Winter is time for seeds (yes, it’s still winter, although recent temperatures seem to tell a different story).  We look over catalogs, order, and eventually sow these beautiful tiny cases full of life.  Watching the first seedlings emerge out of the soil is a joy I will never tire of.  Seeds are a miracle of life that we, as gardeners, get to participate in and witness firsthand.  Some require a cold period (we usually stow those seeds in the fridge or freezer), others require light, or some darkness, or even total darkness.  Some seeds germinate best at cool temperatures; although, most benefit from warm soil (we place ours on a large heating mat to warm the seeds from beneath).  It is important that we know our seeds.  It is abundantly useful to be able to reference what we have done in past years (we keep a record of pertinent seed information) and also what others have done and found effective (five points for the internet).

Currently we have our pansy and viola seedlings growing on in the New Plant House.  We have also started seeds for sweet alyssum, snapdragons, groundcover thyme and mint, sweet peas and poppies.  More and more seeds will be sown in the coming weeks as we look forward to warmer weather and longer days (yay!).  In the meantime, we capitalize on this continued cooler period to sow some seeds outdoors in the Cutting Garden.  Now is the time to sow bachelor buttons, shirley poppies, love-in-a-mist and bishop’s weed outdoors in the garden.  It can seem reckless to simply scatter the seeds of these beauties around on bare earth after weeks of painstaking care for our other not-hardy seeds.  But we are rewarded so sweetly with flowers in June when we go out in February with hope in our hearts and seeds in our hands (a little cheesy, but true!).

Without any further ado, here are some pictures of our seeds and seedlings.

A few of the seeds we have sowed so far this year.


Seelings keeping warm on a heating mat in the Propagation House.


Sweet Pea seeds wrapped in wet paper towels before seeding the following day.

Here are the rewards for our efforts

Sweet pea seedlings

Certain seeds are so small that they come to us in pelleted form.  They emerge from the soil in small clumps.  The ground cover ornamental mini mint is one example.  We are planning to utilize these plants in one of our new display beds.

Mini mint

Before we know it, these little babies will be blooming away out in the gardens.  I hope you get the chance to enjoy them here this spring.  We grow them for all of you!