CURE THE SUMMERTIME BLOOMS.Byline: Joshua Siskin
Planting flowers in midsummer may be the last thing on your mind, yet this is the precise moment for maximizing the effect of certain bedding plants that bloom abundantly no matter how hot it gets.
At the top of the list of midsummer to fall bloomers are the new crop of spreading zinnias called Profusion. These zinnias might be considered the sun-loving equivalent of impatiens impatiens (ĭmpā`shēĕnz'): see jewelweed.
Any of about 900 species of herbaceous plants in the genus Impatiens (balsam family), so named because the seedpod bursts when slightly touched. Garden balsam (I. . Profusion zinnias, while available only in white, orange and cherry pink, spread with greater alacrity than impatiens. Within weeks, a single Profusion zinnia zinnia, any species of the genus Zinnia of the family Asteraceae (aster family), native chiefly to Mexico, though some range as far north as Colorado and as far south as Guatemala. The common zinnia of gardens (Z. planted from a 4-inch container will proliferate into a hemisphere two feet wide and one foot high.
The daisylike Profusion flowers are about 1 1/2 inches in size with yellow centers and are excellent subjects for containers and hanging baskets. Make sure you plant Profusion zinnias by themselves, however, as they would quickly overwhelm and smother any nearby companion plants.
One of the real bonuses of Profusion zinnias is their resistance to powdery mildew. The new zinnias are fungus free and memorable for a longevity of bloom - flowers keep coming until November - that growers of traditional zinnias could only dream about.
Another sun-loving heavy-blooming annual for planting now is nicotiana nicotiana (nĭkō'shēā`nə), any plant of the genus Nicotiana of the family Solanaceae (nightshade family). Most species are herbs native to tropical America, although there are a few North American species and several . Dwarf nicotiana, which grows to about 2 feet, serves as a perfect flowery understory for a rose garden. Varieties in white, pink, red and salmon are available and some give off a mild scent.
If orange is your color of choice and you have decided to plant orange Profusion zinnias in a sunny bed, offset by orange marigolds and orange Mexican sunflowers (Tithonia rotundifolia), you could also add orange black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia rudbeckia (rədbĕk`ēə): see black-eyed Susan.
indicates fairness. [Flower Symbolism: Flora Symbolica, 177]
See : Justice hirta) to the mix. Black-eyed Susans are perennials that bloom most of the year and effortlessly reseed Verb 1. reseed - seed again or anew
farming, husbandry, agriculture - the practice of cultivating the land or raising stock
seed - go to seed; shed seeds; "The dandelions went to seed"
2. themselves as well.
Tuberous tuberous /tu·ber·ous/ (too?ber-us) covered with tubers; knobby. See also under sclerosis.
tu·ber·ous or tu·ber·ose
1. Producing or bearing tubers.
2. begonias are an excellent alternative to the monotony of impatiens in the shady to partially sunny garden bed. Blooming from now until late autumn, the rose-like flowers of tuberous begonias are a universally acknowledged delight. The yellow tuberous begonia begonia (bĭgōn`yə), any plant of the large genus Begonia and common name for the family Begoniaceae, mostly succulent perennial herbs of the American tropics cultivated elsewhere as bedding or pot plants and easily propagated by is especially prized because summer-blooming plants for shade rarely have yellow flowers.
Dahlias are also readily available this time of year. There are bedding dahlias of short stature and giant dahlias with spectacular dinner plate-sized blooms. Dahlias are somewhat heat sensitive and should be protected from afternoon sun in Valley gardens.
TIP OF THE WEEK: While larger dahlias may not need winter storage, the tubers of smaller dahlias and tuberous begonias must be dug in order to survive until the next spring. In late fall, carefully dig up dahlias, shake dirt off tubers and dry them in the sun. Dust with sulfur and cover with peat moss, perlite perlite
Natural glass with concentric cracks such that the rock breaks into small, pearl-like bodies. It is formed by the rapid cooling of viscous lava or magma. , vermiculite ver·mic·u·lite
Any of a group of micaceous hydrated silicate minerals related to the chlorites and used in heat-expanded form as insulation and as a planting medium. , dry sand or sawdust. Keep in a storage shed or garage until spring. Follow the same procedures for begonia tubers. In April, cut up clumps of tubers before planting, making sure there is at least one eye or bud per planted tuber tuber, enlarged tip of a rhizome (underground stem) that stores food. Although much modified in structure, the tuber contains all the usual stem parts—bark, wood, pith, nodes, and internodes. .
For the past 25 years, Ida Stanish of Northridge has grown flowers along a 70-foot-by-6-inch space of soil at Casa Bonita Apartments, making a row of color between the back of her neighbor's garage and a one-foot wall abutting the parking lot.
This year, she disposed of the flowers and planted vegetable seeds - squash, pepper, tomato, chive chive: see onion.
Small, hardy perennial plant (Allium schoenoprasum) of the lily family, related to the onion. Its small, white, elongated bulbs and thin, tubular leaves grow in clumps. , lettuce and zucchini, among others. And now, in just a few months, the plants have filled the constricted area to bursting, so much so that Stanish jokes, ``They're going to envelop the cars next.''
In the morning, the 90-year-old Stanish carries out buckets of water to keep her garden healthy. The gardener at the apartment property manages the garden itself.
Stanish says she finds new surprises each day, such as a 1 1/2-foot-long squash weighing 5 pounds, and two plants she can't identify at all. She gives many of her spoils to neighbors and uses much of the garden's plump tomatoes and fresh chives chives
alliumschoenoprasm. in her own cooking.
``The property owners don't seem to mind. In fact, they enjoy it,'' she says. Then she adds with a laugh, ``It's a good thing I don't keep watermelon seeds.''
- Mike Chmielecki
If you think you might have a ``garden wonder,'' send the information along with your name, address and daytime phone number to: Garden Wonders, L.A. Life, Daily News, P.O. Box 4200, Woodland Hills, CA 91365-4200; via e-mail to dnlalife(at)dailynews.com; or via fax to (818) 713-3545.
Ida Stanish, 90, checks the zucchini plant flowing from the garden into the parking lot of her Northridge apartment.
Michael Owen Baker/Staff Photographer
Box: Garden Wonders (see text)