As the days shorten, one bright spot in scraggly gardens is the increased intensity of summer annuals. Zinnias, vincas, begonias and geraniums in our yard are deeper pinks than they’ve been all this scorching summer.
When flowers are produced in color temperatures, their colors are deeper. Thankfully, temperatures in recent weeks have been much coolor. Our deep pink geraniums and drought-tolerant vincas now look fluorescent. Ditto the magenta-purple zinnias whose seeds were given to me by a friend. Medium-pink zinnias have turned “hot” pink. Even pale pink impatiens that looked almost white in August are blushing.
The darker shades jump out from beds mostly green now. They’ve sparked my interest in garden work that had waned during the dog days of August. Now, led from bed to bed by intense blooms, I see all sorts of possibilities for plant division.
I won’t divide sparkling annuals, of course, only the background green plants — peonies, hostas and Dutch iris — whose blooms will come next spring.