Summer Containers for Sun Report
In the Spring the front garden containers are full of Tulips underplanted with Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima). Now that the Tulips are but a memory, though, I’ve devoted some time over the last couple of weeks to replanting with summer annuals. The results are OK, but less than inspiring. Perhaps this is because I didn’t really plan the plant combinations – I was rushed and pretty much grabbed what was available.
There is one container we leave on the stump in the Lamppost Bed, between the sidewalk and the street. This year the container is filled with ‘Sonata White’ Cosmos bipinnatus, orange Million Bells (Calibrachoa forgot the variety), and ‘Profusion’ Zinnias. The Million Bells have a trailing habit, and the Cosmos provides some modest height.
Here’s the path to the front door, which is lined with containers on both sides. Not a great deal of color, but that should improve as summer moves along.
One thing I’ve changed this year is that with groups of containers, I no longer try to apply the “Thriller, Filler, Spiller” approach to each and every planter. Instead, I put tall plants in just a few containers, mainly the ones at the top of the steps. The remainder are mostly full of mounding and trailing plants.
Salvia guaranitica ‘Black ‘n’ Blue’ did not grow well for me in the past, but I’m giving it a second try. Gosh, I really have to replace that screen door.
I’m having an odd experience with the Million Bells this year: in most containers they are doing fine, but in a couple they’ve either been eaten or withered away to skeletons.
Here I replaced the Million Bells with Bacopa ‘Gulliver Blue’ (Sutera cordata). You can see there’s also an ‘Angelface Blue’ Angelonia angustifolia. I’ve noticed that this plant seems to be taking garden centers by storm around here. Marketers are trying to popularize it by calling it Summer Snapdragon.
Most of the Sweet Alyssum used to underplant the Tulips has been allowed to remain for the summer. Generally, it appears to me that the straight species has exhausted itself for now in terms of flowering. I’ll cut it back soon.
However, the cultivar ‘Easter Bonnet Lemonade’ is still blooming like nobody’s business. Strange name, though – is there a part of the country where people drink lemonade out of Easter bonnets?
I’ve also got some orange and yellow Lantana camaras.
I especially like this variety, which is called ‘Orange Marmalade’. The yellow one is called ‘Lucky’. The Sweet Alyssum here is the ‘Easter Bonnet Lemonade’ variety.
On the other side of the top step, there is the hybrid Salvia ‘Mystic Spires Blue’. Not as dramatic as ‘Black ‘n’ Blue’, but it has been more reliable for me. Some of the spring-planted pansies have been allowed to stay, I think they look pretty good with ‘Mystic Spires’. We’ll see how they fare in the heat of July.
The containers on this side of the steps also have Million Bells and the ‘Angelface Blue’ Angelonia. There’s also my favorite two container plants for attracting hummingbirds: Cigar Plant (Cuphea ignea) and Starflower (Pentas lanceolata ‘Red Lace’).
Here’s a close up of the Cigar Plant.
The remaining containers on this side are filled mainly with ‘Profusion’ Zinnias, Million Bells, and Sweet Alyssum.
I’ll provide some updates as these container plants fill in and mature. Are you planting anything new in your summer containers for sun?