Posts Tagged ‘annuals’

Plant Profile: Gazania

Gazania-flowers_lr

You’ve got a dry, hot spot that gets full sun all day. What to plant? A perfect choice for a sunny spot like this is the impossibly cheerful gazania. It’s a low-growing, drought-tolerant flowering annual that shines through in those challenging spots.

Many annuals—like the ever forgiving petunia and geranium—can be plunked anywhere and they’ll more or less cope. Shady spots make fewer flowers, but you’ll still have flowers. Not so with gazanias: they are picky and absolutely must have full sun to show their spectacular blooms. If they don’t have sun, they fold up their petals and sulk. (Yes, the petals actually close.) And why wouldn’t they? They’ve got pizzazz and they want to show it off.

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Unusual Petunias To Grow

A petunia that caught my eye this summer was this deep red-violet with a subtle stripe through its rays.

A petunia that caught my eye this summer was this deep red-violet with a subtle stripe through its rays.

Petunias used to be available in only a few colours, the ubiquitous red, white, hot pink and all kinds of blues and purples. Now we have way more choice in this very useful annual flower. Before I go any further, let me say that I am no flower snob and love all kinds of everyday annuals, including petunias. Some may sneer at common annual flowers, just because they have tended to be overused, but not me. A flower is a flower, and petunias are lovely in the right place. For one thing, the scent of many varieties (whites and purples, and most of the supertunias) makes them worth it alone. My soft spot for petunias began when I was a beginning gardener. I bought all kinds of plants to grow in a shady garden, and the petunias were the only ones that lived. For this novice, those sturdy petunias made me a fan for life.

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Boost the Power of Garden Colour With Matching Containers

Blue Love in a Mist

Blue ‘love in a mist’ annual flowers with matching blue container.

We don’t have to settle for plain old terra cotta anymore. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I love the look of natural clay pots or believable-looking (plastic) fakes. However, moving towards the pure rainbow hues of the spectrum can give your garden some colour pizzazz. This bright blue container increases the impact of the blue love in a mist flowers in the foreground. Now that manufacturers are creating so many garden containers in varied colours, we can easily maximize our favourite colour choices in our garden arrangements.

This pairing of blue and blue is a real knockout. Of course, in my view, there is almost nothing better than a blue pot in the garden. The blue makes a perfect contrast to the garden’s green, while still being an analogous colour. Analogous colours sit next to each other on the colour spectrum, naturally blending together, while also giving just enough contrast. And it’s that bit of contrast that makes a garden interesting and noteworthy. Try a coloured pot somewhere in your garden, and pair it with one of your favourite garden flowers. The two often make an impact that’s greater than the sum of its parts.



Bee & Butterfly Garden

Where once was just a patch of grass, now flowers bloom on the street.

Where once was just a patch of grass, now flowers bloom on the street.

The most satisfying garden I’m working on this summer is in a public space. It’s a “guerilla garden” next to a public school. (Maybe it’s really not a “guerilla garden” anymore, as the school—including the administration—absolutely love that it’s there.) Neighbours on our street started gardening on a strip of land next to the school parking lot about four years ago. We dug up the grass, planting discards from other gardens, whatever was going spare: hostas, orange daylilies, rudbeckia, shasta daisies and coreopsis.

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