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Zinnia

Though it is true that my wife has a beautiful flower garden that adorns our front lawn the zinnias that we grow happen to be one of the few ornamental flowers specifically showcased in the main gardens themselves. This is not to say that we do not grow flowers among the vegetable and fruit, because we do, it just happens that the majority of them, such as the sunflowers, borage and nasturtium, are edible.

Every spring the Easter Rabbit is kind enough to leave zinnia seeds for the kids in their baskets. In turn, these hardy and vocal flowers are among the first seeds to be placed in the ground each season.

In my opinion there are a number of benefits to adding these lovely plants to any
garden. First of all, bees are wild about them and in truth that right there is enough of an argument for their spot in the rotation. There are also a number of species, nearly ten in all, so it is easy to find one that strikes your fancy. They happen to make great cut flowers because they can handle living in a vase for some time before they begin to show any ill effects making them a great choice for the novice gardener.

What I enjoy most is that they still put on a show long after most flowers in the garden have gone dormant. Here we are in September and though the sunflowers are bowing their plump heads full of seed the zinnia are still pronounced and vibrant. In my mind they even look fantastic a little beaten by the elements, pest and time.  

Tobias Whitaker blogs for Mother Earth News and Grit Magazine. Click on the Mother Earth News logo at the bottom of the page for all of his post. You can also find him on Facebook at Seed To Harvest: Bossy Hen Homestead  https://www.facebook.com/seedtoharvestbossyhenhomestead/ which is a central location for his homesteading blogs and his homeschooling blog, A Mile In Her Shoes: Tales Of A Stay-At Home Dad found here https://amileinhershoestalesofastayathomedad.wordpress.com/  

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