Even if the dog hasn’t bitten and the bee hasn’t stung (as the song goes), it’s always nice to think on your favorite things. Here are a few of our favorites.

Stephanie’s Favorite Flower:

Million Bells/ Calibrachoa Calibrachoa hanging basket

One of my favorite plants to use in hanging baskets and container gardens is Calibrachoa. Calibrachoa look very much like miniature Petunias, but botanists have found they have major differences in their chromosomes and are two distinct genera. Like Petunias, Calibrachoa come in many different colors and the plants bloom continuously for most of the summer. Unlike Petunias, Calibrachoa are self-cleaning and do not need to have the spent flowers removed. They also have less of a tendency to get “leggy” they way Petunias do. I’ve found that both Petunias and Calibrachoa do best when they receive full sun and are fertilized regularly.

Chesney’s Favorite Flower:

Starflowers/ Nicotiana alata

This annual, and half of our company name, is bright and fragrant.  Nicotiana has five petals, forming a star, and can be found in a wide variety of colors. Since it is a distant relative of commercially used tobacco, it is also called Flowering Tobacco, but don’t worry- it is anything but hazardous to your health. This particular annual variety is hybridized to grow a little more compact, only reaching 12” tall, holds its flowers open and upright all day, and will bloom all summer with proper deadheading and care. Nicotiana alata is happiest in dappled sunlight or part sun but will do great in full sun with sufficient water as well.

Chesney’s Favorite Potting Soil:

My favorite potting soil is Fertilome Ultimate Potting Mix. This potting mix is a great all-purpose potting soil as it works great for most indoor and outdoor plants, including seed starts and hanging baskets. We use this potting soil in our own homes and gardens as well as in all of our client’s container gardens. Since it is mostly made up of sphagnum peat moss and perlite, it makes a great option for a general use formula. The peat moss will help the soil hold moisture and the perlite will help drain and help keep the plant from getting over watered to keep a really great balance for your plants. The only drawback to this potting mix is that if it is allowed to dry out completely, it can be difficult to re-hydrate.