Leave No Pot Unplanted
Late last week I made my first visit of the year to Anton’s, one of my favorite local nurseries. To say that they know me there is an understatement. In fact, in spring and summer I make so many appearances that the staff often remind me to punch in my time card.
What Anton’s has right at the moment is mostly Violas, both hybrid pansies (Viola x wattrockiana) and the smaller Johnny-Jump-Ups (Viola tricolor). But that’s enough for now, as I like to fill my pots with spring annuals as early as possible.
Actually, I also bought a few ‘Snow Crystal’ Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima), because I wanted something fragrant. For fragrance I also would have purchased some Stock (Matthiola incana) and Wallflowers (Erisymum), but in fact the ones available had no scent. In the next week or two there will be more varieties and I’ll wait until then.
Anyway, I needed a lot of spring annuals, because I have a lot of containers. One reason I have a lot of containers is that I hate throwing away the pots that come with the shrubs I’ve purchased over the years. They are often so substantial and solid, it seems wrong to throw them out or even put them in the recycling.
Lots of containers means I need lots of annuals, especially because I like to cram many plants into each container. If the tag says space every 6″, I space every 3-4″. I find this is the best way to get a container that is overflowing with blooms.
As a result, by the end of the weekend I had planted 4 flats of Violas, or 192 plants. No, I don’t grow them from seed because my schedule won’t allow it. Yes, buying that many annuals is expensive. However, I like to think that buying spring annuals prevents me from spending an even larger sum on lottery tickets, or on an expensive hobby such as sailboat racing or climbing Mt. Everest.
After filling up all the pots, I looked in the garage and discovered a bunch of containers our former neighbors very kindly left me when they moved last fall. So I still need just a few more plants.
Have you filled pots with spring annuals in your garden?