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.