Scenes from the Self Sowing Garden

Scenes from the Self Sowing Garden

One of the projects I’ve been cultivating this year is my self-sowing garden. Part of the motivation for this garden is due to its location. Nearby is a gas utility line and I didn’t want to plant anything here that I would feel bad about removing should the need arise, but I still wanted plants that looked great. Nearly every plant here is a self-sowing annual although I had to sneak in a few easy to come by perennials!  For today’s Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day please enjoy the photos of the self-sowing garden.

Here is a photo of the self-sowing garden from the arbor. In the forefront are red poppies that I started from seed early this spring.

Poppies have very interesting paper-like petals.

Here they are again from the other side of the garden.

You’ll notice a blurry blue apparition in on the left hand side of the photo above. This is one of several larkspurs I planted. Hopefully they will continue to bloom and spread their seed around the garden. In the picture below is the same larkspur a little more in focus taken from the same location.

We can bask in the blue color spectrum a little longer with the ‘Black and Blue’ salvia. It’s easy to see how it got its name with its nearly black stems and deep blue flowers.

The hummingbirds are said to like this salvia (I’m not sure there are any salvias they don’t like) although I haven’t seen one partake of this particular plant there is another plant nearby that is a sure fire hummingbird magnet.

This red flowering perennial penstemon is well loved by those little hummingbirds. Several times I’ve been outside in the early morning when a little bird comes zipping over take a sip of nectar.

Other Bloomers in the self-sowing garden are:

Monarda (bee balm)

Coreopsis ‘Sunfire’ (tickseed)


And my personal favorite photo in this post,

This garden is in severe need of a weeding which I would like to accomplish this week.  Then I’ll mulch around the base of plants that have already emerged and the self-sowing garden will be established! After the first year the plants should sow themselves and all I’ll have to do is weed, and we all know that that’s quite enough work to do!


Dave has written since 2007. He gardens on an acre and a half where he raises his 5 children. He enjoys growing vegetables, herbs, and propagating plants. Dave works as a real estate agent in Spring Hill, TN.

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. it's looking good in the garden dave. Has the beebalm reseeded? I find it spreads via root but haven't seen it pop up anywhere else…I like cosmos, too…gail

  2. What a great idea,to have a self-sowing garden.Why did I never think of that?
    And I love your blog.Great tips and ideas here.

  3. I love self-sowers and you've got some great occupants of your garden.

    The B&B salvia is blooming here now. The hummingbirds just love it… along with all the other salvias as you say.


  4. Dave, I just planted a new flowerbed I am temporarily calling my "wild garden." I wish I had read this post first! I would love to have more self-seeding annuals. I do have one black and blue salvia and lots of cosmos; after seeing both of those on blogs and in actual gardens I visited last year, I knew I had to have both:) Beautiful photos!

  5. Nice flowers, Dave! That Black and Blue salvia isn't reliable here as it usually won't overwinter. Mine never seeds, but I always buy some when I can find it. We had larkspur at our old house, and it was always reliable, however it was not always true to color. I started with all blue, and after 3-4 years, I had white, pink, blue and purple. I have to admit, the mix was wonderful. Hope you have great luck with yours!

  6. Looking great Dave!

  7. I just planted the black and blue a few months ago and I love it. In two areas of our backyard we spread california wildflower seeds and some free plants when we moved in because we didn't know what to do with those areas and almost all of them reseeded this year. Probably about 10 different types. A few of the shorter varieties got shaded out by the taller ones though.

  8. Looking good Dave.

    I love the way self sowers put themselves in places I couldn't possibly plant, cracks in stone for example. They always look really natural, not at all over 'gardened' if you get my drift.

    Good stuff!

  9. Looks like the self-sowing garden is filling in nicely Dave. I love your choices especially the Cosmos,what a nice color. By the way the Black & Blue reseeded in my garden this spring!

  10. Great idea and beautiful pics. I would be very curious to know which plants come back next year.

  11. I was wowed by the red and blue of the Poppies, Larkspur and Salvia together, and then I saw the photo of that gorgeous ruby Penstemon. I'd be hanging around it too were I a hummingbird.

  12. Gail,

    The monarda needed a home so it ended up here, I doubt it will self-sow but a spreading and easy to propagate plant is welcome there too!

    Chris and Jon,

    My thought was that if I could get a garden that was fairly low maintenance I could transplant any extras that might come along to other spots. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!


    The blue color is amazing. I tend to lean toward the blue spectrum in the garden.

    Thanks Rose!

    You can't go wrong with those two (Cosmos and Salvia). You can easily integrate new plants just by tossing out some seed. Make sure you save the cosmos seed for next year!

  13. Kim,

    I hope our larkspur does change colors over time, that just makes things more interesting! A plant swapper recently gave me several of the salvia black and blue that she had. It had self-seeded in her garden so I'm hoping it will do the same!

    Thanks Tina!


    I like the meadow look! If I had the time to cut back some of our hillside slope I would do the same thing. It's a little late in the year to do it now but Maybe I can make those preparations in the fall.


    Thanks! The natural plant in the crack look is a cool one! It can be a hard one to replicate for the home gardener.


    I like the cosmos too. I planted a pink variety last year and bought a few different kinds of the self-sowing garden. Only the one is up so far though.


    That's part of the adventure! There are no guarantees and many of the current plants may not breed true which will give us a new palette to play with in the future!


    Poppies are pretty awesome plants! I think these came from a free packet I got in the mail sometime back. We have an orange one in another spot that when it goes to seed I'll mix in with the self-sowing garden.

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