Recently, someone asked me if the Zinnia is my favorite flower. Not really, but one would think so. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Zinnia. Roses are my favorite flower…or maybe tulips…honestly I would be hard pressed to pick just one as a favorite. I really love flowers. I think if I could only have one type for the rest of my life, I’d pick hydrangea. Having said all that, I do love the zinnia.
What’s not to love? They’re easy to grow, love to bloom and come in so many shapes, sizes and colors, there’s really something for everyone.
My mom was not a “yard” type person. She didn’t garden or fuss with the yard. It was always tidy but that was about all. Except…she did grow zinnias and sometimes snapdragons. I don’t recall marigolds, but they may have been in there somewhere, oh, and it seems like some years there might be an injection or two of petunias.
It’s amazing to me the forms zinnias grow. Some of them are wide and round like Gerbera daisies others are tiny and resemble little pom-poms.
This year I have been fascinated with the “cactus” type of zinnia. They have pointy petals and get very large.
The colors are amazing. My favorite is the Scarlet Queen. The intense color saturation is so clear and brilliant, it gives pause.
As regal as the ‘queens’ are, the Lilliput is humble. It’s what I think of when I think of a zinnia, although I only have one little section of Lilliput in my gardens. They are the flowers of my mother’s garden and the gardens of her friends. These were the flowers I would take to a favorite teacher, (Mrs. Blumberg in 2nd grade) or to adorn the coffee table any day of the week.
Nowadays, you can just about pick your favorite color and get a zinnia to match it. I have some Violet queens that fade to a beautiful periwinkle blue, which is my favorite color at the time.
Patrick grows “Envy” in his garden. They’re a fun chartreuse/green. Fun to grow, more fun if you love green!
So, although not technically my “favorite”, I do love zinnias, I hope you do as well.
I got most of mine from Baker Creek this year. Next year I’m going to double my order and get some from Territorial Seed, I especially want Cherry Swizzle next year. I’m such a dork. There are still at least five months left in this growing season and still I already have plans for next season. Dork!