Sunday, September 11, 2016

Tidal Wave 'Red Velour' follow-up

 In answer to some of the questions about my petunia fetish, here's another post about the 'Red Velour' Tidal Waves.  They do have the ability to transform landscaping; the picture above was taken in early May this year, Carl and I had just added a few more rocks to the driveway bed.

Same area in August: what happened to the rocks?   

 I buy almost all of my seeds from the Park Seed company, though I'm sure many are available from others such as Stokes, Burpee's, etc.  The seeds come ten to a packet for $4.50 as of 2016; I bought two packets of 'Red Velour' and two packets of 'Tidal Wave' Silver.   

The link below takes you to the catalog description:

Red Velour Tidal Wave

We put the greenhouse up the second week in April this year which was probably the latest ever, but luckily, it didn't seem to matter.  The Tidal Waves come as pelleted seed making them much easier to handle.  Regular petunia seed is exceptionally small.

  As soon as I see the microscopic leaves emerge, I'm so happy, they are absolutely miniscule at first.  

 My plants were probably a little younger than they could have been, but they grew well even with our rather dry growing season this year.
 I thought I had some pictures of the tiny petunia seedlings, but a frantic search of my epic picture stash wasn't able to turn anything up at midnight tonight. 

 I didn't get the petunia seedlings in the ground until the second week in June and anxiously waited for signs of flower buds.  I was on my way out to the mailbox two weeks later when I saw the first bud had opened.  I almost forgot about the mail in my excitement.  I know that sounds corny, but it's the truth.  

Later that same day a family stopped in for a visit and one of the five year olds wanted to 'pick some flowers' from my garden and headed straight for the lone red petunia.  

Her father scolded her and told her this wasn't a flower-picking garden.  She wanted to know (and rightly so) what kind of garden it was then?  He told her it was a flower-looking garden. At his answer, the disdain on her little face made me feel guilty, I mean, really, I could spare a few flowers for little girls, but secretly I was happy she didn't pick my lone red petunia bloom that day.  I was being selfish!

Below, it's late June and even in the harsh light, the flowers show up fairly well.  By now I had more than one bloom and the little girl could have picked quite a few if she wished.  (Just as long as she didn't pull the plant out of the ground.  Sheesh, I have so many rules, don't I?)

 By mid-July the petunias were off and running, and climbing and billowing.

 I have to admit, I'd love a red flowering miscanthus.  

Guess where I sit when I get the mail in the afternoon?  

I planted five of the 'Silver' Tidal Waves in with the 'Red Velours' for color contrast, and the other fifteen on the Pachyberm where they are also putting on a show.  

However, I admit I did plant another color this year, too...

Yes, I still have the Supertunia 'Bubblegum' in abundance too.  I know red and pink clash, but that's ok.  (Unlike 'Tidal Wave' petunias, 'Bubblegum Supertunias' are propagated vegetatively and patented, so you have to buy them as plants.) 

The Bubblegums were on the other side of the driveway. 


Joel took this picture of the Riverbed in June right after the Bubblegums started to grow.  The cannas were starting to emerge then, too.

Another few weeks and things are starting to change.

The last pictures were taken September 9.  (Which, incidentally, was our 38th wedding anniversary!)
 There's an urn (and a tree) in those petunias somewhere.

 The cannas turned into towering trees this year, too.

 The hyacinth bean (dolichos lablab) hasn't had any blooms this year, which is highly unusual.  I'm assuming I planted them a little too late.

 These pictures are taken with a slightly heavy heart.  In a few weeks, this entire area will be torn up to put our new septic system in.  Oh well, the pictures will give me something to remember the Way It Was.  Stay tuned for what the back garden will look like next year.  (We have NO idea.)

I also had Bubblegums in front of the house in the rocks.

And in the Formal Garden.

The days are getting shorter, the shadows are getting longer, but the petunias will continue to flower until we get our first killing frost.  They can withstand light frosts quite well.

I'll miss them when they're gone.  

But there's always next year.  :-)

Thursday, September 8, 2016

First Week in September

The first week of September has come and gone already.  August was a blur of activity; we had many garden visitors stop in;  there were small tours scheduled at least twice a week with many drive-by drop-ins, too.  

Our last official large tour group was on August 30.  They were a Red Hat group of (I think, twenty-four ladies) coming from a town near Madison, WI which is a good two and a half hour drive from here.  Since we had hardly any rain for most of August, I was worried their long trip would be in vain, but luckily my trusty annuals held up with only minimal watering.

Carl came home early to help with the tour which I appreciated.  This way we could split the group up; Carl took the ladies who were interested in seeing the entire garden with him.  I escorted the ladies in walkers to the back yard and seated them near the Quarry Puddle (ugh, so low, but the fish are still ok).  I had a great time visiting with the ladies, so many stories to listen to and wisdom to share.

 After a two hour tour of the gardens and in the house looking at our lamp obsession, it was time for the last tour of the year to leave for home.  The ladies said they were happy they came and the trip was worth it.  We were both glad to know they enjoyed the time; we certainly enjoyed them, too.

The tour season is officially over for 2016.  Time to turn to our attention to fall.

  Now that the growing season is almost over, it is a good time to evaluate the plantings and whether they were worth the space, time and effort.

 There are going to be lots of pictures of my petunias in this post so if you are offended by petunias, my apologies.  As we all know by now, I am a diehard fan of their flowering potential in all adversities; heat, drought, no matter, they keep on keeping on.  

This was the first year I've planted 'Red Velour' Tidal Wave petunias from seed.  One packet was ten seeds, and I bought two packets.  When the petunias germinate, they are so tiny you'd never think they would develop into these vigorous powerhouses.  I always feel so silly planting them out in June; they look lonely spaced out three feet apart.  But once they acclimate, they are fabulous.   

I had a few 'Silver' Tidal Waves planted in amongst the 'Velour' for color contrast, all told, there are twenty-five petunia plants in these beds.
 The petunias are so vigorous they even climb up into the ornamental grasses and conifers.

Different light conditions bring out the nuances in the blooms.  

Some of the petunias are planted in gravel right at the edge of the driveway, but they performed perfectly.  

Carl wasn't too fond of the color (he's color-blind to a degree and for him the color wasn't attractive) but I was thrilled with them.

  Bottom line, will I plant 'Red Velour' again?  

Um, YES!

I smile every time we turn in the driveway.  They are a great welcoming committee.

 I heartily recommend any of the Tidal Wave series to anyone wanting true 'waves' of color in the garden.  If you like petunias, you won't be disappointed.  (I mean, c'mon, what's not to like?)