Tuesday, July 2, 2013

It's Like A Heatwave!

If YOU'VE WATCHED THE NEWS the last few days, you know that the western half of the U. S. is in the throes of a monstrous heatwave. It's a little cooler right now because it's 9:30 at night. 

The thermometer in my shady pavilion. Argh! 

Are you one of those gardeners who likes to try at least one (or ten) new plants each year? What am I saying? Of course you are. It's one of the highlights of gardening, right? Anyway, one of this year's newbies for me actually began when I saw it in bloom at a nursery a few years ago. It wasn't for sale, just off in one corner looking pretty. I didn't give it much thought at first but you know how something just plants (pun intended) itself in your head and won't leave? Well this, my friends is what Impatiens glandulifera did for me. It's a rare plant, at least in my world and I wasn't even sure what it was called so how was I to investigate? But then last summer while I was at a park in Salem I spotted it growing! 

Impatiens glandulifera or "Ornamental Jewelweed"  

I collected seed and tossed it in my purse and hoped I could get it to germinate. Meanwhile my four-hundred or so Impatiens balfouri plants continued to scatter their seed all over the garden. Nice, but you know how it is when you want what you don't have. Human nature is such a silly thing.

Impatiens balfouri or "Poor Man's Orchid" nice but I want more. 

And I continued my infatuation with this lovely specimen from Fry Road Nursery.

Impatiens auricoma I think. Nice but not enough.

In April it became apparent that my collected seed was not going to germinate so I got on the horn which is code for Internet and started searching for seed, eventually finding a source and buying and waiting. Three packets of trial and error has netted me a total of seven plants. And below is a photo of the first bud just about to burst. 

Look closely at the pre-born flowers. 

Impatiens glandulifera can get quite tall, up to six and a half feet. I like tall plants. And now that the weather has warmed (understatement) the plants are growing at least a few inches every day. Below are a two photos. 

There are naysayers out there who will probably scorn me for growing species Impatiens because "it's a noxious weed" but that's a bunch of hooey. I'm too anal and OCD to let plants get the upper hand in my garden. And besides, plants that I really, really like don't grow like gang busters. They die. Or they die off. I grow Lythrum (Purple Loosestrife) and Buddleia (Butterfly Bush) but they aren't escaping all over the place. But my neighbor's bamboo has no problem crossing into my garden. Okay I'm stepping down from my soapbox now.  I just wanted to share my exciting Impatiens news. 

Echinacea 'Pow Wow Wildberry' is another happy camper.

Another photo of my pink California poppies.
The bees aren't the only ones who love them. 

Home Depot a few weeks ago I found this really cool Agastache.
One gallon for $4.99. My camera doesn't do it justice.
The flowers are a deep red and gorgeous next to the catmint.

This spring, I bought Saponaria 'Max Frei' from Digging Dog Nursery. It's blooming and lovely.

Although I'm not a fan of yellow,  I'm loving my Spigelia. Very cool blossoms. 

 In the foliage department, check out the leaves on my Artichoke plant.

A four-inch plant in April, look how big it's gotten. 

I also bought a Kale lacinato. It's over three feet tall.
So cool looking, don't you think? That is, once I put down slug bait.

My Acanthus mollis looks better than ever. Too much shade for a bloom but who cares? 

Digging Dog also offered Scutellaria suffrutescens 'Texas Rose', a plant I've wanted, like, for-ev-er! It' just started blooming. I'm so NOT disappointed!  

The entire plant is no more than a six-inch round ball but it's so cool. 
Finally I thought I'd share a photo of a visitor to the neighborhood. I photographed he and his brother from my car as I got home from work one evening. Fortunately they can't venture into my backyard. 

If you look closely you can see antler buds. Handsome fellow, isn't he? 

If you feel so inclined please visit my Pinterest page for lots of cool photos of species Impatiens. You might get hooked too. Then we really will have a noxious weed on our hands. But at least it will be pretty. 

Stay cool everybody. Love to you all, 


  1. WOW! Those plants are beautiful! I never saw any of those before. I also love agastaches. We have a couple of different ones. Ava and the other ones name excapes me right now. We try new plants each year. We do push the zones a lot and haven't had to many problems. This winter was very hard on plants this year though and we lost more then usual. About a 8 or 9. We thought we lost more, but with the goofy spring we had some were just late. WHEW! I love looking at your pictures. So Pretty.

  2. Grace,
    I love Impatiens and every fall collect its seeds. This spring when I saw my flowers were terrible I threw the Impatiens auricoma seed everywhere! And now do not know where to re-plants them to.
    Impatiens are very nice flowers.
    Have a nice week!

  3. I seldom get up close and personal with annuals. I'm just not a disciplined enough gardener to maintain them properly. I DO however enjoy seeing them on OTHER peoples' properties -- and you have some beauties, Grace!

