Mild temperatures continued today with a high in the upper 50 degrees F which is making the grass start to grow! The sun periodically made an appearance as well. We thought we might need to get our mowers out but there are now too many cords for our Holiday Light Show (HLS) which starts this Friday, December 11th (4 pm – 8 pm). It looks like some rain this weekend which might impact the HLS although colder temperatures would turn it in to quite a lot of snow so I have mixed feelings. It’s “out of our hands” as they say of course but the show will be spectacular regardless.
We had a strong volunteer turnout today. Patrea and Ron P. worked on repairing and processing more lights for the HLS. The work they are doing now keeps our back up lights ready to go and any surplus has then been tested and will be packed away for 2016. Lloyd was in to start sanding our benches; many of which need some TLC this winter. Ron Y. worked on priming some new benches while Dave, Jim and Vern had some other carpentry projects. Dick P. and Dick H. worked on some repairs and Maury was also here to work with the guys on some odds and ends including some supply runs. Dr. Gredler was in for some painting. We also saw Gary and many others today.
If you haven’t grown summer snapdragons (Angelonia angustifolia) before, it’s time that you do! This is not my first blog promoting these awesome plants and I became a fan almost 15 years ago when they arrived on the scene. If you’ve grown them before, I would wager that they performed very well for you and you’re now “hooked” on them!? Summer snapdragons, native to Mexico and the West Indies, are an annual for us that prefers full sun, decent soils and adequate watering. They are quite drought tolerant when established and are excellent in bedding schemes, the border and certainly the container. Mature height for all of these varieties is between 12″-18″ and they look excellent in mass plantings as well with their upright flower spikes. Removing spent flower stalks (deadheading) is rarely necessary as they continue to send up new flowers reliably. Individual flowers are “orchid-like” in appearance and summer snapdragons never really have a “down time” in that the flowers look good from June through September. You’ll note in these photos that the color range is in the pinks, blues and white. There are varieties that can be grown from seed and many of the newer introductions are sold as plants (vegetatively propagated). The photo above features some “side by side” trials I saw this summer at the C. Raker & Sons Trial Garden in Michigan. In fact, all of these Angelonia photos were taken this past summer and include many of the new varieties. This is a low maintenance annual with heavy impact and you’ll continue to see more introductions annually. Get on the summer snapdragon band wagon!