It’s the small things you appreciate when you’re a shade/partial shade gardener

On the way back from a wedding yesterday, we stopped by the botanical garden’s annual plant sale. You can pre-order annuals and perennials, but there are always a lot of leftovers from those batches of plants as well as many other plants that can’t be pre-ordered. This year I was very pleasantly surprised by a new torenia that did not appear on the preorder list. I’d never seen or heard of it before, but it is gorgeous. Torenia is one of my favorite shade annuals; you can’t use it in deep shade, but it flowers all season and fills in quite nicely. So far they’ve all been blue and purple. Until now! Had any of you seen this cultivar? The color mix is yellow and maroon; it’s called Yellow Moon and the tag credits Danziger Flower Farm. (I've also posted on Garden Rant about it today.)

So there I am in my heels, stockings, and black dress, all excited about the torenia and trying not to get dirty. (This is one of those weddings where there’s a gap before the reception.) I also got a couple burgundy-leaved canna (not ID’d but I’m pretty sure what they are), some lovely variegated ivies, perhaps to mix with the torenia, and, yes, I’m sorry fellow gardeners, an entire flat of white impatiens. Don’t hate me. Very little else will work in the soon-to-be deeply shaded front yard. I also got some fabulous coleus. All the coleus is fabulous these days, don’t you think? The newly available varieties just keep coming. These are like stained glass. Of course, they’re all in the house, along with 50 other recently-purchased plants; it will be 39 tonight.


I have almost the same torenia 'Yellow Moon'. I didn't know it was new. I also got one called 'Magenta Moon'. These are from the DS Cole growers. Don't worry I won't fuss at you about the impatients. I deal with a lot of shade too so I think they are quite the work horse. I just love the new coleus. They have such great color and they are even messing with the form at least to make them larger. I got one this year that is a deeeep purple and lime. Yummy.
Nancy said…
I've gotten some mixes with blue and white and pink...but not seen maroon..I needs me some maroon!

Impatiens may be a little ubiquitous..but there are good reasons for that: they survive. I had some that even over wintered and is blooming and reseeding itself this second summer.
Anonymous said…
No hating here, I have the double impatiens in hanging baskets on the shady side of my house. There really aren't that many options if you want flowers. I agree, the coleus this year is beautiful and hopefully going to provide some much needed color in containers under the maple trees.
kate smudges said…
It seems as if most gardens have a place where it's hard to get anything to grow, so white impatiens will be something to brighten up the area.

The colours of the Torenia are striking - as are your stained-glass Coleus.

I hope you've had some luck sneaking in a few extra fishies.
Anonymous said…
I love Torenia and I have grown all of the Moon series. If you like Torenia try the Duchess series, the light pink is absolutely gorgeous in the shade. This seeded variety will be more upright than the Moon series but definitely a winner for shady areas.

If you want to try a unique plant that does well in the shade and can tolerate the heat try Brazilian Fireworks Maracas. It has a cool variegated foliage with a reddish purple and pink bloom.
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