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The Garden Scoop

The Garden Scoop is a collection of reflections about the Master Gardeners in Champaign, Ford, Iroquois, and Vermilion.
zinnia swizzle yellow scarlet
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Swizzle Zinnias-Not just a Phase


I think as gardeners we go through phases.  Heirloom vegetables, variegated foliage, miniature hostas, climbing roses, peony trees, ornamental grasses, and so forth; I have certainly had my share of plant phases. Right now I have returned to a phase from my younger gardening days. Zinnias were one of the first flowers I ever planted. They are so easy to grow, come in all shapes and sizes and add lots of color to the garden. I had not planted them for several years but last summer, I grew Benary Zinnias next to my vegetable garden. I started them late and initially the earwigs did some damage but by August, they were about six feet tall.  The dahlia-like blooms were so large the hummingbirds would perch on them while they sipped nectar. They were also a magnet for butterflies and bees all the way up until the first frost.

This past winter, I ordered Swizzle Zinnia seeds. They received great reviews and the pictures looked amazing. Like most zinnias, the seeds sprouted quickly and the plants looked good from the start. After being in the ground for about a month, I have to agree with the reviews. Despite torrential rainfall, they are blooming beautifully. Both colors have showy bi-color blooms that are beginning to cover the green foliage. There are only two colors; Swizzle Scarlet Yellow and Swizzle Cherry Ivory but they are easily the most eye-catching flowers in my garden bed. I planted two other types of zinnias at the same time and earwigs have eaten my pin wheel zinnias down to the ground but have not touched these sturdy fellows. Maybe they don’t taste as good? I’m just happy that for once the insects liked the less expensive plant.

It’s not too late to try something new in your garden. Remember-that’s the fun part of being a gardener.

Benary Zinnia

 

Cherry Ivory Swizzle Zinnia



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