About Dana

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I'm a dichotomy of blue jeans, pretty jewelry, frugalista, and Southern girl living the simple rural life. I want to live my life holistically, thoughtfully, economically, and most of all gratefully, and encourage other women to do the same.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Survivors and Goners

I thought I was doing something dreadfully wrong this year. Here in the South, we love our impatiens and they have always been reliable to fill my large deck planter which is smack under the shade of several large oak trees. It's the one place I can plant impatiens that the deer won't eat.

This year, I faithfully planted white and lavender impatiens in my deck planter. A few days later, I noticed they were all dying, top down. It looked as though the deer had gotten brave overnight and come by for a snack.

So I put out a few deer deterrents and hoped for the best.

And this is what I ended up with.

Here were last year's impatiens.
A few impatiens struggled to survive.
Then I thought maybe the chicken manure in the compost was a little too strong.

So after a while, I replanted some new impatiens. And within two days, they started dying, too.

So I traveled back to another garden center and began looking for replacements other than impatiens this time. I finally asked the knowledgeable gardener on staff what I was doing wrong.

And bingo! Just like that, he worked it all out for me.

"Nobody has impatiens this year."


It appears some insidious moldy disease has killed impatiens up and down the east coast. And the saddest part is that it is probably going to be YEARS before we get these stalwarts back in our gardens. Meanwhile, researchers are trying to propagate a variety that is not susceptible to the killer disease.

Here's a video that explains what is going on with this impatiens killer.

Gardens all over the South are crying right now.

I'm looking to begonias to fill in this year. We gardeners know flexibility is rule #1 if we want to have a pretty landscape.



  1. This is a lovely blog! Lots of good tips, and it has a friendly tone.
    How strange that a disease can kill plants like that, throughout a region. I guess mold travels easily. We lost an oak here in California to Sudden Oak Death. It's done a lot of damage around here.

  2. Thank you for your kind comment. If we get Sudden Oak Death on the east coast, I won't have any trees left in my yard! We have also experienced an infestation of pine beetles in the past that killed many stands of pine trees.