The winners of the 2016 Seed Derby were morning glories. 'Grandpa Ott's' (dark purple) and 'Pearly Gates' (all-white) tied for first place.
African daisy seedlings.
I have no experience with this plant. These were some of the clearance seeds (end of last season), but they came up perfectly well. The trick will be getting them from this stage to actual mature plants. Getting seeds to sprout isn't even half the battle.
The questionable vegetable seeds were somewhat less impressive in their response. Some came up, but the okra are sluggish. (I need to sow the rest of them and see what happens. They're not worth saving for next season, in any case.)
Of the crookneck squash and zucchini I sowed, only one hill sprouted, and I'm not sure which it is. I was careless and didn't make notes, and I no longer recall which went where. It doesn't really matter-- they get the same treatment and we'll be able to tell when/if they get big enough to bear fruit-- but it would be nice to know. I think these may be zucchini, but it's just a guess.
The tromboncino squash seeds had mixed results. We sowed 4 or 5 seeds per hill and had only three seedlings-- two on one hill and one on another. Not a rousing success. So I've gone back and sown more in the empty hill-- and one more in the one-sprout hill, for good measure. If they do well, we might not need more than two or three vines.
Radishes are always fast to sprout.
'Blue Bedder' salvia and blanket flower.
The from-seed 'Blue Bedder' salvia seems happier and healthier, so far this year, than the 'Victoria Blue' I bought last year as a grown plant. The 'Victoria Blue' is still hanging around, but it's not nearly as big and pretty as some of the 'Blue Bedder' (not this particular specimen, though). Something to keep in mind for the future.
More 'Blue Bedder' sage, this time in front of the viburnum.
The daylilies have begun to bloom. I have missed taking pictures of the first few, but I think they all have more buds yet to open, so maybe I'll catch those when the time comes.
I've been trying to tell if any of them might be the first blooms of my first batch of seedlings. It's been long enough that some of them could certainly begin blooming. However, it's difficult to tell. I have to differentiate them from the ones we bought as grown plants (which I can try to eliminate by looking at photos from last year and the year before) and divisions Mom gave me last spring. Some of the daylilies Mom gave me might have already finished blooming by the time they came here-- either that or they simply didn't bloom last summer, for whatever reason-- so I'm not sure what all of them look like.
None of this matters, of course. They're just as pretty, irrespective of where they came from-- but it could be interesting to know.
I've started spotting lovebugs, every so often. The first lovebug season must be coming up. Last year, they weren't as bad as they sometimes can be. Or maybe I'm just comparing it to a particularly awful year, when clouds of them seemed to be attracted to the house's white trim, and they got in whenever we opened the door... At least they're harmless and small.
Louisiana Iris 'Jeri' was showing signs that it was about to bloom. Since this was taken, some of the buds have opened. If any of my photos turned out well enough, I'll be posting them soon.
Another shot of the salvia and blanket flower...
At the end of last summer, I was concerned when I noticed that the false indigo had begun to darken and wither. Then over the winter, the stalks just came loose from the ground! It was my first year with the plant, and I wasn't sure how it was supposed to behave, so it was a joyful surprise to see sharp little green shoots, this spring. The plant is still on the short side, but I think it's fuller and heartier than last year. Maybe it'll get bigger and better in years to come.
The flowers are pretty, though not exactly show-stoppers (on my plant, at least). They remind me of pea blooms. It's important to note that false indigo has a taproot and doesn't usually respond well to transplanting, once it's gotten established in a spot. (I try to repeat this little tidbit whenever I think of false indigo to ingrain it and make sure I won't forget. (g) I have a tendency to move plants around, from time to time, but this one needs to stay put.)
Still blooming, though as of today (days after this was taken), I think it's past its peak. There are some nice, new-looking leaves, though. It's hard to remember how much things have grown, sometimes, but I think it's doing well, considering that it's not an especially fast-growing shrub.
'Golden Sphere' coreopsis.
This pastel achillea is now growing near the front door, an area that gets little attention (since we almost never use that door). I don't think achillea needs much attention, so it should be happy enough.
The too-red rose is in flower again, this year. The blooms are pretty, but the shrub looks spindly and dejected. I'm not sure what to do for it. A hard pruning? Or will that just kill the poor thing?
There seem to be fewer flowers on the huge pink climber/rambler/whatever-it-is rose this year, compared to last. Maybe last year was exceptional; maybe it's a reflection of a difference in weather; maybe I should've fertilized (yes, I should've fertilized); maybe I'm just remembering last year as better than it really was.
This isn't "peak bloom". A photo I snapped this morning is more impressive, but I still don't think it matches the magic of last year. Well, of course not all years are equal. One year will be better for roses; the next will favor something else.
What roses there are have been beautiful and fragrant. :o)
I still haven't processed those early-April survey photos, and it's nearly time to think of survey photos for May! Later this week, maybe?