comments: 121

26CrewSelfie of my crew, by Andy

Aw, yeah, we're here. Have I ever been this tired? Shoot no. Even after Grandma Paulson's wonderful visit this past week, where I did nothing but indulge myself by going out to eat, seeing a movie, talking on the phone, sitting in my studio, surfing Pinterest, staying in bed until 7 a.m. (not sleeping mind you — sleeping only lasts until 4 a.m.), talking and eating some more, sewing, and occasionally actually working, I am tired. It feels kind of nice, to be this tired today, in the rain. I don't feel that compelled to do anything but the bare necessities, which is not how I often feel. Spring break indeed. It's lovely. I have needed it.

Amelia is walking around the house wearing her little parka, a mitten, and the oven mitt. As I was fixing dinner, she got a throw pillow from off the dining room chair and put it on the floor outside the baby gate and then laid down and put her head on the pillow and watched me. Tired boo, too! It's hard work getting up at all hours of the night.

I want to turn the raised beds in front into a mini wildflower meadow/cutting garden this summer. Do you have any suggestions? Do I buy individual seed packets (and can I start those outdoors — no room inside) or transplants at the nursery (expensive)? Do I buy one of those cans of wildflower meadow seeds and sprinkle it around? Does that just make a huge mess? (And maybe that's what I'm going for? Or not?) I want it to be easy and pretty. I want to be able to cut stuff throughout the summer, just enough for a couple of little mason jars at a time. It gets part sun, full sun, part shade, and deep shade. Everything throughout the day. I'll take any and all suggestions, if you have the energy! Thank you!


I would try scattering seeds. You could put some perennials in with the seeds this year. Next year they should look great and will seed themselves for years to come. Some take two years to flower.

I've missed you! That's a wonderful idea planting flowers. Buy your favorite cutting flowers and scatter seeds! I agree with the above comment put in a few perennials! Have fun and hello beautiful spring, it's been a long winter!
Beckie from Kansas

Elizabeth says: March 27, 2014 at 08:43 AM

Clover's anxious eyes are killing me - she is so adorable. My daughter was an early dresser-upper too - so many pics of her in one rattley bunny slipper, a head scarf and about a million mardi gras beads. That Amelia is blooming like a peony - love seeing her beautiful pictures.

I spy an awesome selfie!
I like Beckie's suggestion... a few seed packs of your favorites, scatter, and enjoy!
So happy for this catch-up, to know that I am not the only one capable of wearing myself out from too much fun! Rest, dear one... you don't want to be too tired for the next round of good times!

I've done those mixes and was really happy with the results. I'd also add a few seed packets of something else you want to see in particular. Some tall sunflowers and sweet peas in the back and nasturtium in pots?

You can also get a mix that specifically calls birds or butterflies or something fun to watch from the window.

Zinnias seem to be the best for blooming over a long period, being extremely easy to grow, and great for cutting. You can direct seed them, and the seeds are cheap! Of course I'm in VA, but surely they'd grow where you are too. Another good one that I've had success with direct seeding is Nigella. They reseed like crazy so I don't even have to plant them anymore. Oh-and if you ever come across chinese foxglove. We had them in Georgia, but I haven't come across any in VA. They are gorgeous and reseed.

Scatter cosmos seeds and keep watered -- they grow tall and flower into the fall providing endless wild bouquets. Easy peasy!

The cosmos do perform, but I would also plant "cut and come again" zinnas in the sunniest spot. Coreopsis (Moonbeam) is nice and wil bloom when pruned by picking into the fall. Dill has a nice seedhead and DAISIES!

I remember the tired -- my daughter was 2 before she slept more than 4 hours at a time and she never was much of a napper, giving it up entirely before 18 months old. I was sleep deprived for so long, that time is still a bit of a blur....

The wildflower cans/seed packets can be hit or miss -- often things will germinate at different times and weeding becomes complicated because at some point they *all* look like weeds, lol! I'd say direct sow for floaty flowers like cosmos, zinnias and coreopsis but buy a few larger plants like clumps of daisy and echinacea to give your garden a head start and some oomph.

Yes, zinnias are so cheery and bright. And cosmos is another favorite of mine (not that I've grown it, but I love it!).

Just like the others said, don't bother sowing indoors. Get lots of annual seeds and throw them around. About the perennials - you may want them somewhere else on your property, as they'll require dividing, etc., in the future. That is, if you want the raised beds just for cutting flowers that crop up every year and entirely die back in winter. Perennials may end up taking over the area. Just a thought.

When we lived near Bend, we bought a bag of wildflower seed from Home Depot( it was like ten dollars or so)-scattered it all, put a drip hose through the middle, and one everything came up removed the hose and let nature do her thing. We used the butterfly mix, but they have several different combos.

I added sunflowers and zinnias straight from the packet. Here's a link-the flower pix are near the end of the post.

We have since moved to San Diego-our dream place, lol.
No more winter! The dog beach! It's simply "us."

I'm starting a cutting garden myself so I'll be interested to read people's suggestions. Sarah Raven's book "The Cutting Garden" has been very inspirational. She also has a great website to order seeds, bulbs, and other lovely garden items. Happy planting!

