For the best results, plant seeds in full sun. Keep the seedling bed moist, not sodden. Once the plants have established themselves, water them deeply but only when necessary. Provide well-drained soils at all times. Remove weeds as soon as they appear to prevent them taking over. Weeds usually grow much quicker than “good plants” and will go to seed before your perennials get the chance to even bloom.
Hollyhocks grow tall, with some topping out at more than 6 feet in height. Their blossoms are borne on tall stems, opening first from the bottom before reaching the top. Hollyhocks, classified as short-lived perennials, return year after year before they finally disappear. Plant fresh seed occasionally to keep gardens blooming. Hollyhocks bloom in their second season from seed.
Dianthus comes in many colors. There are short varieties that act as ground cover and those types that are tall and bushy like shrubs. When blooming, even a small patch scents the air with heavy, clove-like perfume. Dianthus requires excellent drainage in order to thrive and survive as a perennial. They quickly rot when allowed to sit in water. Deadhead fading blossoms to prolong bloom time. Dianthus blooms its first year from seed.
Poppies' colors range in shades of clear red, pink, white, maroon, orange, nearly black, purple and multicolored. They’re used as medicine, food and as nectar-rich additions to butterfly gardens. Poppies require well-drained soils and full sun. Allow poppy plants to reseed themselves for next year’s plants. If using mulch, apply an organic type that the seeds will be able to germinate in and grow. Poppy seeds require a good freeze before germinating.
Plant baby’s breath as white or pink filler among other plants, or harvest the tiny blossoms to dry for potpourri and various crafts. Baby’s breath grows to a height and width of about 36 inches. Provide well-drained, organic rich soils to avoid the need for high nitrogen synthetic fertilizers. Applying too much nitrogen encourages a lot of foliage at the expense of blossoms.
Till the planting area thoroughly incorporating compost and other natural amendments. Baby’s breath seeds are small, so a level growing surface is helpful at keeping seeds from being buried too deeply. Mixing the seeds with sand before planting helps, as you can see where you’re distributing the seeds. Use a fine spray bottle when watering the seedbed to prevent washing away the seeds. Applying a fine layer of mulch prevents birds, insects and other pests from eating the seeds. Mulch keeps the soil from drying out too quickly as well.