Thursday, October 04, 2007
As many of the Summer annuals begin to decline and Springs colour is long gone its nice to count on a few garden troopers who energetically bloom until the first frost. One plant I count on is a newer plant to gardens these days --- Calibrachoa (Million Bells). Gaining popularity in the last 5 years and not really showing up at the nurseries until the mid 90's, Calibrachoa is fast becoming a trend plant.
It comes in a myriad of colours and has the look of a diminutive petunia. In fact many botanist don't see enough difference in it to give it it's own separate genus. Because of it's small stature it has become the darling of mixed hanging baskets as well as window boxes and has the added benefit of the long blooming period, crescendoing in Autumn.
Calibrachoa is not only for container gardening. It works well in between other fall bloomers like Asters, Mums, Ornamental Cabbage and Kale, and Autumnal foliage in the mixed borders. Personally I prefer it where it can cascade out of urn or hanging basket. This way you can really see how it got it's common name 'Million Bells'. Even garden designers have taken note of this plant. Using it in Autumn colours and incorporating it with branches, fall foliage, pumpkins, gourds in large urns making a festive and spectacular presentation greeting guests at the front door. You can see that it really has many uses.
Calibrachoe is self cleaning, meaning you don't have to dead head, likes full sun and responds well to bi-monthy applications of a mild all purpose fertilizer. It is actually considered a perennial in very warm climates but is generally grown as an annual in most gardens.
I have created a new look for BOBSGARDEN.COM. In addition to having larger print to make it easier to read I have acquired some new software for my photography. I'm resizing them to where they will boot up quicker for you all. I hope you enjoy the new changes, BOB