Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Elusive Johnson's Blue Geranium and Purple Verbena

We went to the local garden nursery this last weekend in my last official search for Johnson's Blue geraniums. I'd decided if I didn't find the plant this time I wouldn't go back for a while as its been disappointing over the last two months with none in stock.

I looked over the geranium plants in the front of the nursery then went to the specialty plant area. They had two tiered wooden racks along with a rack of heather plants on sale which was a good one, but since we bought so many at the heather farm nearby I thought I'd wait until the heather farm's sale in October. I started looking at the top shelf of plants and the other shelf behind me. I happened to look back at the first rack and noticed plants on the bottom shelf and there they were...they actually had Johnson's Blue geraniums! Finally...success! My husband suggested I grab two plants which I did quickly. The next time we go to the nursery if there are any left (which I doubt there will be) I will grab another geranium! Why these specialty plants were hidden on the lower shelf area I have no idea. I know many other people were asking about these plants because the main nursery guy went on about it when I asked him saying he was going to order a huge amount because so many people were asking about it. Well, there were about eight plants left (if that) so I don't think this happened unless they sold out with the new plants in one day's time. I also decided to buy a six pack of verbena in a dark reddish purple color to try out. I've planted verbena once before in Petaluma but they did not do well. We'll see how it goes this time. No Penstemons in yet however, I'm hoping they come in soon for summer planting for my sunny front yard.

I planted my two Johnson's Blue geranium in the front yard, one in the corner next to the pink jasmine plant to fill in the empty space near the porch area. The other was planted with my fuchsias in the backdrop bed of the weeping cherry tree on the other side of the porch. I know I could find a number of other places to plant the Johnson's Blue geraniums in the front yard. We'll see if there are any left on the next nursery visit. I planned on planting the verbena with my pink carnations in the large terracotta pots on the deck but the carnation roots were so solid in the pot I decided this would not work. Too bad, I think the colors would have married well together. I planted three of the six plants in a smaller terracotta pot on top of a tall wooden log on the back yard deck near the hot tub. My small pink orchid is in a blue pot next to the terracotta pot on the wooden log. The colors should go well together, a nice companion pot for the orchid. The other verbena ended up planted under the azaleas and near the primroses next to the large fern and calla lilies located behind the back yard gate. The transplanted violets are growing well in this section as well. I will have to dig up more violets to add in to other shady areas of the yard.

I feel pleased to have finally found the elusive Johnson's Blue geranium at the nursery and planted them in our sunny front yard. The blue flower color is very striking, I can't wait to see the plant grow to its full size and covered in violet blue flowers!

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