Friday, March 2, 2012

First Violet and Vincas

The first violet of 2012 was spotted beside a brick wall at work. There are surely earlier blooming ones out there, but this was the first one that I saw. I've left the violets under the azalea bushes for the most part. They don't really fit the flower bed arrangement, but it goes against the grain to jerk out a flower enjoyed by so many people just because it is in the wrong place. That reminds me of the weed definition that goes something like..." a weed is a plant that is in the wrong place". The violets are in mulched beds underneath hollies and azaleas, but they don't stick up and their only negative is making roundish patches of green that could make the bed seem un-weeded. I am willing to live with that.

Variegated Vinca

Last week my variegated Vinca in planters began to bloom, and this morning I saw the solid green leaved Vinca blooming in my yard along the steps. Periwinkle is a common name for Vincas. This is the blue that gives us the name “periwinkle blue”. Perennial Vinca is a tough customer that is hard to stamp out once it gets a foothold. It works well in shady locations here in the South. Don't confuse these perennials with annual Vinca.  

Annual Vinca
The annual Vinca is another robust grower that can take amazing amounts of heat and full sun in growing situations. It is especially useful in planters and beds along concrete. If you can keep it watered it will bloom and bloom. The annual Vinca flowers in shades of white, pink, red, and purple. It is a rewarding beginner plant.  One of my favorites is a solid white flower with a yellow eye.  Many of the whites have a pink or red eye (the eye is the little circle around the center of the flower).  Some of the newer colors, like the pink example from last year's garden, seem unnatural and harsh.   I prefer blooms to look natural rather than garish.  Just my preference.

Spring just came through my door. Our latch isn't working well at the moment and a strong gust of wind opened the door and sunlight, warmth, and a few dead leaves pushed inside the house. It is a welcomed intruder.

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