One of my earliest garden-related memories is of going with my mom to get annuals every spring at Selmi's greenhouse. It was always the same plants - a dozen of so each of petunias, marigolds and maybe some red salvia.
What I especially remember is warm, earthy smell of the greenhouse - the result of steam sterilization of field soil used for growing the plants. You don't encounter that distinct aroma in modern greenhouses where sterile, pre-packaged, peatmoss-based potting soils are now the rule.
As with everything else, times have really changed with regard to the options we now have for annual flower and foliage plants for our gardens and containers!
Dozens of new varieties of petunias, geraniums, marigolds, pansies and coleus are introduced each spring. Even more extraordinary are the number of previously unheard of plants that are quickly becoming commonplace. Who, for example, had even heard of `Blackie' sweetpotato vine, calibrachoa (or "million bells"), or even "Wave" petunias, ten years ago?
Regardless of the range of "annual" flowers that we now find at local greenhouses and garden centers each spring, there are at least a few questions that seem to be timeless.
So, click on the links at right, to learn more!