It's been a busy weekend—houseguests, dinner parties, drop-ins, dragging hoses to try and save the flowers because it just won't rain, and trying to get in a few hundred words on the new book before someone misses me—you know how it goes in the summertime. But I am so, so pleased with the zinnias. In January, after the ground was turned, I laid down a layer of newspapers four pages thick and covered them with leaves and pinestraw. When the zinnia seedlings I'd started indoors were big enough, I poked through the paper and stuck in a seedling. I've been so pleased with their colors and their vigor. I particularly like that I haven't had to do much weeding.
The problem though is that I thought I was going to get short plants with small flowers and stems long enough to cut. What I have is short plants, big flowers and stems less than 5" long. But I've transplanted some into my planter boxes and they do brighten the dooryard:
But maybe some of you remember how I grumbled last summer that the mixed zinnia seeds that I planted came up mostly pink and purple? Well, guess what's volunteered in the waste space at the end of the official zinnia garden? You guessed it. And guess which have stems long enough to cut to bring inside?
Now if only I could get the manuscript pages to blossom like this!