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Apr 1, 2022
Pink Pot Ambassador: April 2022
The Wave Crew  Wave Petunias | Cool Wave Pansies
Meet Kerry Dickson! A self-proclaimed “marketer by day, and a serial gardener and seed starter by night,” this month’s Pink Pot Ambassador (@theseedfairy) inspires her followers with her gardening and beekeeping adventures. Kerry and her husband Ryan have been gardening in zone 7A since 2015 on a half-acre plot in the suburbs of Northern Virginia (NoVA).
 
 
 
What inspired you to start gardening?
When I was growing up, my mom was always a gardener; something I didn’t understand or appreciate until I purchased a house of my own. Once my husband and I purchased our own home in 2015, I started dabbling with one raised garden bed and a few bags of Home Depot tulips. As we embark on our 8th season in our garden, our operation has expanded ten-fold!
 
 
 
Describe your garden.
I am very inspired by English gardens and love the concept of having different “garden rooms.” When my husband and I were designing our backyard, we consciously created multiple seating spaces / “rooms” around the yard to promote spending time immersed IN the garden, versus looking at it.
 
 
Currently, we have three “garden rooms” – a patio area in the back right corner of our yard with a dining table, a pergola with rocking chairs, and a brick patio lounging area next to the house. While our yard is a decent size (0.4 acres), it is not huge! We try to make the most of our outdoor space by intentionally planning our livable garden space.
 
 
As a side note: I highly recommend checking out the British TV show called “Love your Garden” with Alan Titchmarsh. The first season is on Amazon Prime, and my husband and I were so inspired by the way they design garden spaces on the show. Check it out- I promise it will inspire you!
 
 
How have you used Wave Petunias or Cool Wave Pansies in your garden?
I love summer gardens with a lot of color. I purchased a few Wave Petunias many years ago from a garden center to bring a “wow” factor to our backyard – and was thrilled when they were colorful all summer long, unlike my perennial plantings. Now, I grow 100+ “wave-babes” for my backyard every year- experimenting with different color palettes and planting arrangements.  While I have experimented with other annuals, wave petunias take the cake for being the most prolific, colorful, and easy-to-maintain annual I grow.
 
 
Regarding how I use them, I find Waves to be the most impactful when they can “spill” over rock walls, out of hanging baskets, and in planters. In 2021, I added 4 large hanging baskets that were mounted high above my garden on our light poles. I saw this downtown on a city street, and thought, “we can do that in our yard!” Adding baskets of color at the top of the garden added an additional punch of color where you do not traditionally see it in home gardens. It’s been a big “wow” factor for our yard.
 
 
 
What has been your biggest gardening fail?
The first year I grew Tidal Wave Petunias from seed, I was not successful. My plants looked good for a month or so, and then grew straggly and turned yellow in the July heat. Frustrated with their lack-of-success, I pulled them out.
 
Struggling to discover what I did wrong, I turned to YouTube. Many commercial greenhouse owners have YouTube channels where they share growing tips for successful annual growing. After watching one particular video about pinching, pruning, and feeding petunias – I realized I had made a crucial mistake: I had pulled my petunias out! I didn’t realize at the time that I could have revived them by cutting them back and feeding them with a bloom-boosting fertilizer.
 
The following year, I entered the gardening season with vengeance- I was going to grow tidal wave petunias again, and this time I was going to do it right! I adapted the changes to my garden maintenance schedule per the YouTube video’s advice, and voila! I was overwhelmingly successful. Now, my “wave-babes” are among my favorite plants in the garden.
 
 
 
What would you tell someone who has never heard about Wave Petunias?
If you are looking for an easy annual to add color and personality to your garden beds, baskets, or patio, wave petunias are the way to go. With a little bit of love and attention, you can have resort-worthy plantings from your local big-box store or garden center… right in your own backyard!
 
 
 
You’ve had great success pruning/trimming back your petunias. Could you explain how and why you do this to someone who has never done this before?
Pruning petunia plants is critical for growing bushy, sprawling plants loaded with flowers. I start trimming my petunia plants shortly after planting them in my yard, regularly clipping back a few stems on each plant at least once per week. While this sounds drastic, every time you clip a stem on your petunia plant, it will send out two new growing tips just below the cut. This encourages the plant to grow in size and increases the flowers ten-fold. As I enjoy very colorful plantings, I like to prune my petunias back on the regular to ensure I get tons of flowers!
 
 
 
Your garden is so beautiful. Are you able to spend any time relaxing out there? Do you ever invite friends over for a garden party or happy hour?
During the spring, summer, and fall - my husband Ryan and I try to have happy hour in the garden at least once a week. Sometimes with friends, but most days, it’s just us. We absolutely love spending time outdoors… and being immersed in our garden is our favorite way to spend it.
 
 
 
We see that you’re also into beekeeping! How cool! Tell us a little bit about this.
We started taking beekeeping classes in January of 2020 in preparation for the spring, not realizing that we were signing up for the perfect quarantine hobby! We now have four happy hives of honeybees that we love seeing around the yard pollinating our flowers. We also love sharing honey and lip balm with our friends and family from our bees.
 
 
 
Any pets?
Do 80,000 bees count as pets? If so, we have 80,000 of them! :)
 
 
Do you have any other hobbies?
From January– November, gardening and beekeeping take up the majority of our free time. While January may sound “too early” to garden, I start many of my annual seeds indoors in our basement grow-room. I like to keep my wave-babes inside for at least 12 weeks, which means gardening in Northern Virginia starts as early as mid-January!  During the off months, we enjoy over-celebrating the holiday seasons (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas) by decorating our house and garden.
 
 
 
Do you know any gardening jokes? If so, tell us one.
Did you hear about the gardener who went crazy? She was hearing voices in her shed (that’s totally me!)
 
 
Tell us something that most people don’t know about you.
My husband and I are expecting a baby girl during the month of April (the month we are featured)! Her name *may* be inspired by our life in the garden- so you’ll have to stay tuned. We are so excited to meet our little girl and teach her all about gardening and beekeeping.
 
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Reader Comments (5)

Absolutely beautiful garden! Amazing!!
Friday, April 1, 2022 | Christina

Fabulous article about you and your beautiful garden. You are an inspiration. Can’t wait to meet your baby.
Friday, April 1, 2022 | Helène Reis

After seeing your garden, I can see how much color is added just by planting those petunias, although I will buy the wave petunias in pots rather than starting them from seeds. Your garden is absolutely inspiring!
Friday, April 1, 2022 | Thea

A true inspiration and obvious labor of love! (Baby and garden!??)
Friday, April 1, 2022 | Wendy Fox

I would love to be a Wave Ambassador in Alexandria, Virginia! I too have many wave plantings in historic Old Town. Please feel free to contact me. We had a beautiful sunny Easter Day, then a farmer’s rain on Monday watering all the flowers. Your garden is an inspiration. Curious, what the front of your house looks like?
Monday, April 18, 2022 | Ruth Ryder