To keep with the plans for pollinator friendly gardens, I am adding three short lived perennials to my front garden.
Each of the following will be started from seed, some indoors and some outside.
Hollyhock ‘Peaches n Dreams’ 5 ft – 6 ft tall x 24″ w
These hollyhocks are biennial, and will be a focal point with their upright growth. With only 15 seeds, I will be starting these indoors where I can watch their progress more closely. I have germinated hollyhocks from seed before with some success.
Seedling Status 3/30 – 3 seedlings doing well – had issues with lighting and will see if new flourescents will do the trick.
Penstemon strictus 24 in – 2 ft 6 in x 18″w
Rocky Mountain beardtongue is a Colorado native with bluish purple flowers. These plants will feed not only bees but hummingbirds as well. I have read propagating these from seed can be difficult as they need a longer cold stratification period and many do not germinate in the first year. I have sown 1 packet outdoors starting today 3/10 with a chance of snow tomorrow. This may be late as they require 2-3 months of 40 degree weather. I will also put some seed in a damp papertowel and put them in the fridge for a few weeks to see how an indoor propagation might work.
Seedling Status 3/30: Seeds are in fridge to keep the 40 degree temp for another two weeks before trying to propagate.
Monarda bergamo 20 in – 2 ft 4 in tall x 18″ w
The monarda is food for bees, butterflies and birds. I am hoping they do well as I want to have the bees buzzing around this year. I have sown a packet outdoors and will also try some indoors.
Seedling Status 3/30. Have 10 seedlings started. Slow to form their first leaves.
Indoor propagation medium: Jiffy peat pots in planting trays that sit on a warming mat.
I may also add an annual called Lupine ‘Sunrise’, but that will depend on how well they propagate.