Everybody starts somewhere. My experience with cold hardy annuals began back in 2012. (By the way, cold hardy annuals are just that--- plants you seed in the fall that have enough cold tolerance to make it through the winter and bloom in spring). This was before the term "cool flowers" became popular. But I began seeing other farmers north of me that had flowers in May and early June. So i figured if they could do it in their cold climates, why couldn't I?
In early December, I stamped some soil blocks, seeded larkspur, nigella, feverfew, and bachelor buttons. Then I waited and waited because larkspur takes awhile. But finally in early January, I began to see signs of life. Tiny little sprouts pushing through the soil. I popped the soil blocks under my grow lights and continued to water. In about a month or so, I was ready to plant out. It was mid February by this time and half of me totally doubted what I was doing and the other half said-- what have I got to lose? So in the ground they went, through frosts and snow. By late March, they began to really bulk up. I got really excited, thinking that flowers were coming very soon. Well as it turns out, when you don't plant until February, you don't get flowers until late May. But nevertheless-- they were gorgeous! I'd never had so many beautiful blooms in all my life. I filled vase after vase and then some, gave them away to family and friends and the garden was still full!
I was completely hooked! Ever since then I've been expanding my repertoire of cold hardy annuals. Each year, I push the envelope a little bit and see just how much cold different varieties can take. I now grow ranunculus, anemones, scabiosa, poppies, and loads of other beautiful blooms. You can do it too-- a few seeds, a little patch of earth and nature does the rest. On September 10 and 11, I've got a great workshop at the farm to teach the basics of cold hardy annuals. We'll cover soil prep, how much water your plants need, how your plants handle the cold, and all the beautiful varieties you can have blooming as early as March! Come join us!