24 Divine Lavender Impatiens Planted - Front Yard Bed


Over the years, we've tried different annuals in front of our boxwoods in our front yard bed.  Our first full year - in 2018 - we planted some Ranunculuses - about eight of them.  Last year - in 2019 - we planted 16 orange marigolds.  Neither set of those did very well.  The marigolds were better than the Ranunculuses, but they didn't spread and some did better than others.  When we started with this bed, it was about 2" of mulch and then backfilled clay.  Not a ton of organic material to deal with beyond the mulch.  Over the years, I dug up spots and added pelletized gypsum a few inches down in an attempt to loosen up the clay soils.  (speaking of which...I should probably add some gypsum to my lawn this Summer) and tried to amend the soil to improve the conditions.

Last year, I used a bulb auger to dig out the holes for marigolds, planted them and covered with cocoa bean mulch.  I read somewhere that the BEST way to loosen up clay soils is to actually plant in them:  the roots do the most work.  So, if that's the case, I'm hoping that the past two years of annuals were not just to have a little bit of color up front, but also an effort to improve the soils that will make this years annuals even better.

This area is a mix of shade and sun.  It is shade in the early am, sunny in mid-morning and then shade the balance of the day.  Maybe it is partial sun?

If you know anything about annuals in shade or partial sun, then you likely turn to impatiens.  We see them all over the place, but haven't tried them.  My mom grew impatiens, so perhaps that's why I'm drawn to them - just like hostas.  It seems that many gardeners moved away from impatiens because of a disease - downy mildew - that arrived on the scene a few years ago.  Then it seems it either went away or they've made downy-mildew-resistant varieties.

We were down at Woldhuis Farms Sunset greenhouse in Grant Park a few weeks back and came across a variety called Divine Lavender Impatiens.


I liked the look of the plants, so I quickly went to the Google machine and found this page from Panamseed that talks about Divine Lavendar and includes some notes about downy mildew:
Divine is an affordable, high-quality alternative to I. walleriana, with high resistance to Impatiens downy mildew, more single colours and mixes than other series, more vigour in planters and landscapes, and more consistent colour and seed quality. Uniform, full and big-bloomed plants also make lush hanging baskets and containers with all-season colour. Foliage ranges from green to bronze-green.
Aha!  They're downy mildew resistant and have 'more vigour'.  Like both of those things.  So, I scooped up a flat of them and put them on our cart.

Yesterday, I posted photos of the three new Guacamole Hostas that I'm planning on planting up front.  Today, the photo you see above is of the new planted Divine Lavender Impatiens.  We're growing impatiens in our front yard for the first time.

Here's a closeup of some of the 24 impatiens that we planted in front of the boxwoods:


I have hope that these will mound up and spread to fill in the gaps so we end up with a 'carpet' of impatiens across the front.

I've gone from 8 annuals to 16 last year.  This year, we have 24 impatiens and I think that I could even have planted more.  Perhaps next year, I'll go with 32 and fill in some of the gaps to get that 'carpet' a little sooner in the year.

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