Fear of commitment has kept me from planting anything permanent in my garden. I have too many favorites and too little space. Before this year’s winter garden, nothing planted in the past seven years was suppoed to survive a hard freeze.
Sticking to tender plants means starting over every year. Mostly. Some selections turned out to be hardier than expected. A few varieties return from seed every year too. Everything else is a carefully selected impulse purhcases from nearby garden centers made over several months early in the season.
This time of year, I pop in every few days in search of new additions. Stock at popular garden centers turns over fast. I picked up some gorgeous red cyclamens a few weeks ago. The next day I went back for more and they were gone — along with almost everything else I’d seen the day before.
Bedding plants are big favorites — especially in mass plantings. I look for good deals on healthy plants that will thrive where I intend to plant them. The younger the plants are, the better. Even a few days in a six-pack can permanently stunt growth.
Experience helps. Over the years, I’ve at least tried to grow just about everything. Rarely do I shop for a particular plant. I’m far more likely to look for something that will thrive in a specific part of the garden.
Three of my favorites dominate the early spring garden this year: snapdragons, pansies, and petunias. Only the snapdragons are likely to make it through June. Pansies can’t take the heat. There are heat-loving petunias, but the varieites I’ve planted will peter out in June.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be looking for heat-loving varieties to take their place. Come July, the garden will look completely different than now. You know I’ll keep you posted.