Though I plant SunPatiens every year, I still go through “shock and awe” with their color and performance. Just think — more than 150 days ago we planted several gallon-containers of Compact Orange that were dazzling the moment they entered the ground. That was mid-April, and now they are just over waist high with no signs of letting up.
Though they have been available for several years it is apparent the public still hasn’t tried them. Throughout the week I look out my window and watch the looks of amazement in visitors’ eyes. This planting has become the photo hotspot of the garden. In this particular bed we have them flanking a fairly large red Abyssinian banana, with King Tut papyrus and upright alocasia elephant ears. It seems these are also a favorite nectaring site for the yellow sulphur butterflies, adding to the delight of visiting children.
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Norman Winter is executive director of the Columbus Botanical Garden, Columbus, Ga., and author of “Tough-as-Nails Flowers for the South” and “Captivating Combinations Color and Style in the Garden.”