Blighted Impatiens, Dead Wheelbarrows, and Partridge Peas
So here is a bit of garden miscellany for today. Those of you who grumble that I never show the seamy underside of my garden should appreciate this post.
First off, I have been blithely ignoring the Heartbreak of Impatiens Blight ever since news of this scourge spread to these parts. And for years, everything was fine. I thought the Impatiens (Impatiens walleriana) and I could lead a charmed life, safe from the devastation around us.
Oh, what fools we were. In any case, the blight found us, as I knew it would eventually. For the foreseeable future, it’s no more Impatiens (or Busy Lizzies, if you prefer) for me.
Plants that I have found to be acceptable substitutes include Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima), Annual Lobelia (Lobelia erinus), New Guinea Impatiens (I. hawkeri), Bacopa (Sutera cordata), and Parsley (Petroselinum crispum).
Another sad development is the recent demise of our wheelbarrow planter. This is a rusted out wheelbarrow inherited from the last owners of the house. I’ve been using it as a planter for years and years. Finally, though, I recognized that there were too many holes eaten through the bottom. It was bound to happen eventually.
Now we have to think about what to get as a replacement (or if there should be any replacement at all). I like the idea of looking at yard sales for a little red wagon like my kids used to have. A bit shallow for a planter, perhaps, but maybe not. Judy’s been thinking of an urn of some kind, but that seems too formal for our garden.
Finally, on a more positive note, I’m glad to say that at least a few of the Partridge Pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata) seeds that I planted last fall have germinated and are now flowering. Partridge Pea is a native self-sowing annual. They’re also a host plant for a number of Sulphur Butterfly species.
I suspect that the Partridge Peas are going to need some help if they are to make a place for themselves in the Parkway Bed where they have been sown. They share the beds with a number of very aggressive neighbors, including several Viola and Rudbeckia species. Most likely I will have to keep sowing them every fall and also remove some of the larger competing plants.
That’s all for now.