It was nice to be back in the office today to continue making orders for the spring. The weather was nice and sunny and we had some volunteer help today too. Big John continued working on processing lights from the Holiday Light Show (HLS) which is coming down very efficiently with such good help involved. Alan was out in the gardens collecting more elements of the HLS and Urban came in to do some pruning and also helped process lights. The gardens were quite icy so everyone had to be careful. Jim D. was in for some carpentry projects and Bill O. was in as well. Janice popped by as did Kathy P., Kris K. and some others.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve been promoting the toughness of the SunPatiens series of Impatiens out in the landscape. In fact, I shared a couple of the new varieties in my winter talks this year. We’ve grown SunPatiens varieties for many years and they do very well for us both in shade and sun. There are close to 30 varieties from Sakata seed that fall in to the categories of “compact”, “spreading” and “vigorous”. With tough foliage and thicker flower petals, these plants can take a lot of sunlight if given amply moisture (essential). They are easy to grow and are quite tolerant of heat and humidity. All the photos in this blog were taken at Midwest gardens or at Rotary Botanical Gardens. It is important to note that SunPatiens are also highly resistant to the impatiens downy mildew problem that is plaguing Impatiens walleriana (which we don’t plant any more for that reason). In our climate, the compact forms will be 15″-18″ tall and wide. The spreading forms might be a bit taller but are quite wide with significant coverage. The vigorous series can get well over 24″ in our climate and even taller in warmer settings with a longer growing season. I’ve been very impressed with this series and particularly enjoy the variegated forms (see below). Not all the varieties are pictured here but you’ll get a fell for how nice they look in the container or ground.
SunPatiens ‘Compact Tropical Rose’ (above and below)
Mark Dwyer, Director of Horticulture, Rotary Botanical Gardens
I am the Director of Horticulture at Rotary Gardens (Janesville, WI). Along with a talented grounds staff and dedicated volunteers, I enjoy being involved with this wonderful botanical resource. My educational background is in landscape architecture and urban forestry but it didn't take long to become a plant enthusiast and find a lifelong career.