Saturday, February 09, 2008

Petunias Wave Hello Again

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Difficult for me to believe that I've been up since 4:30, it's now almost 11 AM and I'm still feeling behind in my schedule for today. Weekends here at Vermont Flower Farm are busy no matter now deep the snow is. I'm feeling a little better today but this cold virus that finally caught up with me seems to take a lot of energy with it. Hopefully in a couple more days I'll be back in shape.

I finally got to the second set of bird feeders this morning, half shoveling, half wading through the snow. I put fresh suet out and got the feeders filled save for the thistle feeder. I don't have to fill that one as often and can't recall where I left the bag of seed. The deep snows have forced scores of new birds here and they clean out everything in little more than a day. If you know what it costs for bird seed now, you have a good grasp of how much I enjoy the wild birds.

Yesterday I finished up a post on Wave Petunias but it appeared before the one named Feathered Flyers. That's because I started the petunia thoughts a few days back and never remembered where I left off until yesterday. Go back to that if you aren't on the email subscriber list as you probably haven't read it yet.

My point today is just to show what you can do with the Wave Petunias which are offered from Ball Horticultural Company. That's the company that produces the seed for these petunias no matter where you live or where you buy your plants. All these pictures enlarge with a simple "click". All the pictures are made available from Ball for promotion of their products. The pictures have been taken at various trial and display gardens they are affiliated with.

Planting the displays you see pictured here are slightly more difficult when you move into zones four or three because it's colder in the spring and it takes longer to get the plants well established. Some people try to purchase advanced packs and slightly over plant their containers or gardens to get them to fill in more quickly. It's actually a better approach than to try to add extra fertilizer and then end up with leggy plants that do not stand up well.

Because these petunias self prune, they flower all summer and will bring you lots of compliments. Planted within your gardens they spread nicely and draw quick attention to parts of your garden you wish to highlight. As you work you way through these pictures you'll notice

how easy it is to create dramatic compositions with annuals of different heights and textures. Perennials such as echinacea, helenium, or rudbeckia can serve as good back drops as can hollyhocks or any of the acteas.
We have seen an interest in dark black and brown foliages in recent years and that stark contrast as in the previous picture make the petunias stand out. You could accomplish the same thing with other annuals but petunias by the nature of their growth habit fill in quickly and are inexpensive.

Four blue jays are feeding outside my window right now but one new one is looking straight at me and shouting indeciferable jay language. I fear he is challenging my apparent laziness and that's enough for me. Back to the snow shovel for me!

From the mountain above Peacham Pond where the heavy snows of last Valentines Day can remain a memory that doesn't ever repeat itself as far as I am concerned.

Good catalog and magazine gardening today,

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm


Connie said...

Just beautiful!The Wave petunias are amazing.
My favorite (non-Wave) petunias are called "Celebrity Watercolors." I grow them from seed each year because they aren't available in garden centers.

George Africa said...

Hi Connie;

Thanks for writing. If I wasn't still working full time I would certainly get a greenhouse going here. If energy costs continue to rise I will probably install an outside wood furnace and then I will have no excuse not to have a greenhouse, start flowers and grow vegetables.

I don't know how deep the snow is out there in Idaho but it's deep enough here that as I snowshoes today I constantly reminded myself not to fall over.

The birds are coming to the feeders in greater abundance because the deep snow has limited the food supply. Like evrything else, that cost has risen but we really enjoy watching them during the winter.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener