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garden_momma

What flowers were your 1st garden love?

Garden_Momma
17 years ago

Mine were baby's breath, batchelor buttons, cosmos, shirley poppies and zinnias. Baby breath, cosmos and poppies are must haves every year.

Just curious which ones were yours and which still holds a place in your heart?

G_M

Comments (63)

  • marilyninconnecticut
    17 years ago

    does anyone else love lobelia? This has always been my favorite - the rich blue color, the dainty petals and the way that the plant just flows over containers. It also has been my biggest frustration as it usually dies out in the heat of the summer. For the last 2 summers, I have been lucky to find a newer variety that is called "Big Blue". It looks slightly different than the standard bedding plant, but, lasts much longer. I never get tired of looking at it! Marilyn

  • calliope
    17 years ago

    I have an special affinity for the simple little impatiens balsamina or touch me nots. They were the first flowers I had success with in my own gardens many years ago, and I came upon them quite by accident, never having seen them before.

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  • gazania_gw
    17 years ago

    Annual sweetpeas. When I was in grade school, my next door neighbor always left me help him plant the sweetpeas. He had made a permanent wooden frame on which we wrapped string from the nails at the bottom to the nails at the top for the sweetpeas to climb. The row was about 75 feet long. It was always in March/April and my fingers frooze, but I was too proud to complain. When the flowers bloomed, he always left me pick the first bouquet. The smell was sooo intoxicating. It is one of my fondest childhood memories.

  • jen_z5
    17 years ago

    My first garden love when I would help my mom pick out flowers at the nursery were fuzzy blue ageratum and celosia both the 'fuzzy flames' and the 'brains.' I called them Dr. Seuss plants. ;)

    My tastes have changed and now things like old fashioned pink bleeding hearts and columbines thrill me (probably because I never knew they existed in my childhood world of marigolds, petunias, and geraniums.)

    Marilyn, I love lobelia also, especially crystal palace because of its stunning cobalt blue up against anything chartreuse like Margarita sweet potatoe vine.

  • ljrmiller
    17 years ago

    Dianthus, a pink one much like Bath's Pink, because my gramma pointed it out to me in her garden AND she called it Dianthus. It smelled wonderful.

    Zinnias, because I remember sitting for hours watching small brown moths or butterflies unroll their tongues and sip the nectar from them.

  • Eliza_ann_ca
    17 years ago

    I would have to say pansies.Even though they don't make it through the heat of our summers,I always plant a large container just to see their funny little faces.
    Other annuals that I have to have every year are Lobelia,impatiens,cosmos,million bells,and verbena.
    As for perennials,I love my peonies,columbines,and lily of the valley,which I cut and bring inside to make the whole house smell wonderful.

    Eliza Ann

  • Garden_Momma
    Original Author
    17 years ago

    What wonderful memories you all have shared. I forgot to add the honeysuckle from the mountains of PNW (OR) where they grow wild and when in bloom the air is thick of the aroma. I wish I could grow this here (now living in OH 11 yrs) but don't know if anybody has that or something similiar to order from. Actually I haven't even thought of THAT. I bought a dropmore (last year) thinking it was the same without realising there are many varieties. Up to this point all I saw was 'honeysuckle'...hmmmm,I think I'll have to do search.
    I have done mostly annual gardening since '01, but the love of gardening has taken me in other flower gardening directions, also. Annuals will always have a place there.

    Anyway, thank you all for sharing...smiles to all and those childhood & ongoing memories!

    G_M

  • Garden_Momma
    Original Author
    17 years ago

    P.S.

    Lets please keep those 1st loves a coming!

  • ellen_inmo
    17 years ago

    I have only been gardening for about 15 years. I was very similar to new gardeners that I meet now who "want something that comes back every year". For many years, I ignored annuals. So my first love was the Clematis flowers, Hydgrangeas, Crape Myrtles and, strangely, Ajugas, not only for the spring flowers, but the whole plant itself. Anemones were the first flowers I bought as bulbs, and was thrilled to see them blooming in lat winter. They are what got me started on bulbs, then I got started with seeds. Now, anything goes!

  • Susy
    17 years ago

    My First Love---Zinnias!

    When I had my first baby I was working. An older lady babysat for me. They lived on a small corner lot and along side the street they always had a long bed of mixed zinnias! They were so tall and healthy and really put on a show. I am sure she probably saved seed from year to year. Now I am the age that lady was then and I still love zinnias.

