Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Power of Annuals

Datura, grown by my Dad from seed in 2009

Today is September 1st.
It's been a long hot dry summer here in southern Ontario.
I used the sprinkler more this summer than any other summer in the past years. Days upon days of furnace-like heat and humidity made a few plants shrivel up and croak, if I didn't water them soon enough.
Most of my perennials have come and gone, leaving behind green foliage.

All I can say is - thank goodness for ANNUALS!!!
They are the only flowers still blooming at the moment and most are very beautiful.

My lime green coleus and burgundy coleus are strong shocks of colour in the front garden

Multi-coloured impatiens puffed up 10x their original size

In my front garden, I had my godson Rob carve out a section from the invading periwinkle. The area proved to be my best "pop" of colour and had great curb appeal. Among the flowers are Dusty Miller, allyssum, ageratum, petunia, pelargoniums and lisianthus with 2 barberry bushes as background.

Here is my show-stopper: Lisianthus, also known as Prairie Gentian, Texas Bluebell and Prairie Rose. In fact it's often mistaken for a rose.

These plants are very long-lasting in pots or in garden beds.

As cut flowers, they can last up to 2 weeks in a vase!

They have a reputation of being very finicky and hard to grow from seed but my Dad is very successful at it and gives me some each year. 

Everyone grows pelargoniums and yes, they are very "ordinary" but they are garden work-horses: always looking good from early spring until the very end of autumn. I make sure I have some in the garden every year.

Soon enough, we'll be closing the pool and the long summer days will be gone……
But then comes AUTUMN :)
Cooler days, deliciously cool nights and still lots happening in the garden!!


Nadezda said...

Astrid, your annuals are still beautiful! I love the Gentiana, it's pretty and similar the rose. Pelargonium bloom in my garden too, you're right: they are garden horses, look bright all summer.

Anonymous said...

Your annuals look wonderful and I agree, I am praising them this year too, they out performed the perennials.

Astrid said...

Hi Nadezda
Glad to hear pelargoniums shine all over the world :)

Hi Donna
I think because the summer had such extremes, the poor perennials did their best but collapsed under all that heat and humidity. Here it is September and the same conditions still exist!! Oh well - at least it's not a snow storm :)

Alistair said...

Astrid, fabulous looking Datura, I used to start them off in the greenhouse and by mid June I would take them outdoors. Am I right in thinking Datura has been renamed Brugmansia. I am not by nature envious, however I want your swimming pool, on second thoughts there wouldn't be many days here that it could be used.

Astrid said...

Hi Alistair
Thanks for stopping by!
I think Datura and Brugmansia are closely related but without getting too technical, I think the quickest way to tell the difference is that Datura flowers point up while Brugmansia are pendulous.
Yes, the pool has been wonderful with the summer being so hot and dry. We are all longing for cooler days soon.

Jennifer said...

Hi Astrid, Every year at this time I lament my lack of annuals. I do have more this year than last, but not nearly enough for a splashy show. Next year I will do better.
P.S. The days are still hot enough to make your pool look mighty inviting. I am looking forward to those cooler days to come.

Astrid said...

Hi Jennifer
I have always loved annuals because they are cheap, colourful and long-lasting. I can't resist them in a garden centre and always come home with a trunkful.
This is the time of year I appreciate them the most.
Have a great weekend - it is supposed to cool down.

HELENE said...

Loved your burgundy coleus, do you know what it is called? Your Lisianthus are very pretty, I haven’t seen them as plants over here, but they can be bought as seeds. I haven’t got anywhere to grow seeds indoors unfortunately, would really have liked to have these in white :-)

Astrid said...

Hello Helene
I'll check my tags and will get back to you about the coleus. Maybe you can find Lisianthus at a local nursery next year. It's definitely an annual.