Northern Lights Linaria
Darling sprays of pastel flowers. Space close for an aura of colors.
Though small, this flower has gone by a long list of names over the years. The Latin name, Linaria, was thought up by Linnaeus, who noticed the plant's similarities to linum, or flax. Many varieties in this family were then dubbed "flax." A more antique version of our mix was introduced in 1872 as Fairy Flax. Toadflax caught on due to the flowers structure, hinged and turned like a toad's mouth. The glowing colors of this modern mix inspired a whole new level of naming, taking it from the earthy landscape of toads up into the heavens and the colors of the Northern Lights. Though few earthly phenomena can compete in beauty with the Aurora borealis, this blend of vivid colors certainly gives it a shot.
Start indoors 6 weeks before last frost by sprinkling a few seeds on the surface of pots and disturbing the soil a bit, then watering in. Thin if necessary, and tranpslant outdoors when plants are 2" high. Alternately, direct sow by lightly scattering seeds in a well prepared bed, then thin the indicated spacing. Denser plantings result in a showier display of blooms. Linaria requires medium fertility and moderate water.
About the Artist
Artwork by Kristen Egan. Kristen is a mixed-media artist specializing in collage and sculpture. Inspired by nature and mythology, her work ranges from paint and cut paper to digital media, from bronze to wood and stone.