Monday, January 02, 2012

Making A List

The past two days have been very much like a real winter in the Chicago area, high winds and snow, not much, bringing along with it very low overnight temperatures.  We are expected to warm up into the forties again by late in the week.  This type of weather is not good for plants freezing and warming without the snow for protection.

It has been a good time to look at the catalogs I have received and dream of growing the perfect plants in 2012.  Isn't is great to be a gardener and be able to assist the life cycle each year hoping for the perfect outcome?  It doesn't always happen but it sure is an adventure!

My tomatoes have not always been a success, oh I do get a crop, but I also seem to get diseases along with them.  This year I am going to try a new introduction from the Burpee Catalog called Big Daddy.  It is bred from Big Boy and supposedly has a better taste and better disease resistance.

If you are really into tomatoes, Tomato Growers Supply Company has a great catalog with lots of varieties listed that you will never find at the local nursery, even tomatoes without names just letters and numbers!

Big Daddy Tomato

I have to grow a Yugoslavian Red Butterhead Lettuce (an heirloom variety) from The Cook's Garden catalog and Navara Red Oakleaf.  The colors of both of these lettuces stunning!

Yugoslavian Butterhead Lettuce

Navara Oakleaf Lettuce

My favorite pepper is also from Burpee, Mariachi Hybrid an All America Winner.  I have grown it the past two seasons and it is very prolific, medium hot.

Mariachi Pepper

Burpee has a new Echinacea called Warm Summer that blooms June through August, think I will try this one.  Pow Wow was an expensive potted Echinacea that I tried last summer without much success.  I was not impressed by it especially when it succumbed to the heat and humidity.

Warm Summer Echinacea

The Zahara Double Fire Zinnia was a winner last year along the south side and would look great with Burpee's new introduction zinnia called Pop Art Red and Yellow (says they love heat and strong sun).

Zinnia Zahara Double Fire

Zinnia Pop Art and Red

I am not quite sure yet what I am going to do about planting under my Ninebarks with Tidal Wave Silver Petunia.  It was quite a wonderful groundcover, sprawling and about two feet high.  The color was quite soft and I am wondering if I should go with something more striking like Shockwave Petunia Coral.  Park Seeds market the Tidal Wave and I have not yet received their catalog.

Tidal Wave Silver Petunia

Petunia Shockwave Coral Crush
Introduced by Ball Horticultural

I never thought I would be into seed starting again, but I am really enjoying the thought of doing it on a small scale with my four-tiered plant lights.  It is tucked into a corner in my basement utility room and am looking forward to filling it up this year!


scottweberpdx said...

I think this may be the first year I grow annuals from seed again as well! I haven't really had any annuals since I started this new garden, but received a few seeds online, so it seemed like a good reason to try :-)

Jenny Schouten Short said...

In Holland Enno and I plant our annuals in pots from seeds. I never thought of looking at seed c atalogues. That looks like fun. Happy New Year and looking to spring. xo Jenny

Zoey said...

I hope you go with the Shockwave Coral Crush--I can imagine a big swath of them around your evergreens and I think it would be gorgeous!

Catalogs are great for midwinter dreaming. Spring will be here before we know it.

Anonymous said...

I also have my nose in grden books and catalogs...I'm ready for summer now, however too early it may be!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Scott,

Annuals are the only plants I grow from seed. I am too impatient with the perennials, want to see results fast so I try to buy the biggest ones I can afford.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Jenny,

The catalogs are great for unusual seeds that you cannot find locally.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Zoey,

The Shockwave looks great but does not grow large like Tidal Wave, maybe I could do both!


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Ronelle,

Everything looks so wonderful in the catalogs, I have to restrain myself!


Lona said...

Looks like some good choices Eileen. I am having an awful time selecting any so far. My head is spinning on what petunias to even try. LOL! I was so disappointed with the Pow Wow Echincaea too. I will let it go another year and then if it still looks terrible it will be off to the woodland bed. Cold and snowy here. Have a wonderful week.

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

We have had a very mild winter. Absolutely no snow!

Gorgeous images in this post.

Happy New Year!