  • paul_
    17 years ago

    Only ones I remember my dad planting when I was a kid is marigolds. That said I'm not a major marigold fan. I do like a few of them scattered about but not loads of them [he used to do marigolds exclusively]. This will be the 1st year that I haven't planted any marigolds in my folks' yard --- just didn't see any nice ones. Color-wise I find myself w/ a strong preference for the light clear yellows and the red on yellow ones.

    Celosia ,the 'fuzzy flames' as Jen refers to them : ) , are among my favorites -- particularly the red leafed varieties. I would not be w/o alyssum -- both white and purple -- they smell great, grow easily, and cascade nicely. I too love the lobelias though I think I'd describe the color as more of an indigo.

  • posiegirl
    17 years ago

    First plants I ever planted were cosmos bright lights. I planted the seeds too late for them to bloom much before frost. But I grew many cosmos after that. Now I don't have enough sun for them to grow well for me. But I still love 'em.

  • calla_lilly96
    17 years ago

    PEONIES! that wonderful fragrance matches no other in my opinion,there was nothing better than to set at the table for breakfast and gase at those huge flowers and smell that wonderful sweet heavenly scent first thing in the morning when I was a kid. I grow them now that I have my own house and no matter how busy or stressful life or work my get to smell those peonies just make everything seam to disappear.

  • pam_whitbyon
    17 years ago

    Linnea, what a beautiful story. When I was reading it, I could picture everything so perfectly, just like a little movie. Thanks for sharing that. The images will be with me for a long time :) A lump in my throat and I have to blow my nose, darn...

  • Garden_Momma
    Original Author
    17 years ago

    That is a beautiful story, Linnea.

  • happyhoe
    17 years ago

    Larkspur, california poppy, 4 o'clocks, tall snapdragons, hollyhocks and queen sophia marigolds were the plants that I loved to start from seed when I was a kid. I used to look at seed catlogues for hours.

    Today it takes about 2 minutes to flip through most seed catalogs. I rember when Park's and Burpee had 5 pages of petunias in their catalogs. Now your lucky if you get 1 full page. Thank god for wholsale suppliers.

  • ellen_inmo
    17 years ago

    Only two minutes to flip through a catalog?? You must be totally bored with gardening. I spend many hours/minutes DAILY all year long looking at the pictures, getting ideas, information. I could never get bored. There is so much to learn, experiment with.

    I have seen some wholesale catalogs that were nothing but lists of things, no pictures. How can you prefer that over the Park Seed catalog? When I was a kid, the only seed catalogs you seen where the Henry Fields paper catalogs, and there were more vegtables than flower selections.

    Why do you need that many pages devoted to petunias? There are so many amazing plants out there, with so many varieties to choose from, a catalog would be as thick as a bible to show all the pictures. Not to mention all varieties of everything else out there.

    I totally do not agree with this, my catalogs are a huge part of my daily life!! And I know there are many others out there just like me. I could never get bored with gardening, or the catalogs!!!

    Calla_lilly, I am in complete agreement with you!! How did I ever forget about the peonies! My favorite fragrance, impossible to find in candles or air freshners. The white are my favorite.

  • happyhoe
    17 years ago

    Guess you missed the point. If retail catalog have reduced the number of humdrum varieties they offer, petunias, marigolds etc., then the amount of unusual stuff they offer is also reduced. Thompson and Morgan downsized their catalog and Burpee is hardly worth looking at anymore.

    Sure wholesale list can be boring if you they are just lists and you don't know what your looking at. My favorite wholesale catalog is 173 pages long and just a list but at the same time they give you a picture CD with most of the varieties pictured. Heck I'll spend my whole seed budget with them before I consider any of the other guys.

    When comes down to it there are those gardner's that ooh and aah over the glossy color enhanced confections like the Wayside Gardens Catalog and those who appreciate and enjoy the thousands of plant offered in the plain old Forest Farm catslog.

  • ellen_inmo
    17 years ago

    It isnt very often that an enticing photo of a flower/plant will lead to me being dissapointed when I actually grow the plant. More often than not, my flowers/plants will look exactly like the photo. Of course, some photos have been enhanced, some plants have more leaves/flowers tucked in. Sometimes it is obvious, sometimes not.

