The Garden Community for Garden Lovers



By Raquel


These are some of the new flowers I’ve gotten this Spring. I went to Whole Foods in search for a quick reheatable meal (I was starving, we’d finished the Student Award Ceremony at 8pm) and fell in love instead with dahlias! I went dahlia-crazy. I wanted to take home four, but reason won out, and I bought this one – a Dahlinova ‘Burgundy Lisa’. It is a deep purple that turns dark pink in the light – and the shape of the flowers remind me of stars! But the ‘Burgundy Carolina’ (a deep rich purple with bright yellow stamens – I swear these flowers looked like roses!, the ‘Oregon’ (a pretty, compact orangey-red) and the Dahlianetta ‘Patricia’ (a yellow flower with streaks of red – I was drawn to it because of the color and because Patricia is my middle name! silly reason, I know, but still..) left me aching for more…

This geranium is my ‘Americana White Splash’ which also gave me the idea of having part of my garden be white and red. It’s really turning more of a white and pink color scheme, though! Anyway, it’s beautiful and the ‘Americana’ series of zonal geraniums are perfect for Houston, as they’ve been bred to withstand the heat and humidity. I was sorely tempted by the beautiful ‘Americana Cherry Rose’ that I saw earlier this season, but restrained myself…sigh!

This is the ugly white container that was left by my neighbors when they moved out almost a year ago now. It used to be the home of a yucca plant. I’ve tried to beautify it and give it a constructive use by planting impatiens in it, as you can see. But it is giving me problems. Though all the plants had flowers when I planted them, now none of them do and the white variety died. DIED! I still don’t know why. It is in a very shady spot, I water frequently, I fertilized them, I give them love and send them positive thoughts…=) Yet the plants seem to want to wilt. The only thing I can think of is that the landing is very stifling as the air flow is restricted, and it does get hot in there. So it’s shady, but hot. Also, management has now (after years of ignoring the half-lit stairs) put a bright white light that at night almost blinds you…(perhaps this was at the request of my neighbors, who have a six or seven month old baby) – maybe the poor impatiens are suffering from light pollution? The light might also make it warmer than it otherwise would be at night, not giving them a break…in any case, it’ll be interesting to see how they do…

In any case, flowers rule!! Here’s a close up of the impatiens (we call these ‘sultanas’ in El Salvador) – they are the ‘Super Elfin’ in white, pink and mix:

This is my last recent acquisition – an old-fashioned scented-leaved geranium, the leaves smell like a mixture of nutmeg and apple! It is now blooming, though the garden books are right – the flowers are ‘insconpicous’ – but the scent makes the plant worthwile!

At the bottom right you can see the strawberry plants – I bought a strawberry pot but got worried the plants were still too small – so I planted them in a slightly bigger por than the one they were in, and let them have some more time to grow…

More blog posts by Raquel

Previous post: No 'English' roses please or why I prefer the jungle!

Next post: Quiet Spaces



The Impatiens don't look too bad. I'm sure they'll be fine after they settle in and get used to their new home. I like the scented Geraniums, and the dahlia is a lovely colour.

14 May, 2008


Hi Raquel....yep there is such a thing as light polution! lol.
A good example is poinsettia...they are so light specific that they can be brought on...or delayed by the amount of light they get..a story I heard talked about the woes of a greenhouse mgr. who had a whole greenhouse full of poinsettias which he had ready to go as the days began to shorten...He put up drapes when they seemed delayed and was going crazy trying to find out why his plants weren't (brachts turning red) prgressing as they should be...turns out that there was a source of light he hadn't realized...a movie marquee across the street was lit up all night and his poinsettias weren't getting enough darkness!!. (called photoperiodism...if you want to google it.)
so your little impatiens may be getting more light than they require at the wrong time of day. I have a problem with light interference in my backyard...a light on my neighbours driveway keeps an area of my yard lit up all night...I asked them about extinguishing the light after a certain hour... the just looked at me like I was from Mars...There are Impatiens from the east that have a laarger leaf...laarger flower and seriously bright flowers that need full sun... maybe check them out.
good luck.

14 May, 2008


Hi Blodyn: well, all the flowers have dropped off now...and one plant died, but the others seem to have more of a will to live...=) So we'll hope for the best for the little impatiens!

Hi Lori: yeah, you know I had never thought about it until I read it in a book...we're so used to not seeing the stars at night we don't think it's strange anymore! You made me laugh with that poinsettia story...I wonder if I could put a bag over them at night? lol But maybe that would smother them...I've seen this other kind, I think, they're not called impatiens here, though and they seem to a bit bigger...well, if they do die off then maybe I'll try those! But I hope they'll be able to acclimate. =)

15 May, 2008


I like your dahlia - I have a whole bed devoted to them - contains about 7 plants and also got 2 in containers. I really love the cactus-flowered types - have you come across those?

16 May, 2008


Hi Sid: A whole bed of dahlias! Lucky you. I haven't seen any cactus-flower types...but I'll keep my eyes open for them!

19 May, 2008

Add a comment

Recent posts by Raquel