Monday, August 18, 2014

Tropical Container Border

I was finally able to spend some quality time in the gardens the last few days and managed to get the tropical container border polished up for a 'photo shoot'.  This garden began with a small corner of the front yard with a few pots back in 2005. It was the second year with my very first Brugmansia. You can see it toward the right of the photo. That plant was, in fact, the 'Charles Grimaldi' that just died this past spring. Poor Charles...  anyway, there was no rhyme or reason to the arrangement of the plants or colors back then, I just grew what I liked  and grouped them together in the corner.

Container garden summer 2005

From that humble beginning the garden expanded over the years to use up more and more of the lawn. (Hahahahahahaha I'm still digging up more areas of the front lawn to the chagrin of my husband) The garden is now about thirty feet long by ten feet at it's widest point. I normally have between forty and fifty pots in this section of the garden and I haven't counted how many different plants I grow in there but there are lots! Quite a few of the containers house combination plantings while there are also a lot of 'mono' pots in there that house the behemoth tropicals.
Container garden Summer 2014

As time went on I became a bit more selective about color choices for the border and have grouped the plantings by color families. The colors cover the hot side of the color wheel from yellows on the right through the oranges in the middle and reds on the left with accents of dark violets for contrast. 

For nine years my lovely Brugmansia 'Charles Grimaldi' reigned supreme. It grew into a magnificent specimen that would routinely push out more than 300 flowers at a time.
Brugmansia 'Charles Grimaldi' September 13, 2011
I replaced my 'Charles' this spring, but of course, it's only in its infancy at the moment. You can just see it tucked behind the Alocasia

Speaking of Alocasias, I bought this beauty, Alocasia 'Sarian' last year and it is turning into a tropical beauty. Love the texture and contrast in these outstanding leaves.

Anigozanthus is just now pushing out a whole new crop of flowers.

Lantana 'Samantha' anchors the right side of the yellow section of the border.

Another yellow Lantana in the yellow section of the border (can't think of the name at the moment)  All the Lantanas winter over dormant in the basement in the winter.

Looking down the border toward the orange section
Cuphea micropetala, this plant is five or six years old now and is a great Hummingbird magnet.  I don't know if I'll be able to keep this one over the coming winter. We'll see if it can go dormant instead of spending the winter in the greenhouse.

Love Euphorbia 'Sticks on Fire'
The queen of the orange section is my Aechmea blanchetiana

The orange section with Alocasia 'Portodora' in the background. Cana 'Pretoria' is a great textural contrast in this section with its striped leaves
This beautiful Brugmansia was a gift from a friend, it's called 'Shorty's Variegated' and a very floriferous variegated variety. The peach color only just allows in the orange section (peach is just a tint of orange) but it's magnificence demands its presence in the border.
Love the contrast between these flowers and the dark leaves of Colocasia 'Diamond Head'
Some of the red section of the border. The Salvia 'Dancing Flame' (behind the fountain) is just getting started

This border has been a fun adventure and we'll see what the future brings. Eventually I'm planning on turning this space into a shrub border that will take much less time and effort to maintain. In the meantime I'm having a ball with my tropical corner in New Hampshire.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - August 2014

Well, all I have to say right now is how the heck did it get to be August 15th. Doesn't that mean the summer is almost over.... Noooooo say it isn't so.... Anyway, the August gardens are full of lovelies blooming their heads off at the moment so I'll pretend that it will be summer for at least another four or five months and pretend the seasons aren't rolling towards winter.

OK I'll be done with that rambling and get to the meat of the bloom day post which, of course, are lots of photos of the above mentioned lovelies blooming their heads off. Many thanks to Carol of May Dreams Gardens for hosting this monthly bloom fest.

My Stephanotis is blooming again, what a treat

Begonia blossoms

Rose 'Carefree Delight'

Hybrid Tea Rose 'Fascination'

Alyssum 'Frosty Knight'

Brugmansia 'Shorty's Variegated'
Knockout rose with Variegated Salmon Sunpatiens

Hydrangea 'Pinky Winky'

Rose of Sharon 'Sugar Tips'

Hydrangea 'Pinky Winky'

Allium 'Millenium'

Angelica gigas just beginning to open

Dwarf Hydrangea 'Bobo' I'm loving this small shrub
Echinacea 'Supreme Cantaloupe'

Echeveria  blossoms

Phlox paniculata 'Nora Leigh'


Hydrangea 'Endless Summer'

Ipomoea lobata

Ipomoea lobata

Fuchsia 'Beacon Rosa'

Persicaria 'Golden Arrow' with Persicaria 'Painter's Palette foliage
Phlox paniculata 'Nora Leigh'

Skipper butterfly (I know it's not a flower but I couldn't resist)

Sunpatiens Variegated Salmon with Fuchsia 'Deutsche Perle'

Fuchsia 'Wnston Churchill'

Fuchsia 'Jack Shahan'

Phlox paniculata 'Pink Flame'

Eupatorium fortunei 'Pink Frost'

Daylily 'Pastel Classic'

Coreopsis 'Moonbeam'

Russian Sage

Sedum 'Autumn Charm' with Sunpatiens Variegated White

Agastache 'Kudos Coral'

Allium 'Milennium', Angelica gigas, Echinacea 'Pink Poodle', Hydrangea 'Bobo'

Persicaria polymorpha this has been blooming since June and is still going strong

Daylily 'Desperado'

Anigozanthus 'Yellow Gem'

Abutilon hybrid

My wild Mountain Ash tree is covered with berries this summer. The birds will soon be having a feast

Rudbeckia fulgida 'Goldsturm'