeds used to be my favorite catalog. The number and variety of heirloom flowers were second to none. It was the only catalog whose early arrival I didn’t mind. This year was a real disappointment. They have added so many “New Introductions” (not all of them heirloom) and (heirloom) bulbs that many of my favorites have fallen by the wayside. My favorite columbine, ‘Grandmother’s Garden’, is gone along with almost all of the rare and unusual columbine that they used to carry. Sweet Rocket can only be had as a mix. They used to sell the purple and white separately. I have purple in the Purple Garden and white in the semi-shady garden and wanted to add white to my new White Garden. Nevertheless, I did find some interesting new seeds to try.

Poppy ‘Heirloom’ (Papaver somniferum) Opium poppies were popular in Elizabethan times and came in a wide variety of colors and shapes. I thought that I would try these in my own Medieval-themed bed.

Foxglove ‘Spanish Peaks’ (Digitalis thapsii) I already have a perennial foxglove, yellow, to match the color scheme in my Butterfly/Hummingbird Garden. The color and unusual shape of this one should be a real stand out along the back of my (white) house.

Stock, ‘Sugar and Spice’ (Matthiola incana) Another flower popular during the Elizabethan era, it is known for its scent. Not surprisingly, it is destined for the same garden as the poppies.

Wallflower, ‘Fair Lady’ (Cheiranthus cheiri) This is a flower that I have wanted to grow for a long time but could never figure out where to put it. Over the winter, I was puzzling over what to plant along the front of my (white) shed which tends to be a bit shady. Wallflowers are colorful and like shade. A perfect match!

Select Seeds is offering a free packet of seed (their choice) with every order. I was curious what they would choose. What I received is neither in their catalog nor online.

Musk Mallow ‘Alba’ (Abelmoschus moschatus) It took a little Googling to get information on this. A perennial, it is listed as a wildflower in Connecticut and tolerates some shade. I will try it in a border that I have found difficult. Plants either love it there or hate it.


T said...

Photos and designs make the blog so much more fun. You might want to try a blogazine at

MrBrownThumb said...


Hope all is well with you.

btw if you haven't seen it yet we've set the days for the Garden Blogger meetup for May 29th-31st in Chicago, IL. I hope you can make it.

There's a link and banner to the event on my blog.

texasdaisey said...

Just found your blog & have so enjoyed visiting. Those poppies are beautiful. I grow some bright red poppies in my garden. The foxglove are also really interesting. Much different from the foxglove that I grow. I wonder if it would come up easier in my garden

OldRoses said...

Thanks, MrBrownThumb. I'll check it out.

TexasDaisey, I saw several new (to me) foxgloves this year. It was hard to choose which to order!

joey said...

I'm whispering a secret, Caren ... I'm not into seeds ... if I had a greenhouse, believe me, I would (and have tried throughout the years) but with our short growing season, I go for established goodies at the nursery (although after my 30+ perennial garden, I don't need much yet have a hard time resisting newbies). I share BIG TIME yet still wish many were near in early spring when I toss much, tapping many hopeful gardeners buying rascal plants (having 'a mind of their own'), at local nurseries and farmer's markets, sharing my story: "Are you sure you want to introduce this neighbor to your other close friends?"

Yolanda Elizabet said...

It's very annoying that we can't always buy flower seeds in the colours we want. I do not like mixed colours in one packet. Grumble!

I love it that you've gone for really oldfashioned plants that were already there in Elizabethan times.

BTW there's a lot of kitty goodness to be found on Bliss if you have a moment to spare.