Garden Photo of the Day

Hugh’s Celebration of Annuals From Seed, Part 2

More beautiful flowers from seed

trailing nasturtium

Today we’re back in Hugh Locke’s garden in Shrub Oak, New York, enjoying some of the beautiful annuals he grew from seed last year. Check out yesterday’s post if you missed the first half of his annual selections, and if you want to see more of his gardening, visit his Instagram.

'Kilimanjaro White' marigoldThe ‘Kilimanjaro White’ marigold (Tagetes erecta nana), one of the first white varieties, made its debut in 1975.

'Carmencita’ red caster beanThe white male flowers of the ‘Carmencita’ red caster bean (Ricinus communis) are on the same stem as the feathery red female flowers. Deer resistant.

‘Kew Blue’ salpiglossisThe ‘Kew Blue’ salpiglossis (Salpiglossis sinuata) flowers have a velvety quality that makes you want to touch them. The plant is listed as a tender perennial, but in reality it is an annual in Zone 6.

Snow-on-the-mountain flowerSnow-on-the-mountain (Euphorbia marginata) takes a long time to mature, but its late-summer show is worth the wait. Deer resistant.

‘Iron Blue’ stockThis ‘Iron Blue’ stock (Matthiola incana) has only one flowering stem per plant, so I had to resist the temptation to pinch it early on.

‘Violet’ sweet rocketThe ‘Violet’ sweet rocket (Hesperis matronalis) is a biennial that is hardly noticeable the first year and then early the second year (this photo is from 2021) grows to 4 feet with a mass of tiny blooms in spring and early summer. Deer resistant.

‘Whisper Rose Shades’ tobaccoThe ‘Whisper Rose Shades’ tobacco (Nicotiana hybrid) has masses of tiny trumpet blossoms. The Latin name comes from Jean Nicotine, French ambassador to Portugal who in the mid-1500s sent it as medicine to Catherine de Medici. The tobacco for smoking is another species of Nicotiana. Deer resistant.

trailing nasturtiumThis trailing nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) produced blooms all summer and up to the first frost.

Verbena bonariensisA mass of small composite Verbena bonariensis flowers seems to float atop wispy 6-foot stems.

‘Helen Mount’ violaThis ‘Helen Mount’ viola (Viola tricolor), also known as the European field pansy, is an early addition of color in the spring.

humble zinniaThe humble zinnia doesn’t always get the respect a color shot like this deserves.

seeds under lightingI start my seeds using standard-issue fluorescent fixtures (no expensive grow lights are needed) and incandescent rope lights (not LED, which do not give off any heat).

View Comments


  1. User avater
    PKKing 01/12/2022

    So colorful and beautiful! A feast for the eyes. 🤩

  2. Maggieat11 01/12/2022

    Kudos on your great success. Certainly a tribute to your patience as well! And I appreciate seeing your growing system! Thank you for sharing 🍃.

  3. user-7032743 01/12/2022

    Thanks for sharing. Looks like your growing process works with great success and beautiful outcomes! I’m getting prepped for my 2022 seed starting year and now you’ve made me want to try a few more. Can you inform me as to the purpose of the rope lights? Thanks.

    1. Hugh_Locke 01/17/2022

      Hi, and thanks so much for your note. The rope lights provide a small amount of heat under the growing plants... in place of the very expensive heat matts you see in catalogues.

  4. User avater
    treasuresmom 01/12/2022

    Wow! I am jealous of what you have growing under the lights.

  5. cheryl_c 01/12/2022

    Great article and pictures. I'd known that one didn't need "fancy grow lights" but could use one "warm" and one "cool" common fluorescent lights - but I'd never thought of using rope lights for a heat mat under the plants! Sure beats the cost of most heat mats! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hugh_Locke 01/17/2022

      Thank you for clarifying that you need one "warm" and one "cool" fluorescent bulb... very important in order to get enough of a light spectrum for the plants to grow. And you are right that the rope lights are a perfect alternative to the VERY expensive heat mats!

  6. User avater
    simplesue 01/12/2022

    Your photo of ‘Helen Mount’ viola (Viola tricolor) is just luminous- so pretty!
    And love seeing your plant light set up...and seeing your methods and how the rope lights give heat to the bottom and the difference between incandescent and LED rope lights- great info to know!

  7. btucker9675 01/12/2022

    These colors are incredible! I'm not worthy!!!!

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest