Saturday, August 29, 2009

This summer's annuals - a flowery review

Warning: Humongous post ahead!

As August nears its end, I thought it would be a good idea to write a list of the good vs. the bad regarding the summer flowers in the balcony garden, so I’ll know what to do next year. This post is thus pretty selfish; basically a list of things to remember next year for me. I suppose someone might get something useful from it if they happen to have a similar balcony (windy, day & afternoon sun, somewhat hot at times), but I suspect such people are few and far between. But hey, at least there’s pretty pictures of my pretty flowers!

So, the verdicts.

flower blue purple petunia Petunias
I’ve never been much of a fan of petunias before. They always struck me as a bit boring and the first one I got this summer I only got because Mr Morrgan wanted it. But I now realise I’ve been a fool. Both of the petunias I got have turned out to be the most grateful, easy to care for little plants, flowering all summer with a huge amount of flowers despite occasional lapses in care. These will definitely be back next year!

flower yellow marigold tagetes Marigolds (Tagetes)
Marigolds are another flower I’ve been quick to dismiss in the past, but which I have now come to think of more highly. This is actually due to seeing them in my mother’s garden – they weren’t so successful in the balcony, alas. The two I got suffered a bit from our vacation, when the flowers were without water for a little under a week, and have a had some trouble since. They have bloomed almost the whole time, but the flowers have been a lot fewer than I expected. I got them fairly late, so I think they just didn’t have enough time to root before the vacation and thus didn’t have the best beginning. I think I’ll give them another chance some other year.

flower white dahlia Dahlias
Ah, the dahlia, one of my faves. I had a bit of mixed luck with these – the one I got as a beautiful little plant suffered from the vacation drought and now looks rather sad, whereas the one I bought as a rather sad-looking thing has become huge and gorgeous. Go figure. I love them though, so they’ll be back in the future regardless.

flower blue purple annual phlox drummondii Annual phlox
This one I got on a whim, knowing nothing about it. It turned out to be a good purchase, for it has bloomed non-stop since I got it. The vacation slowed it down a bit, but only a little. Plus it has such a lovely scent! Might not get it again next year, but it will make a comeback in the future for sure.

flower yellow orange cockscomb ahhaha Celosia argentea Cockscomb
I’m not sure what to make of this. I can’t quite tell if it’s meant to look like this or not. Nor can I quite decide whether or not I like the appearance. Hmm. At least it has a funny name, har har.

flower white flowering jasmine tobacco Flowering tobacco
I can’t help but admire the tenacity of the flowering or jasmine tobacco. It’s been through the vacation drought, attacked by icky bugs several times and knocked around by a clumsy gardener (ahem), yet it’s never stopped blooming. And it blooms a lot! Such a trooper. This one is definitely coming back next year, maybe as the red version.

flower blue lobelia Lobelia
I’ve always liked lobelias and growing one in the balcony certainly didn’t change my mind. It’s been thriving all summer with lots and lots of pretty flowers, regardless of occasional dry spells, wind and sun. My kind of plant!

flower orange pansy Pansies
Ack, poor pansies. The great failure of this summer. I got 8 of them and only one survived until now, and that one only just. They just withered and died, with or without bugs, one by one. And just now I found that the lone survivor has some moldlike stuff growing on it too and doesn’t look very happy. *sigh* I suspect the problem may have been
a) too much heat/sun,
b) too much/wrong fertilizer (the biggest witherings happened soon after fertilizing) or
c) the fact that I got them not too long before the vacation and the dry spell may have been just to much for plants that weren’t properly rooted.
Possibly a combination of all three. Oh well. I like the look of them so I’ll probably try again some other year and then make sure they get a good start.


Star of the East said...

You have fabulous flowers, your garden must be like a little piece of heaven!

demandablog said...

So pretty! How sad that summer is ending!

nina kuriloff said...

very lovely pics of flowers!

my fav is the photograph of petunias!

Brenda (Prairie Daisy Handspun) said...

They are all gorgeous! You must take better care of your flowers than I do...mine start looking kind of puny by the end of the summer!

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