    I throughly enjoy all the catalogs. I am obsessed with them. There is so much of a world of plants out there, I would NEVER be satisfied with the "same old same old". All of the companies have their pros and cons. Some have great selections, rare varieties, nice catalog, however, their seeds dont germinate worth a crap (Thompson & Morgan). Some companies have great photos, great selection, very informative, but their prices are ungodly expensive (Wayside Gardens). Some companies have paper catalogs, decent selection, with great prices (Pinetree, Gurneys, Henry Fields). Some offer vitally important growing information, along with superior selections, and very affordable prices (Stokes, Parks). Yes, they are different. Yes, some are popular, some arent. But what they are not and will NEVER be is boring!!!

  • flowersandthings
    17 years ago

    Annuals? I don't know if I could pick one but (still now but leser to an extent) I really loved pansies.... loved when I first planted and still do cosmos and loved and still do (although they don't i.e. perform "love" me).... sunflowers.... :)

  • Marie_zone5
    17 years ago

    Happyhoe, what IS your favorite wholesale catalog. And does that mean they sell to business only?

  • K
    17 years ago

    I have always loved the smell of Japanese honeysuckle. We had it in my childhood yard along the fence and used to pull out the stigma and suck the "honey" out. I will never plant it because it is so invasive, but whenever I smell it, it takes me back.
    Another is tea olive. The scent transports me to slate-paved sidewalks and wrought iron gates in Charleston.

  • Garden_Momma
    Original Author
    17 years ago

    I like browsing the catalogues, they give me ideas what I like to try or not and they are good for identifying a plant that you don't remember planting or a plant that has grown and you discovered a few years later. I did that with a columbine but couldn't remember what kind and the seed pack had been long gone. The same day I found it my dh had weed wacked in the very same spot (I had transplanted that morning and now have seeds).

    Ellen, I was opposite in regards the beginning of gardening. I started with annuals and now want something that will come back, perennials, shrubs. I prefer starting most plants from seed and 'anything goes' for me, too. But annuals will always be there!

    Paul&MX I know what you mean about marigolds. I like their quick performance when it comes to filling bare spots. They're usually the softer colors of yellow. I like zinns for this reason, too.

    Ditto on the heavenly blue morning glories. I didn't get many in this year, I was busy with wsed plants and new beds prepared last fall. I thought I'ld almost bit off more than I can chew for trying to fill them.
    Nasturtiums, portulaca are a favorite, too.

    Linnea, what kind of columbine was it? The one I found was tall with beautiful leaves on bottom. I didn't see the color in the (T&M) catalogue but found the closest resemblance to be a ruby port or maybe a barlow type.

    I'm not to good with words but would like to express to all the enjoyment from reading your posts.
    G_M

  • linnea56 (zone 5b Chicago)
    17 years ago

    The colunbine I first grew with my Mom was a McKana's giant, red and yellow combination. Oddly enough, I have not had good luck with them recently. Now I grow several kinds: my favorite is the short all-blue alpine columbine. I have good luck collecting the seeds from them and getting them to grow in a variety of different areas.

  • crocosmia_mn
    17 years ago

    My grandmother had a small field of wild and crazy zinnias at her farm. I never had a garden until I moved into my first house when I was 33 -- there was already a garden there with various white, lavender, and pink flowers and I took care of it and added to it. It was OK. Not really my colors. Then one day I was out walking and saw a red and yellow columbine (not the wild one) and thought "Huh! I could have a garden that was MY kind of colors!" So I made a red, yellow, and orange garden. Then I dug up more and more of the yard for my gardens. Then I went to England to see some of their hot colored gardens. Then I came home and dug up even more of the yard. Etc, etc. But, like the person who posted before me, I don't have good luck growing the original columbine flower that inspired all this, even though I plant some every year.

  • calla_lilly96
    17 years ago

    ellen,

    glad to see someone else has also tried to find that wonderful scent in candles and air fresheners to! the white ones are my favorite also.

    carolinakate,

    you said you liked the japanese honeysuckle but it was to invasive,well I was going to put that on a fence I wanted to cover when I learned of it invasive nature I found out about lonicera heckrottii honeysuckle its very pretty and rarely sets seed.

  • bouquet_kansas
    16 years ago

    Zinnias are the flowers responsible for me starting a hobby that led to a passion then to an obsession!!! my family wasnt into gardening but one spring i decided i was going to grow some type of flower in a spot by the front door.....they looked fantastic...and there began my love for flowers.....

  • triple_b
    16 years ago

    When I first fell in love with gardening it was with vegetables. I played halfheartedly with flowers; marigolds for bug control. The first flower that I decided I had to call my own was nictotiana sylvestris. Ah, the scent of it wafting into the house in the evening!

