Sunday, January 20, 2008

Impatiens Galore!

Okay, maybe I am s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g things a bit to be talking about impatiens in the wintertime. But I thought a breath of summer might be just the thing to cheer ME up. It is VERY cold here in Tennessee with the blast of Arctic air that has come our way from the north. I am not sure about anyone else, but I am just not used to this cold. I don't plan to work in the garden but I will still walk through with lots of coats on.

I love impatiens and can't have enough of them, though this past summer they were not good plants for me. You will notice this picture was taken in 2005. I have not had such a grand display since, nor will I ever again. I just refuse to water them enough each year to keep them looking good. There is also another reason-volunteers.

Impatiens CAN self seed. I did not know this my first year planting them here in Tennessee. Imagine my surprise when little seedlings began appearing in very odd places. I just love the effect of volunteers but I must say, volunteers have a tendency to mess up nicely laid out color plans such as is displayed in this picture. I did a red and white color scheme this particular year. A pink or purple or even a red and white striped volunteer impatien popping up amongst this planting would ruin the effect. Don't you think?

Now, my gardening has fortunately taken a kind of hands off approach. I want to let things grow where they will in whatever color they choose. I guess you would call it the cottage style of gardening, everything mixed together getting along with one another. Kind of like I wish humankind could live. Now, I sometimes have impatiens pop up in this garden and they are sometimes red or white, more often pink or purple or red and white striped.

If you want to be sure of having impatiens come back in your garden, plants some plants in a moist area such as around your air conditioning unit or heat pump where the condensation will overflow into the garden. This is where I always have volunteers show up each spring, and I never have to water them! Color schemes optional here.

in the garden....freezing.


  1. Great impatiens! We have had such warm weather (a lot of days have been warmer than you guys down south) but it is over. Back to Maine weather. Our warm spell has broken all kinds of records. Hope we don't break any with our cold spell. Right now it is 12 degrees and cloudy. Glad I don't have to go out.

  2. Yikes, it is freezing cold here. The warm friendly flower picture gives us something to look forward too --soon I hope!!!

  3. Very, very cold this morning. It's good to have something warm to look at!

  4. I planted the most beautiful Impatiens under the oak tree in the back yard planter. Boy was that a hot summer of constant watering! Since then put Monkey Grass in the planter. It does not require the water as the Impatiens but the Impatiens were really beautiful and I have missed them there ever since....

    Tina, what other flower gives a constant bloom in the shade that does not require much water??? I love the Periwinkle (Vinca) as is it similar but does not require much water but likes the sun instead….

    Rain has dried up and sun is out today! Yeah, in the 40s and windy though. Burrrr for you guys as it looks like a really cold one in TN today....

  5. Hey guys,
    Glad I could brighten the day. It is cold...brrr. But tomorrow it is supposed to warm up. I will be working in the garden or on garden projects. The cold weather moved to Maine and further points north.:) Don't fear, spring is near.

    I looked in my southern living book which has a bunch of lists for a flower which blooms non-stop in the shade with little water. Something like begonias or impatiens we will not have success with, but there are a few that can work.

    I had luck with corydalis lutea for several years. I hope it returns this year but am not hopeful as the drought may have finally got it. It blooms non stop small tubular yellow flowers from april-october. I loved it! It can self seed which was even better. The foliage is a gray green, ferny like and low growing. It was a wonder plant. If you can find it, buy it. Well worth it.

    Another flower for shade not needed too much additional water is Flowering Tobacco, nicotiana sylvestis or alata. I love this stuff. Very easy to grow from seed and usually comes back for me each year though it is a tender perennial. It would do great in Georgia and I think I may have given you some seeds. If not, I have plenty more as i collect them each year.

    If flowers are not necessary, you can't beat coleus or caladiums for the shade. I have found they are not too water needy and give and give. Sometimes foliage is best. It is hard in shade because oftentimes shade is dry, though your area might be a little more moist.

    I tried to give ideas for continual color without going into all the plants which are great for shade. Too many to list, but they don't usually bloom non stop like impatiens and begonias. Sigh. Gotta install irrigation or go without.

