Middle South

April, 2003
Regional Report

Paint with Petunias

In sites that get plenty of sun, you can't beat petunias as paintbrush flowers. In addition to the vigorous, heat-resistant Wave petunias, I've been pleased in many seasons past by the Madness line, which includes lots of different colors.

Adopt a Clock Vine

If you have a chain-link fence you'd like to hide this summer, plant thunbergia (black-eyed Susan vine) at its base. This vigorous annual bloomer is also called clock vine because the little blooms close at night. It's a cinch to grow in any sunny site.

Put Up a Good Front

Most people like a tidy look for their front entryways, which is delivered beautifully by bedding begonias. Try a bronze-leaf variety that blooms red, or a green-leafed one that blooms pink. With very little help, begonias will form a hedge or mound of weather-proof color.

Salvias for Semi Shade

If you have the right spot for them, red salvias are amazing annuals. The magic formula includes deep soil, filtered or partial sun, and a steady diet of fertilizer and water. With annual salvia, don't mess with anything less than true red, as you'll find in the 'Red Hot Sally' variety.

Lighten Up Shade

When choosing flowers for shady spots, stick with light colors, such as pink, white, or pale blue. Also look for shade-tolerant gray foliage plants, such as 'Nicolleta' plectranthus, which is grown exclusively for its softly
felted gray leaves.

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