The title of this post is a bit of a misnomer since the real beginning of summer annuals is December 15th (which is when nurseries ask for next year’s summer annuals orders), though you could argue that it begins even earlier when our client relations managers are developing annuals contracts and forecasting their summer annuals sales. However, in terms of installation, May 16th is our official start of summer annuals. With the threat of frost largely behind us (although this past weekend was not indication of that), we begin rolling out the summer designs. There may be some fluctuation on this date based on weather, but by and large this is it.

Hecktman, J 25 (2014) R Carlson Pic     Winemaster, K 01 (2014)     33 W. Ontario 01 (2014)

In order to get to the installation, we submit our pre-book orders to our preferred suppliers on December 15th. This allows the nurseries to grow the plant material to the quality and quantity needed for our projected summer installations. Relentless in our search for the best quality plant materials, we go to field trials  to see new varieties offered to the industry and to evaluate how they perform in the landscape. This allows us to to consistently improve what we are able to offer to our clients and helps us exceed their expectations. Over the past few years, Impatiens Downy Mildew has caused for some issues in the industry and we are unlikely to see the popular bedding plant return to its trouble-free status (though its popularity is apt to keep it in the industry). This has prompted us to be even more creative in our designs and to constantly search out viable alternatives. Bounce Impatiens, which are tolerate of shade and are resistant to powdery mildew are a good choice, as are Coleus and Begonias. For sunny gardens, Sun Patiens are a good substitute with their vigorous growth and tolerance to heat and humidity.

Part of making sure that we are always providing the best, we generally have plant material brought to the SBC yard a week prior to installation which lets us pull and organize the order accurately while also ensuring that the plants do not flag while they wait to be planted. So for example, we would order material for a job site scheduled for installation on May 31st on Friday, May 20th; they would arrive starting on Monday, May 23rd; they would be pulled and organized for the job on following Friday, May 27th; and then installed that following Monday or Tuesday, May 31st. The tight timeline means that the annuals comes to the client looking their best.

If your home and gardens are in need of some summer annuals to fill in those areas that are void of the brilliance of flowers, let us know. Whether it’s a single container at your front entry, or a selection of decorative urns around your terrace, or swaths of bedding annuals in your flower beds (or all of the above!), we are always looking to help you have the garden you want.

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Endless thanks to our annuals buyer, Seth Boswell, for talking to me about summer annuals and teaching me about the SBC approach to annuals.