Life Is Good

“Life Is Good”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 


Saturday’s garden center shopping yielded more than the sweet potato vines that I wrote about Sunday.  Heaven forbid that I should only walk away with three plants.

Ever since my sister had such success with the Summer Wave torenia last year, I have wanted to try them in my garden.  Unfortunately, I was unable to find any around here.  I don’t know if it is the economy or what, but it does seem that many business are cutting back their stock.  Anyway, at our second stop of the day, I not only found the torenia I wanted, but I like the color even better.  I have only seen the Summer Wave in the purple and had really wanted the regular pink for the area where I had planned to plant it.  But, as soon as I saw the Summer Wave Amethyst Ice torenia, I knew it would look even better than a pink would.  I just love this color, and since these spread out 30 inches, I didn’t need to buy more than six.


Torenia Amethyst Ice (redu)


These should spread out and make the front of the border colorful.  I also bought some Pink Splash that I placed along with the torenia in the “pink” garden.  The White Splash has returned in the spring for the last six or seven years, and I am hoping the pink does the same.  That way I will have color without having to use as many annuals.

Another Saturday purchase was Pennistemum “Fireworks”.  This, too, I bought on the recommendation of my sister.  While the ends of the leaves turn red, the center stays white.  I planted this in a blue ceramic container this morning and placed it in the entry garden.  If it does as well as the purple fountain grass I have had for about five years, I will be very happy.


Pennistemun, Fireworks (redu)


Another plant I was happy to find was Cardinal flower (Lobelia Cardinalis).  I have been wanting this for several years, but never found it in any of the nurseries.  I bought two pots, but each pot had two plants in it.  I almost divided them, but then thought better of it because of the intense heat and lack of rain around here lately.  I have decided to divide them in the fall because  I don’t think they need any extra stress right now.

Today, was a scorcher with the heat index reaching 110 degrees.  I worked in the garden planting my new purchases until around 12:30 and then had to call it quits.  Later on this evening, when it became a little cooler, it was so nice to walk around the garden, look at my newly planted flowers, and dream of how they will look in a few weeks.  Life is good.



  1. Janet said,

    June 16, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    I can’t believe you bought Fireworks!! I got one on our study trip and think it is so colorful! In my zone it is not a perennial, so sadly I will have to find another next year. (Though my friendly extension agent offered to winter it over in his greenhouse). Mine is paired with an Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’. Hope you like it as much as I do.
    Summer heat is sure upon you now…110 is HOT!

    • Jan said,

      June 17, 2009 at 7:26 am

      Janet, what a coincidence that we both recently got the same plant. I think pairing it with Powis Castle is a good idea. I thin I am going to like this one very much.
      Yeah, 110 as a heat index is hot and no relief in sight.

  2. June 16, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    I can’t believe how hot it is there. I almost turned on my heat tonight when last year at this time my AC was going non stop. You have some pretty neat purchases. They will be a nice addition to your already unique gardens.

    • Jan said,

      June 17, 2009 at 7:28 am

      Anna, at the end of May, we did have a cool spell here – highs in the 70’s. We call that “Blowing Rock” weather because it reminds us of summer there. Unfortunately, those cool spells are over until October.

  3. June 17, 2009 at 12:41 am

    Hi Jan, I do agree Life is good, it is summertime and the livin’ is easy. This week we celebrate Midsummer it is really big here.

    Greetings from Tyra in Vaxholm

    • Jan said,

      June 17, 2009 at 7:32 am

      Tyra, I can’t believe that it is already Midsummer is already here. So far, this summer has been a very easy-going one.

  4. Lars said,

    June 17, 2009 at 4:44 am

    Jan, you better watch working in all that heat. I really like the Fireworks grass.

    • Jan said,

      June 17, 2009 at 7:36 am

      Lars, I am careful in this heat. I drink a lot of water and take frequent breaks to cool off. I can’t wait till cooler temps arrive, even though that will be months away.

  5. Randy said,

    June 17, 2009 at 5:58 am

    Jan, I echo Lars, be careful in the heat. The past two days I haven’t even walked around the garden it’s been so hot. It’s nearing 100° here. I’m going to be miserable cutting the grass Friday. 😦

    • Jan said,

      June 17, 2009 at 7:39 am

      Thanks for the concern, Randy. I do try to work in the shade, take frequent water breaks, and wear a big hat. The heat has been bad, and I know it won’t be long before I pretty much stop doing anything but watering. Take care when cutting the grass. Your plan of less grass in your back yard may seem more attractive come Friday.

  6. Jake said,

    June 17, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    It is always nice to go out and get new plants. It reached 99 here yesterday and I raced home from Home Depot against a thunderstorm to get my stuff in the ground before it stormed. At least it was cloudy and windy and I couldn’t feel the heat.


    • Jan said,

      June 17, 2009 at 7:29 pm

      Jake, you are lucky to get rain. We are under a high pressure system and it looks like it will be next week before there is even a chance of rain. Right now it has been over three weeks with no rain. I am having to water my new plants just about every day.

  7. kelly said,

    June 17, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    Wow! 110 degrees and it’s just mid-June. The record in Cincy is 104 degrees and that was 21 years ago (the day we got married). Those extra 6 degrees are killer I’m sure.
    Love your blog layout. It’s very pretty…beautiful flowers…

    • Jan said,

      June 17, 2009 at 7:31 pm

      Wow! What a hot day to get married. It is very unusual that we are this hot so early, like I mentioned before it is the high pressure system we are under. Thanks for the kind and positive feedback on my blog, Kelly.

  8. Brenda Kula said,

    June 17, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    I haven’t been out shopping at the nurseries in weeks, due to a foot injury. Kind of glad to know the pickings aren’t all that good. I’d feel even worse for missing them! At least you got some good stuff.

    • Jan said,

      June 17, 2009 at 7:33 pm

      Brenda, your foot still isn’t any better? What a shame. It is a little hot to be looking for plants, but I just can’t resist. Of course, planting anything now with the heat of summer means lavishing a lot of care on the new plants until they get established.

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