Saturday, March 13, 2010
Polymer Zinnia Buttons -or I Can't Wait for Summer
One of my favorite annuals in the garden is the Zinnia. I can't wait for summer to enjoy zinnias in my garden. Until then I've been making some sets of polymer clay buttons and dreaming of my cutting garden.
I love the tall and colorful variety "Cut and Come Again" for cut flowers in the house. So cheerful, with a country flavor and naive innocence. A large bunch will stand alone in a simple canning jar or enamel pitcher. Like it's name suggests, keep cutting the flowers to enjoy indoors and it will reward you with abundant fresh new blooms.
"Envy" helps to fulfill my love of green flowers.
"Persian Carpet" is a low growing variety, fantastic in the border with its exotic petal shapes, intricate patterns and hot colors in gorgeous shades of mustard, maroon, yellow, red-orange and cream.
Zinnias are super easy to grow from seed given a sunny spot. Sow them directly in the garden after the threat of frost has passed and nights have warmed. Keep moist until germination and they will grow quickly. To encourage bushiness you can pinch back the tip of the plants once they have a few pairs of leaves. Disease-wise, they are susceptible to powdery mildew in very humid areas. I find this usually happens in later summer after I've already enjoyed a bounty of flowers. Being annuals they are easy to pull out and remove if they become unsightly.
Zinnias are a food source for butterflies and hummingbirds and are seem to be especially loved by children. I remember my grandparents' garden fondly and zinnias stand out bright and colorful in my memories.