Once January starts every year I always start to plan out my gardens and what I am going to plant. This process always involves ordering unique plants from different online retailers.
I recently developed a love affair with dahlias. I planted three different varieties last year and they did amazing! This year I plan on planting a long row of dahlias in all colors of the rainbow. I ran across Floret Flowers, a flower farm in Washington state over a year ago. They sell some of the most beautiful and rare varieties of dahlia tubers. Floret is popular with dahlia enthusiasts across the country, so they sell out fast! This year they went on sale at 9:00 CST on January 2nd, so I was ready to order because I missed out last year. I ended up ordering 12 different dahlia tubers in all different colors. By the time I placed my order two of the varieties that I intended on ordering were all ready sold out! These varieties were Castle Drive and Hillcrest Kismet. After doing an internet search I ran across the company Stone House Dahlias. Instead of selling dahlia tubers like Floret and most other retailers, they sell rooted dahlia cuttings. I have never purchased dahlias or any other tuber/bulb as rooted cuttings so I decided to give it a try this year. At check out you select your ship date, so being that I live and garden in Minnesota I picketed the last possible ship date, May 21st. I was able to purchase both Castle Drive and Hillcrest Kismet from Stone House Dahlias, so I was super excited! Along with all my dahlias from Floret I also purchased a package of Dalmatian Peach Foxglove to try growing from seed this year.
Along with my newly purchased dahlias, I have dahlia tubers that I saved from last year that I will be planting in my long, colorful dahlia row in my garden. I have the ever popular Cafe au Lait and Arabian Night. I have a stone path that runs through my perennial garden. Last year I planted a short variety of dahlias called Gallery Bellini. They were so pretty and the perfect height! I plan on purchasing more again this year from Longfield Gardens. I had really good luck with the tubers that I purchased from them last year and they often have sales!
Along with all my dahlia tubers that I purchased for this year I ordered some annual flower seeds. I love zinnias and always plant many along the boarder of my large vegetable garden. I have always been a fan of the classic State Fair Mix, but decided to try some more unique varieties not sold in local nurseries. I ordered Queen Red Lime and the Giant Flowered Mixed Colors to start from seed in the spring. I purchased both of these varieties along with QIS Lilac Gomphrena from Burpee. QIS Lilac Gomphrena is a taller variety of gomphrena that will be great for cut flower bouquets along with my dahlias and zinnias.
I also start to think about what will be planted in the vegetable garden. We usually plant the same things every year, but often try something new or add a new variety. Our family and the extended family has quite the collection of vegetable seeds that we have collected from our plants over the years. We go through all of our seeds and decide what we need to order to start seeds in the spring. We often order one or two new introductions or new to use varieties to try. This year we will be ordering pepper and tomato seeds from Totally Tomato and Tomato Growers.
Later in the winter or early spring I will plan out my container gardens and decide which other annuals and any new perennials that want to add to the gardens once my local nursery Gertens Greenhouse puts out their 2018 catalog to view online.