The first week of August has already ended and the garden, while still blooming, has many flowers that look...a bit worse for wear. I usually always have to deadhead by the beginning of August. Molly, my beekeeping neighbor, asked why my yard waste cans were so full of flowers. "The bees need them!" But as I explained to her, I deadhead now to stimulate more blooms in the fall. Enter the annuals! This is the time of year they really shine...And that brings me to my favorite flower this time of year, impatiens.
Around here in the Northeast, this plant is a favorite annual. It's easy to grow (especially in shade) and blooms profusely in August and will continue to produce through the fall bloom burst.
I actually don't remember any of my three gardening grandparents using impatiens in their gardens when I was young. It really wasn't until the 1970s that Nana Betty began to incorporate them into her shade beds. I've since learned the reason for that. Throughout the early 20th century, impatiens were considered more a houseplant. It seemed to only be discussed as a garden plant in warm weather regions (like California and Florida).
But now they appear to be a staple...at least in the Northeast. I wondered what the story was behind the use of these plants. It turned out to be a rather surprising story. A botanist who worked in Costa Rica during World War 2, oversaw the plantations of a Cinchona, a plant used to extract quinine (and used to treat malaria). He became enamored of the flowers and I suggest you read the story here.
For now, the flower is making a fine showing in the garden...except the plants that the bunnies have eaten the blooms on.
The above flowers are what's left of the impatiens that were blooming around a hydrangea. Fortunately, the impatiens are a hardy plant in the summer and will eventually re-bloom.
No antique pattern featuring this flower could be found although there a few modern patterns available.
What is the show stopper in your garden right now? Please share your photos by emailing them to us via email@example.com.
Have a safe and happy day!