  • putzer
    16 years ago

    My parents had two really big veggie gardens and every year my dad would let me order the Gurney's one cent kid's garden packet. Also, my mom had a border of peonies with irises mixed in-I will always think of her when I see those blooms. My sister and I are going to plant a peony by her grave this week. And Lilacs!! I used to crochet 'chains' and hang them in our lilacs (we had quite a few of them) as decoration. I was an odd kid :)
    Mom also planted Cannas and marigolds every year. I remember popping the buds of Hostas a lot and even now sometimes give in to that temptation when I see one that is just right for squeezing.

  • juanital
    16 years ago

    I am surprised to see this thread again...What a great pleasure to read and then reread your memories...Very thought provoking and wonderful, to just reach into and touch that which has been 'not there' but has such an impact on your life. Thank you...

    juanital aka garden_momma

  • deeje
    16 years ago

    Portulaca, "Laura" phlox, and pink peonies all remind me of my mother's garden. Also red climbing roses, but only when grown over a white wooden trellis. The memory always makes me smile.

  • davissue_zone9
    16 years ago

    I grew a packet of African daisies when I was 8, and was hooked on gardening after that. The unique smell of their foliage can still transport me 45 years back! Alyssum does the same thing- one whiff and I'm three feet tall and a lot more energetic than now.

  • PRO
    Nell Jean
    16 years ago

    I remember fragrant peonies in a crystal vase on the dining room table, lilacs that were old and tree-like and whole fields of daffodils with giant clumps of Roman hyacinths, all with family history as to their origins.

    I also treasure the memory of Miss Ann and Miss Susan, maiden ladies of my childhood, who let me pick all the pansies I wanted from their viola beds.

    Every November I make a planting to sweeten the bitter memory of another child who was in a wedding. I didn't envy her pretty dress or the attention, but I was consumed with a need for a sweet pea corsage!

    Nell

  • flowersandthings
    16 years ago

    Believe it or not..... plain old red annual geraniums...... I fell in love with them after reading page and page about them in "the Road to Corrain"...... :)

  • lynnencfan
    16 years ago

    Hollyhocks - I remember them from my grandmothers garden on the old farm where I was born, in my aunts garden and in my mothers garden I absolutely don't think a garden is complete without them. I love the old singles the very best of all - in fact I don't grow the doubles only singles....

    Lynne

  • juanital
    4 years ago

    Are you all still gardening? What has changed since 2005? I've extended beds to almost where am unable to keep up but it does provide an easy exercise and inspiration after a long winter in NE OH. Im thinking of reducing and letting some yard space take back over. The things which i started with don't seem to grow like they did in the first years...It surely would be interesting who replies. I come back here to GW(houzz) once in a great while but a conversation on fb Wintersowing page provoked me to come visit and hunt down old posts.... Hope to hear from y'all, :)

  • zen_man
    4 years ago

    Hello everyone,

    I have grown zinnias off and on, at one time or the other, pretty much
    all of my life. I think I was in the sixth grade when I grew my first
    little zinnia garden, as a kid on a farm in northwest Oklahoma. There
    has been a lot of water under the bridge since then.

    But it wasn't until 2005 when "the spirit moved me" to cross a scabiosa
    flowered zinnia with a cactus flowered zinnia, just out of curiosity
    about what I might get. I wasn't expecting anything much -- the scabiosa
    flowered blooms were only a little more than an inch across, and the
    cactus flowered parents were rather run-of-the-mill cactus zinnias. But
    to my surprise, I got some pretty unusual results.

    The quality of that picture leaves something to be desired. In my
    defense, in 2005 I did not have a digital camera but I did have a Sony
    Digital 8 camcorder, so in order to take still pictures I would take a
    few seconds of video and then look through it for a reasonably good
    frame to use as my still picture. I used software to convert from video
    to still with as much quality as possible. This was another scabi-cactus
    hybrid that I really liked. Its enormous crested center reminded me of a
    sunflower.
    This was another result of that cross. Its flower form reminded me of a marigold.
    Those three zinnias, and a few other of my scabiosa x cactus hybrids,
    were totally unlike any zinnia I had seen before, and I was pretty sure
    you couldn't buy anything like them in a seed packet. I was amazed that I
    had some zinnias unlike anything that was available. I was hooked on
    breeding zinnias by that. That Winter I ordered a lot of zinnia seeds to
    make more crosses. I realized I would never be able to make all of the
    possible crosses. But I was committed to the hobby.

    We have snow on the ground now, but I have expanded my zinnia hobby to include growing them indoors during the Winter. This is a recent picture (a couple of weeks old) of some indoor zinnias under fluorescent lights. I have a Nikon D3200 DSLR camera now, so no conversions from video needed.

