Mix a Little Swirl Into Your Impatiens

imp_swirlsTo soften the mega-wattage of the Xtreme Impatiens, consider the Swirl series: flowers have a light brush of white painted across each petal, with darker margins holding the color of the flower. The white softens the under color of the impatiens flower, allowing you to create a couple of interesting effects to use when building more sophisticated impatiens beds.

Used straight, a Swirl presents a softer color that is still pretty bright in the shade—it’s just not as over-the-top as the Xtreme series would be. Swirl is nice all by itself.

However, used as a mixer, Swirl takes on a completely different identity. You can take a simple color, like a bright red, and make it more sophisticated by factoring in some Swirl. For example, if you want to mellow the brightness of the Xtremes, add (1) part ‘Raspberry Swirl’ to (3) parts ‘Xtreme Red’ and mix well for a dappled look of light frosting across the design.

Bump up the Swirl to soften the Xtreme more, or throw a little dash of ‘Xtreme Red’ in your ‘Raspberry Swirl’ to pepper it with accents of hot color against a frosted red background.

Build subtle patterns of alternative soft and bright colors if you want to work in monochrome tints, or use a limited palette of red and soft red. Add ‘Xtreme White’ for a little meringue to sweeten the dessert.

Again, Swirl can be used straight. Its picotee pattern offers enough variegation of reds and soft reds to make a mass planting interesting all by itself.

Don’t forget, Swirl includes the other features that make Impatiens great landscape plants:

  • Steady, consistent blooming through the season.
  • Solid coverage of color without bald spots.
  • Very little care or attention needed beyond the initial plantings.
  • Fills in very quickly.
  • Grows to the same height and spread as other impatiens.

That last point is what makes Swirl a great mixer: it plays well with the other colors. It’s the same height, the same spread, and has the same requirements. Mix it in freely, or plant it nearby—it will grow the same.

Everyone plants impatiens in the shade. However, impatiens beds don't have to all LOOK the same—each can take on the personality and verve that its designer brings to the table. Variety is the tool a designer uses to make plantings interesting—and we grow the interesting varieties.