Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Annuals: the GWI honor roll
Actually Mr. McGregor Daughter’s meme asks which annuals have failed and which have succeeded so far this summer, but I’ll cheat a bit.
I very rarely have failure with annuals, because I grow them in containers for the most part, and have learned to avoid any that I know won’t succeed (for example, I only tried zinnias once). Also, the summer in Buffalo has been rather rainy and dank, and everything’s getting a slow start, so I’m not quite ready to call anything a failure. (My annuals bloom through mid-October, usually.) Nonetheless, let the judging begin. All these images were taken on 7/21/09.
Lobelia can be fussy, but I’ve learned to give it lots of water and it is never baked in full sun in my garden. This true blue flower is irresistible, and if it’s common, you can sure see why. And here’s a clichéd combo for you: lobelia and diascia, which might like a little bit more sun than it’s getting.
Foliage annuals tend to do really well in part shade. For eight years, strobilanthes (Persian Shield) has been getting comments during Garden Walk; here it is with some coleus and Mojito colocasia.
I’ve never understood why people hate pelargoniums. They’re great plants, endure a lot of neglect, and the foliage is wonderful This is Fair Ellen from Select Seeds.
Nicotiana are fabulous plants, especially the traditional varieties which have stature and fragrance. I also have some sylvestris, not shown here.
Again, here’s a much-abused plant that has been greatly improved, but was always useful in shade. These are the Fusion impatiens, with some Blackie ipomoea.
At the very top, you see a wall planter I just filled with some lantana, which I have been using a lot lately. I find that the orange and red varieties have the most longevity for me. The tried and true annuals always work the best, as far as I’m concerned. However, there are some annuals I haven’t exactly failed with but that I dislike to various degrees:
Dusty miller (so, so sad)
Celosia (the worst!)
Here are some I’ve tried to grow and never did well with:
But I do have one true failure. Year after year, I can’t get torenia to work, though I really like it. Strange.