    I will be puttering with my home-hybridized zinnias today, and making some new crosses.

    Merry Christmas, everyone.

    ZM

  • zippity1
    4 years ago

    roses from my grandmother's garden in 1958, pink and yellow and beautiful that same year we were letter writing and i wrote to Jackson and Perkins for a rose catalog after that, about 1961 we moved to a house that had lilacs, the first ones i'd ever seen...

  • rob333 (zone 7a)
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Columbines. It was after that horrible event. Such a gorgeous flower, wild and ephemeral. Well, it began my love of growing from seed. I'd already been planting by then. It's when I began truly gardening.

  • zen_man
    4 years ago

    Hi Rob,

    " It was after that horrible event. "

    I must have missed something. What horrible event ?

    ZM


  • juanital
    4 years ago

    ZM...i have never tried the hybridizing but i love the zinnias in tank! oooh-color and green live! are you in the cold winter areas? NM i reread and saw you have snow on ground. I would just love to have some color in house! Can the growth and bloom be done with anything under lights? Zinnias are a nice accent and fill-in among my garden.

  • rob333 (zone 7a)
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    The Columbine massacre (Columbine High School).

  • zen_man
    4 years ago

    Hello juanital aka garden_momma,

    " Can the growth and bloom be done with anything under lights? "

    I wouldn't go so far as to say anything, but a lot of things can be grown under lights, provided that some things are taken into account. Outdoors, many potential pests have natural enemies that keep them in check. For example, aphids, thrips, and fungus gnats. Indoors, in the absence of "natural enemies", those pests can have devastating population explosions. and some control should be used if you notice one of those pests.

    I have been fortunate not to have a problem the last three years, but I did discontinue the practice of bringing zinnia cuttings indoors in the Fall. and that apparently was one way I was bringing outdoor pests indoors.

    Growth under lights is used to start a wide variety of plants as seedlings in the Spring, which are then set into the garden to get an early start, as an alternative to just planting the seeds in the garden after the soil warms up. Indoor starting can become indoor gardening. There are books on the subject.

    Since zinnias are a hobby for me, being able to raise zinnias year-round has been a big help. That way I can get four generations of zinnias in a year, which speeds up my ability to get new forms of zinnias.

    ZM

  • Campanula UK Z8
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Meadow buttercups, ranunculus acris. And blossom - not the double kinds, but the simple 5 petalled bloom. I have been faithful to this floral type my entire life (although I have since expanded to encompass wildling roses, calandrinas, hardy geranium, abutilon vitifolium and the malva family. The little omphalodes linifolia, red flax, corncockles, silene and vaccaria, nemophilias (various), mentzelia, legousia, platystemon and talimum are some of my simple flower sowings this year.

  • mnwsgal
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    You all have better memories than I. My mother grew a huge vegetable garden, for her huge family, and only a few flowers. Each year she planted a long row of mirabilis, four o’clocks, at the front of the garden. I was never too impressed with them though the neighbors would slow down when they passed the farm to see them blooming. Hated the smell of petunias. Can’t remember what other annuals my mom and grandmother grew. The flowers that impressed me were the wild roses growing in the ditches which we picked on our walk home from our country school as a surprise for my mom.

    In my first garden I made a mixture of annual seeds that I bought at the local grocery in our small town. Didn’t think much about varieties, requirements, heights, etc. resulting in a riot of color and form. They were the talk of the neighborhood. From that experiment I found that I like cosmos, zinnias, and nicotiana.

    After joining garden web and participating in round robin and large seed swaps my eyes were opened to many annuals I had never heard of or seen offered in our area. Most of them were welcomed into my garden unless they had orange blossoms and even those were somewhat accepted these last few years.

  • jurasico
    4 years ago

    MARIGOLDS from seed!

  • Dirtwreck
    4 years ago

    Morning glories. When i was only 8 years old, My dad likes to buy them for me! I became a gardener after that.

  • Artist-FKA-Novice Zone 7B GA
    4 years ago

    Geraniums. Remind me of my grandmother's house - she had them on the balcony.

  • Lizzie
    4 years ago

    Zinnias and Japanese morning glories. I'd never heard of Japanese morning glories until a good seed trade friend here in the Houzz forums sent me some (thank you, Kelli!) In 2017). Now I will never go another year without growing them. If you haven't seen zenman's Zinnia threads, they are worth a thousand looks. Incredible.