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Warm weather signals arrival of hot annuals
This is the nursery time of year. Even if you don’t need more plants, visiting your local nursery is irresistible. As is changing things up a bit, and partaking in the latest trends. Enter the annuals.
Annuals are the prima donnas of the garden. In return for flowering all summer long, they die, and need replacement next summer. They can be a bit demanding, but are ideal if you hanker for trendiness, or a reason to visit your local nursery.
The low maintenance gardener uses them with restraint. However, they’re perfect for containers, and adding a spot or two of continuous colour within a bed
Like all plants, annuals have specific ideal growing conditions. Light is not negotiable, so put sun lovers in the sun and protect shade lovers from full sun. Depending on how you are using them, moisture can be managed. If you’re putting them into a bed, match the plant to the moisture; if you’re putting it in a container, put moisture lovers together, and drought lovers together.
Oodles of bigger, bolder, more outlandish varieties hit the shelves each spring. Each nursery has their own collection of offerings. When you arrive prepare to be flexible. And prepared to be wowed. There are lots of sun-lovers.
Does anything shout ‘It’s summer, let’s party!’ the way dahlias do? They come in a range of yellows, oranges, reds, and pinks. Jordan Hiebert (LaCoste Nursery and Garden Centre) has a great selection including Goldalia Scarlet which is absolutely charming with its large striking red and yellow flowers. It has a nice tight upright form and at a full height of 30 centimetres is one of the more compact dahlias.
Say annual and many of us think, Petunia. They are the quintessential annuals — reliable, and available in just about any colour and size. Can it get any better? According to Lisa Kackenhoff (Kackenhoff Nurseries), Suncatcher Pink Lemonade just did. Its luscious pink and yellow blossoms say perfect summer day. It’s a great trailer, and will do fine in both sun and partial sun.
There is lots of drama available for shadier spots too.
Coleus is grown for its fanciful leaves. With chartreuse, burgundy, and reds dancing off lacy edged leaves, who needs flowers? Joan Paterson (Patersons On Portage) is keen on Wasabi.
Its show-stopping chartreuse looks great alone, and in combination with oranges.
Whatever annuals greet you at the nursery door, indulge yourself in their springtime festival of colour and imagination. Enjoy!
Carla Keast has a masters degree in landscape architecture and is a Winnipeg-based freelance landscape designer. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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(1 of 5 articles for this week)05/22/2013 1:00 AM 0
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