Our volatile spring weather here in Illinois has hammered an ache in my heart for the smell of dirt and fresh mown lawns. One day we suffer widespread flooding due to torrential rain, and the next day we’re pummeled with snow and sleet. Mother Nature’s wrathful confusion drove me to Shady Hill Gardens this weekend for some much needed relief and therapy. I simply wanted to stroll the aisles of the greenhouse to absorb the warmth and riotous colors of flowers spilling out of their trays and pots. Each one begged me to take it home but the loudest chorus was coming from the back of the greenhouse where the impatiens are tucked away. Now mind you, I had no intention of taking home any bedding plants because it’s simply too early … but those lovely impatiens were on sale at $10 off each flat … and the sale was for this weekend only!
I quickly grabbed 6 flats of impatiens. They are my absolute favorite garden flower so how could I resist? I figure I can keep them in the house at night until the temps rise to 50 degrees and remain there consistently.
While gazing at their delicate loveliness the creative juices started flowing and I thought how cute they’d look in the little white ironstone bowls I recently scored at the Kane County Flea Market.
My first thought was to plant all 5 ironstone bowls with the impatiens and line them up for a centerpiece, but that seemed the obvious thing to do so I decided to use them at each individual place setting and add some greenery by placing a topiary wreath at center stage.
White impatiens are my favorite but they’ve become increasingly hard to find. For some reason garden centers stock more of the colored impatiens. I think white looks so crisp mixed in with the colors.
A word of caution when it comes to impatiens. They are currently besieged across the country with Impatiens Downy Mildew, an airborne disease that causes all the leaves and flowers to drop off. So far our area has not been affected by this horrible plight.
For more than 20 years impatiens have dominated my shady garden beds. I plant hundreds every year and they never fail to disappoint me. Extremely easy to grow, they do well in shade and provide gorgeous color well into the fall. I’ve had impatiens growing heartily in my garden as late as October. A good frost will kill them though.
If downy mildew attacks our impatiens, I will be truly be devastated. The mildew gets into the soil and once infected, it’s best not to plant the impatiens again. I’ll be at a loss because Begonias and New Guinea Impatiens simply aren’t show-stoppers like Impatiens.
So I hold onto hope and will infuse my garden beds and flower boxes with these robust little flowers this year. Mother’s Day weekend is typically the time when I find it safe to plant annuals in our area so I’ll need to protect these lovelies for just a couple more weeks.
Now I’m thinking I should get a few more of those flats on sale. Due to the outbreak of Impatiens Downy Mildew, you need to purchase your impatiens from a reputable garden center to ensure they aren’t infected.
I’m lovin’ the pops of color the impatiens bring to our farmhouse dining table. Once the weather warms up, they’ll be transplanted outside in our flower boxes and garden beds. For now, they’re filling that void in my heart that yearns for the warmer days of spring and sunshine!
Sharing this post at Sunday Showcase, Mod Mix Monday, Metamorphosis Monday, Tweak It Tuesday, Tuesday’s Treasures, Wow Us Wednesday, Transformation Thursday, Be Inspired Friday, Feathered Nest Friday, Fabulously Creative Friday, Shabbilicious Friday, Inspiration Gallery