Hello, again!

It was a bit too early last weekend for Angie and I to see any wildflowers blooming on our bike ride through the Flint Hills. The recently burned prairie is coming back as it always does after the spring burn. Soon enough, though, the native wildflowers will be blooming in the area. It’s amazing to see the difference just a few days will make. Sun, warmth, and precipitation all contribute to the return of the color. I’m always glad when the weather gets warmer.

Although this morning's low was 38 here in Wichita, I’m confident it will be a while before we see that again. My guess is probably October. It has been a wonderful spring for our flowering plants, even our spring flowering bulbs have held on for weeks. While visiting with Jen from the Monarch recently, she mentioned she was hesitant to pull out her violas from the containers on the restaurant's patio because they look so good. I encouraged her to get her summer blooming annuals in soon so they can get established. I’ll admit it though, it’s a busy time of the year and easy to put that project off.

I’m excited to get the flower beds planted at the stores. We always like to try some new plants to see how they will do, and there are a few tried and true plants that we do most years. Here’s a few that we have set back for this year’s beds.

SunBelievable Sunflowers both 'Brown Eyed Girl' and 'Golden Girl' var ieties will attain a height of 3-4’ and bloom all summer long with hundreds of blooms. With this new var iety, there's no need for removing spent flowers either. Loving full sun and a cousin to our state’s official state flower, it’s a natural choice for our landscapes. We are growing several hundred of both var ieties this summer, and they are on sale this weekend for only $14.99!

Tropical blooming plants from Florida such as hibiscus, mandivilla, diplodenia as well as tropical foliage plants like palm, banana and copper leaf are great sun loving plants for decks or patios.

Our consistent summer performers like lantana, canna and coleus will give us color in both flowers and foliage all summer long.

All summer color plants do so much better when fed regularly. For tropical plants I like to use ferti-lome Hibiscus & Tropical Plant Food which is specially formulated for tropical plants. On annuals, ferti-lome Premium Bedding Plant Food is an ideal food to use monthly. Stop by the stores, we have everything you need for your lawn and garden.

Your friend in the garden,

Marty Johnson
Owner - Johnson's Garden Center