Saturday, August 01, 2015

Busy Lizzies in Cyprus

Now that we've lived in Cyprus for more than half our married life, we've become used to the idea that bedding plants - if we're going to have any kind of display by our front door - need to be bought in October, when the worst of the heat is over, before the winter rains. They usually thrive during the cooler months, and then fade away, no matter how well I water them, as summer approaches.

Experience has taught me that petunias and antirrhinums are the easiest and most predictable annual plants, and that geraniums are great value since they remain in bloom all year round, functioning as perennials. However, I like to try something new, and so, last October, when we visited our local plant shop, I was rather taken with some impatiens plants, better known as 'busy lizzies'. So I bought a couple of them.

new busy lizzy plant in cyprus

I had no idea how long they would last, but put them in our long planter, and they looked quite good amidst the other plants, some of which I bought at the same time:

row of plants including busy lizzies

Time passed, and while the petunias lasted until about April or May, the busy lizzies soon lost their flowers, and faded away much more quickly.  Ah well, I thought, bedding plants are very cheap. In April, we went back to the local plant shop and bought one or two more to replace those that had died away.

I don't know what this is, but it looked rather hardier than the busy lizzies, and I put two of them in my long planter.

not sure what this plant is

I also bought some more reliable geraniums. I'm not usually a fan of pink, but I do like a lot of pink flowers.

new geranium plants

Time passed, and the flowers in the long planter faded, but the plants continued to live, and although it looked a bit bare, I kept on watering. I regularly have to pull a few weeds from around the flowers, but I gradually noticed that there were rather a lot of seedlings growing up around these plants. I didn't disturb them, and my reticence was rewarded. I went out to water them one morning, and saw a flower:

new plant faded, busy lizzies self-seeding

My busy lizzies had self-seeded!

I thinned them somewhat - I tried planting about ten of them in a different container, but they didn't thrive at all. However, the ones in the long planter kept on growing, and flowering.  The two that I bought last October have become at least twenty, and are flourishing around the other plants, which I trimmed a little, and which still look encouragingly green despite a couple of almost 40-degree heatwaves in the past few weeks:

busy lizzies flourishing

I'm really no gardener. I don't miss our old enormous garden in the slightest. But I have enough of the family 'gardening gene' that I do enjoy my little display of flowers, and am surprised at how satisfying it was to discover that my rash purchase of busy lizzies turned out to be much more productive than I had expected.

1 comment:

The Island Of Cyprus said...

Nice blog :) Greetings from Cyprus!