Friday, August 15, 2008

baby petunias and the ivy invasion

I plucked out three perfectly healthy petunia seedlings the other week because I didn't know what they were! I'd never grown petunias from scratch and they seemed to bear no resemblance to the varieties I had bought two years ago from Netto. Those were surfinias for the most part. These had fuzzy leaves and had a sort of cactusy look.

There are other seedlings in different locations around the garden, growing in pots that I knew I sprinkled with the very fine seed some six weeks ago. I gave them a chance, just in case, and didn't weed (well, I was too busy to weed anyway) and now they have sprouted buds and branched out in that characteristic petunia manner. So now I know I got lucky. Still, what amazes me about these plants is that seedlings growing under different light conditions and in different degrees of wetness actually look like they came from different species.

Maybe they do come from different varieties, at least. The pack, which I bought in Nijosa (guess where that is, hehe) early this year, contains a mixture of different color flowers. I wonder if the diversity is restricted to that.

I found a blog post from a woman in Michigan who brought her petunias in for the winter and kept them on a window sill. I don't think my puny little seedlings will grow big enough to make a worthwhile show this summer, and I'm debating whether to bring them in or let them die with the first frost.

At least I now know what the seedlings look like.

In between revising and editing, I cleaned out ivy that had overtaken one wall. Incredible how vigorously they can grow. They make terrific ground cover, too: I'm still digging out some stems that broke off and refuse to come out of the ground. I wonder how well they might compete with skvalderkål. Something tells me I do NOT want ivy between the stones of my raised garden terraces.

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