Gardeners grow doubly impatient


This May, there's been a run on double impatiens, and garden centers have had trouble keeping it in stock. This is a variation on the hardy, shade-loving plant that, according to Garland Williams of Garland's Gardens, is the most sought-after of all annuals.

While double impatiens has been around for several years, the latest colors are so beautiful its popularity has skyrocketed. Look for varieties like rosebud salmon and rosebud lavender, so called because the blooms look like tiny roses.

Getting tired of impatiens? (Everybody grows them because they're practically foolproof.) Paula Frank of Pikesville Garden Center says the newest popular annual is torenia, also known as wishbone plant. It loves shade and comes in beautiful blues, pinks and purples. "An exceptionally pretty flower," she says.

Featured decor

A painting by Picasso hangs in the Barcelona Room. In the guest room are a vintage Breuer canvas and metal chair and a Louis XVI commode. Matisse is represented as well as Mark Rothko. No wonder Elle Decor decided to feature interior designer Joseph Holtzman's Guilford apartment in its June/July issue.

His home is a wild and wonderful mixture of museum-quality antiques, fine art and futuristic design. The magazine can barely do justice to it with eight full pages of gorgeous color photographs.

Sodium sorcery

Here's a nifty little gadget for those concerned with their salt intake. The Salt Checker looks like a thermometer with an LED readout. Stick it into any food, hot or cold, and it measures the sodium level. The price is $14.99.

You can find the Salt Checker locally in the housewares department of Linens 'n Things on York Road and at other stores that specialize in items for the kitchen.

Forgoing fantasy

The newest trend in decorators' show houses seems to be a move away from fantasy, and the best present design ideas that real people can use. The latest example: the Beeches, the 1995 show house benefiting the Historical Society of Talbot County. This Georgian-style house has over 30 areas, inside and out, that have been designed with an emphasis on comfort, good taste and unassuming ease.

Located on Peachblossom Creek, some five minutes from Easton on the Eastern Shore, the Beeches will be open from June 4 to June 30, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed Mondays). Call (410) 822-0773.

On the Home Front welcomes interesting tidbits of home and garden news. Please send suggestions to Elizabeth Large, On the Home Front, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.

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