Last fall, we bought a few packets of inexpensive seeds and, rather than starting them carefully in little containers and babying them along, we decided to sort of "Hail Mary" it - fling the seeds into the garden and let the sun and rain do their jobs.
We're starting to see a few results now, starting with this first brave little cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) bloom that's so cheery in the butterfly garden right now. We're hoping to see lots of of little guys popping up to join it soon.
Nearby, we planted a row of Linaria Enchantment, which we bought from Park Seed. They sort of remind us of snapdragons, though they're smaller, and the color and detail of the blooms is amazing.
These have been blooming continuously for the last month or so, after being sown late last fall. Linaria is also known as Toadflax, which is generally a cool season flower. These withstood frost very well last month, although they're in a pretty sheltered location near the house so that may have helped. We fully expect these to die back in the hotter summer months, but hope that they'll re-seed and return next fall and winter.
Successes like these give us the encouragement we need to keep trying new seeds. Right now, we have a couple of seedling trays of zinnia, marigold, and several others getting ready for the summer season, and a few packets of coreopsis to broad-sow when the summer rains begin.
"Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed. Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders." - Henry David Thoreau