    It's been cool here. And rainy. As in EVERY DAY rain. It doesn't dry up enough for us to weed or mow. While I usually associate heat with the 4th, my husband recalls a 4th of July from over 10 years ago when it was 30 degrees.

  4. Did you sow those seeds directly in the ground, or transplant them? I don't have the best of luck sometimes with seeds- all the poppies that I threw out there this year were no shows. Does your new impatiens want shade or sun?
    I am sure looking forward to a little cooler weather coming up. These mid 90's are WAY too hot.

  5. I always love visiting your blog and seeing your beautiful flowers. We're too dry now for anything to be pretty, although the day lilies are trying.

  6. Dear Grace,...I love all of your plants and love impatiens but today I am smitten with you kale...wow wow...what a handsome plant : )
    Happy Fourth to you tomorrow and stay cool..xx

  7. Oh, I love the Scutellaria! Are you close enough to Digging Dog to visit, or did you buy it mail order? I won't lecture you on the Impatiens, but I do know at least one person who has regretted ever planting it. I have an Echinacea Pow Wow Wild Berry, but it has declined every year since I bought it. Maybe I just need to try a different spot. Great shot of the young buck!

    Stay cool, if you can!

  8. Pretty much in love with all your plants - some we cant grow here in the Northeast. But I'm intrigues with the Impatiens. For two years there is a battle with a virus and the impatiens just mold and die. All of them! So I hope they come up with some new varieties. We have jewelweed growing wild near the woods which deer adore, but it bears no resemblance to your beauties!

  9. WOW, we've been having some hot days AND nights, haven't we? Thankfully, it feels and looks like it may be a bit cooler. YIPPEE!

    You have wowed me with your noxious impatiens, and now I want some IF they thrive in the shade or semi-shade. That's all I've got -- shade or semi-shade. Tell me they will, please!

  10. Nice to see your persistence paying off...and a good description of the acquisitive affliction to strike most gardeners.
    One thing about a heat wave: when it cools down to the 80's it feels downright pleasant.

  11. Grace, you give me smiles and laughs...I love your brand of humor :) And go for what YOU want, that's important for gardening happiness:) You probably know I've been trying to plant more natives, and remove invasives, etc...but I am behind you in what ever you want to do. It's your yard/gardens, so why not, if it makes you happy! I push the limits on zones and love to try new things...certainly not all natives. I can't even get some natives to grow here ;) So, I am just happy to see your gorgeous photos and beautiful garden again...glad to have stopped by for a blog visit...something I have been remiss with! I'm sorry I've been a blogging stranger. I haven't been making blog-rounds in months (years) like I used to. I've waxed and waned in that department :( Glad you're still out there so I can visit when time permits! ((I may copy & paste that last paragraph so I can attach it to all my old friends' blog posts when I make the rounds!!) LOL.

  12. I feel fortunate that it's a little cooler here in Puget Sound! Your plants look gorgeous and seem to like the hot weather.

    Impatiens glandulifera, aka the impatiens from hell is beautiful. I pull thousands of them up every year but will never totally eradicate them because they are so pretty and the bumble bees look funny crawling inside of them and having to back out. I think that the seeds can live in the soil for quite some time so even if I get over zealous, there'll always be more plants the next season.

  13. Hey Gracie girl VERY nice!
    Especially the visitors : )
    I have tried a few new things myself.
    Change is good for you right ??
    I have to brain wash myself to roll out of bed by at least 6 if not earlier and do a deep watering .. the garden really needs a goo long soak!
    BIG sigh !
    Happy 4th of July !!
    Joy : )

  14. The "poor man's orchid" is what I've always called Wild Impatiens. I have it, too, and it lives up to its wild name. That sucker reseeds like a maniac. But I can't imagine my yard without it. It's just starting to bloom. I figure, it's easy to pull, so why not let it do its thing.

    All your pictures are so pretty. I'm glad it has cooled down a bit the last couple days. My water bill is happy, too.

  15. Love all the plants and especially the deer photo. That thermometer reads like the one out on our deck...WAY too hot in Texas for comfort for either me or my plants.

  16. As always your garden is lush and gorgeous in foliage and flower Grace! How lucky that deer cannot breach your backyard...I have to be careful with anything that could be invasive...buddleias had to be ripped out as they were seeding all over the garden and area thanks to birds and pollinators...for me I sometimes think I can get a handle on things and then nature takes over. I even still get seeds that pop up and the buddleias keep going...

  17. oooh, I love those pink California poppies - those are so pretty! These days, I see deer and all I think are "nuisance" and "ticks". But yes, he's pretty and the antler buds are really cool. i'll give you that.


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