About two months ago I sowed some seeds of balsam (Impatiens balsamina) from a left-over packed that I had bought in a grocery store in Boston's Chinatown almost a year earlier. The germination rate had not been particularly good the first time I had planted seeds from that particular batch so I was not expecting much to come of this sowing but I just could not get myself to just throw away the seeds either. Lo and behold, three healthy and fairly strong plants did grow from this planting and are now gracing my windowsill. Yesterday, the biggest one unfurled its first flower, pure white and semi-double.
Balsam (Impatiens balsamina)
Balsam is among my favorite old-fashioned annuals. Since it grows and comes into flower so fast, I might do a second sowing outside at my parents' house when I go home at the end of May.