A Passion for Flowers

He who is born with a silver spoon in his mouth is generally considered a fortunate person, but his good fortune is small compared to that of the happy mortal who enters this world with a passion for flowers in his soul. — Celia Thaxter

For nearly as long as I can remember, my mom has planted Impatiens after the danger of frost has passed.

They were beautiful. A profusion of color — shades of pink and white that made you smile when you peeked outside.

The past few years, mom has refused to buy them.

‘I don’t know why, but I can’t get them to grow any more,’ she said.

Maybe our soil wasn’t “loamy” enough. Maybe they didn’t get enough shade, or we over- or under-watered.

Our impatiens became leggy, the flowers dropped off, and they required constant “babying.”

Who has time for that?

When we went plant-shopping this season, I asked mom about getting impatiens, and a wistful look came across her face.

‘No,’ she told me.

Still, I was determined to try.

A couple of weeks ago, I stopped by the garden shop at WalMart and practically ran into a new display of “Sun Patiens.”

Having never heard of such a plant, I reached for the instructional tag and learned:

  • It’s a hybrid that grows in sun or shade, rain or shine, spring through fall
  • It thrives in heat and humidity
  • It’s easy-peasy to grow and requires no fertilizer

I called mom, convinced her we needed one, and carried it to the checkout counter.

Well, it had plenty of flowers when I bought it, but soon they all disappeared. Gulp!

Chalking that up to transplantation, I convinced myself not to worry. Trust in nature and care for it as best as possible.

(Besides, it wasn’t that expensive, so I wouldn’t be out a fortune even if it failed to thrive.)

This morning, my “Sun Patiens” looked like this:

"Sun Patiens"

“Sun Patiens”

Isn’t it a beauty?

Mom isn’t thrilled with the orangey-red color (that was all they had), but she loves seeing this amazing plant on the patio. And who wouldn’t?

Corn Watch:

June 6, 2014 — 36 inches

June 16, 2014 — 48 inches

June 21, 2014 — 63 inches, give or take

Corn, June 21, 2014

Corn, June 21, 2014

Cornfield, June 21, 2014

Cornfield, June 21, 2014

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25 thoughts on “A Passion for Flowers

  1. “Sun Patiens” sound like my kind of flower…I adore those that can thrive anywhere with little care from me, and they are gorgeous. I love planting impatiens and they often return even though they are considered annuals, perhaps it’s the climate here.

    • My mom used to bring in entire pots filled with blooming impatiens when winter was at hand, and they’d continue blooming in a sunny window! She hasn’t been able to do that for a LONG time, though, and she’s missed seeing them. This seemed like a good compromise!

  2. Very pretty. Good thing you were patient. I grow impatiens in our flower box in front of the house. Last year they didn’t thrive but this year they seem to be doing much better. As I type, the rain is coming down in buckets and everything should be be loving the soak. Smells wonderful and fortunately, we are in and my pups have been out.

    • I’ve seen lots of houses with shady flower boxes that are overflowing with pretty impatiens, but we probably have too much sun in our yard. We’re pretty dry right now, despite the weather folks telling us we’re going to get rain. Glad you were able to get the pups out between showers — that can be a challenge, can’t it?!

  3. *clapping*

    You GO, girl!

    Debbie, your Sun Patiens are absolutely BEAUTIFUL! When I saw your photo of them it made me SMILE. Aren’t flowers the BEST? They have such a powerful way of making you feel good whenever you look at them. Flowers always look as though they’re perpetually happy and always smiling!

    I wish I had a green thumb like you. However, I have a black thumb because I always kill flowers by either neglecting them or over-watering them. I could kill a silk plant – HA! Amazingly enough though, I kept a Lavender plant alive for over a year.

    Love the quote you shared! And also, WOW…that corn is growing fast!

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend, my friend!

    • Flowers make me smile, too, Ron. They just don’t worry over weather conditions and they look like they haven’t a care in the world! “Always smiling” is a good way of describing them.
      A black thumb? Say it’s not so! You probably just haven’t found the right sort of plant or flower to grow. You might be surprised — have you tried a flowering cactus? Or spider plants? Or perhaps some lucky bamboo? Don’t give up just yet!! After all, from what I’ve read, Lavender isn’t especially easy to grow!
      Happy Sunday to you!

