This week's Gardening 101 is about changing out your summer annuals with cool-season annuals. It requires a good stomach, because if you want to maximize your fall color you have to get your plants put in during early fall. This is BEFORE your summer annuals start to fade. And this year, the gut-wrenching process of pulling out perfectly good (and expensive) flowers was made even harder.
If you were like me, you watched your warm-season annuals suffer under the heat and drought of summer. Other than a small area of vinca, my flowers hardly displayed any color. Until of course the huge rain fell in the third week of August. After limping along all season, my flower beds suddenly sprung to life. I was back to being a brilliant gardener (joking here).
So, after waiting ALL SUMMER to finally get my color on… well… now out they have to go because I need that space. Cruel on so many levels.
Anyways, the story is out of Calloway's flagship store on Hulen Drive in Fort Worth. I talked with Calloway's Marketing Director Jennifer Hataski about some easy choices for Fall planting: mums, snap dragons and pansies. All three come in such a wide array of colors (and Mums in different sizes and different bloom peaks) that you can easily replace the visual work that the summer flowers were doing.
And a quick note about pansies: I didn't realize until Jennifer told me that they came in two different faces - blotched or clear. Now I can't un-see it. Every time now I look at a bed of pansies, I notice how the two different kinds produce two different visual effects. Let me know if you notice that as well.
And two winters ago, when the temperature in my front yard go down to -2°F? My pansies had 5" of snow over them. The snow melted and a week later we were the 80s. And my pansies were in full bloom.
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