Pollinator Week 2018 Kicks Off with a Buzz

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National Pollinator Week 2018 is from June 18-24 and here at Applewood Seed Company we’ve kicked it off by hosting a bee identification seminar for staff and volunteers from the Denver Botanic Gardens. Led by Diane Wilson, Applewood’s staff Ecologist, the training helped the staff and volunteers gain additional experience with bee identification. This will […]

Applewood’s Trial Garden

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According to Wikipedia, a trial garden is “a garden grown specifically for the purpose of testing and evaluating plants…” Applewood Seed Company’s trial garden is that and so much more! Research carried out in our test gardens includes quality control for individual flower seeds and flower seed mixes, testing new species and mixes, working out […]

Sustaining Quality Garden Flower Varieties with Open Pollinated Seeds

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Because Applewood Seed Company specializes in the production of open pollinated seeds (OP seeds), we are committed to sustaining the quality of our OP garden flower varieties through our variety improvement program. OP varieties reproduce by cross-pollination or self-pollination and will breed true, producing offspring that look the same as their parents. This is called […]

How We Create our Flower Seed Mixes

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Golf Flower Seed Mix

Here at Applewood Seed Company we create flower seed mixes to fit various applications and uses. For example, these include mixes for ornamental purposes, pollinator conservation, wildlife plantings, garden flowers, xeriscaping, and for various geographic regions. These mixes come from years of experience testing individual species and mixes in our trial gardens. Experience makes a difference! Therefore, we believe you will find our mixes to be of high quality and to be well-suited to the intended application.

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Xeriscaping: Helping to Conserve Water

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Eastern Xeriscape Mix

When most people think about flowerbeds they picture a person walking out with a little watering can and gently pouring water over beautiful and vibrant flowers. However, other types of gardening techniques are practiced across the US and around the world. One method that has become popular over the last few decades is xeriscaping. Xeriscaping is gardening that reduces or eliminates the need for water by planting drought resistant plant species. This practice is becoming more and more important as many cities and states are showing sensitivity to water consumption. Read more

What are Open Pollinated Flowers?

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Applewood specializes in small to large-scale production of open pollinated (OP) flower seeds which include wildflowers, heirloom garden flowers and newer flower varieties. They reproduce either through cross-pollination or self-pollination. OP garden flowers are standard varieties that breed true, producing offspring that look the same as their parents. This is called breeding “true to type”. They are sown from seed collected in the previous growing season without concern that the offspring will have vastly different traits from the parents.

Petunia ‘Fire Chief’

An example of one of our OP flower varieties is Petunia ‘Fire Chief’. It was developed by Bodger Seeds and became an All-America Selections (AAS) winner in 1950. An even older example is Cosmos ‘Sensation Mix’. It was developed within the seed trade and became an AAS winner in 1936.

In contrast to OP flower varieties, the offspring of many hybrid species do not breed true. It is not advisable to retain seeds of hybrid plants for planting in the next growing season. F1 hybrids are developed through a process of crossing two different varieties of the same plant species. Each parent plant comes from a pure line and breeds true to type. Pollination is achieved through hand pollination of the female line using pollen from the male line. It is time consuming and more expensive, but the offspring have favorable traits of both parent lines. F1 hybrids are very consistent in appearance and characteristics. Read more

Plan Now for Your 2018 Monarch Butterfly Garden

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The Monarch Butterfly is probably one of the most recognizable butterflies in North America.  It is in trouble! Monarch populations have been declining for a number of years. The loss of food (nectar) plants and milkweeds has been indicated as a major contributor to these declines. By growing nectar sources and milkweeds, which are host plants for the monarch, you can help to offset these losses. To assist in the conservation of the monarch butterfly, we have created two seed mixes:

Monarch Butterfly Garden Mix – this is composed of wildflowers, garden flowers and milkweeds. Plant it in most areas of the U.S. and southern Canada. It is recommended for home gardens, golf courses, parks, businesses and other maintained garden sites.

Native Flower Mix for Monarchs this is composed entirely of wildflowers and milkweeds that are native to the Midwest. It is useful for planting in the summer breeding range and flyway zones in the Midwestern part of North America. It is recommended for meadow plantings, roadsides, and revegetation projects.

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Featured Flower: Dwarf Helenium (Helenium amarum)

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One of our native wildflowers, Helenium amarum, comes from the genus, Helenium, believed to be named after Helen of Troy. The species name, amarum, means bitter, which refers to the bitter taste of the plants. Other common names are Bitterweed, American Bitterweed and Bitter Sneezeweed.

 

Dwarf Helenium is a native annual from Texas, the Southeastern and Midwestern U.S. It is typically found in prairies, pastures, woodland openings and along roadsides. Plants grow to 12 inches high, have a mounding habit and have very fine, thread-like leaves. They have bright yellow flowers and are very long-blooming; flowering occurs from summer through early fall.

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