    GREAT NEWS! Computer is back up! Mr. Fix it finally got the reformat discs to work! The HP i have is awful-i had to make my own system recovery discs (cheap on HP's part) and then they have a hard time working! Anyhow, computer is reformatted AND he saved all of my favorites, money and files! It is so hard starting from scratch each time and I hope I am set for awhile now.

  6. Tina, Some good information for me also. I have a shade area that I am trying to develope. So far I have fern, hosta and astilbe. I may have lost the astilbe last year with the dry weather. I just asked my husband this morning if he still has plans to install me an irrigation system in my side flower gardens. He said yes, we'll see.

    I have seed for the nicotiana in lime green and mixed, that I ordered from a heirloom seed company. I just reviewed the catalog and there was no mention of it being either for shade or sun, I just took for granted that it would be a sun plant. So now I have something else for the shade area. I will look for the corydalis lutea. Thanks again.

    Glad your computer problems are resolved, it can be terribly fustrating.

  7. Dawn has not been on yet. She should be on to say "Go Pats"! Game over and guess who won. Was there ever a question about it? The PATS!!!! woohoo!!!

    Going thru some catalogues again. In "The Popcorn Factory" catalouge they have ....are you ready for this? WHOOPIE PIES. They describe them as follows...."This treat's name truly reflects the feeling one gets while enjoying it. One bite of these baked chocolate cakes with sweet pink filling and they'll be whoopin' it up from the highest mountain." You can buy 12 for $34.99. Just imagine. You can make probably 200 at least for that and they would be homemade and much, much better. Thought that was funny so had to pass it on.

    Also Skeeter another birch item....a shelf at item#wa-91/2200

  8. Hi Nina and Mom,
    The nicotiana is a good plant for either part sun or shade. I have them in both, but mostly shade. There will be more flowers in sun but full sun would not be a good thing for them. I have tons of seeds and will bring them to Front Page Deli to give to you all too. I love starting these seeds. They are itsy bitsy. Just sprinkle them on the seed flat and every single one will germinate. Don't cover, they need light to germinate. It is amazing. They are extremely easy to pull out and move into another cell so don't worry about that. They are great to have. Bloom pretty much non stop and fragrant at night. Hornworms can sometimes be a problem but I just handpick them and plop them into a bucket of soapy water. Mine come back each year though they are not supposed to. I guess they are somewhat protected and all those leaves can't hurt either. It is best to mass them. The leaves stay in a low rosette and the stem grows to 2-3 feet. I have not had much luck with colored ones and use only the white.

    Mom, Dawn has been getting on late recently. She will come on later and I am sure she will be happy. Did you hear about the girl in Indiana who I think was a gymnast who got an award? She wore a Pats shirt and was booed by the audience. She was supposed to be the honorary team captain at today's game, courtesy of the pats. Of course you know the colts are out so the hoosiers are not happy. Rog is ecstatic, he hates indiana. Don't know why because I really like it.

    Mondays are a good day for me. We can do lunch on a Monday sometime if everyone else is good with that. I am trying to see when Skeeter is next coming up. Unfortunately, mom and Dawn won't be here but we local gals can get together. If Skeeter is coming up soon, all the better. It will be nice to meet face to face-you all might not want to come back though-I warn you! Just kidding. And anyone else who wants to read and who doesn't comment is welcomed to come too. I want to make sure everyone understands who reads this is open to you all. Some of my garden club friends? Geri? Esther?

  9. A Monday would be o.k for me. Sorry Dawn and Jean aren't close enough to join us. I believe Jean you and I have a lot in common.(in addition to having this computer thing down pat) I notice you enjoy your catalogs, you wouldn't believe the catalogs that I receive. I do a lot of on line shopping, find it easier than mall shopping!

    Tina I found the corydalis at Forest Farms, but the shipping was $12, so chose not to order it.

  10. Hi Guys, working on the house til breaktime, today was early cause of football. Mom, ya beat me to it again, this game was tough don't you think? Interception for Brady at the endzone!!!Boy! There was some sputtering here. Watching Eli now, don"t care for the Packers so I hope he makes it.
    Johnny jump ups do well with reseeding up here, they don't have continous blooms but are cute when they flower.

