Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sweet Peas, Penstemon, Godetia and Fuchsias for Summer

This past weekend we went to the local garden center. It has been a number of weeks since I've visited the garden center so I stocked up on some plants for summer. I have been wanting some sweet peas to grow up the metal obelisk in the back yard. For the first two summers I grew sweet peas from seed for the obelisk and saved seed from the plant. I was unlucky that the seed I planted from the last flowering did not come up this summer so I decided to buy a small six pack of multi colored sweet peas already started. I planted some of the sweet peas at the base of the obelisk after getting back from the garden center. I have a few more sweet pea starters to plant out. I'm thinking of planting them in the front yard at the base of the clematis so the sweet peas can crawl up the scrolled metal trellis the clematis lives on. Since the clematis is done flowering for this year it might be a good use for the trellis and brighten the corner near the stairway.

I saw a six pack of mixed color godetia in the annuals section and got one to plant in the back yard planter. I have had godetia growing in the planter for two summers now and they flower beautifully, filling the planter with color along with the dianthus and fuchsias growing there. I'm working on filling out the long planter with perennials but in the meantime the godetia fills the spaces left from bulbs in spring. I planted the godetias in the planter yesterday afternoon and look forward to the generous number of flowers they produce during the summer months.

I spotted small two inch fuchsia pots for sale at a low price so I nabbed three of them to add to my fuchsia baskets that surround the covered hot tub area on our back deck. I have two fuchsias I grew from cuttings last summer as well. I plan on planting up a second fuchsia in each of my five hanging baskets to add to the number of flowers for the summer baskets. I will probably mix colors of fuchsias since these are different varieties than the original plants I planted in the baskets. I purchased a double fuchsia with white petals and pink sepals (my first double fuchsia) that I will add to the white fuchsia I have; a fuchsia with pink petals and lavender sepals; and a two toned pink fuchsia with light pink petals and darker pink sepals. The baskets also contain a dark blue lobelia that cascades over the edge of the baskets. I'm guessing three fuchsia plants per basket would be ideal but for now I'll go with two fuchsias per basket and see how full the flowering goes this summer before adding more fuchsias to the baskets.

The last plant I purchased is a garnet penstemon. This perennial is really beautiful in the garden. I had the garnet penstemon in my Petaluma back yard as well as a deep purple penstemon plant, both flowered throughout the summer months and put on a great display. I have an area in the sun against the front yard fence adjacent to the fuchsia colored rhododendron that would work well for this colorful penstemon. This area is not the easiest one to get a plant established in so I'm hoping a hardy penstemon will work well for this spot. I plan to plant up the fuchsia baskets, remaining sweet peas and garnet penstemon over the coming weekend.

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