This Week in the Garden

Today is the last full day of spring. Thanks to mild weather and abundant rain, new arrivals to the garden are well-established and off to a good start. So far, so good.

Eye-catching color combos fill the back border this year. Whether “eye-catching” is a good or bad thing depends on your point of view. Grouping varieties together for larger color blocks seems to make vibrant clashes work.

Above, magenta Wave petunias, electric-orange sun-patiens, and several varieties of coleus are grouped together. The broad-leaved seedlings in the picture above are zinnias. I planted seed for those between the sun-patiens and coleus. The rest are volunteers from last year’s zinnias.

Controlling color is next to impossible with annuals. The bottom-most New Guinea impatiens (above) is a different color than the rest. Genetic oddities — aka “sports” — are fairly common. Sports may be taller, shorter, or otherwise different from its identical siblings. Sometimes, the variation enhances the value of the plant in the garden. Sometimes not.

Cherokee Purple is a beefsteak type tomato with fruit weighing nearly a pound. They’re absolutely my favorite tomato. Two of my four tomato plants are Cherokee Purple, including one more than three-feet tall and covered with tiny purple fruit. There are so many, however, I suspect a sport with smaller tomatoes. Time will tell.

Vinca (aka periwinkle) is a popular, easy-to-grow bedding plant with white or pink flowers, often with red centers. I’m not sure if it’s a sport, but the variety pictured below with smaller flowers on bushier plants was available at garden centers this spring. I’m curious to see how they do.

Nothing in the garden ever turns out the way I imagined. More often than not, reality exceeds my expectations. We’ll see what happens this year.

Thanks for stopping by. See you next week for another update. Stay safe!