What seeds should I buy for a novice gardener in suburban CT?

emily99December 17, 2011

hi all!

So I live on the West Coast, but I'm trying to put together some gardening gifts for a relative that lives in the suburbs of Connecticut (about 30 minutes outside NYC). She is just getting into gardening and will be starting her garden when it starts to get warm this year. She didn't plant any bulbs this past year, so I want to buy her some seeds to get started in the spring. I don't think she's really into edibles - so what seeds can I buy her for beautiful and fun plants that are not insanely high-maintenance?


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diggerdee zone 6 CT

Are you looking for perennials or annuals, or either? I'm assuming you want something that germinates and grows easily, since she is new to this! Perennials, as you may likely know, don't always bloom in their first year so I don't know if that will discourage her.

Also, do you know what her conditions are? Sunny, shady, dry, wet? And lastly, will she be planting in beds or containers, or both?

If you can answer some of these, it will help narrow down choices.

In general, in sunny areas, annuals like zinnias, asters, cosmos, sunflowers, and rudbeckias are sure-fire winners. Easy to germinate, fairly easy-care, and lots of bang for your buck. Echinacea (perennial) is also easy and works in sunny areas.

If she has mostly shade it's a bit trickier, but certainly still doable - mimulus, foxgloves, impatiens, etc. If you can give more info about her conditions, etc., we can come up with lots more suggestions.

Nice gift - how thoughtful!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 10:17AM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

I meant to add dahlias. While most people (including myself) usually buy tubers, I've had great success starting dahlias from seed, and they bloom first year. At the end of the season you have tubers you can lift and store for the following season.


    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 10:19AM
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Marigolds are easy in a sunny spot, but I will wait to hear more about her growing conditions to add more seed suggestions.

Other gardening gifts might include some nice tools, such as a well-made trowel, a good gardening book, such as Tracy DiSabato-Aust's The Well-Designed Mixed Garden. Gift certificates for mail order nurseries with good reputations are nice also, especially if there are plants, bulbs, etc from that source that you really like that you can suggest.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 5:11PM
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