The Struggle with Annuals

By Karen Fraizer

You may think that because we are Professional Gardeners here at Kingwood, everything in the gardens comes easy to us. Well, you would be wrong!

When we are planning our annual displays a year in advance, you can be certain that we are picturing the perfect specimens. The problem is, rarely do we get that “perfect specimen”. We must fight mother nature as well as human error, to make the annuals look as good as everyone expects them to.

Sometimes the issue starts clear back in the beginning. It could have been a germination problem in the greenhouse, maybe they had to reseed a variety, so when we get the plants they are smaller than we expected.  It could be when we plant the annuals, they are not in deep enough soil which will cause issues later in the season, such as drying out or flopping over as they get bigger.

Then the fight with mother nature really starts, too much rain in the spring gives the plants a slow start. Later in the season like July and August, the problem is usually we don’t have enough rain. We can hand water all we want, but nothing soaks the ground like a good old-fashioned rain. If you throw slugs into the mix, rabbits, and the lovely Kingwood Peacocks – you can begin to see the struggles of growing annuals that are up to our strict standards.

Some people may ask “If you have all these struggles with the annuals, is it really worth it?” I would then challenge you with coming to Kingwood Center Gardens and checking out our annual displays. After that, I think the answer will be obvious. Yes, the annuals are worth the struggles.

I hope you come and see our Amazing 2018 Annual Display!!!

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