[Note: Sorry about lack of activity here over the last few days, folks. The technical difficulty appears to be resolved and we should be posting regularly again.]
Just about the time I start getting a little tired of gardening each autumn, the Plant World Seeds catalog arrives to re-energize me. It’s always the first catalog to arrive, even before Thompson & Morgan, which seems to get earlier and earlier every year. Plant World’s catalog isn’t nearly as extensive as T&M, but oh, what treasures it includes! Some of this year’s new gems include a variegated angelica (Angelica ‘Corinne Tremaine’), a variegated borage (no cultivar name yet), and a deep purple-leaved campion (Silene ‘Purple Prince’). And yes, they do sell lovely flowers as well: about 20 different kinds of columbines (Aquilegia), almost a dozen bellflowers (Campanula), 16 dieramas (which I don’t think we can grow here in PA, but I’m tempted to try), over 30 hardy geraniums, and countless other drool-inducing offerings.
One of my foliage favorites from a few years ago was a variegated sunflower they introduced to the trade: Helianthus annuus ‘Sunspots’ (not to be confused with ‘Sunspot’, a non-variegated dwarf sunflower). The photo at right perhaps isn’t the best example of it, because the strain normally has bright yellow flowers; I think mine crossed with some others growing nearby, and some of the self-sown seedlings had orangey blooms. The leaf variegation doesn’t always appear on every seedling, but you can easily tell soon after sprouting which ones are going to be yellow-splashed and discard the rest.
Anyway, if you enjoy growing unusual annuals, perennials, bulbs, grasses, and climbers from seed, I highly recommend checking out Plant World Seed’s web site, which includes even more listings than their print catalog. One more thing I have to share from their catalog, though, is an excerpt they printed from a customer’s letter:
“Is the leaf I am enclosing from Datisca cannabina or Althaea cannabina? The plant is now 4 feet high and came up in my garden in a clump of talinum I grew from your seeds.” –Miss ….. Hibaldstow.
Their response: “We identified the leaf in question as Cannabis sativa, true cannabis, possibly grown from dropped bird seed. We recommended that she should dispose of the plant as soon as possible.”
It did make me laugh. Which reminds me, a good friend of mine actually runs a hemp farm and recently invested in some fascinating seed to sale software. Alongside many other benefits, he was able to use data analytics to optimize his yield. I’m hoping one day, this type of software might even be available for my own plants and flowers.
Back to the customer letter though, my question is: What are they feeding birds in the
anyway? Hmmmm. Regardless, I’m guessing Plant World is going to be selling out of their talinum seed pretty quickly this year. U.K.