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If you’ve ever grown pansies, you’ve grown Hardy Annuals. Plants that winter over, bloom in early spring, and then set seed are very easy to grow in the South. So don’t stop at pansies. There are dozens of hardy annuals you can try. These 4 are making a big splash in my zone 7 B garden right now.
Baby Blue Eyes look great with viola. The viola came to the garden as transplants from Campbell Road Nursery in Cary. The Baby Blue Eyes grew around them from a few packets of seed I raked in. Love the color combo of blue and violet. A true blue flower is hard to find. This little one fits the bill.
Flashy aren’t they? What hardy annuals are you having good luck with this spring? Please add them to the list.
My first Christmas gift is already delivered. Last week, I drove to my hometown in Alamance County and re-planted my friend Imogene’s pots.
Snapdragons, Dianthus and violas will bring months of blooms to her patio garden. In spring (for her birthday) I’ll pull out these winter annuals and replant for spring, summer and fall.
Imogene has been my special friend since I was 13. She helped me celebrate my marriage, my first home, my first garden. When I was a beginning gardener, she was an important teacher. Many of my first plants came from her.
Giving back makes me feel good, and honors our long, long friendship. The patio garden is something she enjoys everyday.
So if you know an older gardener who doesn’t get around as well as they used to, consider a well-placed pot display. It’s a gift that lasts and last.
There are 12 pots of all sizes in Imogene’s patio garden. Every other year, I change the potting mix. I use slow-release fertilizer and a combination of 4-5 different plant varieties–about a flat and half or two flats of annuals. For fun, I change the color scheme every season.
Tall spiky plants do well in the elevated end pots. This is a large evergreen Carex–a great find from the Campbell Road Nursery perennial sale. I bought my hardy annuals there as well. They have a good selection of healthy plants for NC gardens. I know they’ll do well for my old, old friend.
Ok–if you really like those pots of mums all the stores have now–skip this blog post. Gardening is about doing what you like–Not what I like or your neighbor likes. It should be personal. Otherwise just hire some pros to come in and do your yard.
And in that vein, I don’t like those potted mums. I’ve tried them–but always failed. And while some people can make them work (en mass), not me. Potted mums need too much water–look too formal–bloom and move on too quickly. Planted in my garden–they look like hot house mushrooms and totally out of place.
Here’s what I spend my money on instead:
Hardy annuals and biennials like–pansies, viola, snapdragons, dianthus, foxgloves.
Winter vegetables like–collards, kale, mustard, chard
And the best value in gardening–a package of larkspur seed. In Novemeber, rake them in open soil and enjoy lovely blooms in spring.
Meanwhile to decorate my porch instead of mums–a bucket of garden foliage and grasses. They’re free and they’ve looked good in this old pail for weeks. (Check out the cool sign my friend Mandy sent me from France.)