Jul 5, 2011

July's Container Gardens

 Sooo, I hit some bumps with my garden journal in the last 2 weeks.  My hard drive crashed and although most of it was restored with my external backup (which I recommend EVERYONE have), the lat backup had been in April.  I have been very diligent about photographing the progress of each of my beds and pots, now that is all gone.  Then I left for a week and when I got back some of my flowers were near death.  My husband tried to keep up with them, but they were too needy for his schedule.  I can't be too upset because our youngest daughter was well taken care of!  I have been nursing them for the past few days and they are doing better, but still lack some of their previous luster and bounty of blooms.  These two things are very frustrating, but we will carry on.
Here is what my pots are looking like today, the 4th of July

This is the hanging basket off the deck the day (the hour) I got home.  I think they missed me!
Red Impatiens, Alyssum Snow Crystal, Sweet Potato Vine
 2 Days later...still not in full color, but getting there
Red Impatiens, Alyssum Snow Crystal, Sweet Potato Vine

Red Impatiens, Alyssum Snow Crystal, Sweet Potato Vine

This is the day I planted the Impatiens...

I have 3 of these baskets hanging on the South fence.  This is 2 days after I got back.  They look sooo much better, just not as full.  Maybe a few more days

I did happen to retrieve a photo from my iphone that shows the newly planted Coleus pots.  I loved all these varieties, but wasn't sure how to put them together.

This is my Coleus fountain now!  This is the first thing I see out the window in the morning and I  love it.

Mixing Coleus in pots
Tower of Coleus

This is the pot next to my Coleus fountain.  I didn't plan this one out like I usually do every year, I was waiting for some flowers to grab me and beg to be planted here.  The Creeping Jenny came back from last year, the Coleus pieces are stem cuttings from it's neighbor and the Caladium you can just see peeking around the corner was planted as bulbs early in the Spring and forgotten about.  They did not come up in the package's estimated time of 2 weeks, so I figured they were duds or the squirrels had found them.  
Creeping Jenny, ColeusVelvet Red, Wizard Rose and Chocolate Drop (the small leaves), Caladium
Creeping Jenny, ColeusVelvet Red, Wizard Rose and Chocolate Drop (the small leaves), Caladium

It's hard to have a favorite.  Some days this pot of Sweet Potato Vine wins my affection.  I have taken so many starts from this plant and spread them around or given them away.  I love the way the stand is almost hidden from view.  It's such a bright display of color.  I planted to stem cuttings of coleus in the center from a dramatic contrast, but they are not growing nearly as fast as the vine.  So, I tried another approach in another pot with cuttings.
Sweet Potato Vine Marguerite and Coleus Velvet Red
Sweet Potato Vine Marguerite and Coleus Velvet Red
See how the Coleus is hidden?  The dark and the bright would look so cool against each other if I could get it grow faster and fill in the center.  I don't know where those holes are coming from in my leaves.  Grrrrrr.
Sweet Potato Vine Marguerite, Coleus
The whole ensemble.
Creeping Jenny, Coleus, Sweet Potato Vine Marguerite
Creeping Jenny, Coleus, Sweet Potato Vine Marguerite

I've had this pot for years sitting at the top of the deck stairs and I just love it.  Iv'e never been able to create the same arrangement twice.  Once again, the creeping Jenny came back on it's own and the Coleus was from a stem cutting.  The Elephant ears and Caladium were bulbs that took a LOOOONG time to pop up.
Creeping Jenny, Coleus, Caladium, Elephant Ears

Another view of that same pot.
Creeping Jenny, Coleus, Caladium, Elephant Ears

This is my largest pot (so far...).  My favorite thing about this one is the Purple Fountain Grass every year.  It's not a perennial in my zone, so I have to buy it each year.  Everything else changes.  Other than the Creeping Jenny (it's EVERYWHERE!) I've never used any of the these plants before in any of my arrangements.  The Verbena seems very sensitive and the Sweet Potato Vine Blackie version is not as aggressive as the Marguerite variety, and the begonia, whose colors are great with the grass, seems a bit shy.
Purple Fountain Grass, Wax Begonia, Verbena, Sweet Potato Vine Blackie, Creeping Jenny

