I did a double take this morning as I stepped off the porch with Shadow on her leash. It was around dawn, and a heavy frost blanketed the lawn. It’s December 4th, right? Almost winter? Yet there, blooming next to the garage, were impatiens.
I’ve loved impatiens since I was a little girl. Have you ever noticed that their flowers sparkle? It’s true. Pick one (well, maybe next June when you have them!) and look carefully at the flower. See those tiny sparkles? I’d pick flowers and float them in my kiddie pool like lily pads.
On Long Island, impatiens are the suburban gardener’s friend. They grow anywhere and often reseed. Here in Virginia, I avoided planting them because they need so much water. Last summer was hot and dry. Plus I don’t have a lot of shade. But Hubby and father in law showed up in May with a flat of mixed impatiens because they knew how much I loved them.
Where to fit them in? I knew I needed shade, so the only place for them was near the porch. I tucked them in by the small walkway and steps next to the garage. It was easy to dump the pet’s water bowl on the flower bed every morning and night when I changed their water, so the plants stayed well watered. And being so close to the porch, I was hopeful that the rabbits and deer wouldn’t nosh on them.
Today when I stepped off the porch, I looked to my right and saw what was blooming. It’s December 4th, it was 30 degrees outside, and there was an orange impatien smiling at me, alongside dianthus and pansies.
There’s got to be a nice warm pocket of air snuggled right between the porch and garage, a micro micro climate keeping the impatiens warm and happy.
Thank you, micro micro climate. Let’s see how long my impatiens will bloom!
Today’s picture…Pierre, posing near the micro micro climate area about a month ago.
Jeanne Grunert is a certified Virginia Master Gardener and the author of several gardening books. Her garden articles, photographs, and interviews have been featured in The Herb Companion, Virginia Gardener, and Cultivate, the magazine of the National Farm Bureau. She is the founder of The Christian Herbalists group and a popular local lecturer on culinary herbs and herbs for health, raised bed gardening, and horticulture therapy.