There was a time when I had written off petunias. They seemed to be such a bother.
To keep them blooming, you had to deadhead them all the time. And they were so sticky, it wasn't like you could just idly walk by them, reach down and deadhead a few with a quick pinch and then continue on to whatever else you were going to do. Once you deadheaded a few, your hands would be all sticky until you washed them.
And double-petunias? It seemed like every time it rained they ended up looking like little wads of crepe paper, and not in an attracive way.
But then one spring day back in 1995, like many gardeners, I discovered the purple Wave™ petunias. We were all ga-ga over them, even though they came in only one color, purple. They never needed to be deadheaded! They just grew and grew and grew, and flowered and flowered and flowered.
We called ahead to garden centers and nurseries to see who had them. We paid a premium price for them, as we gently extracted a few plants from a flat. Remember how they would be all tangled up in those flats because of how they grew? Oh, wait, they still do that, but now they sell them in those six packs, and while they still get all tangled up, they are at least all your plants that are tangled up together.
To me it seemed like the Wave™ saved the Petunias from near extinction, at least in my garden.
I'm not saying I'm planting them all over the place or that I've joined their fan club. I'm just saying I generally buy a few Wave™ petunias to plant here and there and in a container or two every year.
Now I find out that in addition to regular Wave™, there are now Shock Wave™, Double Wave™, Easy Wave™, and Tidal Wave™ petunias. And they have their own website. And we all know they come in many more colors than that original purple
Suddenly, I'm getting all excited about petunias for next spring. The few I planted this year, four plants to be precise, or was it six plants, isn't going to be enough. I'm going to need a lot more!
Now, what other annuals could use a "wave" like boost?
How about Ageratums? I've always wanted them for their blue flowers, but they just seemed to do nothing and then dry up in my garden.
Or maybe Stocks, Matthiola incana? I'd love to have better performing stocks, wouldn't we all? And the flowers are supposed to be very fragrant, but I've not had much luck with them.
It's a good thing this season is starting to wind down, as suddenly, I feel like doing a whole bunch of research into a lot of flowers that I've never had much luck with, to see if there are some new varities I should be trying.
Yes, I'm already thinking about next year, when I'll have my best garden yet.