Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I love ordinary plants


As I write this, I’m more intoxicated than usual, having imbibed some wonderful crisp whites and spicy reds (a picpoul de pinet--correction--I said I was tipsy!--from Languedoc, and an Argentinian blend) at a friend’s house. So I shouldn’t be typing anything.

Yet, I feel impelled to post. As I was leaving Cheryl’s garden, a huge white potted geranium caught my eye and I had to rub and smell the leaves of it. She keeps it in her classroom throughout the winter and brings it out in her garden when school is over. It is just the type of lush, abundant annual that gives me the most pleasure throughout the summer. Tulips, columbines, peonies, roses, lilies—they all come and go. But what I depend on for continual color and scent are the common annuals. Yes, I’m talking about the petunias, the nicotianias, the heliotrope, even the geraniums. I try to get rarer, old-fashioned varieties whenever I can, but even the garden center ones can provide equal satisfaction. Just now, I am waiting for Select Seed’s Appleblosson Rosebud to really show its stuff, but it’s taking a while. That’s the fun of it too—our weather will be balmy through October and I’ll need the color then.

In the fall months yet to come, I appreciate the last gasp of summer annuals far more than perennials meant for this season. Way more.

11 comments:

Rosengeranium said...

I'm all with you on this.

kate said...

... especially the nicotianas and gazanias which bloom their little hearts out all summer long.

EAL said...

Oh yes and the osteospermum too.

Carol said...

I agree, some of the annuals will be the last to "give it up" in the fall, providing some bloom until the snow flies, especially geraniums and begonias!

Carol at May Dreams Gardens

(And your post didn't seem all slurry and drunk sounding at all!)

EAL said...

Ah, that's because I'm an old hand.

Bev said...

Other than petunias, the annual I depend on is verbena (serenity mix). Once the weather gets hot it blooms it's little heart out until a couple hard frosts and butterflies flock to it.

PS always love to read your blog!

Gloria said...

El,
I love the color red in a garden and annuals provide such a great constant of color all season. One year it is short red nicotiana and red salvia,another a red trailing verbena.Sometimes even a red impatience. This year an annual coreopsis is providing mega amounts of yellow and red flowers that I was able to start from seed and have grow quickly to flower. The solid reds have been less than anticipated though.
Much as I love perennials annuals will always be great fun...

Trey Pitsenberger said...

The annuals have a bad name. "I want something that comes back next year. Perennials, thats what I want."

I tell them that annuals that are not hybrids will come back. It's just they come back from seed. Annuals get passed over for perennials simply because of the word "annual".

This year we have planted a flower cutting garden done in annuals. Its a great way to promote the use of annuals. Next year we are going to have an even bigger cutting garden since its just so pretty.

Apple said...

I love my zinnias, they just seem such a happy flower. We visited a garden yesterday that had a sea of petunias. The only reason all the gaps in my garden aren't filled with annuals is budget and lack of space to start seeds. There are an endless number that I would like to try.

lisa said...

I agree....especially pansies, because they bloom right up to snow time, and re-seed like crazy!

Blackswamp_Girl said...

You know, first it was the lilies... and now you're going to have me actually starting unique annual seeds indoors this spring, too. (I really really really want some white heliotrope.)