Try sowing some Borage seed, but give her some room. She grows best straight from seed (not transplanted) and when in flower will be delightful in so many ways. First the flowers are star-shaped and a lovely blue with the odd one being clear pink, they are sweet and delicious- yes edible and even the leaves are too and most nutritious but they are fuzzy, so maybe not that appetizing (most people eat the tender young leaves for salad or blend into a green drink). I think they are the most beautiful of all the edible flowers and have a sweet flavor of powdered sugar. It could not be an easier plant to grow, and will flower in just 2 to 3 months after planting from seed. Also, it is a favorite with bees and will bring them into the garden, but they are so happy about the Borage that I've never been stung there. Also a tip for picking the flowers: pluck them gently and easily by pulling on the black stamens that all come together in a point in center of the flower.

My neighbour bought the tin of seeds and just scattered. It was a mess. I'd suggest buy from the garden centre even though it costs more.

Are you giving up on the vegetable garden?

Yes, I'd definitely recommend zinnias, also. They make such nice cut bouquets in a variety of colors. Fred Meyer has twice had seeds on sale 50% off in March. They don't seem to be advertising this like they used to, but you can call and ask before you go. That's when I buy all my garden seeds and it's a big savings for me. Good luck and I look forward to seeing the results in the months ahead.

I agree with those who say that scattering is messy. I tried it last year and couldn't tell what was a weed and what was trying to grow, some things end up too close together, etc... So this year I bought seed packets of some of my favorites (I'm sticking to annuals because I rotate my cutting garden along w/ my veggie gardens) and I'm going to plant in a nice neat grid. I'm hopeful :) Good luck with yours!

I would do perennials..Not familiar with your climate..but they are great in a cutting garden..add Lavender and roses if you can..
Shasta Daisies..Rudbeckias..Purple Coneflowers..they will multiply and become your wildflower garden..
To me sown widflower gardens have been more miss than hit,
I wish you lived next door..I would gladly share my perennials.
Feverfew..make the cutest mini daisy bouquets..

you just have to think continuous for perennials..having something in bloom all sesaon..
Dahlias make gorgeous bouquets.. annuals for me..zinnias..
some Gypsophylia ..

If I can recommend a rose.. The fairy.. pink..climbing and not.
One of my favorite small hardy tea rose look.
I have rattled on an on..a small passion for me a garden.
Cosmos make pretty vases too:)

When I lived in upstate NY, I bought seeds from these people and they were great! They have them listed by region. If I remember right, all I did was prepare the soil and then sow the seeds. I used one of those grass seed sowers that you push. They also had them for shade and sun. Here is a link to your region:

Plant a bit of lambs ear from the nursery. It will back and spread year after year, gets a pretty purple flower and Amelia will love to go out and "pet" the foliage. So soft!

sweet peas!(plant now)
dahlias galore (for late summer, fall)
single marigolds
daisies are pretty but stink. they are for outsite bouquets.
ferns, hosta & salal for foliage, baby's breath
sea holly

Annie's Annuals has beautiful slideshows for ideas/combos.

I would suggest against a "wildflower mix" or you'll have a red poppy mess forever. they are beautiful, but you can't enjoy anything else. they need a meadow.

I live in Central Texas, so we can't have the beautiful English gardens, but the boxes of wildflowers from the Dollar Store are aces. Never fails to bloom and grow!

I sprinkled the stuff around last year in a flower bed and it all migrated toward the front of the bed, it was very pretty but did not fill in well. I am going with the approach this year of doing multiple things, just doing what feels right, sprinkling, mixing and planting. How's that for an idea? I think it will turn out just right. Smiles to you and yours....happy spring! Love your blog.

Alicia, I will tell you my go to faves, get wildflower seeds and zinnia seeds over at American Meadows. Their seeds never ever ever fail me. Although I plant mine in November and the magic is starting to happen now.

Actually.....for a sure fire chance to have real producing flowers that you can cut until Fall....go to Home Depot and buy some seeds, the ones they keep in a rounder by Stover are my faves (green labels with clear seed pouches). Get Giants Zinnia mixed, sunflowers (if you like them), cosmos (shorties and talls, as the shorties will flower soon and the talls are summer through fall) and marigolds. (I like the little gold and orange mixed ones and the taller yellow and oranges)

Those will grow no matter what. Then you can add any other seeds to the mix that you wish.

But those 3 never ever ever let me down zinnias, marigolds, cosmos.

Also, dahlia tubers (which they have right now at Home Depot and other gardening centers) will not let you down. Dahlias have grown on me over the years. And now I cherish them greatly. And bonus, they come back year after year, and I never even pull them out of the ground.

I am going to attach a link so you can see how well the cosmos and zinnias and marigolds and dahlias carry me through the entire spring, summer and autumn...

Also, the more you prune the flowers noted, the more they grow, hoooray!

Looooove, V

I agree with Kate, Cosmos have plentiful blooms over a long period and they make great cut flowers. Scabiosa too, would be nice. Just get some seed and get started in situ next month. I haven't had much success with actual wild flower seed, they don't seem to like my garden. If you want perennials for cutting have a look at Sarah Raven's boards on Pinterest. I also love dahlias as a cutting patch plant. They are a bit pricey but if you look after them they with flower year after year, and man they are BEAUTIFUL!
Hope you all start getting some sleep soon!

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.