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Garden Delights

A selection of thoughts and ramblings about life in the garden.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Best Grow Almost Anywhere Annual

And the winner is...

Summer Flowering Balsam.

And it does grow just about anywhere.

About all it requires is a decent amount of moisture and semi-good soil. And I'm not even sure if it requires that.

It's growing in the cracks at the bottom of the stairwell on the north side of my house.

I don't water the stairwell.

It hasn't rained much here this summer either.

I will admit that it does much better in some locations than others. It does not like the front yard for some reason. (I think it's the thirsty maple tree.) But when it finds a spot it likes...

It really likes it.

Summer flowering balsam is a member of the impatiens family. Like most of the impatiens, it likes water and doesn't mind shade. It also blooms profusely in late summer when much of the garden has kind of faded out. It can get quite tall, up to 3 feet in height, and it comes in a wide variety of colors. It comes in lots of hot pinks and bright shades of blue-lavender and corals, along with the paler pinks. There's even a variety with white spots on the flowers.

I'm not kidding.

Spots.

Once they have managed to bloom themselves out, or when the frost gets them, they can easily be pulled up to make room for something different.

It's one drawback (which might be a good thing for some people) also gives it another one of it's names: Touch-me-nots. It's seed pods explode, sending hundreds of small seeds everywhere. And if they like where they land, they will grow next spring.

Even if it's a crack in the sidewalk.

This does make it a bit of a pest if you have it in a mixed border. But the seedlings are easy to pull out. Just remove the ones that grow where you don't want them too.

Instant repeating color.

And the bees like them too.

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