Roll Call: Spring Seeds

by Andrew Keys on January 26, 2010

ATTN: landscape designers and architects who don’t so much care for plants: hi! I’m a landscape designer too, and I love nothing more than a fat, juicy plant list, chock full of sophisticated flora, many natives, most low-care and all low-water. May I help with yours? Just say the word.

Lists are one way I make sense of the world. I inherited it from my mother, whose impeccable print graced innumerable lists you’d find around my childhood home. It should come as no surprise my favorite lists are plant lists. Listmaking is chief in my planning process, and easily my favorite part.

Though I do make capital Plant Lists for clients, I make oodles of lowercase plant lists for myself, and today’s is one of those. It’s my spring seed list, and I filled it last Friday. Take a gander:

  • Hibiscus cannabinus: whose Latin name denotes its resemblance to, ahem, another plant. Read about it on Plantfiles in an entry that said it was a perennial, but the packet says this variety is an annual. No matter — I love the pale yellow of its flowers, and plan for it to serve as a curtain growing in front of and through other, chunkier plants. (Baker Creek)
  • Alonsoa meridionalis: annual, spire shape for an orange-inclusive color plan I have. (Baker Creek)
  • Emilia javanica: annual, also part of the orange scheme. (Baker Creek)
  • Brassica ‘Nero di Toscana’: annual dinosaur kale! You’ll be my first food crop ever, and I’m growing you with my ornamentals because I’ve always admired your looks, you reptile you. (Fedco)
  • Lunaria annua: biennial money plant I’m finally getting around to. Plan to use it as a filler. (Fedco)
  • Moluccella laevis: annual bells of Ireland, prime example of a plant I hated one day and realized my unrequited love for the next. My garden needs more spires. Will plant with the likes of Emilia and Alonsoa. (Fedco)
  • Sanguisorba officinalis: perennial, a burnet whose brown-red flowers I’m gaga for. Like Hibiscus cannabinus, think it’ll be an excellent curtain in front of and amidst other plants. (JL Hudson)
  • Quamoclit pinnata: annual cypress vine. Very southern plant, from what I understand, though never knew it there. This is the white-flowering type, and I’m going to try training it up through a waist-high rhododendron for leaf contrast. (JL Hudson)
  • Salvia sclarea: clary sage, biennial or perennial, and one I’ve always wanted to grow. It’ll go by a seating area and be an investment for next year when I hope it blooms. (JL Hudson)
  • Polymnia uvedalia: perennial native called bearsfoot I hope will be a nice textural accent in dappled shade. (Horizon Herbs)
  • Asphodelus ramosus: Mediterranean perennial I’m intrigued by but heard little about. Its leaves look almost succulent and remind me of Kniphofia. Will it be happy here? We’ll see! (Horizon Herbs)

So what’d you order for seeds this year?

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