Who would ever know this beautiful native perennial is a carnivore (or at least an insectivore)!

This year is an embarrassment of riches for new varieties from seed! Here are just a handful of the ones we are most excited about at Park:

Webbed Goblets and Chalices Pitcher Plant Mix

This astonishing mix combines multiple species, most of them native to the U.S., to bring you a range of colors, sizes, and shapes. Pitcher plant (Sarracenia) is a carnivorous plant, the slippery sides of its rolled leaves causing insects to slide down to the base of the plant and drown in the standing water pooled there.

Pitcher Plants are not the easiest perennials to start from seed, but it’s more a matter of patience than skill. We offer instructions in the product description and on the seed packet, and this will make a satisfying long-term seed-starting project. Get it underway now, and once you transplant the seedlings, the Pitcher Plants will do the rest of the work, happily spreading by underground roots in your boggy garden trouble spots!

Cupcakes Mix Cosmos

From challenging seeds to super-easy! This Cosmos mix (it contains 3 colors: white, pink, and lavender, and as the flowers mature, they become pinker!) was discovered growing in a home garden in California. The savvy gardener sent seeds off to England to be tested, and the result was so popular last season in Europe that the seed sold out!

Cupcakes Mix is simply unbelievable, a whole new look for carefree, sun-loving Cosmos!

Cupcakes Mix just doesn’t look like any other C. bipinnatus out there. The outer layer of petals on these semi- to fully double blooms appears fused together, like a cupcake paper, instead of being divided into separate petals. And the petals are so slender and uniform that they look like pleated paper!

Direct-sow these seeds when the soil has warmed up in spring. Within about 16 weeks you’ll see the first blooms, and they will continue all summer. Pollinators love ’em, too! Get the camera ready for Cupcakes!

Hungarian Stuffing Blend Pepper

And we thought big bell peppers came in bright colors! Hungarian Stuffing Blend puts ’em all in the shade!

This compact plant from seed is just right for patio containers, and that’s a good thing, because otherwise your guests would probably trample other plants in the vegetable patch to reach these cute little 2-inch peppers. They dangle from their branches like Christmas tree ornaments, giving the whole plant a novelty value that can make you forget how delicious these Hungarian cheese peppers really are.

Even the names of the 3 varieties are irresistible: Right on Red, Yes to Yellow, and (our favorite) Orange You Sweet. Each is thick-walled, juicy, sweet, and crisp. Stuff ’em, serve ’em with soft cheeses and dips, or just sit and admire them on the cheery little 20- to 24-inch-high plant. We’re also offering Right on Red as a separate color, but we think you have to get the mix for sheer ornamental value!

Crunchy Bean Sprouting Seed Mix

This photo really doesn’t do the Crunchy Bean Sprout Mix justice. Imagine 4 types of meaty, full-flavored legume sprouts transforming your daily diet!

We love sprouts, but not the same sprouts day in, day out. That’s why this mix of 4 varieties appeals to us so strongly. You get 4 parts French lentils to 2 parts red crimson lentils, 2 parts green peas, and 1 part chickpeas.

Each of these legumes has a crunchy, substantial bite, so you never get soggy or clumpy sprouts in your salads and sandwiches.

The Gourmet Greens Bio Dome has an inset tray for soil, complete with drainage holes that access the base reservoir. Great for microgreens, too!

And you can grow them in just days in our new Gourmet Greens Bio Dome, right on the kitchen counter. There’s no easier way to step up your nutrition and have a little fun watching the new shoots appear each day, too!

Next time we’ll feature some terrific individual varieties (and maybe one more mix!) for spring.

 

About Sappho Charney

Sappho Charney is a garden writer living in Lubbock, Texas.

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