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Plant Whimsy to Engage Kids

Plant Whimsy to Engage Kids

By Delilah Onofrey, Suntory Flowers
Photographs courtesy of Suntory Flowers

School’s out for summer! Take advantage of quiet times and lazy days to introduce your children or grandchildren to the flowers in your garden. Simple but special moments will leave an imprint they will cherish forever. In fact, most people will say their first garden memory is connected to a grandparent.

GRANVIA Gold - Suntory Flowers

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One superb choice to plant is the Granvia bracteantha from Suntory Flowers. This super strawflower offers bright color, texture and form and attracts pollinators. Plus, you can harvest the dried flowers to make crafts together. Children and adults alike love to touch strawflowers. The paper texture creates a sense of wonder at how a dried flower can be alive!

SUMMER WAVE® BOUQUET - Suntory Flowers

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You can also choose plants that tell a story or have a secret. For instance, you can show why torenia is called the wishbone flower. If you look at the top of the flower throat, you can see a little wishbone! Summer Wave torenias are a fantastic summer plant. They love heat and humidity and will tolerate shade. Choose the trailing varieties for gorgeous hanging baskets or the more compact bouquet series for beds and containers.

SURFINIA® Heartbeat Improved - Suntory Flowers

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Flowers that have a pattern bring a fun, whimsical touch to your hanging baskets and container plantings. Suntory Flowers offers novelty varieties in Surfinia petunias that will hold their patterns through the summer. One top seller is Surfinia Heartbeat, which has sweet white smaller flowers with a pattern of five pink hearts. It has since been improved and has a companion, Surfinia Purple Heart. Mixed together, they are the Surfinia Sweethearts Suntory Mixer.

If you find the hearts are fading and flowers are more solid white, that means it’s time for fertilizer. This can happen during extreme heat and harsh lighting. This scenario presents a learning opportunity to teach children to take care of the plants to bring the hearts back.

SURFINIA® Purple Starshine - Suntory Flowers

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Another fun novelty is Surfinia Purple Starshine. There is some variability in this pattern but you can create excitement pointing out the stars. This plant is more vigorous, mounding and upright and looks gorgeous in beds or containers.

SUN PARASOL® ORIGINAL Stars & Stripes® - Suntory Flowers

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Just in time for 4th of July, we also have a mandevilla with a pattern, Sun Parasol Stars & Stripes. White streaks radiate out from the center on red blooms. This variety is in the Sun Parasol Original group, which is more compact and like a dipladenia in growth habit.

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As you finish up your flower plantings, don’t forget to include a few fun varieties to create sharing moments with your kids, family, neighbors, and friends.

For more information on Suntory Flowers varieties, visit

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GardenSMART Featured Article

By Heirloom Roses
Photographs courtesy of Heirloom Roses

In many areas of the country this is an excellent time to prune roses. Although rose pruning may seems daunting, it’s not hard to learn and the results are well worth the effort. For an informative article on rose pruning, click here .

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