Our warm October has allowed my zinnias to continue to flourish. Zinnias are the easiest annual to grow from seed, and they are one of the best flowers for cutting, due to strong straight stems and longevity in a vase. I titled this “State Fair Zinnias”, because there is no other flower I associate more with country fairs than a zinnia…Always in canning jars–displayed for the judges. Canning jars just happen to be my favorite vases for bouquet gifts. There is no sweeter gift than the gift of flowers from your own yard. My boys each brought a bouquet to their teachers.
I would never spend money buying zinnias from the store as plants that have already been started (at $3 each). For that same $3, you can purchase a zinnia seed pack, and just sprinkle them (around the month of May in the Willamette Valley) in your garden beds for hundreds of plants and colors. You don’t even really have to bury the seeds. Just fling them out there. And as long as the birds don’t eat the seeds, and the slugs don’t eat the seedlings, you will have zinnias. That was my technique this year due to a lack of time, and here are some of the results.
Even if you aren’t someone who preserves, I recommend that you go to the canning section in your grocery store, and buy a dozen mason jars to have on hand for gifts of flowers. It ends up costing only around 75 cents per jar, and they look great. Regular mouthed jars such as these in the pint size are best size for bouquets.