  11. Nina I do most all of my shopping on line. I do go to the grocery store but about all there is now days is those darn big box stores and they are just too much for me as you all know from my trip to the city this past Thursday. They kill me and I used to LOVE to shop.

    For once I will be wishing I was down there when you guys all meet but I will be down next winter and meet you all then. And then again if my granddaughter happens to get married I will be down sooner.

    Glad your computer is fixed Tina.

    No I did not hear about the girl from Indiana. That is terrible. I had the game on to keep track of it but tv was on mute as I was listening to cd's. You should know I do not watch football. Only baseball and basketball. But I do follow the Pats, just do not watch except playoff games. Even then I do not very often have the sound on. I know, I know, I am a nut case. I am just not a football fan.

    Dave was on this morning.

  12. Okay, I run to town for a few hours and miss all the chit chat... Ha ha... Saint was finally feeling well enough to get out of the house. Okay, well, I made him get out of the house. He was getting to use to being sick and getting a bit to use to the couch and TV so time for me to make a stand and force him out into the world... We snapped pictures of the Murdered Myrtles for Tina. I sent them so you should have them on your repaired computer! Yeah for the good job Mr. Fix it! Thanks for the info on the shade plants
    Tina. I wrote that down so I would not forget…. The corydalis lutea sounds like the perfect size as I want to put it behind the Monkey grass…. What is the common name in case I cannot find it in the Latin form???

    Nina, when hubby gets the irrigation system installed, send him on down to install one for me then I dont have to plant only drought tolerant things in the garden!

    Sorry I will probably miss out on the first meeting with y’all as it will probably be a while before we get back up there again. We are planning a VA visit with the Saints parents some time in Feb if all goes well. Yes, I know they were just here but we really did not spend much time with them but the dog instead, they just kind of were passing through... Must keep the peace in the family and we got to TN way more then VA in the Fall so we owe VA a visit first....

    Okay, half time is over, I need to get back and see if Eli and his Giants had a good pep talk during half time...

    Nina you like baseball??? Guess what my claim to fame is??? I was the first girl to officially play baseball in Clarksville and the second in the state of TN back in 1974 ….

  13. I watched the girl from Indiana on GMA this week, thought it was decent for the pats to invite her to the playoffs, she is only 14 and won new englands punt, pass, and kick, I think, thought she was from strattam NH. Booed by the colts for wearing a pats jersey. It did not bother her but she took offense when one of the news casters asked her what it would be like standing next to a ugly guy! (brady) Looks very close for Eli, I do want him to win, he's working hard. Very, very cold for them.

  14. OMG sudden death in overtime and the Giants get a field goal after missing 2. Eli and Brady for the superbowl 42, shoud be interesting.....

  15. I love Johnny jump ups and they come back every year-in the weirdest places! Glad you mentioned them Dawn with peaches.

    Skeeter, I would not plant the corydalis lutea behind monkey grass. You can, but the monkey grass is going to be much taller. The corydalis only grows to about 4inches (at least in my garden). But it is ever so sweet and if mine doesn't come back I will be buying more-hard to find. I don't know a common name for it.

    Dawn, wasn't that girl tough and cute? She was so sweet on GMA and quite self assured and poised. I didn't know if you all would see her on the game or not. Mr. fix it watched it but I went to bed. He wanted Green Bay...oh well.

  16. Shoot Tina, I thought they would work behind the Monkey Grass....

    Oh well, may just let the Monkey grass fill in on its own. There is just a bare spot from the grass to the tree trunk and I wanted to put something there with a bit of color as I miss the Impatiens...

  17. Jean, the shelf at Terrys village was really neat....

  18. Skeeter, I don't get into sports, I can't sit still long enough to watch much TV, too many things to get done! I do want to discuss your baseball "career" when we meet. You have my curiosity aroused. I'm sure you made the news, right?

  19. Picture in Leaf Chronicle and nice write up. I was shy and did not excel in the sport but like to think that I was an instrument in getting the rules changed so girls could play the sport....