Saturday, May 7, 2011

Black Petunias and Other Garden Surprises

Today was one of those strange weather days.  Started out sunny, clouded out, then the showers came.  Now it's back to sunshine.

In the morning spouse and I took a walk and enjoyed the spring scenery.  While it was cloudy and threatening, we went to nurseries, and made our selections.  After the rain stopped, we planted.

This year we are purchasing a lot of different things, trying to experiment.  I can see where our years of buying plants in nurseries is going to end soon.  Prices keep going up and up, and so does gasoline.  We don't have much windowsill space, which is why we went to buying plants several years ago, but I think those days of getting flowers from seed is going to return soon.

Rather than pay $25. for my Mothers Day hanging basket, I decided to make it myself for about $12.75 worth of plants.  (I've made baskets in the past, with varying degrees of success.)  The plants I used are for the one location that I have a full-sun hanger.  Two of the varieties are new to the market this year.

Here's a picture of the basket.  The yellow flowered plant is a Surfina Yellow Bush.  The black with yellow pinwheels is a new petunia called Phamtom.  It is not a truly black petunia but rather is very deep purple.
The all black petunia (again, really very dark purple) is called Black Velvet.

This isn't as full as a ready made basket would be but it will fill out.  I'm patient.

I hope the two black petunias can hold their own against the surfina.

The next "new to us this year" is a Nemsia hybrid.  This was of interest first, because it advertised itself as good for cut flowers and second, because it is "full sun part shade".  They are Proven Winners, a company that has rarely disappointed me here in upstate New York.  The location will be mainly full sun for much of the summer, but as the sun angle changes towards fall, it will get more shady.

In doing some research, I found they are related to snapdragons.  I had great luck with snapdragons in Arkansas (which has warmer summers than we do) but for some reason, after springtime, snaps have always petered out for us.  Nope the Nemsias do not disappoint.

Here's the pot I planted.

Finally, we fell in love with a little Dahlia varieta called "Dahlietta".  We've had very good luck with dahlias (I am still planting tubers from plants given to us by a friend - who later died from cancer - about 21 years ago. ) These, though, don't have to be dug up in the fall-they are annuals.

The one thing I'm worried about is (after the fact) I found they are heavy users of water, meaning I may have to water them more than once a day in hot weather.


If I remember, I will report later this summer on how these new type plants did for me.


  1. Gorgeous. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I absolutely love the pictures that go along with your blog posts. You have inspired me to venture into a small flower garden this summer!

    - Tess

  3. Oh, Alana, you've got such a green thumb! And you pick really pretty plants! Thanks for this nice respite today!


Your comments sustain me, as long as they are civil, are on topic, and do not contain profanity, advertising of any kind, links or spam. Any messages not meeting these criteria will immediately be composted, and my flowers will enjoy their contents.