Friday, August 21, 2009

A Welcome Change

I was never big on annuals, but since moving here I've enjoyed having them in containers on the patio, and sprinkled around the garden. There aren't a lot of choices that bloom well in shade. The last couple of years I've planted a few flats of pastel impatiens, and wanted to rip them out by September last year - the pastels just weren't doing it for me anymore.

By October they seemed a washed-out accompaniment to autumn's vibrancy . We didn't have frost until November, and by then I was sick to death of pastel pink. This year it was time for a change, and I chose bright reds, oranges, apricots, and hot pink.

We both approve.


  1. I do, too! More annuals are making it into my garden, too, Linda...they make sense! Love the visitor hanging around your garden...that's a nice change, too. Finally a few butterflies are visiting. Have a good weekend~gail

  2. What a beautiful butterfly! I agree that pastel pink can be unattractive when washed out. Since annuals are only going to be around for one season, they might as well be vibrant, you know?

  3. Impatiens are among my favourite annuals for just that reason -- the wonderful variety of colours you can find them in. But this year, I ended up with a soft, blush pink and a stark white -- I never choose pastels for any part of the garden. And yes, I'm sick to death of them, even though they've been great performers. I've even put them in the hottest, sunniest part of the balcony, hoping they'd shrivel up so I could compost them...but they're tough as nails, this bunch! :) Yours are beautiful.

  4. Hi Gail, I didn't see butterflies on the pastels either - another good reason for bright colors.

    Hope you have a great weekend too.

    They are lovely Rose. I see they've been gracing your garden with their presence too.

    I've definitely come around to vibrant colors around here. They add much needed punch in this shady garden.

    Hi Nancy, I loved pastels when I was younger, but find myself more drawn to bold color these days. I feel your pain over the white and soft pink, especially since you don't normally choose pastels.

    I propagated some some pastel pink double impatiens over the winter last year. This year I'll gladly let frost take them out.

  5. Fantastic pics of the swallowtail! I am torn on the bright colors. In shade I like the pastels sometimes, then I like the bright colors. Ah heck, I want them all!

  6. Oh, Linda, so pretty these pictures! The swallowtails have been abundant in my yard and they are used to my ever present camera by now ;) Your combination of impatiens are perfect. Another combo (but very bold!) I love is purple and orange...go figure..but they look good together!

  7. Thank you Tina! They're not easy to capture, flitting around as they do. There were lots of blurry shots to delete, but I'm glad I grabbed the camera quickly enough.

    I do like the pastels, but since there are enough of them here with perennials, and since they seem washed out with the changing light and richer colors of autumn, I think I'm happier with brighter colors for annuals in our garden.

    Thanks Lynn! There has been an abundance of swallowtails here this year too. This is the first time I've tried photographing one, and it was decidedly camera-shy.

    I love purple and orange together too! I've never been a big fan of orange flowers, but that has changed in recent years.

  8. Linda,

    Nice job catching that yellow swallowtail. I've only ever been able to catch the black one around here and have only seen a yellow twice in my garden. Both times it was impossible to take a pic.



  9. Thanks MBT! They've been all over the burdock growing in the yard behind us - don't see them flitting around in the shade very often.

  10. LOL, girl, why is it you wait to post three times in a row until I'm out of town?! :) I also didn't used to be wild about annuals, but I love them now, and there are so many more varieties than I knew at first. Also love the butterflies. :)

  11. LOL Monica! I definitely needed a break and have been pretty quiet in the blogosphere since after Spring Fling. There's nothing like a trip to a garden show or the Lurie to provide some inspiration.

    I do wish there were more reliable shade-loving annual bloomers. Impatiens are overused here, but they perform. Begonias do too, but don't seem to attract the hummingbirds or butterflies like impatiens do.

    I like browalias and torenias too.
    I have some torenias blooming, but the browalias didn't do well last year so I skipped them this time. Calibrachoas bloom ok, but still not as floriferous as the ubiquitous impatiens. I like annual lobelias, but they seem to burn out by July.

  12. OH yes. I love a hot pink! Our sunshine always washes out pastels.


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