Saturday, May 28, 2011
Impatiens walleriana 'Dazzler Pink Swirl'
This is the variety of Impatiens we have decided to use for what we refer to as the “necklace”. It is a ring of color around a giant planting of Great Laurel (Rhododendron maximum) that is planted in front of the house in Greenwich. It takes 16 dozen 4 inch pots to make it all the way around. The Rhododendrons are for screening and got roughed up pretty bad by the snow. This year we fertilized them and removed all the broken branches and after they are done blooming (they are late flowering) we are going to prune the top three feet of the height to encourage some more bottom growth.
We haven’t used the ‘Dazzler’ series of Impatiens before but everything I have read about them is good. They are considered one of the most landscape friendly of the Impatiens. Last year all that was available was ‘Super Elfin’ and I fought hard not to use it since the plants can get pretty big in their area. We ended up using ‘Super Elfin’ and it was beautiful, a perfect ribbon of color. By far the best planting of the five years I have been doing it.
After a little disappointing result last year from the small cutting garden. I decided to double dig the area. We couldn’t do it in the traditional way as it is only really one strip wide on two sides of a flagstone walk. A funny thing happened when we started digging, there was concrete slab about 8 inches under the surface. Using a crowbar I was able to punch a few holes in the concrete for better drainage. After mixing some home made compost and topsoil together we filled the beds back up while adding some Osmocote fertilizer (it’s expensive but my favorite). We actually mixed in about 20% of the original lean soil. I have found that using all topsoil backfill is too much for some plants.