It was one of my many experiments this year - attempting to to grow annuals rarely seen in New England, or in many American gardens for that matter, since the cool nights and breezy cool days that they require are rarely found anywhere except in coastal California, Oregon and Washington, and in British Columbia. Add in the fact that these are annuals that one will never find in garden centers as they prefer to be be sown in situ, disliking any root disturbance. A few good garden centers may carry young seedlings, and one should seek them out, but don't expect them to be in bloom while in their containers, for plants must be purchased young, and slipped carefully into prepared holes with no root disturbance. My Annuals from Annies Annuals have been such a success, that next year I will be ordering many more, it's worth the little protection that I need to provide them with cloches in mid March, for a month or two of incredible color.
My experiment which I am calling my California Coastal Garden, began not by sowing seeds in the garden, since here in New England, a long, cool growing season would be required, instead, I ordered plants from Annies Annuals, which worked out very well, as they ship large plants that are bushy, and well grown in large, 4 inch containers. In mid March, I planted a few dozen pots of these pre-started annuals, while it was still cold. It was risky, but given that the past 8 months has been warmer than average, and along with the lack of snow cover, I felt that this year might be the perfect year to try something different.
|LIMNANTHES DOUGLASII, A CALIFORNIA NATIVE, LOVES THE COOL NIGHTS in SPRING. LIKE LITTLE FRIED EGGS, IN CALIFORNIA, IT IS SOMETIMES CALLED MEADOW FOAM.|
Many of these cool-loving plants are growable here in New England, but as potted greenhouse plants for cool or cold greenhouses. In the 1800's, such seed was sown in July and August, to provide winter and early spring color under glass, but given that much of our country experieinces long, hot and humid summers, most of these annuals will pout and disolve with even a hint of muggy, humid heat. It won't be long before such weather arrives in our garden, putting an end to our brief romance with these annuals, but until then, we are enjoying a display of something that is a little different.
|THIS WHITE NEMESIA FRUTICANS, IS A VARIETY CALLED 'SAFARI WHITE', AVAILABLE FROME PROVEN WINNERS, IT IS HIGHLY FRAGRANT, AND WILL FILL A CONTAINER WITH FLOWERS AS LONG AS THE WEATHER REMAINS COOL.|
|LAYIA PLATYGLOSSA, OR "TIDY TIPS" IS ANOTHER CALIFORNIA NATIVE WHERE IT IS AN IMPORTANT NECTAR SOURCE FOR THE CHECKERSPOT BUTTERFLY.|