One major constraint on my gardening efforts is price. I mean, after all, we aren’t very good at this so why spend a bunch of money. So, instead of buying trays of flowers we are growing from seed.

We have a few existing plants in the porch bed.
Porch Flower Beds

I don’t remember what the ornamental grass is. The other plants are Hostas. Those things are more or less indestructible. I’ve dug up that bed twice. Turned the soil over and chopped it up with a shovel and still they live! In the spaces between them, in the empty bed, and around the tree go the seeds. We are planting two flowers from the morning glory family and some violas.

Convolvulus Blue Enchantment
First are the Convolvulus Blue Enchantment with seeds from Burpee.

They are a bush variety with morning glory shaped flowers. They only get about a foot tall. I tried to grow these once before and literally none of them came up. This time though they came up great. I tried to get a shot of them around the tree but the seedlings are a bit too small still. Squint! (and click to enlarge)
Blue Enchantment Seedlings

Stupid thing I did: These need to be covered with soil about an inch deep, so I used a pencil to make hole and then wiggled it around to widen it. Knowing that not every seed comes up I then dropped about 3 seeds in each hole. Obviously I should have made different holes grouped close together. Kind of silly. Since they germinated so well I had two and three seedlings coming up through the same exact hole. You are supposed to thin these out anyway but normally you’d want to wait until they grew some true leaves first and see which is doing the best. I had to go ahead “pick a winner” early and snip off the extra seedlings.

Johnny Jump-Ups
These flowers are related to pansies. They go by the name Johnny Jump-up Violas or Helen Mount Violas. Our seeds are from the Livingston Seed Company. They’re beautiful flowers with an interesting shape. I’ve read that they also follow the sun during the day.


I’m not sure, but I think a few of these have broken through the soil. They are incredibly small seedlings and I’m not 100% sure that’s what I’m looking at or if a few weeds have sprouted up.

Weird story: We first bought these seeds from Burpee, at Home Depot. None of the packs had any seeds in them! I thought I must be stupid or something. Turns out the entire batch at the store was empty. We got our money back and luckily found them at another store.

Blue Picotee Morning Glory
Steph went to get more Viola seeds and saw these and had to have them. If they look like this when finished they will be quite impressive!

They are a true, vining, Morning Glory. To get these to germinate I scuffed up the seeds slightly with an Emory board and then soaked them in a dish of water overnight. Wow! The taproot was coming out of the seed by the next morning for some of them. They came up quick in the peat pots I germinated them in and they are looking great!


Steph wanted to plant them around the mailbox. I didn’t really care for how that looks when it works. Instead we decided to use a plant stand we have out back that we don’t use. The plan is to bury the legs of it in the bed beside the porch and let the morning glories climb it.


Before I go one final picture, of our tree bed.