Gardening Diva

By on March 29, 2012
Gardening Diva
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Why Do We Garden?

By Frances Grossman

There are countless reasons that we can analyze andponder this wonderful question. Yet, the only reason that counts is because IT FEELS GREAT!

As the spring season is unfolding, I can not help but get excited. I’m energized, inspired and feeling the anticipation of what’s on the horizon. Last year was a ho-hum spring. We had it, lived through it and kept on going. I personally didn’t get a tremendous sense of satisfaction from the usual perky, delightful change in season. Fast forward a bit to this past winter…What a tease! The indoor months seemed long but things were incredibly mild for a Rochester winter. It seems to me that everyone I speak with these days is raring and ready to go for a new color-filled spring.

In the next couple of months I’m going to share some valuable new information with you. I thought it would be fun to reveal what I’ve learned from our greenhouse growers regarding the newest and best flower introductions for this year. I’ve been so excited to ‘sink my teeth’ into discovering what I’m going to grow this year. I’m looking for beautiful and easy plants that will make a big impact in my garden and containers. I believe I’ve found a few that exactly fit the bill and you are the first to know!

First, I’d like to introduce Silver Stream™ Lobularia is a dainty, yet mighty delight! This plant is in the alyssum family and shares the same crisp white blooms on vibrant green foliage. The little flowers resemble a white cloud of blooms at a glance and have a sweet honey fragrance. Bruce our grower calls this plant “well-behaved” I chuckled at first, but truly appreciate the sentiment as I learned how this variety is easy and quick to grow, forever blooming, loves the heat and looks equally fantastic planted in the garden or containers.

Next on the must have-list is Mercadonia ‘Gold Dust’. These sweet little yellow-ish gold blooms resemble the traditional buttercup flowers of our youth and offer a vibrant punch of color. This pretty plant is easy to grow, gorgeous as a training plant in your containers or window boxes and equally beautiful in the garden as great filler.

My third ‘shout out’ is a stellar plant with a new twist! 3D Osteospermum is a spectacular choice for planting now as this plant loves the cooler temperatures. This is among the top must-have plants for adding bright color to my spring garden. If you don’t mind a bit of dead-heading (the expired blooms), you’ll be rewarded by ongoing purple, pink, yellow and a unique white/blue blooms all season long. Osteospermums will continue blooming through several light frosts. There are two exciting new features to the new 3D variety. First, the flower head is much fuller – almost resembling a double bloom and second, unlike traditional Osteo’s, this new variety stays open, happily adorning your gardens, window boxes and containers around the clock.

My final plant feature is the essence of ease. Succulents are one of the hottest rising trends in gardening. There is so much that can be done with these plants. The textures and assortment of colors truly lend themselves to be a source of live decorating for the garden. As part of the cactus family, succulents need little care and LOVE the heat. Their root systems are shallow making it a snap to tuck these sassy little plants in a variety of nooks, crannies and planters. There is only one real problem that I have with succulents…It’s almost impossible to just stop at one or two or a basketful! The incredible variety of choices makes it extremely fun to shop for and garden with these plants.

Next month, I’ll be sharing what I’ve learned about edibles, another popular and oh so fruitful opportunity in gardening! In the mean time, I can’t wait to get my fingers back into the soil for my first round of spring gardening. It’s time to start doing more than remembering why I garden…It’s time to start feeling GREAT!

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