Yesterday at work, Younger Co-Worker attempted to guess my two favorite annuals based on what we had more varieties of this year compared to last year. She guessed coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides) and Osteospermum cvv. She got it half right: coleus is high on the list.
This year in coleus we will have: 'Quarterback,' 'Fishnet Stockings,' 'Merlot,' 'Merlin's Magic,' 'Pink Chaos,' 'Gays Delight,' 'Saturn,' 'Kingswood Torch,' 'Dappled Apple,' 'Tilt a Whirl,' 'Electric Lime,' and 'Splish Splash.' The last four of those are new compared to last year, though 'Tilt a Whirl,' at least, had been around previously. 'Dappled Apple' was a substitution: we were supposed to have gotten more 'Gays Delight' -- which, contrary to the name, ain't all that -- but I guess they were out or something and sent us 'Dappled Apple' instead. Which 'Dappled Apple' is more similar to 'Electric Lime' than 'Gays Delight,' so I'm not sure that was the best of all possible substitutions, but whatever.
Everybody has their favorites: WCW likes 'Tilt a Whirl,' Perennial Expert has had nice things to say about 'Gays Delight,' Younger Co-Worker is terrifyingly insistent that 'Merlin's Magic' is the best one, and I . . . well, it's probably 'Kingswood Torch,' though if 'Splish Splash' ages well, I could see it winning out in the end.
So far the customers seem to be siding with WCW, and 'Tilt a Whirl' is selling the best, but it's also early.
Younger Co-Worker got wrong, though, the guess about Osteospermum. I like them, but Portulaca are better. I mean, if I were forced to choose. Which I'm not.
We do have a couple new ones this year, though unlike with the coleus, I can't name them all off the top of my head. The picture is of 'Bronze Charmer,' which changes colors as it ages, and is variously lavender, peach, yellowish, pink, and orange. It seems very nice. We got more varieties of Osteospermum this year less because I like them a lot (though I do) than because we sold out of them pretty early last year.
Portulaca, we're just getting the same stuff as last year, no more no less. Although I really like them, I don't fool myself into thinking that everybody else in the world shares my enthusiasm. I save those kinds of delusions for Anthurium andraeanum.
UNRELATED LIZARD UPDATE: Visited a pet store yesterday to find food. No mealworms. (?)(!) Freeze-dried flies of some kind instead. Also I balked at spending $24 for a heating pad. (Baby steps!)
We have a ten-gallon aquarium for Nina (somehow the husband had obtained one before Nina entered our lives -- I'm not sure how that happened, but obviously it was kind of prescient), though for the moment she's still in her glass cookie jar. The aquarium will be planted at some point today?, I guess?, and then Nina will be packing her stuff and moving. Hopefully anoles are pretty tough: she's had to go through a lot lately. I take some comfort in the fact that she's been a very good honey-eater, when I've remembered to give it to her. (I'm kind of a bad lizard dad. Baby steps!)
I'm thinking this might be the time to buy that Fittonia I've occasionally thought about getting. It's handy that I was already thinking about plant toxicity, at least: I have some sense of what I can and cannot put in the aquarium with her. Should I try to overwater? I'm sure fungus gnats are yummy. . . .