May 16, 2011

Fiesta Bed Gets More Tropicals

You don't think of petunias as tropical plants, but they are of South American origin. Some of the old 'wild' petunias that Mama called 'washpot petunias' have appeared beside the carport for the first time in years. Some are splotched, some are solid white. They appear, disappear and reappear over the years since the early 1980s. They have a larger bloom than the little 'Laura Bush' petunia that is my fav.

What I planted in the Fiesta Bed was more 'Laura Bush' petunias. They reseed diligently in the Ruins beds near the side door and tend to smell like a wet dog when it rains. I had moved those above to the far front bed that I call the 'south rock bed' and now some to Fiesta. 'Laura Bush' petunias generally reseed true to color. If a pale one shows up, I pull it to keep the color pure. You either like magenta petunias or not. They front a bed that has mostly blue and purple flowers except for the Tithonia that reseeded there.

I transplanted half a dozen Candlesticks  Cassia alata, grouping 3 each between two Loropetalum in the Fiesta bed. Between those I put 3 Purple Swirl Daturas. All these are small plantss from seed. A Purple Alternanthera had planted itself in the flat with the others, so I tranplanted it with the others as well as the last Pride of Barbados. The other Caesalpinia pulcherrima seedling died before it got big enough to transplant. The links go to pictures of prior years' plants in bloom here.

A little yellow Sulphur butterfly was checking out the Cassia when it was hardly in the ground before I watered well and mulched. I hope there are enough to act as host plant and still grow tall and pretty to bloom in fall.

Esperanza in this bed is not yet blooming size, nor are Pride of Barbados plants which returned from the roots. I'm watching closely for buds. Tropicals return fairly well here but our freezes kill the top foliage to the ground, so summer blooms come later.

I meant to have a Red Bed, but it ended up with tropicalissmo colors: Purple, Magenta, Red, Yellow, Orange. In the hot sun of July, it looks appropriate and butterflies like it.

I had an area ready to plant some zinnia seeds saved from last summer. Buffy was helping and quicker than you can blink, dug a two-gallon hole. Sigh. We believe she really thinks she is helping.

Flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean blogged on Dotty Plants Journal in hot, humid Southwest Georgia.


Alison said...

Oh, I wish I could borrow Buffy to dig my holes for me. How does she do on rocky soil?

Your Petunias are very pretty. I used to want a red bed, but it is not an easy thing to pull off.

gld said...

You have a much gentler view of the dog holes than I!!! Mine digs bushel basket sized ones...12 at last count and I am not pleased.

I grew a mixed color petunia called Ky. Mix but I don't think it has returned this year. I am finally seeing a few seedlings of my old vining type one here and there.

I Blog Here & Here too