Real Gardens

Ball vs. Bob


Under some of the most rigorous testing conditions possible, I have decided to try the mettle of some Ball FloraPlant starts against basement-grown seedlings provided by my neighbor Bob. Most of the Allentown street planters have been filled with Bob’s seedlings. I usually add in some storebought plants just to let people know the containers have been planted—Bob’s seedlings are very small. I filled one planter (seen above) with only the Ball starts, which include petunias, marigolds, calibrachoa, and verbena.


Here are Bob's seedlings, planted at the same time (about 6 weeks ago). He's been sticking to the Tidal Wave petunias for the most part, in silver and purple varieties. He also gives me a couple flats of Blue Horizon ageratum (not used in this one) and some marigolds.

I know that many tend to turn up their noses at bedding annuals. I don’t. They provide cheerful, summer-long color for public beautification projects, like the ones in which I am involved, and I’m not ashamed to say that I really like a lot of these plants.  They’re beautiful and many have fragrance.

Not only that, but free is important. Bob donated his plants and Ball sent 2 boxes out of similar kindly impulses. Without free, beautification doesn’t happen—not these days.

The race is on.

Posted by on July 4, 2011 at 5:00 am, in the category Real Gardens.
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6 responses to “Ball vs. Bob”

  1. commonweeder says:

    Gardeners are poorer if they check any type of plant off their list. Annuals definitely have a place in the garden, especially in planters.

  2. Li'l Ned says:

    Free is good, but Bob’s colors are way better. Go, Bob!

  3. Carolyn says:

    Both look great. I’m really glad I don’t have to choose between bright vibrant colors and cool pastels. With two containers you can have both.

  4. anne says:

    Lovely containers! I wish deer didn’t love petunias, I would use them more.

  5. Michelle says:

    I appreciate that you didn’t just fill the containers with bedding annuals, but also put a nice tall, meaty plant (looks like cannas?) in the middle, to give the planters some structure. In my mind that’s the perfect use of petunias- low budget beautification projects, with something a little extra added to spice them up.

  6. They both look good my friend. I love those petunias Bob is using. I have some similar ones here, and they are doing extremely well in this horrible heat.~~Dee