Last September I wrote about the city’s container plantings in the downtown core. I love great foliage in the garden so this really pulled at my heartstrings. I know the city worker responsible works hard to keep all the plantings looking great. It’s no small feat with so many to water and keep tidy. This year we were given a couple of large cement planters. Certainly not the size of the city planters but about three feet across and high. As we walked the garden I wondered what to plant in them this year. Hubby looked at me and said “You should grow plants like the city did last year.” Gulp! That would be big shoes to fill. Was I ready for the challenge? Of course! Seriously, that meant I could go buy new plants. Woo hoo!
Since late February I have been looking around for certain plants that may work for the containers. I knew I was looking for Canna or Colocasia as my thriller plant. The thriller plant is the one in the center of the container.
I love the big leaves of plants like Colocasia so when I saw them on sale I grabbed a bag. I also found a bag of Canna tubers and some Caladium. After all was bought, I had 18 bulbs and tubers to plant and it worked out to less than a $1 each. I love a great deal on plants! Of course now I have to figure out what to do with all those plants. I fill about four containers per year so I should have some to share with friends.
The Cannas were planted up in the greenhouse last week and look at them now. Like a teenager who has grown overnight they have grown four inches in two days. I was a bit worried about one of the tubers as it was mushy on one end. I took a sharp knife and cut the damaged part off. I planted the good part of the tuber and it grew.
I scouted the local garden centers and saw lots of Ipomoea or sweet potato vine. All I need is some colour and I think the garden centers have what I need. It won’t be hard to find some Begonias and Coleus to use as fillers. I won’t buy my annual container plants yet as it’s too cold to leave them outside and my greenhouse is beyond full.
It may not be Petunias but Heliotrope will add the fragrance I so love in the garden. Heliotrope is an easy plant to grow from seed. This will give me the lovely fragrant purple flowers to go next to the Ipomoea with its chartreuse green foliage. Okay it was almost too easy from seed. I now have two flats of Heliotrope. Having too many plants is never a problem with a half-acre garden.
Although I am a fan of perennials, the annuals really give us a show for the money. I loved this pairing of peach and black Petunias but my thriller Cordyline and Geranium look lost.
If the Sedum angelina had trailed over the side instead of just sitting there maybe this would have passed as okay.
An easy container that I really enjoyed was using a mix of Nasturtiums. I love bright colours in containers. The only problem is once it gets hot out the Nasturtiums become prey to aphids and take a turn for the worse.
So think about planning your summer containers. Use tall plants with impact in the center and add fillers and spillers. This photo was taken in September and the containers were so full by then it definitely had wow factor. So will I be able to create a fabulous container? I can try. As long as it has colour that’s all I need.