Heirloom Petunias that are fragrant

 California Giant  Petunia grandiflora
California Giant
Petunia grandiflora

California Giant Petunia is a beautiful old-fashioned petunia that I have planted the past few years. The photos below are from the heirloom petunias I grew in 2012. This year the seed I planted was not the same as this one in 2012, and they were not as beautiful or fragrant! Make sure you do not use up all your seeds the year you plant your heirloom flowers. I purchased these California Giant Petunias from Select Seeds, and they were the most beautiful old-fashioned flowers that filled the garden with fragrance at dusk. The seed I used this year (2013) was from an English Seed Company, and they were not as beautiful or hardy as the ones I planted in 2012. I did not even bother taking any pictures of the ones I grew this year since they were not much to look at or even mention!

They provide a tropical look in the garden

The veining reminded me of a water color painting....
The veining reminded me of a water-color painting….in this picture the veins just wash across….

I start my petunia plants in March which makes them perfect for setting out in early spring.  They bloom until frost and sometimes even past our frost dates if it warms up a bit during the day.

In planters the Giants were a bit leggy, so I found they looked better weaving in and out among vegetables, herbs and other flowers in our Urban Potager

I feel California Giants look better in the garden bed intermingling with other flowers, not in planters. They are excellent for companion planting in vegetable beds. Petunias are part of the nightshade family (tomatoes, peppers, + potatoes) which makes them perfect for pest control in these beds. They repel a variety of pests! In 2013, I planted them in all my tomato beds, and I have yet to find a tomato horn worm in my summer gardens!

They are very drought tolerant which is ideal for our humid summers.
They are very drought tolerant which is ideal for our humid summers.

 We took out some old bushes in our front yard and planted some annual petunias in their place.

Circa 1907
Circa 1907

Here, is heirloom Old-Fashioned Climbing Petunia. I had a few containers throughout the garden in 2012. They don’t smell like much during the day, but when the sun sets they fill the garden with a wonderful fragrance!

I like the simple, cheerful look of these petunias in pots. They work in both garden beds and containers.

I loved how they just danced throughout this bed of annuals and perennials up by the road that does not get much water some days, but they all survived!

Heirloom Old-Fashioned Climbing petunias in the morning light…..

I will be saving seeds from these in 2014 from my own plants. We need to keep the heirloom and old varieties alive and pass them on to other gardeners. Each year they are replaced by new hybrids that do not have the grace, fragrance, history and simple beauty of these old-fashioned flowers.