Each spring, I fill containers, hanging baskets, and window boxes with annual and perennial flowers. I don't always follow the 'rules' for container planting except to ensure a good quality, well-draining, light and fluffy potting soil. Of course, I give the plants the type of light they need, but I don't worry too much about color combinations and design. Here are a few of the 30-plus containers I planted this year, starting in the Stone Garden, so called for the crunchy lava rock covering the ground.
A creature of habit, I usually place pots of coleus at the entrance to the Stone Garden. This welcoming entrance also leads to the front door. I start coleus from seed, indoors, in early spring. All plants in the Stone Garden need shade.
|Coleus invites you into the Stone Garden|
|King Begonia, perfect in the teapot planter, sits on a bench in the Stone Garden.|
The Stone Garden is my utility area for the generator, air conditioner unit, and water hose. I use strategically placed planters in an effort to distract from their ugliness. Often, my containers provide temporary homes for new acquisitions -- like the veronica in the trellis planter in the corner of the Stone Garden. I'm surprised the veronica did so well in this shady spot and was prepared to move it if necessary. Soon it will be time to plant it in its more permanent home in the Horseshoe Garden.
|Veronica, tobacco vine, and an ivy wreath.|
A planter of mixed annuals resides next to two smaller containers of perennials. They successfully detract from the large, ugly generator. I used double impatiens as an experiment to see if the downy mildew problem is over. After three years, I am thrilled the infection didn't reoccur. I will grow more next year.
|Mixed planter: Double impatiens, Coleus, Fuschia, Lysimachia, Polemonium, Torenia, Vinca Vine|
|Japanese painted fern, heuchera, and vinca vine.|
I placed a simple pot of calibrachoa on a wrought iron chair on the front step, as well as in various hanging baskets. Calibrachoa thrives in part shade I've found.
In full sun areas, like the cottage garden and the kitchen garden, I planted several pots of zinnias and marigolds. This year, zinnias didn't fare as well as usual, due to the bizarre weather that began with a very dry June followed by an excessively wet July. I start zinnias, marigolds, and snapdragons indoors from seed before the last frost.
|Zinnias and snapdragons in tubs, ivy in a birdcage.|
Happiness held is the seed;
Happiness shared is the flower.
-- author unknown
I placed tubs of zinnias and marigolds in the kitchen garden to attract pollinators. Initially, I put them along the bottom fence next to a stand of milkweed.
|Early morning in the kitchen garden.|
When the milkweed grew up, it shaded the annuals.
I moved the containers out into the main vegetable garden where the sun could bless them.
More zinnias ...
Near the pond I display my collection of hypatufa containers. Some I bought, one I made, and some were gifts. I house various succulents in them. My largest hypatufa sits above the waterfall providing a backrest for the angel there.
Morning Glory and moonflowers live in a container against the arbor; in a container on each side I grow perennial sunflowers. I don't plant directly into the ground here because it doesn't drain well. I keep the sunflowers in pots so they don't spread and take over my garden space!
I filled the five window boxes along the tractor shed with petunias, purple fountain grass, bacopa, coleus, and dusty miller:
If you look back at previous years' postings you will see similar plantings in my window boxes -- as with the coleus at the entrance to the Stone Garden, I don't mess with what works!
My favorite container sits in the Horseshoe Garden where the lamium ground cover provides camouflage, ha ha. My dear friend and former secretary, Pat, sent me the miniature rose following my surgery a couple of years ago. I over-winter the rose indoors and plant it out in spring. It blooms all summer.
|Miniature rose, heuchera, and creeping Jenny.|
Only one rose bloom today, but several buds. I moved the planter so you can better see the planting ...
Flowers are the sweetest
God ever made and forgot to
put a soul into.
-- Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887)
I hope you enjoyed this sampling of my container plantings! I have many more, but I try to limit the number of photos to 12 in each posting, so you don't become too bored. Oops, this posting is far too long.
Did you plant containers in your garden this year? Do you have a favorite?
|Polka dot plant and hosta|
|Fairy, bearing a basket of flowers|
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