Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Palette of Annuals

While the perennials are quietly doing their things, I have a few annuals in containers and flower beds that are beginning to really show their shape and color.  I grow all my own annuals, selecting seed from various companies, trying a few new things each year.  I try to match the plant to the growing condition, whether heat, shade, or drought.

La Ronge is experiencing some heat now, which is great if you're out enjoying the lakes.  However, with the last two weeks of rain, the humidity is rather oppressive in the house and yard.  These are the days for salads and slow cookers, while the oven stays off.  Of course, the mosquitoes are now horrid, which is my usual beef with the north.  I pity our poor dog, whom I saw swat and then eat a horsefly this morning.  She had to catch and chew it a few times before finally killing it.  I'd imagine her quick response is due to memory of past inflictions of those chewing insects and their painful bites.    
Heliotrope "Dwarf Marine"
 Heliotrope is growing in a barrel in part shade of wild pincherry trees.  The pictured plant is still quite small.  I didn't have success with them in previous years, but was willing to try again with the marketer's promises of a lovely vanilla scent.  I don't smell much from my plants, but maybe I just need more of them.  These grow as dense little bushy plants, 12-18 inches tall.  They attract butterflies.
Nemesia "KLM"
 Nemesia strumosa "KLM" is named after the Dutch airway with planes of similar color scheme.  Wouldn't you also love Petunia "Westjet" or Zinnia "Air Canada"?  I digress. Anyhow, this is a delicate looking flower that adds fine foliage and little snapdragon shaped blue and white flowers.  It looks great in a pot in combination with other larger-leafed annuals.  It was easy to grow.
Aster "Pot and Patio Mix" from Veseys
 Veseys offered these compact asters as a mix of colors, though only my pinks have started to bloom so far.  Asters, like zinnias, are good for heat and sun.  These look like sturdy plants, and stay compact without need for pinching. 
I believe my Nasturtium is "Milkmaid", from seeds I planted in the kids pots after the seeds in the craft kit they used failed to germinate.  To spare any heartache, I surreptitiously stuck some nasturtium seed in the pots.  Nasturtiums grow quickly and are large, two qualities kids like.  I have one nasturtium in a black pot on either side of the garage.  There are some Nicotianas and asters in the pots as well.  However, I really like how the nasturtiums have produced the lush circular leaves that are trailing over the edge.  These are my new favourites for the front pots, and they haven't even started blooming yet! 

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