I saw a photo online when I googled "DECK PLANTS" and there was a gorgeous pot overflowing with this coleus, so I went out and bought it.  It's called Rustic Orange.  I typically pass these colors by, because I want summery colors, but I think I will really enjoy this one when fall sets it and I'm in the mood for the deeper shades.  I added a stem cutting of the Velvet Coleus to maybe add more character.  Maybe a few of these together would look pretty - or just a larger pot.   We'll see.
Coleus Rustic Orange and Velvet
This is a "baby pot".    When my mom and Grandmother were here we saw many many pots with the small white flowers, Grandma said it was Diamond Frost.  I love the light airy feeling it gives it's arrangement.  If I din't buy it, I was afraid I'd forget the name (I'd called my mom 3 times for the name in the first week).  I really didn't have anywhere to put it, so I just took a stem from a Impatiens Punch plant and stuck them together.  The PUNCh has not blooms yet.  I'll check in this one later.
Diamond Frost and Impatiens Punch
Honestly this one has little affection for me.  The asparagus Fern is not as "trailing" as I thought it would be and the Alyssum is not taking off like the other pots.  I have the  nonspilling variety of Sweet Potato in the back (deep burgundy) and that is sort of leggy....I won't repeat this one again.  The bright sweet potato vine on the left is the one I transplanted in the previous blog on stem cuttings!

Sweet Potato Vine (2 different varieties), Alyssum, Asparagus Fern
Another "baby pot" full of Coleus stem cuttings and 1 sweet pot. vine leaf.  I just can't stop!! I believe these are Red Velvet in the middle, Rustin Orange on the right and ______ on the left.!   
I'm very happy with this art project!  To see more on this visit earlier post http://edgygardener.blogspot.com/2011/06/pretty-pots-hangin-on-fence.html
Fence Pots, Garden Art
 This one is kind of cool!  My friend, Anna brought me over a sweet potato with roots sticking out of it.  So, I planted it and that is the deep green plant crawling up the stake and the gutter!  I added some Coleus at the bottom to see if they will survive on this side of the house.  The sun may wilt them before they get any bigger.  I don't know what they are because there were in a variety seed pack.
Sweet Potato Vine and Coleus
 Lonely Lobelia.....I had such high hopes for this poor thing.  It was big and bright when I bought it.  The deep blue is like nothing else I have.  I have moved it I don't know how many times to find it's happy spot.  Here, in front of the house on the brick patio, it stopped dying, but it's not prospering either.  I don't know what to do.
 This one looks so pretty to come home to.  It lost a lot of beauty when I was gone but I'm confident it will come back.  I like the Alyssum and Impatiens combo.
Snow Crystal Alyssum, Impatiens
I put this one together thanks to the hours of searching the internet for pot ideas when it was too cold to be outside.  I'm proud of this guy.  It sits in  the front of my house in all it's glory!  Tall decorative grass and  2 colors of Calibrachoa (Cabaret White Improved and Hot Pink).  I think I might do this in  more colors next year.
Decorative Grass, Calibrachoa - Cabaret in White and Hot Pink
I don't know what either of these two plants are.  The  one on top (which I call the Batman plant) I got from a client of mine and it was very aggressive in his yard, the other one is some sort of WORT, but I don't know which one.  Ideas? 

 My husband said he liked Caladium so I bought some!  I'm hoping they fill out.  I love the water melon colors!


  1. WOW! you are amazing! I had no idea you were such a horticulturist! I'm very impressed. I have so much to learn when it comes to this. will look forward to checking this and following you!

  2. Thanks Mrs J! This is the biggest and best my pots have EVER looked. I hope I can remember what I did so I can repeat and expand for next year. I've started looking at houses and judging them based on their backyards and sun exposure!!

    Thanks so much for being the 1st COMMENT!!

  3. Today, while waiting in the doctors office, reading an older copy of Country Living, I found the official name of my "batman plant." It is Persicaria (P. virgianana "Painter's Palette")