The 2012 Burpee Seed Catalog – Part II

Queen Sophia French marigold closeup by OrganicNation

In the last post, TheGardenLady discussed  some of the flower part of the Burpee Seed Catalog.   In this post, TheGardenLady will talk a little more about Burpee’s flowers, but more about their vegetables.

In the vegetable part of the catalog you will find sweet corn that is red, tiny golden colored peppers, bright orange tomatoes, white tomatoes and swiss chard that is rainbow colored – all Burpee Exclusives. Together with the regular colored vegetables and such vegetables as the purple carrots or blue potatoes, your harvest can decorate your house as fancifully as any bouquet of flowers. You have to see this catalog to believe what is being offered for this year’s garden.

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Should One Buy or Harvest Seeds?

morning glory seeds by oceandesetoiles

TheGardenLady received this question from someone called the Chicago Urban Gardener:

 I recently read and enjoyed your article on morning glories, in which you describe how you start the plant from seed. I was curious to know, however, whether you buy your seeds or harvest them from the previous year’s plants (I know that morning glories quite often self-seed). If the latter, how does one harvest and store morning glory seeds for planting next season? Do you have any general recommendations for collecting and storing seeds from annuals and perennials?

When I was a child we always collected the marigold and zinnia seeds and a few vegetable seeds. And we were scrupulous in digging up gladiola bulbs to replant the following spring. We were very frugal.

I do collect some seeds but not many. Propagating by seeds is fun, educational and a challenge. But it is not something that I really do. My gardening emphasis is on having flowers, not seeds. Toward that end, I deadhead flowers to force more flowers to bloom. This means I try NOT  to allow many plants to go into seed. Of course, at the end of the growing season you often find seeds even if you were not trying to produce seeds.

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TheGardenLady’s Morning Glories

Morning Glories – Full by Knowsphotos

My morning glories (Ipomoea) are in their full glory. Their heart shaped leaves make a dense bower and there are dozens of light blue flowers. ‘Heavenly Blue’, my favorite color for morning glories, are opening daily with hundreds of buds waiting on the sidelines to open for many more days of blooms. I just hope we don’t have an early frost that will kill the unopened buds. The leaves and flowers are flowing over my arbor and also in a mound next to a tree. I hoped these mounded morning glories would climb the tree, but they had a mind of their own. This mound of flowers and the arbor covered in flowers are both in front of my house.  See this photo:

Morning glory vines are also climbing up a “No Parking On This Side of the Street” sign at the bottom of my property. This latter location did not make my local township police happy. I tried to keep the vine off the face of the sign. But the police cut half the vine last year and this year again. Last year I thought it was the deer who tore the vine and blamed the deer. This year, I realized the vine destruction was from human intervention. But even these vines continue to produce lots of flowers and I am keeping my fingers crossed that the police will see the beauty of the flowers as all the people walking by my house have and not cut them back any further.

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Annuals for the Fall Garden: Morning Glory and Mexican Sunflower

morning, glory by Aunt Owwee

Two other plants that I love in my fall garden are annuals. I planted the seeds directly into the ground outdoors, so they got a slow and late start. But they are finally taking off.

One is the morning glory. I planted a few seeds on either sides of my arbor hoping that they would cover it. I planted a few seeds near a tree that I wanted them to climb. And I planted a few seeds near a sign on my sidewalk that says, No Parking on This Side of the Street. The township was unhappy that the morning glory vine might obstruct their sign, so they tore half the vine off. But it didn’t matter. The morning glory vine climbed back up. But now I check the vine every morning to remove any tendrils that want to cover the face of the sign. And the vine is starting to bloom.

The morning glory seeds planted near the sweet gum tree that I wanted to climb had a mind of its own and refused to climb the tree. But no matter. The mound of morning glory vine in front of the tree is producing lots of morning glory flowers. But the pièce de résistance is the arbor. The vine has grown over the arbor in such a lush covering that with its heart shaped leaves and stray tendrils swirling around, it is a sight to behold even without flowers. But when the flowers open it is truly a sight to behold. The flowers seem to be opening slowly but there are tons of buds. Here’s hoping for a late frost.

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Growing up on the farm

TheGardenLady’s House on the Farm

We were poor when I was a child growing up on the farm. But so was everyone else in my community and the surrounding communities, so no child felt the poverty. That was how things were. Yet my parents worked hard. Hard physical labor. Especially my mother, who not only worked in the fields and had a small dairy that she took care of by herself, she had two small children at the time and took care of the house.

TheGardenLady’s Mother

My parents worked hard so that we always had food on the table. All summer we had an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables and for the rest of the year Mom canned everything. No one had a freezer. The cellar was a dirt hole so it was cold like a root cellar. Foods like potatoes and onions could last a long time down there. And the shelves around the walls were filled with Mom’s canned food in glass jars. The jars looked as beautiful as any stained glass window any artist created.

In spite of all this labor, Mom loved flowers. I never thought to ask who planted the roses, the spirea bushes, the deutzia bush, the ornamental quince bush, the yucca, the apple tree, the lilacs, rose of sharon bushes, the gooseberries, weeping willows and other shrubs and trees that surrounded the house- they were just there. Yet this was a question I regret not having asked.

You see, my parents were the second family household to ever live on the farm. Before that the land belonged to Native Americans. The Leni Lenape Indians lived in New Jersey. And they must have spent time on the property that eventually became our farm. We bought the farm from a family who must have somehow bought it from the Leni Lenape- I wish I could learn more of that history.

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