Text and photographs are © by Ellen Spector Platt & Ellen Zachos, all rights reserved.

Monday, July 1, 2013


When the Impatiens Necrotic Spot Virus hit nurseries last year, most stopped offering the ubiquitous common impatiens (Impatiens walleriana), which would only shrivel and die soon after planting. The virus, spread by thrips, has caused a huge financial loss to plant industry.
I was curious to see what NYC gardeners would substitute given the shady sites and color and budget considerations. No better way to investigate than in NYC treepits. Above, a common replacement choice, begonias, green and white caladium, and New Guinea impatiens, not affected by the virus.
Caladium again, fewer begonias, perennial ivy at the edges and a small strappy-leaved brake fern (Pteris) as a contrast to the huge elephant ears.
Above, mostly coleus with a few caladium,  New Guinea impatiens and small boxwood shrubs.
Mostly green and white with splotches of pink, the white shines in the shade.

The Bromeliad flowers are just beginning to shoot up, and even these few should be a dramatic presence with the mundane begonias.
Maidenhair fern, boxwood, coleus and the variegated tropical plant Stromanthe sanguinea.
Above, my favorite so far this season. The purple Persian shield (Strobilanthes) a perfect foil for the smaller verbena.
Thanks to Other Ellen for the tropical I.D.s


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Beautiful flowers, i love them.

Georgia said...

Good ideas for my north facing exposure!

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