Take it from a gardener whose entire front “yard” is 100% dry shade for the entire summer; you don’t relinquish a reliable source of continuous color without a fight. So when the local botanical gardens offered some old-fashioned semi-double impatiens through their annual plant sale, I ordered a few six-packs for in-ground and containers (below) They later sent an email to all of us saying that the grower was confident these plants would be fine, but we could get a refund if we didn’t want to risk it. I risked it. So, apparently, did my friend Martin, who I visited in Atlanta a couple weeks back (his garden above). Martin has a mainly easy-care green garden these days; I think the impatiens is the only flowering annual he uses. He had not heard of the mildew.
It won’t be a huge problem if these fail, as our local nurseries have finally learned that we plant all summer long—I’ll have plenty of replacements to choose from. In fact, I’m already using most of the replacements in the rest of my shade and semi-shade; that’s why I still plant impatiens. It provides just the light relief needed in a front garden full of ground covers, hackonechloa, hellebore, hosta, polygonatum, tiarella, and other shade stand-bys. In small doses, it works like nothing else.