Friday, July 27, 2012

Red, Orange, Yellow

For years I banned red and orange from my gardens then I met my friend Sue who is a genius with container plantings and especially using tropicals in her pots. I gradually began experimenting with hotter colors and bold tropical plantings and over the last eight years have created a thirty foot border of containter plantings. A couple years ago I started arranging them in color wheel order so no the border segues from red through oranges then yellow. Red and orange are still strictly banned from the perennial/shrub borders but I'm having so much fun playing with these hot colors in my tropical container border.

The red section

This dwarf canna is a terrific true red

I've had this great dahlia for four years now. I just throw the pot in the basement for the winter after the frost has taken the top off

Another great find this year was these red sunpatiens

Abutilon 'Voodoo' is a fantastic clean red

And this pentas is a gorgeous red too.  I wish I could save this one for next year but have no more room for wintering over plants.

Musa 'Siam Ruby' - It's veering toward red-violet but it looks good in the red section so it stays

Orange section - the variegated Brugmansia is the star of this section but won't be blooming for a couple more weeks yet. A couple highlights are the Achemea 'Blanchetiana' and Euphorbia 'Sticks on Fire' in the foreground. 


Coreopsis 'Tropical Lemonade'


Got to love the hot, hot, hot color of Tithonia. The Canna 'Pretoria' in the background of this image has orange flowers that will start blooming in a week or so.

The bees and hummingbirds love the Tithonia also

Cuphea ignea


Yellow section, again the Brugmansia, this one is 'Charles Grimaldi', is the key plant in this vignette but the brug won't be showing off it's fabulous yellow flowers for another few weeks.

Love the Coleus 'Swallowtail' in the lower right of the container with the Cuphea

Cuphea micropetala

The Hummingbirds really love all the cupheas

Lantana again, can't beat them for clean primary colors

And a variegated lantana


I'll have to update this when the Brugmansias and large Cannas begin blooming. The color is out of this world!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Crazy about Containers - Update

I posted photos of my west container garden back on June 2 and decided now is a good time to show how all my lovelies have grown in this hot summer weather.  The watering has been quite the chore this year and  I lost a fuchsia in one of the arrangements because I somehow missed watering this one container on one of the very hot days... Oh well... There always seems to be some attrition with the pots because of weather, insects or overcrowding. (not normally to gardener neglect but accidents do happen from time to time) No one else would ever know there is a plant missing from that pot but I actually do keep track of each and every plant that goes into every container arrangement...   Anyway, the border is looking pretty wonderful right now and I love this time of year when the west fence is ablaze with color and texture.

I'll bet you can't see where the missing fuchsia was in this pot?

The best news about this arrangement  is this beautiful acalypha.  It was a cutting I got from a generous gardener we met on the Buffalo Garden Walk last summer and is looking great at the moment.

This container is shaping up to be one of my favorites this year. I really love the play of dark red-violet and the coral colors of the flowers.

I've recently moved one of the very large containers out of the west border and into the Sundial Garden to ease the crowding  and fill in a blank spot left by the finishing daylilies in the Sundial Garden. One of the advantages of having so many containers is I  can mover them about as needed and they provide color and interest in the borders later in the season when the perennials are winding down. 

The huge chartreuse plant in this arrangement is a five year old phygelius. It's just starting to set blooms now because I've kept it pinched out to make it bushier.  The coral flower color of the soon to be blooming phygelius will coordinate beautifully with the variegated Sunpatiens.

Vignette with the large hanging basket... What's not to love?

This begonia was one of my 'finds' while plant shopping this spring. What a beauty! Unfortunately with the low price there wasn't an ID so I don't know what it is.

And yet another arrangement...

OK I guess I'll stop now.  It's time to get outside and water my conatiners....

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

July Bloom Fest

Nothing compares to the abundance of flowers in our gardens here in July. All the summer perennials are exploding with color. I wish I could bottle up this mass of color so I could roll it out onto the winter landscape in January....