This year I planted multiple varieties of zinnias in our back beds. One was called “State Fair Zinnias.” Who could resist “State Fair Zinnias”? But who would believe that State Fair Zinnias would turn out to be monstrously sized mutants that tower over our other flowers and sport enormous, block out the sun leaves and huge blooms? These awesome beasts of the flower bed can easily exceed two feet in height before I trim them back.
I expected decent growth when I used potting soil with Scott’s Miracle-Gro in planting these flowers, but I never expected this.
We know from the yuppie days of the ’80s that hot pink and green is supposed to be a pleasing combination, and it is — even if a few of the petals bear the marks of apparent rabbit nibbles.
I bought an assortment of zinnia varieties from our local garden store this year and put them in willy-nilly, so I would be surprised as they came up. Some of them are multi-flower, with smaller petals, and some of them are single-flower, with big and bold petals and colors. So far, I like the latter category better.
The zinnias in the beds along our back patio have bloomed, and they are beautiful. It’s amazing what vivid colors Midwestern dirt, some Scotts Miracle-Gro potting soil, and judicious watering can produce.
Another weekend chore checked off! I’ve finished with the flower beds.
This year, I’ve decided to stick with the zinnias, which were great last year. I’ve gone with orange, yellow, and two unknown color types: state fair mix and Magellan mix. To give the beds even more color, I’ve lined the rear of the beds with Victoria Blue Salvia Farinacea. The planters have pink and white geraniums, with some of the other flowers mixed in at random.
I’ve got dirt under my fingernails, I’ve torn loose the same patch of skin on the palm of my hand that always gets torn loose because the heel of the hand shovel rubs against it as I dig — and I forgot, as always, to wear a garden glove — and I am a happy camper. I always try to plant as soon after Mother’s Day as I can.
Time for an update on our patio flower beds, about three months after planting.
The red Salvias were the munching favorites of our furry backyard creatures, but have come on strong in the last few weeks. The little Celosias didn’t do grow appreciably and were routinely pulverized by any heavy rainstorm. The Marigolds did well, as expected, and put forth lots of bright orange blooms. The Zinnias did best of all — growing like crazy, adding huge gouts of spilling yellow color to the beds, and giving the patio a nice, wild garden feel.
Zinnias will definitely make the cut next year. Celosias, not so much.