Impatiens and Petunias in a clay pot

Impatiens and Petunias in a clay pot

April showers bring May flowers, and now’s the time to put in your blooming annuals. Every nursery, box retailer and even grocery store offers huge selections of annuals at this time of year. The hardest decision is choosing what plants to purchase.

Ask yourself a few questions:

      • Where will I plant these annuals: sun, shade, open flower beds, borders or containers?
      • Do I want low-maintenance plants that require little deadheading or am I willing to pinch off dead blossoms regularly?
      • Do I want to plant all one color or mix it up?
      • How tall do I want the plants to grow?
      • Is there a readily available water source nearby?

The answers to each of these questions will help save you money on the front end. You’ll determine how much area you have with full sun, and how much is full shade. Experienced gardeners know the saying “Right place, right plant,” and they take it seriously.

For instance, you want to plant impatiens because you like the colors and most of your planting area is in full sun. Impatiens don’t do well in full sun, unless they are the “New Guinea” variety that has darker and thicker foliage.

The lighter-colored leafed impatiens is perfect for shade, but they require regular watering. However, older varieties can be susceptible to downy mildew that spreads quickly. Pan-American Seeds has developed a new line of disease-resistant impatiens under the name Beacon.

Here’s another new plant that’s great for containers – E3 Easy Wave Spreading Petunias. Pan-Am developed the Wave-type plants, including Wave Petunias and Wave Pansies.

The guideline for planting beautiful containers is to use a thriller, a filler and a spiller. The thriller is the tall plant in the middle, the one that draws attention to the container. The filler is a medium-sized plant with a rounded growth habit that’s less tall than the thriller. The spiller – and this is where the Wave plants come in – trail over the edges of the pots.

Happy anniversary to Lanier Nursery

On Saturday, April 17th, Lanier Nursery and Gardens celebrated its third anniversary. Owner Nathan Wilson had a full day of events, including a question-and-answer session about plants, educational booths and other festivities. The nursery offers everything from trees and shrubs to annuals and perennials.

It’s located at 4195 Schubert Road in Flowery Branch. For more info:

Photo: Pamela A. Keene