Green Thumb

Everybody is looking to make a buck go a little further these days. If you want to be noticed for your green thumb due to gardening skill versus handling of currency, you may want to consider using these flowering plants that “are the gift that keep giving.” Pansies have to high on the list. Pansies are a perfect companion to tulips for spring blooming, and fall is the time to plant both of them! Contrary to popular opinion, pansies are tough and hardy and will give you color this fall and again next spring. The name Pansy comes from the French word “pensee” meaning “thought” or free thought. The flowers have faces, both blotched and clear, and seem to tip from side to side in a breeze saying “no” or up and down to say “yes.” With imagination, you can see the flowers lean or nod as though deep in thought. Regardless, the point here is that in a well prepared planting bed, Pansies can help you cash in with flowers both this fall and next spring which is a welcome sight after the snow melts. They’ll ride out the winter under the cover of snow, hunkering down until warm April sunshine brings them center stage. There are other annuals or marginally hardy perennials that pay off by readily re-seeding themselves. With these annuals, or marginally hardy perennials in the case of Agastache or Indian Summer Rudbeckia, don’t cut off the flowers in fall until they’ve had a chance to drop seed to the soil surface. Here is a list of some of my favorite re-seeding annuals…… 

Alyssum, Snapdragons, Melampodium, Cosmos, Cleome (watch out, this one really goes to town), Calendula, Verbena, Four 0’clocks, Morning Glories, Larkspur, Hollyhocks, Mallow, Agastache Blue Fortune (marginally hardy zone 6 perennial) and Indian Summer Rudbeckia (marginally hardy perennial that re-seeds readily)

Of course Violas, Johnny Jump ups are tough guys, just like the Pansies. They like the “re-seeders” can give anyone a “green thumb” regardless of your budget!