All the roses and clematis' have been pruned and fertilized and are ready for the spring. Spring is just three weeks away! So much from my list yet to do, and so little time! All the seedlings growing indoors are itching to get outside and I will probably start 'hardening' them off this week. My 'Black Pearl Pepper' seeds from Thompson and Morgan failed to germinate. I contacted them and they are sending a free replacement package. I hope I have better luck with the new packet.
I'm always curious each year about the All-American Selections (www.all-americaselections.org) and can't resist growing some of these annuals. Pepper 'Black Pearl' won the All-American Selection for 2006. I started growing them the same year. They were such a success in my garden that they have become a stable. I also started seeds this year of Salvia farinacea 'Evolution' another AAS winner in 2006. Salvia farinacea is a perennial in my zone, so if they do well I can look forward to their return each year. Last year I grew the 2007 winner Vinca 'Burgundy Halo.' They also did well, but I couldn't find a place for them this year. Others that I have grown include: Nicotiana ‘Perfume Deep Purple,’ Zinnia ‘Zowie! Yellow Flame,’ Zinnia ‘Magellan Coral,' Gaillardia pulchella 'Sundance Bicolor,' Rudbeckia hirta 'Prairie Sun,' Rudbeckia hirta 'Cherokee Sunset,' and Zinnia 'Profusion Orange, White, and Cherry.' Most of these thrived, and some, like all the 'Profusion' zinnias, return each year from seed. As my garden is maturing, I'm finding less and less room for annuals because many of the perennials have multiplied. There seems to always be gaps here and there, so I know I will always find room for a new AAS winner that catches my eye.