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By Debbie Anderson March 23, 2021 May 7th, 2021 No Comments

Color My World

By Meda Kessler
Photos by Meda Kessler

 There was a time when I was a plant snob when it came to my garden.

Geraniums? Never. Impatiens? Not interested. Begonias? Boring. To me, buying annuals meant having a landscape that looked like everyone else’s, never mind that many are easy to grow and offer instant impact.

African daisies (annual)

Begonias (annual)

So it was all native, all perennial, all the time. Or at least I tried. Occasionally, I’d succumb to a pansy plant sale by a friend’s kid who was trying to raise money for a school trip. I do like flowers more than chocolate bars or gift wrap.

But the pandemic changed all that. Suddenly, I craved color and lots of it. I kept this new passion a secret, as I only planted flowers in the backyard, my sole escape during the lockdown. I filled my raised beds with mounds of color. And I found ways to use annuals to complement the blackfoot daisy, yarrow, firebush and salvias, my hardiest perennials. Thankfully, the bees loved them all.

‘RubyCluster’ strawflower

Red Yarrow

As I plotted my garden over the winter, I had guilt over all the one-and-done annuals. And then February’s arctic blast hit. The aftermath was brutal and brown. But after a week or so of warm weather, my catmint came back to life, as did many of my sedums. I spotted new growth on my salvias and butterfly bush. But the true bright spots in the garden were the two flats of yellow and white pansies, which had survived under a thick blanket of leaves.

Color me grateful, and yes, I’m buying petunias for spring and summer.