Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Plant Profile: Dragon Wing Begonia Red

I find this Begonia hybrida "Dragon Wing Red" to be one of the most underutilized annuals.You'd be hard pressed to find it at any old garden centre. Not sure why, as I am so pleased with its performance over the few years I've used it.

Here, I've placed only one plant (1 of 4 in a cell pack). It's now late August and it still flowers endlessly, providing great colour.

I don't dead-head. I water every 3 days or so. I fed the hanging planter twice (once at planting and once in July) with bone meal.

Flowers are simple, held in clusters.
Their glossy foliage is quite noticeable and stems are sturdy - it's a plant both useful in bedding situations or in hanging/planters.

I have some in full sun out front and in deep shade out back. It's a full light spectrum plant - which is rare when it comes to annuals.

No bugs seem to bother it; it tolerates drying out occasionally, and it continues to flower with no effort on my behalf.

Try it yourself!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Rudbeckia hirta 'Indian Summer'

Lovely sunsets, cooler evenings and Black Eyed Susan's are some of my fondest delights of summer.

Rudbeckia flowers hold a special spot in my heart. There are several cultivars, but my favourite has to be one from the hirta series. Rudbeckia hirta 'Indian Summer'.

Here, the flowers in my garden stand out like nothing else -  to bid me good morning each time I peak outside while I eat my breakfast. 

Flowers span out to 4 inches, once completely unfurled.

This is the 2nd year for my Indian Summer plants, and each have about 8-10 flowers.  I'm sure I would have more if it were not for my dense shade. They stand about 20 inches and just perform with ease, even in low light conditions.

Here in zone 5b, they are treated as a biennial, although, I've seen the same plants last 3-4 years. Self seeding year after year, offering seedlings in case the parent plant dies off.

Even when flowers unfurl, the range of colour is just amazing.
Look for them both in the perennial and annual sections of your local garden centre (they can be sold as an annual bedding plant). Or try them from seed. They are wonderful!

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Late Season: Perennial Planter

August arrives and my perennial planter has now taken on a new phase of colour:

The Rudbeckia  fulgida 'Goldsturm' has kicked into flower and has masked the dried Astilbe flowers in the background.

Planter in May

Planter in early July

Planter in Early August
I just love how each month, this container gives some other form of colour and texture. The fact that only 3 annual plants were purchased and the rest were taken from the garden...makes me love it more!
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