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Macy's Flower Show Goes to Brasil

Earlier today I attended the press preview of the Macy's Flower Show for 2012 at the State Street store in Chicago. This year's flower show is titled Brasil: Gardens in Paradise. In previous year when I've encouraged people to attend the flower show I've been told that it wasn't necessary because they had already seen the pictures on this blog. So I'm only showing a few shots of the show because I want people to see the changes themselves and experience the gardens. Brasil takes you through a tour of gardens in the country's colonial past, arid landscape, lush tropical forest, slum gardens and modern Brazilian gardens.

Toucan topiary Macy's Flower Show State Street


'Purple Ruffles' Basil

The year before last I tried to grow 'Purple Ruffles' basil from Burpee seeds which unfortunately didn't come true. The seeds did produce basil plants-they were just some genetic green basil. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. Last spring I managed to find 'Purple Ruffles' seedlings at a community garden's plant sale and purchased a few.

'Purple Ruffles' basil


How to Sow Small Seeds

The only part of starting my own plants from seeds that brings me any kind of frustration is sowing really tiny seeds. Small seeds are easy enough to handle, but if you're trying to sow seeds that are no bigger than the tip of a pencil and make sure they're distributed evenly across your soil it can be a challenge. If you're having trouble sowing tiny seeds you can use this old gardener trick.

How to sow small seeds


Grandpa Ott's Granddaughter

I love morning glories, but there has always been one morning glory that I've never taken a liking too. Ipomoea purpurea ‘Grandpa Ott’s’ is a ubiquitous morning glory. When I started trading seeds online it was always offered, and even as a SASE seed trade you couldn't get me to take any of its seeds. I’ve always been partial to the Japanese morning glories and the more dramatic ones like ‘Sunrise Serenade.’ I guess I’m a morning glory snob.

morning glory seed pods


Grow Lights for Indoor Seed Starting

One of the most popular seed starting questions I get from people interesting in growing from seed is whether they need grow lights when starting seeds indoors. The answer to that question depends on several factors. How many seeds are you trying to start? How much money can you invest in buying grow lights? Do you have any south-facing windows? Is your season long enough for direct seed sowing in the garden? The way I see it, buying grow lights for indoor seed starting is a luxury, not a necessity.

Grow Lights for Indoor Seed Starting