While I love the instant gratification of buying plants already grown and healthy, I have to admit, I do get quite a bit more satisfaction from the ones I've started from seed.
The shasta daisies were planted our first summer I started planting. There are two large clumps, and if I don't thin them soon ,they are going to take over the Big Bee Garden. It's a shame they only bloom for a month or so because they are quite spectacular once they get going.
The Echincea were planted at the same time. While they aren't quite as crazy as the daisies, they are definitely healthy. I've got two good clumps of them as well, and they are absolute butterfly magnets. It will be another week or so before they start to bloom.
This year, I tossed a handful of mixed Bachelor Button seeds in the Little Bee Garden and they are just starting to bloom.
Just two colours so far, but they are lovely.
I started some Lupine from seed last year, and the did really well until I moved them to a different place in the garden. Apparently Lupine don't like that and they didn't make it through the winter. I tried again this year using the Winter Sow method, and so far, they are doing great. They are nice and healthy and I put them in a spot they won't need to be moved from. I don't expect to see blooms this year, but next year we'll be in for a treat!
I'm hoping Winter Sow will give me a little more luck with poppies! This is one of the Iceland poppies (they are a little smaller than the Oriental Poppies) I started. I can get them to grow... just not come back the next year. Fingers crossed I can get over than hurdle.
Also in the Winter Sow department are the Hollyhocks. They've grown much slower than I expected, but they seem pretty healthy otherwise. The leaves are getting really big, though they aren't very tall. They could probably use a touch more sun.
The Winter Sow Sunflowers are also doing fabulously... though I made a bit of a miscalculation... I thought the Indian Blanket variety were a dwarf variety, only getting a couple feet tall... turns out I need to learn how to read...
The tallest one is already about five and a half feet! They are over-shadowing the new garden at the moment... but they will be lovely when they bloom!