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Petunias and snapdragons: classic annuals for your garden

Petunias The Green Spot

Petunias are highly scented and, before they are pollinated, will fill your yard with fragrance in springtime.

They come in so many wonderful colours and variations today that you could plant your whole garden with petunias and never have to look at the same petunia twice.

They are quite frost tolerant, able to withstand a temperature of minus six or even colder.

Be sure to fertilize with a general fertilizer every two weeks or so at the height of summer.

Most petunias will respond well to pruning to keep them fresh and full.

In today’s garden centre, there are so many petunias, it’s almost impossible to know which ones to pick – so most of us pick by colour.

Then we end up disappointed because the plant didn’t do what we expected.

Here’s a primer on what to look for and what to expect:

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Grandiflora. This is the oldest category of petunia and they can be spectacular, however, they do require deadheading and they don’t like rain.

The flowers also come as doubles. They grow eight-12 inches tall and produce very large, four to five-inch blossoms.

They are best planted in containers, which makes it easier to deadhead them.

One series in this category is Prism. Prism Sunshine is a gorgeous yellow. Others include SuperCascade, SuperMagic.

Multiflora. Smaller, two-inch flowers with a more compact form. Multifloras get more blooms and do better in rain.

Within this category is the Madness series which shares the rain tolerance of the multifloras with the large size bloom of the grandifloras.

This earned the name floribunda to describe this category.

This petunia does well in both beds and containers.

Multifloras can also come as doubles. Very good series include Celebrity, Primetime and Carpet.

Wave or Hedgiflora. This category of petunias just keeps getting better. They are the ones that spread four feet and grow six inches tall.

Covered in blooms, they don’t require deadheading, although they can get a bit thin near the top at the height of summer. Judicious pruning will keep them fresh and full at the top.

Purple Wave  was the first introduction but now there are Pink Wave, Rose Wave, Misty Lilac Wave, and Coral Wave. All are pastels.

Supertunias. This petunia could be classed with the Hedgifloras but can only be grown from cuttings, something that is illegal to do.

They have smaller blooms and need a lot of fertilizer, but they will reward with multitudes of blossoms. They also don’t mind the rain.

Cascading and Sufinia. These petunias have a cascading or trailing habit and often have blooms that show darker veins.

Spread is 18 inches and they are popular in hanging baskets.

Calibrachoa (Million bells or Superbells). Not really petunias but they sure look like them.

They are covered in hundreds of small flowers that will cascade over the side of a basket or container.

Self-cleaning or self-deadheading, long blooming and quite frost and rain tolerant.

Snapdragons1

Snapdragons: No garden would be complete without them, especially if you have children. They love this pretty little flower which allows them to play with it, by pinching the dragon’s mouth and causing it to open and close.

Snapdragons (Antirrhinum, meaning ‘like a nose’ in Greek) are just as rewarding for the adult gardener, with their cheery flowers and heady scent.

Best of all, they are easy to grow and reliable bloomers all summer long.

They also make excellent cut flowers since they open from the bottom to the top.

Dwarf types can be about 10 inches tall while taller types can be 18-24 inches in height.

There is also a trailing variety now that is quite charming.

One snapdragon plant can produce about eight flower stalks in a season.

Colours include white, yellow, pink, peach and yellow, burgundy, red and bronze. There are also some snapdragons with double flowers.

The Ultimate Guide to Cold Climate Gardening by Bernie Whetter, owner of The Green Spot

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LASTING IMAGE

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Display Your Collections!

These family heirlooms were shadow boxed with a lovely suede mat and a frame that suited the time period of the items!

A slice of cityscape

Backlane Weiming Zhao

 A quick oil sketch of a lone poplar tree,

standing in full morning sun in our back alley.

Artist: Weiming Zhao

THE GREEN SPOT

Petunias The Green Spot

Annuals

• Annuals add a quick hit of colour to your garden beds and planters.
• Our greenhouse offers a sea of possibilities in every colour, texture, shape and size.
Visit us for:
• The newest varieties and colours
• Old stand-bys like geraniums, petunias and snaps
• Vegetable seedlings

The importance of magnesium

Ilse Mohn Hedley's Health Hut

Ilse Mohn, assistant manager, Hedley’s Health Hut

When it comes to health benefits, some minerals get more attention than the others.

Typically, magnesium doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

Magnesium is involved in over 300 different biochemical processes in the body, including those involved in muscle, nerve, cardiovascular and bone health.

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It is also important to maintaining proper blood pressure and sugar levels and a healthy heartbeat.

Unfortunately, magnesium is very commonly deficient in North Americans.

A magnesium deficiency in humans can cause such symptoms as confusion, insomnia, accelerated heartbeat, seizures, muscle weakness and twitching, chronic pain and fatigue, and a host of cardiovascular issues.

Magnesium is naturally found in our diets in meats, dairy, fish, fruits and sea food.

If one is still not getting sufficient magnesium, there are magnesium supplements of magnesium citrate or glycinate that can help to prevent a deficiency.

There are blood and cellular tests available that can determine your magnesium status, so that you can learn if you need to supplement your diet.

If you think you might be deficient in magnesium levels, don’t ignore it – talk to your health care practitioner.

HEDLEY’S HEALTH HUT

Magnesium-Citrate-Hedley's-Health-Hut

Magnesium Citrate

• Magnesium is useful for bone health, cardiovascular health (blood pressure), energy (increases enzyme activity), treating muscle cramps, headaches, and insomnia.
• Our product is free from artificial colours, artificial flavours, corn, gluten, wheat, lactose, preservatives, soy, added sugar and yeast.