Montana's short summers and frigid winters often necessitate starting garden flowers indoors before transplanting them into the garden. However, not all varieties of flower are quite so finicky. The following flowers have hardy seeds that can be planted directly into garden soil in spring and left there all winter long.
Garden Phlox is a colorful perennial that is perfect for the far north. Their blooms are available in nearly every color in the rainbow, some are even bi-colored, and they will be around for most of the summer. Phlox seeds can be planted right into neutral, well-drained garden soil and with little attention they will blossom and return year after year. These popular flowers look best when used as a garden border or when planted in bunches.
The cottage pink is a sweet little flower that gives off an intoxicating aroma. These hardy plants grow well from seed in northern climates. They are quite drought tolerant and only need a bit of well-drained soil, a spot of sun and the occasional drink to thrive. Available in annual, biennial or perennial varieties, they look great as garden borders or in mass plantings.
This hardy giant can reach up to 6 feet in height and is available in white and various hues of pink, purple and blue. All delphinium needs to grow is rich, loamy soil and full sunlight. Loosen the soil 18 inches deep before planting its seeds. These stately beauties look great as a backdrop for a flower garden or when planted en masse. For smaller gardens, delphinium is also available in a dwarf variety that will only reach 3 feet.
The columbine is an exotic-looking flower that is quite at home in northern climates. It will grow in any type of soil, and prefers partial shade. Its blossoms, uniquely bell-shaped, available in a variety of colors, will be around all summer long. The flowers of certain columbine varieties are even edible. However, their seeds and roots are quite poisonous and can cause severe gastroenteritis and heart palpitations if eaten.
The painted daisy is a delightful flower with multi-colored blooms that feature combinations of yellow, orange, pink, crimson and white. They bloom early in summer and can reach a height of 2 feet. All they need is a spot with full sun and well-drained soil that has been amended with a few inches of compost. Since painted daisies are available in a variety of colors, they look great amongst other flowers but especially striking when several painted daisies are painted side by side.
The iris has always been one of the flower gardener's favorites. There is nothing quite like the iris' delicate, uniquely shaped flowers that bloom in the spring and persist well into the fall. Bearded and Siberian irises are some of the most popular varieties, but most varieties are quite at home in Montana and the Rocky Mountain iris is even native to the state. Simply plant an iris seed or bulb in well-drained soil with full sun or partial shade and it can virtually be left to its own devices.