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2013 garden review: Annual flowers

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It’s time to evaluate the past year’s garden and get ready to order things for 2014 – the Buffalo Gardening Examiner thoroughly enjoys this time of year! This week – annual flowers.

Changing things up in the porch garden – Thanks for downy mildew, I had to go without my beloved impatiens this year, so I went with marigolds for the front porch garden border, backed with snapdragons, gladiolus, perillas and cannas. I don’t normally put cannas in the front porch garden, but they provided a natural “railing” for my porch because they get so tall. In the corner by my porch steps, I had all kinds of zinnias from seed – zinnias are absolutely amazing! I had fresh cut flowers each week from mid-July through early October for pennies.

The circle garden – next to and attached to the front porch garden is the circle – really a semi-circle – garden, which is the usual home of the cannas. The background was once again full of cannas (which attracted the annual hummingbird), but I also added dahlias (which usually separate the two gardens) in front and New Guinea impatiens, which are not affected by downy mildew, as a border planting. Thanks to the strong winds this summer, the dahlias needed propping up a few times, but they bloomed beautifully and produced additional cut flowers; I have had most of these rhizomes for a number of years. The New Guinea impatiens did need constant watering since they were in the sun, but they performed well – I still missed my plain ol’ impatiens, though.

The containers – I tend to get carried away when it comes to containers, but I enjoy making new “recipes” for my containers and hanging baskets. For the baskets, I usually order six packs of Calibrachoa from Park Seed as well as some trailing plants like coleus and sweet potato vine. This year’s crop of calis were beautiful when they arrived, but seemed to stop growing after a while – the baskets never filled out like I was hoping. The containers on the porch, however, did wonderfully – begonias from Park Seed, coleus from Rosy Dawn Coleus, and a few assorted plants from Lavocat’s Nursery in Clarence Center filled out the containers and brightened up my front porch.

The “sci-fi/fantasy” garden – I have a small patch by my garage that I experiment on yearly – I think I may have found its calling, however. One “Jedi Free Spirit” daylily (which still hasn’t bloomed!), one “Star Wars” dahlia, one “Darth Vader” coleus and one “Lord Voldemort” coleus filled in the area nicely (a random dead nettle sprouted up and provided some brightness in the dark world).

Stay tuned for a look at my new perennials from 2013.

Disclosure: The Buffalo Gardening Examiner received no compensation for any part of this review.

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