Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Impatiens Report 2018

Impatiens blight's a concern in 2018
Impatiens were once the gold (or pink, or red, or lavender) standard for colorful annuals for shady locations.  Their prolific blooming capacity and mounding capabilities made them the top low-maintenance choice.

It appears the impatiens blight has still not run its course.

Early sightings in the greenhouse were not encouraging.  Sickly stems in May can't be revived by tender care.



Still optimistic, 2017 gardeners planted impatiens hoping for the best.  Dry conditions may have postponed the inevitable decay to late summer when busy lizzies typically peak.

Blight took over by August.

In 2018 the prognosis sadly remains the same. 

Plant at one's own peril.  The only known danger imposed by the continued introduction of these diseased plants is prolonging the mildew--as spores can overwinter in the soil.

Long term effects are not yet apparent.



Downy mildew or impatiens blight has now infiltrated the garden for nearly five years.  Hopeful gardeners continue to plant flats of these lovelies only to find sickly stems at a later time, dependent
upon unpredictable moisture conditions.

Early in the infestation, responsible greenhouses and flower peddlers refused to stock and sell impatiens, but customer demand prevailed, Thus, in recent years availablity has increased, but so has the blight.

Consider healthy alternatives such as begonia, coleus and minimulus. 

ALTERNATIVES TO IMPATIENS:

BYE BYE BIZZY LIZZIES ~ WHAT TO PLANT INSTEAD OF IMPATIENS?

BEGONIA ARE THE NEW IMPATIENS

LOSING IMPATIENS IN 2017



Sunday, December 17, 2017

Foraged Greens ~~ Window Boxes Gone Wild!

The county farm market's full of clipped greenery these days.  Driving away empty handed, I can't help but imagine the field of sad scalped trees that contributed to these lush displays

There's plenty of  free foliage available at the curb or on the woodland floor.


Late fall containers seem barren following the peak brilliance of summer.  There's a lovely fix.

Using freely available natural vegetation, insert a collection of spruce, pine and shrub droppings to moist bare soil.  The longest branches and needles line the base, with upper layers of smaller needled evergreens. Even the fountain gets a cold weather lift.

The most impressive designs incorporate a variety of tones and branches with needles of varying length. Variations break up monotony, supplying depth.

Dried flowers, pinecones, and seed pods complete the look.  Hydrangea blooms are stellar. The dried blooms hold their shape until spring. Secure in the soil for windy days. 


Pine cones,
birch branches or mossy limbs with interesting color pattern add contrast and character.

When the first snow ices these arrangements, the effect is
ethereal.

Greenery containers add elegance to any residence, porch or balcony.


And the piney scent is divine.

MORE GREENS:

Winter Porch Pots

Green Roofs

Shrubbery Flubbery