  4. I don’t have much of a green thumb, so I am not sure I would try planting patiens, but I sure love your corn watch. Is there anywhere in the world where the soil is as rich for growing as it is in Illinois? I don’t think so.

    • Ah, Pat, you must MISS being in Illinois during growing season — I know I would. Just looking at all that rich, black dirt, and knowing that we’re helping to feed the world, gives me a good feeling. You’re right, you know. Illinois farmers might moan and groan over the weather, but somehow, they always end up okay — just the right amount of rain at just the right time. Thanks for dropping by — it’s going to be a while before the sweet corn is ready!

    • These Sun Patiens remind me of salsa dancers, Kim! They look so saucy against the blue color in mom’s patio — almost like they’re trying to say, ‘Hey, look us over!’

  5. I gave in and bought a hanging basket of bougainvillea this year, and was as distressed as you when all the flowers disappeared. However, the gal at the nursery told me that once the blooms fell, I should just pinch back all the stems, and they would put on another crop. As they have.

    I’ve never had good luck with impatiens, and finally I learned that there are varieties that like sun and varieties that like shade. If I ever get my patio cleaned up and ready for maybe one or two more pots of color, I may try impatiens made for shade. I would love some in your color. I think they’re beautiful!

    • My sister sent mom a bougainvillea for Mother’s Day a year or so ago — wish we’d known about pinching the stems to encourage more flowers. We didn’t, and, probably because of our harsh winters in Illinois, the poor thing didn’t last long (though it was spectacular in its glory days!)
      I’d think impatiens would love your humidity, Linda. The extreme heat might be another challenge, though. Perhaps if you tried some and kept them in a shady spot. We even hung one basket of impatiens beneath a maple tree, to little avail, sadly. Hope you have better luck!

    • Gee, thanks, Monica. I was wondering if I’ve become too focused on flowers and such, especially since I’m NOT a farm girl! Glad to hear my recent posts haven’t been annoying.

    • Glad you liked my flowers, Professor. It’s rewarding when you tend something and wake up one day to find it thriving.
      As for the corn — well, of course I had NO hand in that, but it’s really shooting up there! My research tells me corn stalks can grow as tall as 15 feet, so I’m fast putting myself out of the measuring-business!!

  6. Easier to care for is a definite plus. I’m glad the flowers came back – they are pretty!

    The corn reminds me of my kids – growing faster than I can measure :) It sure does grow fast. Saw in your comment above that corn can be 15 feet tall… I had no idea.

    • I had no idea corn plants could get that tall either, Janna! Unless I get out a step ladder, I’m pretty sure reaching the tops is going to be prohibitive — and I can just imagine the looks I’d get, sneaking a ladder into a cornfield, heehee!

  7. Well I’m a through and through flower girl so I love this! And the corn update is fun too – that stuff is really taking off……I’m much happier to have flowers in my soul than a silver spoon in my mouth. Sounds like you’re enjoying your June.

    • A silver spoon might buy LOTS of flowers, Barb, ha!! Glad you loved my Sun Patiens — hard not to love a flower that’s so easy to care for yet offers so much beauty.

  8. Your impatiens are beautiful! And based on your experience, maybe I’ll find some Sun Patiens next year. I’ve always loved Impatiens, but we don’t have enough shade to grow them. The hybrid seems perfect for our yard!

    • We’ve got the same issue, Terri — too much sun! Not that we’re complaining. After the winter we had, who wouldn’t love seeing that warm sun? But it’s been a royal nuisance moving the poor impatiens from shady spot to shady spot — this hybrid seems to LOVE the sun — and humidity — so it’s definitely a keeper!

  9. “Sun Patiens” look beautiful – even when in a colour, I, like your mother am also not very fond of!

    Do you think she might start the tradition up again after this success?

    • She just might, Miss Lou. She’s not really had to do anything to these lovely flowers (other than regular watering and fertilizing), so that’s a good thing. Why, they practically grow untended!! And actually, the color kind of “grows” on you, ha!

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