Happy New Year from our garden to yours! We would like to begin 2016 with a peek at a few of the 100+ new seed varieties available right now for you to start growing.

Wonder Wok is one of 5 new Simply Salad mixes from easy multiseed pellets.

Wonder Wok is one of 5 new Simply Salad mixes from easy multiseed pellets.

A huge new trend in gardening is multiseed pellets, and we are very happy to offer many varieties in this form. When we first heard about them, we thought, “What’s the use of 5 seeds jammed together in a clay capsule? Won’t the seedlings just grow all over each other and get choked out?” To our amazement, they don’t. You can plant a single multiseed pellet in a 6- or 8-inch pot and get anywhere from 3 to 5 plants, perfectly filling the space. This year we’re delighted to offer several Simply Salad lettuce and greens mixes, some Simply Herbs combos, a glorious Petunia and Bacopa combo, and even a single-variety Diascia.  We heartily recommend these pellets!

Soft pink, purple, and cream make this cool-season annual a joy.

Soft pink, purple, and cream make this cool-season annual a joy.

This spring we expect to see more pastel shades on flowering plants. After years of ever brighter, neon-intense colors, the muted hues are making a comeback! Our favorite may just be the lovely Poetry Mix, new to the Nemesia family. Our grandparents called this plant Busy Lizzie, and as a cool-season annual, it bloomed alongside the Pansies and Snaps in spring and fall. Think how lovely it would be dotting the bulb garden, edging the walk, or bursting out of your best containers!

The rich, meaty, old-fashioned tomato tang of Little Napoli makes unforgettable sauce and salsa!

The rich, meaty, old-fashioned tomato tang of Little Napoli makes unforgettable sauce and salsa!

No garden is complete without at least one new tomato, but how about growing this one on the deck? Little Napoli is a Roma (paste) tomato that sets its big crop all at once — and you can pop it into a 12-inch pot for up-close, super-easy growing!

Finally, a Calibrachoa that grows readily and beautifully from seed!

Finally, a Calibrachoa that grows readily and beautifully from seed!

Get ready to save some money this year by growing your Calibrachoa (Mini Petunia) from seed instead of having to buy pricey plants! Kabloom is the first series from seed to bear stocky, well-branched, easy-to-grow plants that have all the vigor and flower power of their tissue-grown cousins. We offer 4 Kabloom colors, and if we do say so, the Deep Pink looks like dynamite with this Deep Blue! You’ll go from seed to bloom in 4 months with this terrific new variety.

Subeto, Boldor, Chioggia, Albina Vereduna, and Bull's Blood Scarletta, all in one value packet!

Subeto, Boldor, Chioggia, Albina Vereduna, and Bull’s Blood Scarletta, all in one value packet!

Beets are all the rage these days, with new varieties springing up every time you turn around. We love ’em, but who can afford to try them all? Not us — so we combined 5 popular named varieties into one economical mix. You get every color and flavor in our Rainbow Blend, 200 seeds in all, for under $3. Now that’s the kind of value we like!

Our candidate for the must-have new plant of 2016!

Our candidate for the must-have new plant of 2016!

Every season, without fail, one seed variety is especially beloved here at Park, and this year it’s Chocolate Flower, otherwise known as Berlandiera lyrata. This native perennial looks, at first glance, like another daisy, but what a difference! Here are just some of the features we’re in love with:

  • It really does smell like cocoa, and the scent is most intense in late afternoon and evening, so it’s a great choice for the deck, near garden benches, and around the firepit or chiminea.
  • It grows easily and blooms from mid-spring until late fall in many climates, especially if you deadhead the blooms. (If deadheading drives you crazy, you can mow the whole plant — it will come right back!
  • The blooms are followed by big, star-shaped, stiff seedpods that make great everlastings and holiday decorations. (Wish we had a picture!)
  • This flower is a pollinator magnet, bringing all the good guys into the garden and helping to keep the bad ones at a distance.
  • It re-seeds if you don’t cut the seedpods, so you can watch it multiply beneath the birdfeeder, along a path, or in the open meadow garden.
  • It needs little water, once it gets established in your garden, to keep growing and blooming.

We just can’t say enough good things about this native treasure. If we could wish one new plant into your garden, it might just have to be Chocolate Flower! But we have many, many other new flowers and veggies to show you, not to mention herbs! Come back soon and we will highlight another half dozen newcomers for 2016!

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