I love the way these zinnias pick up the colors in the banner and seem to shout a cheerful “Hello!” to anyone leaving the car park in back and approaching the house via the path to the right. These are Benary’s Giant Mix from Johnny’s Selected Seeds. I started them indoors in early March and set them out after the tulips in this bed had died back. Zinnias are satisfying to start from seed, because green shoots appear in a matter of days and progress is noticeable from then on. An ample application of slug bait protects the small plants when they first venture into the garden. After they reach about a foot in height, they seem able to fend for themselves. Next year, I plan to add some of the Profusion series, which are shorter, at the outer edges of the bed to help with the transition from flat to tall.
The tree on the left is Cupresseus macrocarpus ‘Citrodora’. At the back is Solidago rugosa ‘Fireworks’ just working up to its burst of glory. That’s the great thing about these zinnias: as long as I keep picking and/or deadheading, they will keep popping out fresh blossoms, partnering with whatever temperamental perennial comes along, until a hard frost stops them in their tracks.