Hello, again!

There is something special about our summer blooming annuals. These plants, for the most part are already blooming when you pick them up at the garden center until early November, when we typically get our first killing freeze of the season. From our grandmother's rose moss that reseeds itself every year in the wash tub, to the newest offerings from plant scientists, our options are endless in flowering to foliage plants that are happy in sun or shady locations.

Let’s look at a few new plant collections that are "must add" annuals for your garden.

Under the Sea Coleus is from Canada where they were bred by students at Saskatchewan University. What sets this collection apart from all other coleus var ieties is the wild shapes and colors found in the var ious cultivar s that make them so alluring. Well, that and the fact that they are not your typical shade lover as most coleus are. These can actually tolerate sun too!

SunPatiens are your wild “traditional” impatiens combined with the larger, heat-loving impatiens that are native to New Guinea. The result is a var iety of impatiens that thrive in full sun as well as hot, humid weather. They bloom straight through from spring to autumn, which make them an excellent container and bedding flower for long lasting color. Many have vivid colorful var iegated foliage as well.

Petunias are the best way to fill your garden with splashes of mesmerizing colors, shapes and sizes. Many petunias that gardeners are growing these days are a hybrid var iety with distinct features of heat tolerance, mounding, and low growing characteristics. My favorite var ieties are what I refer to as the ‘Sky’ series with their moon and star color patterns.

Lantana is the perfect annual for any sunny spot. A tough heat and sun loving annual, the frost hardy blooms last all summer long in the toughest locations. If you are wanting red, orange or yellow, look no further than lantana!

Nothing could be more fitting for our Kansas gardens than SunBelievable Sunflowers. These 3-4’ tall heat tolerant annuals will have hundreds of flowers all summer long. A real show stoppers for sure.

All of our annuals perform best in well drained soil or containers and fed regularly. We feed every time we water in the greenhouse with a weak solution of water soluble plant food like ferti-lome Blooming and Rooting. This tried and true plant food is specially formulated for not only blooming plants but the vegetable garden as well. If you are looking for a once a month fertilizer, try ferti-lome Premium Bedding Plant Food. Swing by this week for our Premium Annual Sale and get some great new color for your flower beds and patio containers!

Your friend in the garden,

Marty Johnson
Owner - Johnson's Garden Center

P.S. - Here's a quick update on Claire Russell's run for Leukemia & Lymphoma Student of the Year campaign: "Claire raised over $33,000 for LLS! She won a citizenship award for her part in the campaign to bring awareness to the LLS mission, community involvement and volunteerism." Johnson's is so proud of Claire!