Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Some New Garden Additions

Today's post is a bit of this and that, thrown together quickly, just to show some of the new color coming to the front boulder bed soon. I've been having a lot of allergies (trees are blooming) and intense sinus headaches the past week or so, and today was not a great one, nor tonight, thus the slapped together nature of this post!

A week or so ago we went plant shopping (still a lot to get!) and these were two of our new acquisitions for the annual borders. The first was really hard to pass by without buying ... it's a Martha Washington Geranium hybrid, whose color just screamed out 'Buy Me!!' ... so I did. I have to admit I've never been a big fan of Geraniums ... I thought them mundane and boring, and frankly, they were 'little old lady' plants in my eye. (Along with Impatiens, Dusty Miller, Marigolds, Petunias and the like ...) But I've mellowed considerably over the years (though no impatiens or dusty miller ever, around here!), to the point where a friend of Fernymoss' who grows seed geraniums every year now gives us some nice brilliant reds, and as you can see here, I plunked down $6.99 of my hard earned cash for the one pictured here ... The second shot is a cropped detail of one of the petunia varieties we picked up as well.

Now, those who know us and the garden well, will be very surprised to see petunias in it for the first time ever! We decided to get some this year primarily for the hummingbirds and sphinx moths, as well as we finally found a few color varieties we actually liked ... besides, we also do enjoy the fragrance a mass of them puts out on a sultry summer day and night. Still, our primary intention was to provide a ready food source for whoever needs it ... the butterflies, hummingbirds, sphinx moths or bees ... they should have an ample source here in the summer months. And if we find any more striking varieties, we may pick some up as well.

We're by no means "Petunia People," but I do think it will be fun to have some around this year!


dada said...

ah man…dissin' impatiens…bummer.

it's one of the few flowering annuals l can grow with all the shade that are a warm colour…

looks like you and 'moss' are enjoying and taking advantage of, the new cam.


boran2 said...

That geranium is gorgeous. I have to agree with dada, go easy on the impatiens. They are great plants for busy parents and will grow anywhere.

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hey D, B2 ... I have one word for those who claim the only annual that will bloom in shade is impatiens: Torenia! The kind of impatiens I was 'dissing' is the single blooming pink things that always look sickly, no matter how well they might grow. Now I will admit to liking the fancier New Guinea Impatiens due to their attractive foliage and brilliant flowers, so if that's what you were thinking of, I'll gladly give you that.

Seriously though, Torenia or 'Wishbone Flower' is a much better and more colorful choice that will fulfill the same needs. Take a look at the ones pictured on the site in the following link:
They do equally well in the ground or in pots (esp in hanging pots)and usually bloom right up to the bitter end. Keep your eye out for some ... they've been getting more popular over the last few years and you'll likely see them in most garden centers.

Casa y Jardín IVG will remain, however, an impatiens free zone. /snark

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Oh, D... I forgot... yeah, we are having fun with it and getting pretty good results, we think. Damn though, I've forgotten the html for embedding links... can you help me out with a refresher, O'Sage?

dada said...

try this:

< a href=URL > TITLE < /a >

close < brackets >…should give you this:

dada said...


it worked in preview. 1 more time

Shady Gardener said...

Oops! There goes my "credibility!"

I love to use impatiens in a shady spot... I use vinca in a partly shady spot. This is only directly in front of the walkway/deck in the front yard. (Actually I stuck a few impatiens in the back, last year, amongst the hosta, etc. pretty cute.) lol

I've used a few petunia hanging baskets (I make 'em cheap!) but I think I've purchased a torenia this year. Will check the label! ;-)

olivia said...


Hmmm ... someone gave me a hard time about the petunia pix I took last year ... ;-)

Really lovely photos!

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Shady, don't worry about it! I didn't realize how bad my inherent plant snobbery about them came out about those! You've more than proven yourself with beautifying your challenging soil, that I'd be a heart hearted person to not forgive an impatiens here or there. I think you're really gonna love Torenia though... they're like little gloxinias and have such wonderful colours and sooo easy to grow in shade.

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Olvia, I sure had the coming didn't I? LOL I'm sure we're gonna get a bunch of ribbing about us having them this year, so we're ready. We even discussed whether we really wanted to go there at risk of (our own) ridicule, and then decided that it was worth it, given the nice fragrance, rich colours and hummingbird, sphinx moth and butterfuly food. Thus swallowing pride and disdain in one fell swoop, as it were. lol

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